Hannah Holmes is the author of The Secret Life of Dust. Her science and travel writing has appeared in publications including the New York Times Magazine, Outside, Sierra, and the Los Angeles Times Magazine. She lives in South Portland, Maine.
When science and travel writer Holmes (The Secret Life of Dust) turned her attention to her suburban backyard, she discovered a community of wildlife desperately trying to survive in a sprawling world of "Wal-Marts and White-Crowned Sparrow Estates." Holmes manages to find signs of hope and humor amid the spread of civilization, and she reports animal activities in her yard with the fervor of Wild Kingdom's Marlin Perkins and the laconic glee of Garrison Keillor. "I'm a bit embarrassed to report that Cheeky has become the sun around which my world revolves," she confesses about her resident chipmunk. That small mammal is just one of the many creatures to whom Holmes gives names and personalities, but she keeps her naturalist credibility intact by inviting scientists and other experts to join her in her lawn chair vigil. With their help, she includes plenty of facts about the habits of common crows, insects, squirrels and even trees. Science and humor serve as well-managed launching points for environmental lessons. By the end of her year, Holmes has gently taught us that the American lawn is a pesticide-laden patchwork that's increasing by a million acres every year, that heating a house can produce five tons of pollutants annually and that stewardship of our own backyards is our responsibility. Agent, Michelle Tessler. (Mar.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
"Witty, imaginative, and powerful.Holmes is a Rachel Carson for
21st-century suburbia. A"
"Witty, imaginative, and powerful...Holmes is a Rachel Carson for 21st-century suburbia. A"
"The writing is punchy and chock-full of strange and wonderful facts...Holmes makes it seem utterly commonplace to invite a chipmunk into one's home or spend the afternoon observing slugs."
"Witty environmentalists are as rare as shy politicians. But in "Suburban Safari," Hannah Holmes laughs at herself while celebrating the wild kingdom she explores...Holmes is a science writer who doesn't lecture. She shares the joy of discovery about the secret lives of ants, spiders and crows."
"Holmes' backyard assumes strange, oversize proportions in the course of this fascinating book: the Bamboo Wilderness, the Insect Nation, the Freedom Lawn--who needs Mongolia?"
"Holmes sends even the most jaded urbanite out into the yard with a magnifying glass and a newly forged sense of awe One of the most unusual, entertaining, effortlessly educational homages to nature since Euell Gibbons ate a pine tree."
--Mary Roach, author of Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers"