Staff Picks: Aurora’s Anticipated Non-Fiction: March

Carmageddon: How Cars Make Life Worse and What to Do About It by Daniel Knowles

In this scathing anti-automobile polemic, Economist journalist Daniel Knowles argues that cars have taken over the world, and gone a long way towards ruining it in the process. As the miracle invention that drove 20th-century modernization, cars promised freedom, convenience, and the romance of the open road. But what have they delivered? Just over a century later, the case against the car has accrued a weighty burden of evidence on its side: air pollution, global warming, parking lots where once were fields and forests, 26-lane highways of doom, fragmented habitats, millions of car-associated casualties (including roadkill galore). The cost of the car’s rise to global supremacy has been high, for humans, animals, and the earth alike. So, the question is: what can we do now? Seeking proven solutions, Knowles looks to the bike-friendly urban planning of European cities and Tokyo’s renowned public transportation system. 

For those in need of motivation to bicycle more this spring!


Reconnecting after Isolation: Coping with Anxiety, Depression, Grief, PTSD and More by Dr. Susan J. Noonan

Of all the side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the most painful has been social isolation. After years of lockdowns and gatherings nixed for fear of super-spreading, many people remain wary about venturing back into the potentially infectious fray of public life. Yet humans are social animals, Zoom has failed to fill the hole left by the sudden loss of connection and community, and we’ve found ourselves in the midst of a national mental health crisis. Dr. Susan J. Noonan’s Reconnecting after Isolation is a much-needed, evidence-based, and approachable guide to overcoming the emotional repercussions of isolation. A physician and mental health coach, Dr. Noonan offers advice for developing coping skills, confronting isolation-induced anxieties and phobias, building resilience, finding effective mental health care, and navigating re-entry into society after the long hiatus.

For humans in the wake of a pandemic seeking to support themselves and others.    


Held by the Land by Leigh Joseph

An ethnobotanist, researcher, and community activist, Leigh Joseph is a member of the Squamish Nation, indigenous to the region now known as British Columbia, Canada. She is also the founder Skwalwen Botanicals, for which she creates skincare products developed using native plants and rooted in Squamish plant knowledge. In Held by the Land, Joseph calls upon her cultural heritage and botanical expertise to offer a trail map towards reviving our relationships with plant life and the land, in recognition that humans are a part of the ecosystems in which we live rather than apart from them. The book features charming full-color illustrations and a guide to identifying over forty plants of cultural significance to the Squamish people, along with practical tips for sustainable harvesting and growing, setting up a home apothecary, and working with plants both medicinal and culinary.

For plant lovers, herbalists, and fans of Braiding Sweetgrass.

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