Wild Words Book Club
Sonoma County Regional Parks invites you to join us for Wild Words Book Club. Cozy up with a good book as we explore the magical world of nature through literature. The book club will meet virtually and discuss the reading. For more information, contact Ellie Muelrath at
Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country by Pam Houston
Sept. 3 • 3-4 p.m.
On her 120-acre homestead high in the Colorado Rockies, writer Pam Houston learns what it means to care for a piece of land and the creatures on it. Elk calves and bluebirds mark the changing seasons, winter temperatures drop to 35 below, and lightning sparks a 110,000-acre wildfire, threatening her century-old barn and all its inhabitants. Through her travels from the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska, she explores what ties her to the earth, the ranch most of all. Alongside her devoted Irish wolfhounds and a spirited troupe of horses, donkeys and Icelandic sheep, the ranch becomes Houston’s sanctuary, a place where she discovers how the natural world has mothered and healed her after a childhood of horrific parental abuse and neglect.
The Dreamt Land: Chasing Water and Dust Across California by Mark Arax
Oct. 1 • 3-4 p.m.
Mark Arax is from a family of Central Valley farmers, a writer with deep ties to the land who has watched the battles over water intensify even as California lurches from drought to flood and back again. In The Dreamt Land, he travels the state to explore the one-of-a-kind distribution system, built in the 1940s, '50s and '60s, that is straining to keep up with California's relentless growth. The Dreamt Land weaves reportage, history and memoir to confront the "Golden State" myth in riveting fashion. No other chronicler of the West has so deeply delved into the empires of agriculture that drink so much of the water. The nation's biggest farmers – the nut king, grape king and citrus queen – tell their story here for the first time.
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
Nov. 5 • 3-4 p.m.
Award-winning, New York Times bestselling author Ann Patchett returns with a provocative and assured novel of morality and miracles, science and sacrifice set in the Amazon rainforest. As Dr. Marina Singh embarks upon an uncertain odyssey into the insect-infested Amazon, she will be forced to surrender herself to the lush but forbidding world that awaits within the jungle. Charged with finding her former mentor Dr. Annick Swenson, a researcher who has disappeared while working on a valuable new drug, she will have to confront her own memories of tragedy and sacrifice as she journeys into the unforgiving heart of darkness.
Patchett delivers a gripping adventure story and a profound look at the difficult choices we make in the name of discovery and love.
The Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake
Dec. 3 • 3-4 p.m.
There is a life form so strange and wondrous that it forces us to rethink how life works. Neither plant nor animal, it is found throughout the earth, the air and our bodies. It can be microscopic, yet also accounts for the largest organisms ever recorded. Its ability to digest rock enabled the first life on land; it can survive unprotected in space, and thrives amidst nuclear radiation. In this captivating adventure, Merlin Sheldrake explores the spectacular and neglected world of fungi: endlessly surprising organisms that sustain nearly all living systems. They can solve problems without a brain, stretching traditional definitions of “intelligence” and can manipulate animal behavior with devastating precision. Entangled Life is a mind-altering journey into this hidden kingdom of life, and shows that fungi are key to understanding the planet on which we live. The more we learn about fungi, the less makes sense without them.
Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry by Camille T. Dungy
Jan. 7, 2022 • 3-4 p.m.
Black Nature is the first anthology to focus on nature writing by African American poets, a genre that has not commonly been counted as one in which African American poets have participated. Black poets have a long tradition of incorporating treatments of the natural world into their work, but it is often read as political, historical, or protest poetry – anything but nature poetry. Camille T. Dungy has selected 180 poems from 93 poets that provide unique perspectives on American social and literary history to broaden our concept of nature poetry and African American poetics. Black Nature brings to the fore a neglected and vital means of considering poetry by African Americans and nature-related poetry as a whole.