Every Wednesday, we review a selection of new and upcoming books addressing a specific aspect of environmentalism. Today we're recommending books that tell the complex story of the land in a multitude of ways.
Geology Underfoot in Yellowstone Country (by Marc S. Hendrix, $24, Mountain Press, 2011): The geologic manifesto of Yellowstone’s features should be dust-painted, wrinkled, and worn at the seams, backpacked in for reading with the hot springs and old sea floor literally under your feet. Geology comprehensively explains both the formation of specific sites and the entire region's natural history. Its gems are the extensive illustrative graphics and glossy photos. It's the only hiking guide that could sate the visitor who wants to hug rocks, touch and understand this place.
Like No Other Place: The Sandhills of Nebraska (by David A. Owen, $58, The Center for American Places at Columbia College Chicago, 2010): The wide arms of Owen’s silver-tinted photographs stretch along the hills and ranches where he briefly lived (Ellsworth, Nebraska, population: 13). Every speck, cow, reservoir, and wheel track fascinates. His accompanying vignettes of the people and their history are largely undistilled from their first voices. This is a land you want to see through a lens, an experience you wouldn't understand looking out a window at 60 mph, or even standing next to a single shrub for a week.