Eight books, one novel and a brand new class: science journalist Bill Allen’s summer reading list

This month we asked some environmentally minded stars at Mizzou what they suggest for a little summer reading.

Science writer Bill Allen gazes into the Cloud Forest treetops during a January 2011 MU study abroad trip to Costa Rica. Photo by Jessica Barnett.

MU journalism professor Bill Allen, knows his environmental writing. In fact, he wrote a book on tropical dry forest restoration in Costa Rica called Green Phoenix. While we wait for the author’s 10-year update on Green Phoenix to wrap up, try something from his list of other science, climate and agriculture books he enjoys.

1. Richard Preston, The Wild Trees
2. John McPhee, Encounters with the Archdruid
3. Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
4. Elizabeth Kolbert, Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change
5. Michael Pollan, Omnivore’s Dilemma
6. Duff Wilson, Fateful Harvest
7. Michael Pollan, Botany of Desire
8. John McPhee, Basin and Range

He adds, “for a great novel with lots of environment-agriculture themes (and kinda steamy), see Barbara Kingsolver’s Prodigal Summer.”

If you need added incentive to put some books under your belt, you can take Professor Allen’s “Readings in Science Journalism: Four Great Books on the Environment” class, where he will teach the first four books listed. “Ag Journalism 3385” is a five-week, 1 credit hour class in the fall. For more information, download the flier or e-mail allenwi@missouri.edu.


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