More Baths on “Dune” and Five Dystopian Classics

There was much interest in my post on Frank Herbert’s science fiction classic, Dune, probably because I asked the question, “How often should a water conservationist bathe?” So here’s a little more background. Dune was a groundbreaking ecological novel, originally published in 1965 by Chilton Books, a press known for auto repair manuals.  (it was […]

Frank Herbert’s Dune and How Often Should a Water Conservationist Bathe?

“To the working planetologist, his most important tool is human beings… You must cultivate ecological literacy among the people.”–Frank Herbert’s Dune Frank Herbert’s Dune, winner of the Nebula and Hugo Awards in 1966, is an ecological classic.   In the early 1970s, I lived for a few months with a family of professor/political activists, who, in […]

Living with Climate Change: Poetry, Science Fiction, and Nonfiction about the Environment

On the Fourth of July, I’m reflecting on climate change. We live in a divided America, but the issue of climate change unites us.  Everyone is against floods, hurricanes, wildfires, and 90+ temperatures.  Rah, rah.  But what can we do about it? On Saturday night, thunderstorms caused flash flooding here.  Three hundred twenty-nine people were […]

Novels in Translation: Georgio Bassani’s The Garden of the Finzi-Continis & Theodore Fontane’s No Way Back

Novels in translation.  We love them, but are occasionally baffled.  I recently read two highly-touted novels, Georgio Bassani’s The Garden of the Finzi-Continis and Theodore Fontane’s No Way Back.  The structure of each novel is elegant, but the writing is uneven. But I did prefer the former to the latter, as you see in these […]

My Favorite Books of 2016

Some favorite books of the year (and more below) My husband and I started making  “Best of the year” lists in the ’90s.  We typed them up in an amateurish newsletter and mailed them to friends.  Our friends laughed at our lists and made counter-lists.   Did we really think the best book was X, the […]