Get Outdoors with a Good Book

Books & Bites Podcast, Ep. 88

JCPL librarians bring you book recommendations and discuss the bites and beverages to pair with them.

On this episode, we discuss books set in or about the outdoors, one of the prompts on the Winter-Spring 2024 Books & Bites Bingo reading challenge. We recommend a memoir by a teenage naturalist and environmental activist; a popular YA dystopian nove; and a horror novel set in Rockcastle County, Kentucky. Listen below!

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Diary of a Young Naturalist book cover

Carrie’s Pick

Diary of a Young Naturalist is by Dara McAnulty, a young autistic writer, environmental activist, and naturalist from Northern Ireland who began writing the book when he was just fifteen years old. It chronicles one year in his life, from winter to spring.

In lyrical prose, Dara writes about his experiences in nature with his family, his work as a climate activist, and what it’s like to be autistic.

Pairing: Kale and Bean Stew from Rachel’s Irish Family Food by Rachel Allen, available on Hoopla.

The Hunger Games book cover

Jacqueline’s Pick

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is an award-winning dystopian, action-adventure YA novel. The districts of Panem must send two people (tributes) between the ages of twelve and eighteen to compete to the death in the tournament known as the hunger games.

Main character Katniss Everdeen volunteers to compete in the hunger games when her younger sister Prim is chosen to be a tribute for their district. Can she survive the games? Even if she survives what will it cost her?

Pairing: Fresh Dandelion Greens Salad with Dandelion Dressing.

This Wretched Valley book cover

Michael’s Pick

In Jenny Kiefer’s This Wretched Valley Clay, a geology student at UK, discovers a pristine cliff face in Rockcastle County, Kentucky, and puts together a group of climbers to document the first climb of this rock face.

Seven months later, one of the climbers is missing, and the rest have been found dead in the Kentucky wilderness.To piece together what transpired we go back to that fateful spring as the group treks into the woods of Rockcastle County.

Pairing: Enjoy a refreshing Kentucky Mule after a hike through This Wretched Valley