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Literature of the Land: Spring 2014 Book Club


Join us for the spring 2014 session of Literature of the Land, a book club series hosted by the Helen Fowler Library. We'll read 3 books over 3 months, focusing on a specific topic of interest.


We delve into literature related to the land and to nature, discussing topics that may range from environmental issues to the culture of food and drink, from the American dust bowl to the cinnamon trees of Southeast Asia. This spring we'll examine plant exploration - in history, fiction, and the modern era – and how it relates to topics ranging from botanical illustration to current gastronomic trends.


In March, we’ll start with Marianne North’s Abundant Beauty: The Adventurous Travels of Marianne North – Botanical Artist, an engaging collection of journal excerpts from North’s travels. Her travels, which circled the globe twice, produced a valuable collection of more than 800 paintings and rich descriptions of botanical treasures.


In April, we’ll change gears and read Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Signature of All Things. From London to Peru to Tahiti to Amsterdam, the novel explores a female botanist’s research during the Age of Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution.


In May, we’ll move on to The Mushroom Hunters: On the Trail of an Underground America by Langdon Cook, which follows a renowned culinary adventurer as he seeks one of nature’s last truly wild foods – the uncultivated mushroom.


Registration is mandatory as attendance will be limited in number to allow for interactive discussion in a friendly group setting. The cost is $5 per session, $15 for all three sessions.


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