Book review: The Animal One Thousand Miles Long — by Leath Tonino

(Trinity University Press)
Leath Tonino, a writer and Vermonter of the Champlain Basin, has also worked as a wildlife biologist in Arizona, a blueberry farmer in New Jersey, and a snow shoveler in Antarctica, but it is quite clear that Vermont is where his heart resides. His enthusiasm for the wild spaces — like “the raw, rocky summit of Vermont’s most prominent peak” — as well as the inhabited places — farmers waving from tractors — is infectious. His love for the scraggly side of Vermont is evident in his descriptions of beavers as “furry, big-toothed landscape architects” and “the sky pink and purple and delicate blue.” His recognition and celebration of all things Vermont is refreshing and inspiring, and reminds everyone to look at our surroundings in a new light. Many of the essays collected in “The Animal One Thousand Miles Long” have been previously published, most significantly in Seven Days, Adirondack Life and Vermont Magazine, but that does not diminish their value, instead it compounds their impact. In fact, as Ripton’s own Bill McKibben notes, “anyone who loves Vermont will want this on [their] bookshelf — a funny, smart and novel look at the Green Mountains.” Tonino will read from and discuss his new book at the Vermont Book Shop, Wednesday, Nov. 28, at 7 p.m.
— Reviewed by Jenny Lyons of The Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury.
10 Books about the Green Mountain State
Radio Free Vermont, by Bill McKibben
Explorer’s Guide Vermont, by Lisa Halvorsen
Rail-Trails Northern New England, by Rails-To-Trails Conservancy
Going Up the Country, by Yvonne Daley
Those Turbulent Sons of Freedom, by Christopher Wren
Black Diamond Fall, by Joseph Olshan
Bury the Lead,by Archer Mayor
Heart Spring Mountain, by Robin MacArthur
The Underneath, by Melanie Finn
The Flight Attendant, by Chris Bohjalian

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