Blue Revolution cover

Blue Revolution: Unmaking America's Water Crisis
Top 10 Science Book of 2011/The Boston Globe

Blue Revolution makes the case for a water ethic for America. From backyard waterfalls and grottoes in California to sinkholes swallowing chunks of Florida, award-winning journalist Cynthia Barnett exposes how the nation’s green craze largely missed water – the No. 1 environmental concern of most Americans. But the book is big on inspiration, too. Blue Revolution combines investigative reporting with solutions from around the nation and the globe. From San Antonio to Singapore, Barnett shows how local communities and entire nations have come together in a shared ethic to dramatically reduce consumption and live within their water means.

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Mirage book cover

Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S.
Gold Medal, Best Nonfiction/The Florida Book Awards

Florida's parched swamps and sprawling subdivisions set the stage for a look at water crisis throughout the American East, from water-diversion threats in the Great Lakes to tapped-out freshwater aquifers along the Atlantic seaboard. Part investigative journalism, part environmental history, Mirage shows how the eastern half of the nation, historically so wet that early settlers predicted it would never even need irrigation, has squandered so much of its abundant fresh water that it now faces shortages and conflicts once unique to the arid West. From its calamitous opening scene of a sinkhole swallowing a house in Florida to its concluding meditation on the relationship between water and the American character, Mirage is a compelling and timely portrait of the use and abuse of fresh water in an era of rapidly vanishing natural resources. The St. Petersburg Times named Mirage on its list of the "top 10 books that every Floridian should read."

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Coming April 2015!

Rain: A Natural and Cultural History

Crown/Penguin Random House

Rain is the source of all Earth's water, from the cataclysmic torrents that filled the oceans four billion years ago to the hydrologic cycle that replenishes aquifers, soils, and rivers day after day. As the wellspring of life, rain also has a place in our souls. In an ancient perfume region in northern India, villagers extract and bottle the scent of rain from the monsoon-drenched earth, while in the West chemists replicate rain's essence in the lab for deodorant and dish soap. In Manchester, England, and America's Seattle, leaden skies helped inspire Morrissey and grunge. The scents and songs capture rain in small ways. Humans have long been convinced we could control rain with ideas much bigger, from the Roman rain god Jupiter Pluvius to the 2,203 miles of levees that attempt to straightjacket the Mississippi River.

Now, after thousands of years spent praying for rain or worshiping it; burning witches at the stake to stop rain or sacrificing small children to bring it; mocking rain with irrigated agriculture and cities built in floodplains; even trying to blast rain out of the sky with mortars meant for war, humanity has finally managed to change the rain. Only not in the ways we intended. As a warming world reshapes rain's future story, its human history has much to tell us about living in stormy times.

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