Sara Grady’s Best Reads of 2016

December 2, 2016

sara grady photoMy name is Sara Grady, and I’m a former engineer with the heart of a poet. As a Road Scholar with the Illinois Humanities Council, I travel the state talking about how stories, myths, and words influence our culture and communities. I love language, breathe books, and teach science writing at Northwestern University. I wish I had a green thumb.




1) The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf (2015)

You’ve probably never heard of Alexander von Humbolt, and neither had I. But his prolific, revolutionary nature writing and scientific explorations inspired a 19th century whos-who, from Charles Darwin and Thomas Jefferson to Ralph Waldo Emerson and John Muir. Wulf’s detailed biography reads like a novel and quickens the senses like the very best nature writing can. Rightfully winning a glut of prizes this year, it is a delightful read — and now I truly appreciate the namesake of one of my favorite Chicago parks.

Continue reading “Sara Grady’s Best Reads of 2016”

Trees of Knowledge

March 26, 2010

Yesterday I happened to read the editor’s introduction to the latest issue of Orion magazine. Orion is generally considered to be a “nature” magazine, and is usually shelved with similar titles at most newsstands and bookstores. But as the editor points out, Orion never intended to be viewed as any particular genre or fill any specialized niche within the magazine market. From Orion’s point of view, any writing anywhere that anyone is doing is in a sense “nature” writing. Since we all live in the natural world, any writing about people or place is in a way, writing about nature. Continue reading “Trees of Knowledge”

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