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Check It Out: Eight Bears by Gloria Dickie

This is Leah Erdmann with the Sioux City Public Library, and you’re listening to Check It Out.

Today, I’m recommending Eight Bears by Gloria Dickie.

To quote the author, “Without bears, our woods and our stories would be empty.” Eight Bears has been honored as one of the best books of 2023 by The New Yorker, The Economist, and Scientific American, and shortlisted for the Banff Centre Mountain Book Awards. It stands out as a crucial and timely exploration of animal conservation, delving into the lives and challenges of the world’s eight remaining bear species.

Far from a simple recounting of bear biology, Dickie explores these magnificent creatures through a variety of lenses, weaving together threads of ecology, history, and personal travelog. Dickie whisks readers from the Andes to the Arctic, with each chapter immersing them in a new landscape and introducing them to leading scientists, conservationists, and area locals who contribute unique insights.

Moreover, Dickie highlights the cultural significance of these animals, illustrating how they have been integral to human folklore, mythology, and our modern storytelling. In doing so, she emphasizes the connection humans have to bears and all that we stand to lose if they disappear.

Trigger warnings for the book include animal abuse and cruelty. Despite her personable voice and occasional humor, Dickie does not shy away from presenting difficult truths with conviction and honesty.

Critically acclaimed for its depth and cohesive narrative style, Eight Bears serves not only as a wake-up call about the pressing issues of wildlife conservation but also as a tribute to the majesty of bears and the valuable role they play in the natural world. Those with a penchant for animals, conservation, and compelling reads can find Eight Bears at the Sioux City Public Library!

Support for Check It Out on Siouxland Public Media comes from Verde Outdoor Media.

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