Reader's Cor­ner

The Drumheller Mail - - CLASSIFIED­S -


The Great Read­ing Chal­lenge: a book with an en­vi­ron­men­tal fo­cus.

Fic­tion: Oryx and Crake by Mar­garet At­wood. Jimmy, also known as Snow­man, is good with words. His child­hood friend Glenn, who be­comes Crake, is bet­ter with num­bers. As adults, they work to­gether for a ge­netic en­gi­neer­ing com­pany, and both fall in love with a mys­te­ri­ous woman named Oryx, strain­ing their friend­ship to its break­ing point. Af­ter a lab­de­signed plague wipes out most of hu­man­ity, Snow­man be­comes the leader of the only sur­vivors: the Crak­ers.

Non-fic­tion: The Hid­den Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Com­mu­ni­cate – Dis­cov­er­ies from a Se­cret World by Peter Wohlleben. Wohlleben’s life­time study of trees re­veals com­mu­ni­ca­tion un­der­ground via a “wood-wide web,” as well as a sort of fam­ily loy­alty, mem­ory, and the abil­ity to count. His opin­ion is that trees are sen­tient and should be stud­ied as such, in­stead of as ro­bots with ge­netic codes to ful­fill. At first glance, Wohlleben’s dis­cus­sion of trees might just seem like an­thropo- mor­phic at­tri­bu­tion, but much of his ar­gu­ment is sup­ported by re­cent sci­en­tific re­search.

Youth: The Lo­rax by Dr. Seuss. A fa­ble of con­ser­va­tion, The Lo­rax tells the story of the Onceler, whose greed leads him to cut down a for­est of Truf­fula trees to pro­duce Th­needs. The Lo­rax speaks for the trees and calls for pro­duc­tion to stop, be­cause all life con­nected to the trees is en­dan­gered. Af­ter the last of the Truf­fula trees is cut down, the Once-ler pon­ders the Lo­rax’s fi­nal mes­sage, “Un­less,” and fi­nally gives a boy the last of the Truf­fula tree seeds to, hope­fully, man­age them bet­ter.

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