Moving Water: The Everglades and Big Sugar

Written by Amy Green

With more than a decade of research under her belt, journalist Amy Green tells the story of wealthy real estate developer-turned-environmental advocate George Barley and his effort to punish Big Sugar and save the Everglades before his sudden death in 1995. Like one of our namesakes Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Green dives deep into the history, political interests and future of the Everglades while taking a critical look at some of the biggest attempts to clean it up.

And, for all those podcast enthusiasts out there, Green has recently launched DRAINED, which “wades into the controversy around one of the most ambitious environmental restoration efforts ever undertaken.” Because the health of the Everglades is so inextricably linked to the health of our state, this book is critical for a common understanding of how we got to where we are today.

“Moving Water” is available from Johns Hopkins University Press.

I Have Been Assigned the Single Bird: A Daughter’s Memoir

Written by Susan Cerulean

Florida nature writer Susan Cerulean’s newest work, “I Have Been Assigned the Single Bird,” asks us to bear witness: to the plight of the Gulf Coast’s nesting shorebirds and to her father’s battle with dementia. In that way, “Single Bird” is a moving portrait of decline and care. Cerulean interweaves her experiences volunteering to protect oyster catchers, godwits, least terns, and other nesting shorebirds on a spoil island off Apalachicola Bay with caring for her ailing father. Cerulean’s memoir is poignant, rich in description and wise in its insights—just the read for our current moment.

Writes Cerulean, “I believe we can redeem our species. The derangement of our times is rooted in how we live. That’s the difference between my father’s illness and the illness of the Earth. It follows that we can mitigate to some extent the damage to climate and biodiversity loss. But the work has to start now and it has to be swift.”

“I Have Been Assigned the Single Bird” is available from UGA Press.


The Sound of the Sea: Seashells and the Fate of the Oceans

Written by Cynthia Barnett

For many of us, our earliest memories of Florida beach adventures feature a moment with a seashell. Perhaps it was a whelk wedged in a pocket. Or maybe a cockle used to decorate a sandcastle. Those shells often follow us throughout our lives, preserved as keepsakes on our nightstands or in the consoles of our cars. In many ways, seashells represent our connection to the ocean. Leave it to environmental journalist and author Cynthia Barnett to devote a book to exploring seashells as a symbol for our relationship with the earth’s oceans.

“People have always tried to listen to shells, and they have often revealed the truth,” Barnett says in a video trailer for the book. No doubt Barnett will unveil scientific and cultural insights in her new book, which hinges on the theme of learning to listen to the lessons nature has to offer in this rapidly changing world.

Pre-order “The Sound of the Sea” at this link.

The Life She Wished to Live: A Biography of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Written by Ann McCutchan

Drawing from Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ letters and papers, Ann McCutchan delves into the origins of the Pulitzer-Prize winning author’s artistry in her new biography. This summer read unravels Rawlings’ life and literary career, including her relationships with contemporaries like Zora Neale Hurston and Ernest Hemingway. A recent New York Times review calls McCutchan “a sensitive observer of Rawlings’ work, and of her deeply unconventional life in general.”

We’re excited for this new biography of our namesake author because of McCutchan’s plain-spoken voice and deeply researched revelations about Rawlings’ life, work and legacy. McCutchan paints a vivid portrait of a troubled artist who went to great lengths to discover, understand and reveal Florida Cracker Culture to the world.

Find “The Life She Wished to Live” at this link.

With Teeth: A Novel

Written by Kristen Arnett

We fell in love with Kristen Arnett’s sharp wit and generous warmth in her portrayal of one Florida family in her debut novel “Mostly Dead Things.” Her newest—and much anticipated—project, “With Teeth,” is the story of Sammie Lucas, her wife Monika and difficult son Samson as they navigate the messiness, anxieties and troubles that fold into family life. “With Teeth” is a raw depiction of the struggles of motherhood, and Arnett spares no punches when it comes to dark humor, unreliable narrators and cringe-worthy scenarios—all of which have us coming back for more.

“With Teeth” is available from Penguin Random House.

The Wilder Heart of Florida: More Writers Inspired by Florida Nature

Edited by Jack Davis and Leslie Kemp Poole

This collection from notable writers in Florida has a goal similar to our publication — featuring unique and personal connections inspired by wild Florida. Contributors include Lauren Groff, Margaret Ross Tolbert, Anmari Alvarez-Aleman, Erika Henderson, and our beloved Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Readers are transported from the Everglades to Paynes Prairie to the St. John’s River and beyond, catching a glimpse into how these nature devotees experience some of Florida’s most beloved wild spaces. This is a perfect read to take with you on a nature trail, digesting a chapter at a time as you take breaks along the way.

“The Wilder Heart of Florida” is available from the University Press of Florida.