Excelsior! CCLaP's third original book of the year is now out! It's another book of essays this time, entitled Mountainfit by a nature writer and field volunteer named Meera Lee Sethi, someone who travels a lot because of her work but is currently based out of Berkeley, California. The dust jacket synopsis explains the book a lot better than I can, so let me just run it here below...
In 2011, a tiny bird observatory in far western Sweden found itself hosting its first American volunteer, and Meera Lee Sethi found herself exactly where she wanted to be: watching great snipe court each other under the midnight sun and disturbing lemmings on her way to find a gyrfalcon nest. Mountainfit is an ecological field notebook, a keenly observed natural history of the life that sings from the birches, wheels under the clouds, and scuttles over the peat bogs of the Swedish highlands. And it is a letter, in 21 jewel-like parts, from a well-read and funny friend. Meera's vigorous, graceful prose communicates a wry understanding of how utterly ordinary it is to long for more out of life -- and how extraordinary it can feel to trust that longing. Meera's intent was to create a book small enough to fit in your pocket and read on the train to work in the morning. It is that. But it's also large enough to contain a mountain or two.
So as you can tell, this book is very much in the same vein as such Victorian proto-ecological authors as Henry David Thoreau and John Muir; and while the writing is perhaps a little too complex for children, this is absolutely a perfect gift for teens who are thinking of studying science for a career, a poetic and inspiring volume that immediately made me want to visit western Sweden when I first read it. Meera actually self-published this last year through a successful Kickstarter campaign, and had sent along a copy to CCLaP for review; but I so fell in love with it, I asked instead if we could republish it here in 2013, to which she graciously agreed. And yes, all three photos you see on the front cover are ones taken by Meera herself, during her field trip that makes up the contents of this book!
As always, the electronic version of this book is completely free if you want, although we of course encourage you to make a small donation as well, in four different forms that hopefully cover just about every reading situation out there (PDFs for both American and European laserprinters; EPUB for most mobile devices, including iPhones and iPads; and MOBI specifically for Amazon Kindles). And as always, for those who want a more traditional reading experience, there is a handmade hardback paper edition as well, available with either recycled paper or cotton sheets, and available to be shipped by faster Priority Mail or cheaper First Class Mail. (And to all of you who ordered pre-release copies, please be aware that we're still waiting for Meera's signed signature sheets to arrive in the mail; we'll likely be shipping the first batch of copies early next week.) Just like our other books, there will be a plethora of supplemental material appearing here slowly over the next few weeks, including a series of critical essays and an interview with Meera; and for all my fellow Goodreads members, don't forget to add this book to your library over there, and especially to post a review once you've read it, in that this is the single best way you can help us promote our books without having to spend any money or extra time. For now, though, the electronic book is ready to download right this second, so I hope you'll have a chance to stop by the book's online headquarters right now and secure a copy for yourself. I'm very proud to have this smart, funny, charming book in our catalog, and I'm positive that you will end up loving it too.