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Published: Jan 12 2015
Size: 6 x 9
John Leland is the author of several books published by the University of South Carolina Press including Aliens in the Backyard: Plant and Animal Imports into America, Learning the Valley: Excursions into the Shenandoah Valley, and Porcher's Creek: Lives between the Tides. Leland teaches English at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.
"John Leland knows the woods of the southern Appalachian Mountains in ways that can teach a thing or two to even the most knowledgeable botanist. In Readings in Wood, he brings the botanical into direct relationship with the spiritual, using a prose style that is as profound as it is pyrotechnic. The short essays that make up this book are dense and delightful, like a hillside of ripe wine berries."—Jim Warren, Washington and Lee University
"The ruminations of John Leland's Readings in Wood are more than a series of personal essays on the names and nature of the woods, this book constitutes a hymn to the technical and the beautiful, a meander through the geography, geology, botany, mathematics and vigor of our plants, especially in the southern Appalachians. The writing is by turns lyrical, clever, extemporaneous and urgent. Leland is a deeply informed observer and analyst of everything from Madagascar star orchids to karst to old field succession. I recommend this book to anyone curious about the ways the wild and orderly commingle and complete each other, and us."—R. T. Smith, editor, Shenandoah, and writer-in-residence, Washington & Lee University
"A consistently fascinating read from beginning to end, Readings in Wood: What the Forest Taught Me is by turns informative, thoughtful, inspiring, and innately entertaining."—The Mid-west Book Review
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