Facebook Twitter

On the same page: Utah book club members get in touch with their wild side

SHARE On the same page: Utah book club members get in touch with their wild side
Cindy Lund, of the Insights to Conservation book club, recommends these seven novels.

Cindy Lund, of the Insights to Conservation book club, recommends these seven novels.

Hannah McDonald, Deseret News

If you have a book club and you are interested in being featured, please contact us at features@deseretnews.com. Please include your name, your contact information and one or two sentences describing your book club.

Cindy Lund is the founder of the Insights to Conservation book club, which meets monthly at the King's English Bookshop and reads books about environmentalism in the Western United States. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

How did this book group start?

Cindy Lund: I started it because I wanted to read this type of book and I wasn’t doing it on my own. The kind of book I read on my own is sci-fi, fantasy, thriller — this gave me the opportunity to read books about the environment in the West and share that with other people. I think (my interest in environmentalism) started with learning about the spotted owl way back when. … I’ve been interested in environmental issues ever since I read that story in the paper in the ‘90s.

What are you reading right now?

CL: The book we’re reading right now is “Coyote America.” It’s about how … people have been trying to get rid of coyotes since they ran into them. And there’s some very interesting developments that now coyotes no longer just live in the West. They live in every state in the union except for Hawaii because they haven’t figured out how to get to Hawaii yet. They live in New York City, they live in Los Angeles. They’re in Alaska, they’re in Florida. So it’s just the story about their history and their connection to humans.

What books have been a hit with everyone in your group?

CL: Surprisingly, the books that I didn’t think would be a hit have been. For example, there’s one called “Roads in the Wilderness: Conflict in Canyon Country” by Jedediah Rogers. It talks about the whole history of building roads (in Utah) from when the Mormons arrived here to more recent stuff. That was probably one of the best-attended book clubs.

What have you learned or gained from being involved in this book group?

CL: I guess I’ve learned that the people who read the books we’re reading are already concerned about the environment in most cases. … We’re preaching to the choir, so to speak. So we’re always talking about how we could get this information to someone that doesn’t really keep an eye out for environmental topics and issues. That’s not my main goal, exactly. My goal is learning. That’s really the purpose of the book club. But we often ask, “What can we do? How do we get other people to care about these issues?” And we haven’t reached that quite yet.

Cindy Lund of the Insights to Conservation book club recommends:

“Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History,” by Dan Flores, Basic Books, 288 pages (nf)

“Roads in the Wilderness: Conflict in Canyon Country,” by Jedediah S. Rogers, University of Utah Press, 250 pages (nf)

“The Straw that Broke,” by Gregory Zeigler, Booktango, 318 pages (f)

“The Water Knife,” by Paolo Bacigalupi, Vintage, 384 pages (f)

“Cold Blood, Hot Sea,” by Charlene D’Avanzo, Torrey House Press, 250 pages (f)

“Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation,” by Dan Fagin, Island Press, 576 pages (nf)

“Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds,” by Jim Sterba, Broadway Books, 368 pages (nf)