Cumming Nature Center > Programs & Events

Eco-Book Club

Our monthly book club explores fiction and non-fiction books with an environmental emphasis, pairing each book with a hike.

  • Cumming Nature Center
  • First Thursday of each month

  • 11am-1:30pm

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If you are an outdoor enthusiast and book lover, this reading and hiking combo is for you!

During each session, a book about an aspect of the natural world will be discussed followed by a BYO brown bag lunch. Participants can then head out into the woods for a group hike tailored to the theme of the book. Book discussions start at 11am and the hike generally leaves at 12:30pm.

Our book club is a collaborative program with the Naples Library, and book copies are available at their location, and through OWWL, STLS, and Monroe County Libraries.

This program is free and open to the public, but advanced registration is requested.


UPCOMING SESSIONS

February BOOK CLUB

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The Weeds, by Katy Simpson Smith
Thursday, February 1

This novel by Katy Simpson Smith follows two women from different time periods whose lives are entangled in the world of botany. Lush, intoxicating, and teeming with mischief, The Weeds is a tense, mesmerizing page-turner about science and survival, the roles women are given and have taken from them, and the lives they make for themselves.

The discussion will begin at 11am. We may be indoors or outdoors depending on the weather. Bring a bagged lunch to eat after the discussion before joining the group for a hike through the trails of the Nature Center.

March BOOK CLUB

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What an Owl Knows: The New Science of the World’s Most Enigmatic Bird, by Jennifer Ackerman
Thursday, March 7

What an Owl Knows is an awe-inspiring exploration of owls across the globe and through human history, and a spellbinding account of their astonishing hunting skills, communication, and sensory prowess. By providing extraordinary new insights into the science of owls, What an Owl Knows pulls back the curtain on the nature of the world’s most enigmatic group of birds.

The discussion will begin at 11am. We may be indoors or outdoors depending on the weather. Bring a bagged lunch to eat after the discussion before joining the group for a hike through the trails of the Nature Center.

April BOOK CLUB

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Rooted: Life at the Crossroads of Science, Nature, and Spirit, by Lyanda Lynn Haupt
Thursday, April 4

Award-winning writer Lyanda Lynn Haupt’s highly personal new book is a brilliant invitation to live with the earth in both simple and profound ways—from walking barefoot in the woods and reimagining our relationship with animals and trees, to examining the very language we use to describe and think about nature. She invokes rootedness as a way of being in concert with the wilderness—and wildness—that sustains humans and all of life.

The discussion will begin at 11am. We may be indoors or outdoors depending on the weather. Bring a bagged lunch to eat after the discussion before joining the group for a hike through the trails of the Nature Center.

May BOOK CLUB

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The Light Pirate, by Lily Brooks-Dalton
Thursday, May 2

Set in the near future, this hopeful novel about survival and resilience follows Wanda—a luminous child born out of a devastating hurricane—as she navigates a rapidly changing world. Told in four parts—power, water, light, and time—The Light Pirate mirrors the rhythms of the elements and the sometimes quick, sometimes slow dissolution of the world as we know it. It is a meditation on the changes we would rather not see, the future we would rather not greet, and a call back to the beauty and violence of an untamable wilderness.

The discussion will begin at 11am. We may be indoors or outdoors depending on the weather. Bring a bagged lunch to eat after the discussion before joining the group for a hike through the trails of the Nature Center.

June BOOK CLUB

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Crossing: How Road Ecology is Shaping the Future of Our Planet, by Ben Goldfarb
Thursday, June 6

Some 40 million miles of roadways encircle the earth, yet we tend to regard them only as infrastructure for human convenience. While roads are so ubiquitous they’re practically invisible to us, wild animals experience them as entirely alien forces of death and disruption. In Crossings, environmental journalist Ben Goldfarb travels throughout the United States and around the world to investigate how roads have transformed our planet. Written with passion and curiosity, Crossings is a sweeping, spirited, and timely investigation into how humans have altered the natural world—and how we can create a better future for all living beings.

The discussion will begin at 11am. We may be indoors or outdoors depending on the weather. Bring a bagged lunch to eat after the discussion before joining the group for a hike through the trails of the Nature Center.


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If you prefer to buy a particular book rather than borrow it, Eco-Book Club partners with Ampersand Books in Rochester to offer book club selections at 15% off. Learn more at their website, www.ampersandbooks.org/rmsc-eco-book-club.


PREVIOUS BOOKS

Past books include Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben, The Bees by Laline Paull, Lab Girl by Hope Jahren, A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold, and more.

For more information, contact Sarah Jacoby Murphy, CNC Events and Communications Manager, at sjacobymurphy@rmsc.org or 585.374.6160

About The Event

  • Cumming Nature Center
  • First Thursday of each month

  • 11am-1:30pm