12 Days of CanLit: 8 Notes on Nature

We’re doing a spin on the classic holiday ditty, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” with our 12 Days of CanLit series this holiday season. Sing along with our countdown of themed book picks, straight down to our number 1 (that’s 78 books in all!).On the fifth day of 12 Days of CanLit, All Lit Up highlights 8 Notes on Nature.


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I don’t know about you, but at this time of year it is pretty hard to appreciate nature. It could be all that blustery snow or maybe the frigid temperatures. Whatever it is, I want to be outside in it as little as possible. If you’re like me but still want to have that connection with our environment even when it’s not so nice to be outside, we’ve got eight books to cure that cabin fever.
by Jordan Scott & Stephen Collis (Coach House Books)
Decomp is a cross between a photo-essay and prose poetry. The poets placed a copy of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species in five distinct ecosystems in British Columbia and left them to decay for one year. Once retrieved, the books were photographed and documented with each ecosystem offering up a different “reading” of the rotting book’s pages.
by Stephen Henighan (Linda Leith Publishing)
Not your typical book on climate change, Stephen Henighan looks at science, history, art, language, and identity in this long-form essay, offering readers an understanding of what all this change actually means for life on earth. 
by Katherine Bitney (Wolsak and Wynn)
Essays, prose, and even a chorus, in The Boreal Dragon Katherine Bitney shares her love of the northern natural world. However, this isn’t just an ode to nature, Bitney also looks at the uncomfortable parts of nature and our place within the ecosystem. This book will challenge readers to think ethically about the environment.
by Sara Heinonen (Mansfield Press)
In this collection of stories, characters are forced to confront unusual circumstances and environments as they wander their landscapes. Sometimes nature is the threat, while other times they seek solace from it. But in every story there is a fascination with nature as well as examples of how life can be strange.
by Beatriz Hausner (BookThug)
Ever wonder what it would be like to have a love affair with a raccoon? Well wonder no more. In Enter the Raccoon a woman and a human-sized raccoon begin a relationship. As their story unfolds, there is joy, cruelty, ecstasy, and melancholia.If you loved Bear by Marian Engel, you just might like Enter the Raccoon. Check out this Under the Cover blog post with an interview between BookThug publisher Jay MillAr and author Beatriz Hausner for more insight.
by Monty Reid (Chaudiere Books)
Spend a year in the garden with accomplished Ottawa poet Montry Reid. As each month and then season passes, Reid digs and un-digs to turn up playful, prickly, and sometimes dangerous poetry. Includes a beautiful set of illustrations by artist Andrea Bula.
by George Szanto (Brindle & Glass)
Author Szanto has written a tribute to nature’s influence on the creative process. A chapter for each month of the year, he explores how his writing is affected by the transformation of a bog on his property throughout the seasons.
by Sharron Proux-Turner (Kegedonce Press)
Sharron Proux-Turner examines her role as a Metis in this time of resistance and change. She probes or celebrates the personal, familial, communal, political and mystical as she is guided by the land, nature, and its other inhabitants.
I remember 12 Days of Christmas being very repetitive, so forgive us if you’ve been following along and have already read these, but lets harken back to the beginning of 12 Days of CanLit: 12 Lit Locales, 11 Past Prose, 10 True-Life Stories, and 9 Monograph Melodies. Tomorrow we’re back with 7 tearjerkers so be sure to have your tissues handy!