Welcome to Imprint Friday and today's featured imprint: Algonquin Books. Stop by each week to be introduced to a must-read title from one of my favorite imprints. I know you'll be adding many of these books to your wish list.
Have you ever thought about what goes on deep in the ground under your grassy yard? Amy Stewart did, and what she discovered was the world of worms. In The Earth Moved, Stewart focuses on one of the hardest-working organisms on the planet.
Here's part of the publisher's summary:
The Earth Moved has moved reviewers across the country. In witty, offbeat style, Amy Stewart takes us on a subterranean adventure and introduces us to our planet’s most important gatekeeper: the humble earthworm. It’s true that the earthworm is small, spineless, and blind, but its effect on the ecosystem is profound, moving Charles Darwin to devote his last years to studying its remarkable attributes and achievements.Most of us don't spend a lot of time thinking about worms. We might notice them on the sidewalk after a heavy rain or watch them burrow down when we've turned over a flower bed, but that's about it. Amy Stewart, a gardener, became curious about the bait worms she put into her composting bin. In The Earth Moved, she shares what she learned from personal observations, research, and conversations with earthworm scientists and how she gained a fresh perspective on our wiggly friends.
With the august scientist as her inspiration, Stewart investigates the earthworm’s astonishing realm, talks to oligochaetologists who have devoted their lives to unearthing the complex web of life beneath our feet, and observes the thousands of worms in her own garden.
To give you an idea of the scope of The Earth Moved, here are just a few things I learned about worms:
- Geologists use earthworm taxonomy to help their studies of plate tectonics.
- Anglers who use earthworms may have a negative effect on the environment.
- Earthworms are vegans.
- Darwin believed earthworms were analytical.
- Ecologists use earthworms to monitor pollution.
Because Stewart's fascination with worms originated from her gardening avocation, the book ends with information on how to make your own mini worm farm, resources for obtaining supplies, and a bibliography for further reading.
Last summer I told you about Amy Stewart's Wicked Bugs, and perhaps next summer I'll introduce you to her Wicked Plants. In the meantime, as you plant your gardens this year remember to say thank you to the worms you dig up.
The Earth Moved was re-released this year with updated resources. It won the 2005 California Horticultural Society's Writer's Award and was a Discovery Channel Book Club Selection. To learn more about worms and Amy Stewart, visit her website. There, you'll also find a sample chapter, resources, and some cool video and radio clips.
Algonquin Books is a featured imprint on Beth Fish Reads. For more information about the imprint, please read Executive Editor Chuck Adams's introductory letter, posted here on January 7, 2011.