I just finished Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder, which uses the story of a pharmaceutical company investing in a fertility drug in the Amazon as the background to a story about the choices we make and the losses we face. While not as good as Bel Canto, this book does have some twists and turns that are unexpected.
It got me thinking about other authors who used our relationship with the environment as a major “character” in the story. Sometimes these novels can become too preachy, but a good author can teach and entertain at the same time.
Here are a few authors which environmental concerns:
Barbara Kingsolver: Especially Prodigal Summer, but also her earlier ones such as Bean Trees.
Ruth Ozeki: All Over Creation takes on genetic modifications of food plants and has some great characters.
Tawni O’Dell: Many of her novels are set in coal country which warps both the miners and the mine owners.
Erin Brockovich (yes, the one the movie was made about): Rock Bottom
Maeve Binch: Whitethorn Woods
Edward Abbey: The Monkey Wrench Gang
Nevada Barr: Ill Wind
Robin Cook: Fever
Carl Hiaasen: Skinny Dip (and some of his others)
Donna Leon: Death in a Strange Country
Marcia Muller: Cape Perdido
Michael Palmer: Fatal
Sara Paretsky: Blood Shot
Barry Siegel: Actual Innocence
Check out this list for more titles:
I’m only up to 58 books so far, so I’m still not keeping up with the 100-books-a-year rate. The best book I’ve listened to so far is The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon. I’ll probably put it on the book discussion list.