Archive for February, 2017

Feb 25 2017

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A Growing Book Biz

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As most of you know, Wood Thrush Books is an on-line bookselling business in addition to being a small press. If you go to the WTB website, you can find over 200 used books on nature-related themes, along with the titles that I publish. But I have also listed nearly 2,000 titles at Amazon on a wide variety of subjects.

Visit the Wood Thrush Books storefront to check out some of the books I have for sale at Amazon. I offer a little bit of everything. There’s a heavy emphasis on history, politics, philosophy, religion, literature, and natural science in my inventory because, well, that’s what I know. As far as children’s books, cookbooks or any kind of mass market fiction goes, I’m pretty much clueless.

When Judy and I moved into our new home last June, I was able to dedicate an entire room to WTB inventory. I built 16 shelves right before we moved in, and nearly filled them by Christmas. Since then I have built an additional 6 shelves. That means I have space enough now for 3,000 books, in addition to my publisher’s inventory. Plenty of room to grow.

To be honest, I don’t make much money as a writer, publisher and online bookseller, but I thoroughly enjoy the work. The only thing I enjoy more is being in the woods. My plan this coming year is to keep growing the book biz while getting outdoors as much as possible. A good plan, don’t you think? I’ll let you know how it goes.



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Feb 17 2017

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Cutting Tracks in Local Woods

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Two back-to-back winter storms dumped 20 inches of snow this week. That’s more snow than we’ve seen in a long while. It’s finally starting to look like Vermont around here.

A couple days ago I did my fair share of shoveling, clearing out a 10 by 12-foot space in the back yard for one thing – a place for my dog Matika to pee. But she looked pathetic when she was out there walking tight circles in her prison yard. She looked as cooped up as I was feeling. So I strapped on my snowshoes yesterday and cut tracks out of the prison yard, across the fresh snow, and into the woods. Matika happily followed.

It wasn’t easy cutting tracks. I broke a good sweat. But the air was clean, all was quiet, and the snow still clinging to naked tree branches looked beautiful. Wouldn’t say I have cabin fever these days, but being outdoors feels a lot better than being indoors. I really get tired of sitting inside, staring at a computer screen all day, don’t you?

After completing a big loop in the woods, I doubled back on my tracks, creating a nice smooth trail. The second time around is always much easier so I able to really enjoy my surroundings. Matika enjoyed it, too. She romped in the snow like a puppy, collecting ice balls in her thick fur. Nordic dog!

This morning I looked out my office window at first light and spotted that snowshoe trail crossing the back yard. It’s calling my name now. How long will I be able to resist it? No doubt I’ll be out there again, tomorrow or the next day, cutting more tracks in local woods. Not quite as good as being in the mountains, but there’s something to be said for snowshoeing right out the back door. Wild nature doesn’t feel very far away at all.



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Feb 07 2017

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Burroughs Book Finally in Print

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At long last, the Burroughs book is in print. I’ve been reading his essays for decades, and toying with the idea of selecting and publishing excerpts from his work for nearly that long. He wrote over 30 books on nature. I’ve been crazy enough to read most of them.

The full title of this book is Universal Nature: Philosophical Fragments from the Writings of John Burroughs. As the title suggests, the excerpts I have selected tend towards the abstract. While Burroughs was the master of the quaint nature essay – quite often writing about songbirds – he delved deeply into philosophical matters as well.  In his later years he became interested in the tension between science and religion. His was an utterly naturalistic worldview, of course, so he leaned as heavily towards pantheism as I do. Hence my obsession with him.

While Burroughs comes off as a simple, white-bearded countryman observing birds and the like, he was a surprisingly complex character in real life. My biographical introduction puts his work in context, showing how his thoughts emerged from friendships, travels and fruit farming in addition to extensive reading. The excerpts are organized chronologically, making it clear how his perception of wild nature evolved over time from the particular to the universal.

You can get a copy by going to my website It is also available at Amazon. I hope you find the natural philosophy of John Burroughs as intriguing as I have.



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