Who uses podcasts when they travel, drive long distances or just while doing menial tasks? I have to admit I am a big fan of being able to kill boredom with access to never ending fantastic content, so I thought I would occasionally share a link to a great podcast. Recently I caught a Earth to Humans podcast with Australian author Charlotte McConaghy. McConaghy wrote the stunning international best seller Migrations and followed it up with the just as compelling Once there were wolves both titles would be great choices for the Gaia/nature reading challenge.
A big part of the reason for the Gaia challenge, is to encourage us to read books that connect us to the natural world, to inform us about the huge issues we are facing and to help us to care. With Migrations and Once there were wolves Charlotte McConaghy has established herself as an author to watch, in what is the new genre of environmental fiction. McConaghy has been struck by the challenges we are facing and that is what led her to switch from writing YA fantasy to crafting these powerfully stories that connect us to the plight of the natural world in the 21st century. They are not bestsellers for nothing.
I think I read these two books last year, back when I was going through a bit of a missing in action phase, so I don’t think I really wrote about them here, but I will say both books were excellent reads, compelling page turners, that grabbed my attention and dragged me into the world of her strong female protagonists. Both books feature, female environmental scientists, zoologists, dealing directly with themes relating to the changing nature of life on this planet, those themes are not at the expense of a good story or a strong complex narrative. They are wonderful reads regardless of the environmental themes they touch on. Migrations is a compelling, modern quest story, powerfully told and leaving you haunted, long after finishing it. Once there were wolves is a crime mystery as much as anything else, but also touches on themes of violence, especially violence against women. Strong characterisation is a feature of both novels. They are also just beautifully written and crafted. If you are looking for a good read I can highly recommend both titles. You can check them out on good reads here and here or listen to the podcast it is definitely worth listening to.
If you have read McConaghy’s books let me know in the comments what you thought. Or if you know of any other good eco fiction let me know. Do you think fiction has the power to help change minds? I hope it can help us care more about what is happening around us and maybe fight for a better world, it certainly can’t hurt.