quiet worlddouglas photo

What do you hope to learn about in the coming new year? It’s an exciting prospect to set yourself a course of study, and little by little gain insight into what matters most to you. For the Land Library, our endless (and always rewarding) quest is to learn more about our place on earth.

From that yearning was born our 25,000 volume collection of natural history books — and also the Rocky Mountain Land Series, our long-running series of author talks, presented in partnership with the Tattered Cover Book Store. Today, we’re excited to announce the Land Series 2011 Winter lineup of authors, photographers, historians, and naturalists. Each Land Series presenter widens our appreciation of the stories behind our age-old relationship with the land, and for that we are extremely grateful!

Historian Douglas Brinkley (pictured above) rejoins the Land Series with his new book The Quiet World: Saving Alaska’s Wilderness Kingdom 1879-1960. This is the second volume in Brinkley’s planned Wilderness Cycle, and he was last with us for the cycle’s beginning: The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America. This latest volume introduces a lively cast of characters influential in preserving the Alaskan wilderness, visionaries such as William O. Douglas, Charles Sheldon, John Muir, Bob Marshall, and the marvelous Muries (Olaus, Mardy, and Adolph).

Douglas Brinkley is a marvelous storyteller in print and in person, so we hope you can join us for a very special evening!

mag northterra incognita

Intrepid traveler Sara Wheeler will return us to the arctic wilderness with her new book The Magnetic North: Travels in the Arctic. More than a decade ago she traveled to the opposite tip of the world in her classic book Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica (also pictured above).

sara on boat

With The Magnetic North, Sara Wheeler leads us on a circumpolar route, providing an up-to-the-minute portrait of a region growing in global importance day by day.

Closer to home, we also have:

horizonnew normal

Oil and gas industry veteran Bob Cavnar will join us to discuss his behind-the scenes analysis of an accident we were all assured could never happen: Disaster on the Horizon: High Stakes, High Risks, and the Story Behind the Deepwater Well Blowout. Mark White, former governor of Texas writes: “Bob Cavnar has written the definitive story of the blowout in the Gulf….A must read for everyone concerned about the oil industry, the effectiveness of government regulation, and America’s energy future.”

We’re also happy to welcome back David Wann. David has joined us in the past for such books as Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic, Simple Prosperity, and Reinventing Community. His new book, The New Normal: An Agenda for Responsible Living places each individual’s responsibility for a healthy planet front and center.

OK, wait a minute — who is this man, and why does he look so familiar??


We have been lucky enough to have Robert Michael Pyle join us several times before, but it is with special enthusiasm that we’ll be welcoming Bob back this year. The Thunder Tree: Lessons from an Urban Wildland, is a beautifully written memoir of Bob’s growing up along Denver’s High Line Canal. His carefree mucking-about cast the seeds for his future life as a naturalist. The Thunder Tree will soon be released in a new paperback edition (with a foreword by Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods):

thunder tree

And lastly, here’s an author we’ve been hearing about for quite some time:

paris review 185philip photo

We first became aware of Philip Connors in The Paris Review‘s Summer 2008 issue. For nearly a decade, Connors has spent half of each year in a fire lookout tower in New Mexico’s Gila National Forest.

Here’s a book that many, many people are talking about, months before its publication!

medium fire season

What a wonderful book. Philip Connors went up to the mountaintop to serve as a lookout and he came down with a masterwork of close observation, deep reflection, and hard-won wisdom. This is an unforgettable reckoning with the American land.Philip Gourevitch

So PLEASE join us this Winter for the chance to meet the following authors!


Saturday, January 22nd, 2:00pm:

Bob Cavnar, author of
Disaster on the Horizon: High Stakes, High Risks, and the Story Behind the Deepwater Well Blowout

Wednesday, January 26th, 7:30pm:

Douglas Brinkley, author of
The Quiet World: Saving Alaska’s Wilderness Kingdom 1879-1960

Thursday, February 10th, 7:30pm:

David Wann, author of
The New Normal: an Agenda for Responsible Living

Monday, March 14th, 7:30pm:

Sara Wheeler, author of
The Magnetic North: Travels in the Arctic

April, exact date & time TBA:

Robert Michael Pyle, author of
The Thunder Tree: Lessons from an Urban Wildland

Tuesday, May 3rd, 7:30pm:

Philip Connors, author of
Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout

All Land Series events will take place at the Tattered Cover’s Historic LoDo Book Store (16th & Wynkoop in lower downtown Denver). For more information, visit the Tattered Cover’s event page. Each program is FREE of charge — truly a wonderful opportunity for lifelong learners of all ages!

And be sure to check-in for updates. With more new books on their way, many more authors will be booked in the weeks ahead! Hopefully, authors such as Hannah Nordhaus (her new book is pictured below). Stay tuned!

beekeeper's lament

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