Not just a casual observer, Mahood has spent his life writing about and getting involved in saving the planet. Mahood opens each chapter with essays written on Earth Day each year between 2010 and 2020, capturing a decade of escalating environmental crises, followed by thoughts and poetry from the present, covering pressing new facts (on the colossal subsidies enjoyed by fossil fuel companies, or the challenges facing sea turtles), influential changemakers he has met and had discussions with (a butterfly activist; Reluctant Radical Ken Ward), his own experiences in parts of the world affected by climate change.
Mahood’s inviting approach of ruminations, verse, and interviews draws readers in, keeps them interested, and demonstrates his argument that change must be made, all while encouraging action rather than hopelessness. Readers will end with a healthy fear of the planet’s future, armed with practical inspiration on how to change it.
Takeaway: An engaging look at climate change and other urgent environmental problems, from the perspective of activists.
Great for fans of: This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook, Nick Meynen’s Frontlines: Stories of Global Environmental Justice.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A
Review: Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite Kings of a Lonely Kingdom: Earth Day Essays, Poems, and Musings on Nature by David C. Mahood is a compelling, passionate work on the environment and its possible future. This amazing kaleidoscope of poems, essays, and thought processes is a culmination of writings by the author since the age of 9, when he expressed his thought on the very first Earth Day in 1972, which is my favorite part of the book, along with mentions of Bruce Springsteen. He was gifted with the drive and desire to seek positive change in the environment. It's as if it were encoded in his DNA over the years. It's obvious that his passion is deep and natural, and existed long before it became fashionable or trendy. His written work on climate change shows the ever-increasing urgency on the subject. For those concerned with animal welfare, you will be engrossed and informed when he talks about penguins, wolves, and butterflies, and how a fight for clean energy is justice won for the environment and humankind. Mahood's book will be especially meaningful to those who actively and sincerely celebrate Earth Day, as he reflects on how it began and how it's evolved over its 50 years. Nature and sustainability run through these pages, all through the lens of balance and practicality. Besides his own thoughts on Earth Day, he includes the thoughts from today's young and young at heart. This volume expresses cleverness and wisdom that you can treasure for a long time to come, and it would make a special gift to give someone for Earth Day. It's nice to have a retrospective from someone who's been on the front lines. I love his writing on hope. If you are perhaps oversaturated with data on environmental issues, Kings of a Lonely Kingdom by David C. Mahood will provide a breath of fresh air and renewed energy to take up the cause and give the environment the voice it deserves.
BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER AND AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND
I was intrigued when I received a press release about David C. Mahood’s new book, Kings of a Lonely Kingdom: Earth Day Essays, Poems, and Musings on Nature (ISBN 978-0-9994876-2-4, 2021, 208 pages, $19, plus shipping). For 10 years on Earth Day, Mahood—a sustainability consultant, environment writer, poet, and the principal of Olive Designs, LLC—published an essay that focused on a particular environmental issue (such as biodiversity, habitat loss, and climate change). This book collects these essays.
After reading many of the essays, I’m glad I requested a review copy. Mahood’s essays reveal an intellectually nimble writer who cares deeply about the natural world and the grievous damage humans inflict on it daily. But Kings of a Lonely Kingdom is not a relentless litany of environmental destruction. Mahood leavens his moral outrage at this environmental damage with witty asides; stories about beloved family members and friends (and their interactions with nature); philosophical jaunts; analysis and anecdotes from environmental professionals; and a chapter that includes an appreciation of Bruce Springsteen (one of my favorite musical artists). The book also includes an Earth Day booklet that Mahood wrote in 1972 when he was nine years old.