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Kings of a Lonely Kingdom: Earth Day Essays, Poems, and Musings on Nature

Adult; Science, Nature, Technology, Psychology, PhilosophyScience & Nature; (Market)

In his latest book, Kings of a Lonely Kingdom, author David C. Mahood shares his passion for preserving nature, biodiversity, and for combating climate change, through ten years of Earth Day essays, original poetry, and related sentiments. Throughout the book he shares compelling examples of a world in need of greater care in order to bring attention to the unfavorable, long-term consequences of climate change, and the loss of biodiversity. The plights of penguins and pachyderms, whales and wolves, minks and monarchs, and the struggle for clean energy and environmental justice are topics woven into Kings of a Lonely Kingdom. Mahood reflects on the origin and success of the first Earth Day as well as the status of its fiftieth anniversary, which also contains excerpts from a 1972 Earth Day booklet that the author wrote as a nine-year-old, fourth-grade student. The purpose of Earth Day is also expressed by members of today’s youth, from ages nine to thirty-two. Kings of a Lonely Kingdom is a combination of wit and concern and personal stories, a unique appeal for a healthy habitat for all species, and for all times.
Reviews
In this disconcerting and informative collection of essays, poems, and interviews, Mahood (One Green Deed Spawns Another) shines a light on the many ways humanity is harming this planet and its inhabitants—and considers whether it’s too late to repair the damage. With an emphasis on alarming details of the precarious state of the ocean, from climate change and an abundance of trash and ocean traffic, Mahood lays bare the impact our species has had on much of sea life but on us as well. He tells a personal story about his wife’s parents and the devastation they experienced when Superstorm Sandy ravaged coastal New Jersey, noting “We don’t know when the next superstorm will come and level beaches along a thousand-mile swath; we just know that it will come.” He’s frank about the extent and cause of the problems (“The industrial revolution, he notes, “coincides with the beginning of our assault on the atmosphere”) while still encouraging action to address it—and even a little hope.

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.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A

Readers Favorite

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.

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