Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Green Book Campaign and book review

Welcome to the Eco-Libris Green Book Campaign blog tour.

This is the second year I’ve participated in the event and I’m really excited to again help spread the word about using recycled paper to print books.

The campaign last year was very successful – 100 bloggers participated and more than 15,000 readers were exposed to the campaign and it received very positive feedback from publishers, bloggers and readers.

This year, 200 bloggers are taking part in the campaign. Each has read a “green book” and the reviews have been published simultaneously at 1 p.m. eastern time (10 a.m. where I live in Washington state).

Eco-Libris has a specific goal with this blog tour – to use the power of the Internet and social media to promote “green” books and increase the awareness of both readers and publishers to the way books can be printed in an eco-friendly manner. In other words, books can and are being printed using recycled materials.

After I posted my review last year, which you can read here, I had a discussion with author Ross Anthony. He self-publishes his books and he asked about using recycled paper and what I thought about it. I told him I was very much in favor of it and I really do like the paper as it’s often seems to be a higher quality and thicker than new paper. He then published two books – “Zen Repair and the Art of Riding Chili” and “Circle Earth and the Circumference of the Planet” – using recycled paper and sent me copies to review, which can be found here.

For this campaign Indigo Books and Music, the largest book retailer in Canada, has stepped up to help increase the impact and reach.

It’s also pretty exciting to 56 publishers from the U.S., Canada, Australia and the U.K. are taking part and have donated the books for review. I think that’s awesome and it’s just one more reason why I continue to support Eco-Libris by promoting their campaign and reviewing one of the “green” books.

Among those publishers is the WSU Press. I was so excited to see them on the list because Washington State University is my alma mater. The book I chose to review is “Greenscapes: Olmsted’s Pacific Northwest” by Joan Hockaday. The places the author tells about are all within driving distance of where I live, so it was another reason for me to select this book.

This is my review for the book I chose. You can see the other posts by going to the Eco-Libris Green Book Campaign site.

Book review
Greenscapes: Olmsted’s Pacific Northwest

By Joan Hockaday

From the back of the book:

“Like his famous father and mentor Frederick Law Olmsted Sr., who designed New York’s Central Park, John Charles Olmsted believed pastoral spaces were integral to a healthy urban environment. By 1884, he became a full partner as the Olmsted firm’s landscaping successes in the East sparked a nationwide City Beautiful movement. … With careful attention to natural vegetation and vistas, and new landscaping and plantings, he (John Charles) skillfully created verdant outdoor havens crafted for full advantage of a site’s topography. His greensward legacy is still enjoyed daily by people across the Pacific Northwest.”

I’m a huge fan of good architecture, especially that of the early 20th century. I love to look at historical buildings and if there is the possibility of a tour, I’m there!

This wonderful book is a tour in itself. With super photography highlighting some of John Charles Olmsted’s best work here in the Pacific Northwest, accompanied in many cases by his original sketches, it’s like visiting some of the best right from your own easy chair.

The writing is also excellent. The book begins with a short biography of the man who would become the designer of such sites as state parks, college and university campuses and elite neighborhoods, as well as events such as the Lewis and Clark Centennial and the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific expositions. From there, it takes the reader on a historical tour of the dozens of places in Washington, Oregon and Idaho where Olmsted’s influence can be found.

Talent is common, but to have the gift of design he possessed is a much rarer occurrence. I would personally place him in the class of other architects, such as Frank Lloyd Wright, one of my favorites. The buildings and grounds Olmsted designed are nothing short of marvelous and now that I’ve read through this book, I’m anxious to find the time to revisit some of them with a different perspective after having learned a little about the history behind the structures.


Suko said...

This sounds like quite an interesting and lovely book, LuAnn. Very nice review for the Green Book Campaign!

Serena said...

I just adore photography of historic buildings. Wonderful selection for the green books campaign. There is such a great variety of books. I'd love to check this out.

Crafty Green Poet said...

That would be particularly interesting given you live in the area, an excuse to do your own field trips for extra research!