Novels with Environmental Themes

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Feb 152012

After casually searching several times for a comprehensive list last year, I recently stumbled across a link for a pdf titled “Environmental Novels: An Annotated Bibliography.” It was compiled by Lauren Bordson and Laura Barnes and lists almost 140 novels with environmental themes.


I’m encouraged by this because while there are several short lists out there, I hadn’t come across a list that was exclusive to novels and had over 100 entries. Since environmental themes underly much of my fiction, this is an area I’m interested in developing a focus on over time. Having a more well-rounded starting point is helpful. I found I couldn’t build much steam examining the theme from including both nonfiction and fictional books over time, nor was it helpful to look at both short stories and novels simultaneously either. The distinctive focus of environmental themes in novels while mentioned frequently in passing among various sources, hasn’t found a specifc sustained home on the web that I’ve encountered.


So, environmental themes in novels, along with my adventures this year in self-publishing (more on that after February 24th), is the planned focus I have for my blogging efforts in 2012. Between the two topics, that should provide more than enough for regularly having at least two posts a month throughout this year.



The Lorax and Once-ler

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Mar 302011

So, I bought “The Lorax” app for my phone.  It’s a great read – even on the small screen.  One of the things I love about this story is how iconic both the Lorax and Once-ler characters are.  Even though the Once-ler is not clearly seen, he is a sort of everyman that gets caught up in his enterprise and overuses resources to his own, eventual detriment.  The Lorax, who “speaks for the trees,” is angry and shows Once-ler what he is doing, but can never quite get through to him until after the last Truffala tree is cut down.


Part of the Lorax character’s frustration is that he finds it incomprehensible that anyone would value the “thneeds” that Once-ler produces.  This makes the interaction between the characters more multidimensional rather than too simple and one-sided.  The motives of Once-ler’s thneed buyers are something the Lorax can’t easily fathom.  The Lorax’s motives are to protect nature while the Once-ler’s motives are to become wealthy via working and industrialization.  While the storyline is clearcut, its delivery is a marvel that has captivated generations.


For those interested in a paperless version of the book, the app version of the Lorax is available here.  I am not an affiliate for the link and can only vouch for the iphone version of the app for personal use.  I will say I think the paperless version fits the original spirit of the book.


Finally, from several sources, it looks like the anticipated release date of “The Lorax” as a feature animated film is currently scheduled for March 2, 2012.  After the delightful “Horton Hears a Who” film last decade, I’m hopeful that this film based on Dr. Suess’ book will reach even more with this great story’s environmental theme .