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The Hour of Land
The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks | Terry Tempest Williams
142 posts | 62 read | 5 reading | 157 to read
An ode to our national parks, timed for the centennial For years, America's national parks have provided public breathing spaces in a world in which such spaces are steadily disappearing, which is why close to 300 million people visit the parks each year. Now, to honor the centennial of the National Park Service, Terry Tempest Williams, the author of the beloved memoir When Women Were Birds, returns with The Hour of Land, a literary celebration of our national parks, what they mean to us, and what we mean to them. Through twelve carefully chosen parks, from Yellowstone in Wyoming to Acadia in Maine to Big Bend in Texas, Tempest Williams creates a series of lyrical portraits that illuminate the unique grandeur of each place while delving into what it means to shape a landscape with its own evolutionary history into something of our own making. Part memoir, part natural history, and part social critique, The Hour of Land is a meditation and manifesto on why wild lands matter to the soul of America. Our national parks stand at the intersection of humanity and wildness, and there's no one better than Tempest Williams to guide us there. Beautifully illustrated, with evocative black-and-white images by some of our finest photographers, from Lee Friedlander to Sally Mann to Sebastio Salgado, The Hour of Land will be a collector's item as well as a seminal work of environmental writing and criticism about some of America's most treasured landmarks.
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CoffeeK8
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Did a little vacation shopping #shoplocal

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LWagoner
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Pickpick

Such an important work. Sharing stories about our national parks that bring forth the true importance of protecting these lands. Her writing is poetry, striking strong and calling us to action to discover the importance of keeping our National Parks intact. “...quieting of the soul inspires creative acts...”p.354

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sidherinn
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NatalieR
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Pickpick

Beautifully written in honor of our National Parks. TTW shares her personal experiences visiting several parks; Grand Teton, Theodore Roosevelt, Gettysburg, Gates of the Arctic, to name a few. She deepened my love for nature and fueled my anger towards people in power who make ignorant decisions to destroy it. #MountTBR #ReadingUSA2019 #Alaska

ladym30 Lovely photo! 5mo
Crazeedi I have to read this one!! 5mo
Crazeedi And your lilies are gorgeous! 5mo
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Pamwurtzler Pretty!! 5mo
squirrelbrain Lovely pic! 5mo
Hooked_on_books I have this one and keep meaning to get to it. I should bump it up the TBR. 5mo
NatalieR @Hooked_on_books I highly recommend it! I hope you enjoy it whenever you get to it. 😀 5mo
Librarybelle Stacking! 5mo
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LWagoner
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ReadingEnvy
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Thank you so much, @RebelReader - I have circled Killers on BOTM a few times, have wanted to read Anne Lamott, and you have no idea how many times I've almost bought the TTW, since I love her. And the pampering and sweets are fun! Thank you again for your generosity.

#2018nfbe #2018nonfictionbookexchange @inwhichHeikereadsharder

AmyG What a pretty bottle. And Anne Lamott is a gem. 2y
RebelReader @ReadingEnvy So glad you like everything. I always have so much fun shopping for my book sisters. I can always justify the purchase if it‘s for someone else! 😜👍🏻 2y
ReadingEnvy @RebelReader book sisters 😹 2y
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ReadingEnvy @RebelReader I find these swaps so much more fun to shop for than my family at holidays! 2y
Mdargusch I love that water bottle! ❤️ 2y
tammysue Me too 👆🏻😍 2y
MallenNC I just posted about what you sent me for this swap. Thanks so much! I am going to have to rearrange my TBR to get to The Witches soon! BTW I've read Killers of the Flower Moon and it was so good. 2y
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OffTheBeatenShelf.com
Pickpick

Confession: I‘ve never been to a National Park.

I‘ve been to lots of state parks & love camping, but never a national park. I don‘t think I truly appreciated them until today when I finished this book. & I don‘t think I can appreciate them properly until I go to one.

& while I recycle & compost & garden & hardly drive, I don‘t think I really understood what being a climate activist meant until I read this.

I‘d call it a life-changing book. 🌱🌲

Ddzmini Oh you need to go there so beautiful even the small ones 2y
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24in48
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This book is too dang pretty not to make it on to our #24in48 stack. Plus, it's been languishing on the shelf, unread, for FAR too long. Are you using the upcoming #readathon as an excuse to get to a book you've been meaning to read? (Don't forget, it's not too late to sign up to participate in the #24in48readathon, Jan 27-28, at 24in48.com.)

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merelybookish
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From my #currentlisten which is amazing. Adding Terry Tempest Williams to the list of new-to-me authors I discovered in 2017.
#wonder #quotsydec17 @TK-421

RealLifeReading Beautiful quote! 2y
Cathythoughts Awesome as the word itself ✨ 2y
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Susanita
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This was my favorite cover of the books I read this year. There are also beautiful photos inside. #allthebooksof2017

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Howseldomtheydo
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"Our public lands - whether a national park or monument, wildlife refuge, forest or prairie - make each one of us land-rich. It is our inheritance as citizens of a country called America.”
Pic taken at Bryce Canyon 2009, I need to get back out west #currentlyreading #overdrive

CoffeeBooksRepeat Beautiful!! 2y
Andrew65 @CoffeeBooksRepeat I agree! ❤️ 2y
Aleida Wow 2y
Lcsmcat I love Bryce! It‘s the best star gazing anywhere. 2y
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Joyfulmimi
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Bailedbailed

I really gave it a try today. Terry is such a great person and a great writer. This topic is very interesting in theory. However, I have much more important reading that I need to do for myself right now.

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Joyfulmimi
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I am looking forward to something different and very interesting.

Theresa This book is really good! I'm reading it right now. I'm taking it slowly to savor, reading 1 essay every week or so. 2y
lauralovesbooks1 Loved this one. Everything I have read by her is amazing. 2y
Joyfulmimi Yes! I am enjoying it @lauralovesbooks1 2y
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Jennie748
Mehso-so

First third was 5 stars, last third 4, and that middle third...rambling and confusing and a little lost.

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Joyfulmimi
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I am a bit obsessed. I want all the books in the library. Sigh

ReadingEnvy I've been circling the ttw for a while. 2y
Joyfulmimi What is "ttw" @ReadingEnvy ? 2y
ReadingEnvy Terry! Tempest! Williams! 2y
Joyfulmimi Ohhhhhh @ReadingEnvy 😍 2y
Jazruiz.2014 What is Zoologies about? 2y
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lauralovesbooks1
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Pickpick

Tempest Williams is a beautiful writer and her ability to evoke emotion and sense of place made her the perfect author for this book commemorating the centennial of our parks system. She weaves together history, environment, spirituality, and current events so seamlessly -- and she acknowledges the conflicts inherent in any discussion of how we use or protect our natural resources. Incredible read.

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lauralovesbooks1
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"To live in the United States of America and tell only one story, from one point of view, diminishes all of us."

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lauralovesbooks1
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"Wilderness is an antidote to the war within ourselves."

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lauralovesbooks1
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From the section about Gettysburg --"all wars are political. We fight for the myth that will support and sustain our point of view at all costs."

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readinginthedark
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I'm here, I listened to Williams speak, and I am in awe. Her writing is...hope. ❤️

Lacythebookworm Awesome! 😊 2y
readinginthedark @Lacythebookworm I know! Listening to her speak was unbelievable. 2y
vivastory Wasn't she wonderful? ☺ 2y
readinginthedark @vivastory Yes! Life-changing! 😊❤️ 2y
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Alicia
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#TBT to last Friday when I met Terry Tempest Williams!!! Her talk was so amazing and inspiring, and when I met her she literally made me cry. She is an absolute joy and so wonderful to hear speak. I haven't been able to read that much due to my move but this was such a great treat for my first week in a new city.

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vivastory
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This was amazing. Honest & inspiring.

readinginthedark She'll be here tomorrow! I'm so excited. 😁 2y
vivastory @readinginthedark You're in for a real treat. She was great! 2y
Leftcoastzen Love everything she has written. 2y
Theresa I wish she was coming to a place near me. I'm reading The Hour of Land right now & it's so good! 2y
kspenmoll So glad you got to do this. Wish she was speaking near me. ☹️ 2y
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TheBookDream
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Sitting on my porch reading until I think of a reason to bother getting dressed.

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brennareadsbooks
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returning to this after a long, grueling day at congaree national park.

readinginthedark This quote struck me, too! 2y
bookwrm526 I live near Congaree! It's one of my favorite places to walk and bird 2y
lauralovesbooks1 Just picked this one up. I love her writing. 2y
brennareadsbooks @bookwrm526 Ah! I live in Greenville, so it was a day trip. I stayed much longer than expected and it was horrifically hot/humid. Is it better in the fall? 2y
bookwrm526 @brennareadsbooks I live in Columbia :) Yes, it's BEAUTIFUL pretty much any season except summer - the mosquito meter near the bathrooms is not a joke, and Columbia is basically Satan's armpit in the summer 2y
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moarbookspleaze
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The next author even on my calendar.

vivastory That's the day after when I'm seeing her 2y
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readinginthedark
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"An indigo sky deepened. A mile away, a herd of a hundred bison or more graze unconcerned. Seven left and walked single file toward the remains of the mother bison. They circled her twice, sniffed her, nudged her body, and tightened their circle as they lowered their heads. They stayed with her until twilight. Then the bison left as they came, walking single file back toward the herd--save one lone bull who stayed behind."❤️?#WhattaMan #90sInJuly

melrailey Loved this book! 2y
readinginthedark @melrailey It's my current obsession! Williams's writing is so beautiful! 2y
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readinginthedark
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#NoRain at the beginning of this book in Big Bend National Park! This book is so much and the perfect read for me today. I know you all won't judge me when I say it's making me tear up a bit. 😥#90sInJuly

Cinfhen This book is meant to be fantastic 😍enjoy 2y
Robothugs I bet it's an awesome read! 2y
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readinginthedark
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You guys know my reading habits are insane, so here's my flexible #tbr clockwise from the top left: reading more in my currently reading list of 28 books; 1 book left to finish for #LitsyAtoZ ; continuing my Mansfield Park reread with my mom; 3 reserved books from the library; and the tons of books I have from #netgalley and haven't finished! The tagged book is my #julymostanticipated #sizzlinsummerbooks #jubilantjuly

Chrys I'm just glad that there is someone else with a ton of current reads at any given time 😊 2y
readinginthedark @Chrys It keeps me from getting bored or restless! 2y
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moarbookspleaze
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So excited for these upcoming author events!!!

vivastory Very cool! I'm also seeing Terry Tempest Williams in July! I'd love to see Donald Pollock 2y
kspenmoll Wonderful!!' 2y
Karkar Roxane Gay is going to be in Cincinnati on the 7 th and I got my ticket as soon as I heard! I was sooooo excited 2y
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readinginthedark Yes! I plan to be there for Terry Tempest Williams! We should sit together (if that's not weird)! 2y
readinginthedark If you're still planning to see Terry Tempest Williams, I plan to be there! Probably in my Walden shirt, and I have straight, dark brown hair. 2y
moarbookspleaze @readinginthedark I am!!! I'll let you know what I am wearing tomorrow! 2y
readinginthedark 👍🏻 2y
readinginthedark I don't know if you made it or not, but I might be at the event for the author who wrote Spoonbenders, too! Not sure yet! 2y
moarbookspleaze @readinginthedark I ended up missing it. I was t feeling so hot and laid down after work and woke up at 7:45. 2y
readinginthedark Oh no! Well, at least you got some rest, and I don't feel as bad for not saving you a spot...there were about a million people there, I was afraid you were already seated and someone would freak out on me. 😉 2y
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valeriegeary
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Pickpick

A powerful meditation on land, wild spaces, and our connection to the earth. A must-read!

Suet624 My son leads trips for Backroads through several National parks. I was thinking of picking this up for him. He has fallen in love with so many of our parks. 3y
valeriegeary @Suet624 I think it would make a great gift! 3y
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valeriegeary

Petrichor: the pleasant smell that accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather

I've come across this word in two different books today!

#vocabulary #wordoftheday #definitions

Jess_Read_This Omigosh! I had no idea there was a word for that distinct smell. 3y
valeriegeary @Jess_Read_This I know! Isn't it perfect!? 3y
diovival I stumbled across this word today! 2y
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valeriegeary
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LectricSheep
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"From a distance, the mountains in Acadia appear blue and rounded, not at all like the toothed peaks of the west... You can climb them in an afternoon, wearing a skirt. Their grandeur belongs not to ruggedness but to a gradual ascent toward grace. Once you're on top of the bald summit, a view of a watery planet inspires." (The view today from the top of Cadillac Mtn in Acadia National Park! I did not wear a skirt tho, sorry TTW you're crazy. ?)

Dolly ::sniff:: One of my favorite places on earth and I miss it terribly. The meteor showers viewed from atop Cadillac are stunning. 3y
Literaryunicorn ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ 3y
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moarbookspleaze
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OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG

CherylDeFranceschi ❤️❤️❤️ 3y
Nonaroo Oh!!! *muppet hands* 💕💕 3y
47 likes2 comments
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meltedsquirrel
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These books are unrelated but the spines go together so well.

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LectricSheep
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We're going on a trip to Acadia National Park next week, and I wrote a blog post (link in profile) about the books I'm reading to get ready! THE HOUR OF LAND IS SO GOOD. Do you have any suggestions for other nature-friendly books to read? (I've got A Walk In The Woods on audio but bailed a third of the way through for reasons unremembered-- maybe I should try again or try in print?)

Hoopiefoot Not necessarily coastal Maine but I for nature books I love Appalachian Trail memoirs like Becoming Odyssa and AWOL on the Appalachian Trail. 3y
Literaryunicorn Omg, The Hour of Land was sooooo good!!! I want to read all of her books now. It made me want to visit Acadia as well! I was thinking of planning a trip maybe next spring. I hope you share some of your trip! 3y
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cathysaid I visited Acadia for the first time in September. Gorgeous! Enjoy! 3y
BookNAround I'm going to Acadia a week after you!!! I can't wait. I'm a little disappointed that we'll be there a week to early for the phosphorescence kayak tour but the friend I'm going with only had the weekend were going free. 3y
LectricSheep @BookNAround whoa, small world! I didn't even know there was a phosphorescence kayak tour. That sounds amazing. 3y
LectricSheep @Literaryunicorn I hope I'll be able to to take some photos with 📚+ 🏔! 3y
DragonSadhana I LOVE Acadia!!! I'd say try Walk in the Woods again in print. Also, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Braiding Sweetgrass, A Field Guide to Getting Lost, and if you don't mind reading a book about grief and nature, Wild Comfort. I haven't read Hour of Land, so I need to get in that! Thanks! 3y
LectricSheep @DragonSadhana thanks for all the recs! A Field Guide to Getting Lost looks particularly awesome! 3y
LectricSheep @Booksandcooks @Hoopiefoot Thanks for the recommendations guys! 👍🏻 3y
BooksForEmpathy Can't wait for photos!!! 3y
DivineDiana What fun! 3y
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Scfreads
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Pickpick

👍🏻👍🏻I finally got back around to this book after checking it out from the library and not reading it. This time, I chose to listen to the audio version. (I think this might become a thing for me for my non fiction books, especially if read by the author). Beautifully written. Sobering. Timely.

valeriegeary This one's been on my tbr for a while. Looking forward to cracking it open one of these days. 😄 3y
Scfreads @valeriegeary Definitely worthy of moving to the top of the tbr pile, in my opinion! Happy reading 😊 3y
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BooksForEmpathy
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Guess where we are headed tonight for my birthday trip!?

iancmyers Bryce and Zion? 3y
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kiminreverse
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Pickpick

I'm a person who really enjoys nature writing. The Hour of Land is about national parks and national historic sites, but it's not just waxing poetic about trees. I'm unfamiliar with Williams so I was unprepared for how very political this book is. Her views happen to align with mine as she talks about oil spills, reliance on fossil fuels, the states rights vs slavery context in which we frame Gettysburg, etc. I'd really like to read more by her!

Scfreads I need to get this book again. I checked it out earlier this year, but had to return without getting around to reading it. The one page that I did read was good. 3y
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marathonreader
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Pickpick

Reads like a sacred hike in a National Park. Calms the day into perspective and reminds me why I could not wait until I finally became 62 years old---to get the lifelong membership to the National Parks for $10.

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EchoMyEscape
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Pickpick

Terry Tempest Williams stands at the top of a mountain screaming to my soul while I rest in the valley listening intently to every word. The Hour of the Land celebrates our national parks while attempting to define what they mean to us, all while dredging up hard but cold truths. She is showing her soul, not begging us to care, but instead showing us how much she does.
I adored this book and meditated on several passages. Protect our wilderness!

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EchoMyEscape
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"Awe is the moment when ego surrenders to wonder..."

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EchoMyEscape
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This book is getting me into this mindset... A nature lovers perfect getaway inside the cover, a bit political at times, but its acknowledging the truth of what our National Parks, these wild and untamed places, are truly up against.

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EchoMyEscape
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This book is speaking straight to my soul ... Def. going to have to read more of her books when I'm done.

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Alicia
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Went to the Grand Canyon today so I bought this book. Figured what better place to buy it than a National Park.

ocdIrene Nice! Well done!👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 3y
Alicia @ocdIrene thanks!! 😁😁 3y
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SuperPunkNinja
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Here are some more Alt accounts to follow on social media. Alt Nat'l Parks said Facebook wasn't allowing new likes to their page so 😠.

LindsayReads There's also Alt_NIH! 3y
Lmstraubie This is GREAT! Thank you for sharing! 3y
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CocoReads I'm thinking of getting twitter again for the sole purpose of following these accounts. Thanks for sharing! 3y
SuperPunkNinja @lmstraubie @CocoReads It's my pleasure! ❤ 3y
Kerouacthedog It's because they got so many so fast.. I'm sure it will be up for liking after a 12-24 hour period. 3y
Handmade_Redhead Don't let our scientist and naturalist be silenced! I'm following as all as i find them. 3y
OrangeMooseReads I'll be going to twitter and following those I'm not already 3y
Graciouswarriorprincess I am following those along with AltED 3y
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SuperPunkNinja
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If you can still stand social media (aside from Litsy, of course) be sure to follow Alt National Park Service. They give me hope. ❤✊

Louise Thanks for the heads up! I'm now following them as well as Rogue NASA! 3y
SuperPunkNinja @Louise Ooh! Good one. Thank you! 3y
Daisydo Ooh! Do I have the twitter list for you! Let me figure out how to copy the URL. 3y
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Chrissyreadit @Daisydo that would be great! 3y
Blueberry I signed up on Twitter yesterday just to get them. 3y
kspenmoll Thanks! Love our Parks! 3y
DragonSadhana I'm loving all the alt-twitters. Don't forget Rogue NASA! ❤️❤️❤️ 3y
DragonSadhana Oh, I see someone mentioned it already, lol, glad so many of us are on the same page! 3y
SuperPunkNinja @DragonSadhana There's a list of the alt accounts! I'll post it this morning. 3y
SuperPunkNinja @Daisydo That would be great! 3y
SuperPunkNinja @Blueberry I'm still debating if I want to get back on Twitter. 3y
SuperPunkNinja @kspenmoll You are welcome!❤ 3y
Louise @McShelfington I'm following the Alt Parks and Rogue NASA on Facebook, as I'm not much into Twitter. Another good one to follow on FB is former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, who offers a "Resistence Report" every week night at 8pm EST. (edited) 3y
SuperPunkNinja @Louise I love him! ❤ 3y
Louise We do too! ❤ 3y
Graciouswarriorprincess I love these rogue rangers! It's a scary climate out there! 3y
SuperPunkNinja @Daisydo Cool. Thank you! 3y
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greenacresanna
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Went to pick up holds at the library. Grabbed this too.

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Emiller
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Heard about this author on the @bookriot podcast. Absolutely love her writing, so beautiful!!

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