One of my favorite books is Dirt, The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth, by William Bryant Logan, which I read years ago, when I was up to my eyeballs in mud, making ovens and houses and doing all kinds of mud work in schools and communities. Then I slowly found myself more and more absorbed in wood, and discovered a new title, Oak: Frame of Civilization. By that time, apparently, Logan had gone from working as Writer-in-Residence at the Church of St. John the Divine in NYC, to working as an arborist. This new book begins when the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC asks him to pollard some Plane trees in front of the museum. Having never done it, he goes off looking for expert help and ends up traveling the world and uncovering a wealth of stories about the relationship between people, trees, and culture. The stories address everything from charcoal and food to ships and war. Wonderful, inspiring, and illuminating. More later…but if you see something by William Bryant Logan, I highly recommend his work!
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