Jeff VanderMeer’s Featured Book

Hummingbird Salamander: A Novel

“Hummingbird Salamander is harrowing, gripping, and profound. It’s both a thriller and a requiem for a disappearing world. I expect this novel to haunt me for a long time.” — Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel

From the author of Annihilation, a brilliant speculative thriller of dark conspiracy, endangered species, and the end of all things.

Software manager Jane Smith receives an envelope containing a key to a storage unit that holds a taxidermied hummingbird and salamander. Alongside the key is a list of five other animals. The list is signed, “Love, Silvina”. Jane does not know a Silvina and she wants nothing to do with the taxidermied animals. The hummingbird and salamander are, it turns out, two of the most endangered species in the world. Silvina Vilcapampa, the woman who left the note, is a reputed eco-terrorist, and the daughter of a recently deceased Argentine industrialist. And by removing the hummingbird and the salamander from the storage unit, Jane has set into motion a series of events over which she has no control.

Instantly, Jane and her family are in danger and she finds herself alone and on the run from both Silvina’s family and her eco-terrorist accomplices — along with the wildlife traffickers responsible for the strange taxidermy. She seems fated to follow in Silvina’s footsteps as she desperately seeks answers about why Silvina contacted her, and why she is now at the centre of this global conspiracy, and what exactly Silvina was planning. Time is running out — for her and possibly for the world.

Hummingbird Salamander is Annihilation author Jeff VanderMeer at his brilliant, cinematic best, wrapping profound questions about climate change, identity, and the world.

Buy the Book:
Owl’s Nest Books Shelf Life Books

Borrow the Book from the Library:
Calgary Public Library

Jeff VanderMeer’s Other Book

Annihilation

Eleven secret government expeditions and few have returned unscathed-the first book in VanderMeer’s exciting Southern Reach Trilogy and now a major motion picture.

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization, and the government is involved in sending secret missions to explore Area X. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.

Annihilation opens with the twelfth expedition. The group is composed of four women, including our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens; to record all of their observations, scientific and otherwise; and, above all, to avoid succumbing to the unpredictable effects of Area X itself.

What they discover shocks them: first, a massive topographic anomaly that does not appear on any map; and second, life forms beyond anything they’re equipped to understand. But it’s the surprises that came across the border with them that change everything-the secrets of the expedition members themselves, including our narrator. What do they really know about Area X-and each other?

Buy the Book:
Owl’s Nest Books 
Shelf Life Books

Borrow the Book from the Library:
Calgary Public Library

Jeff VanderMeer’s Recommended Books

On the Hummingbird Salamander book tour, I’ve been rec’ing 2 books in particular: A Most Remarkable Creature by Jonathan Meiburg is one of the best nature books I’ve ever read. Something New Under the Sun by Alex Kleeman (Aug) is one of the best novels I’ve read in a long while.

A Most Remarkable Creature by Jonathan Meiburg

“A fascinating, entertaining, and totally engrossing story.” — David Sibley, author of What It’s Like to Be a Bird

An enthralling account of a modern voyage of discovery as we meet the clever, social birds of prey called caracaras, which puzzled Darwin, fascinate modern-day falconers, and carry secrets of our planet’s deep past in their family history.

In 1833, Charles Darwin was astonished by an animal he met in the Falkland Islands: handsome, social, and oddly crow-like falcons that were “tame and inquisitive . . . quarrelsome and passionate,” and so insatiably curious that they stole hats, compasses, and other valuables from the crew of the Beagle. Darwin wondered why these birds were confined to remote islands at the tip of South America, sensing a larger story, but he set this mystery aside and never returned to it.

Almost two hundred years later, Jonathan Meiburg takes up this chase. He takes us through South America, from the fog-bound coasts of Tierra del Fuego to the tropical forests of Guyana, in search of these birds: striated caracaras, which still exist, though they’re very rare. He reveals the wild, fascinating story of their history, origins, and possible futures. And along the way, he draws us into the life and work of William Henry Hudson, the Victorian writer and naturalist who championed caracaras as an unsung wonder of the natural world, and to falconry parks in the English countryside, where captive caracaras perform incredible feats of memory and problem-solving. A Most Remarkable Creature is a hybrid of science writing, travelogue, and biography, as generous and accessible as it is sophisticated, and absolutely riveting.

Buy the Book:
Owl’s Nest Books 
Shelf Life Books

Borrow the Book from the Library:
Calgary Public Library

Something New Under the Sun by Alex Kleeman

A novelist discovers the dark side of Hollywood and reckons with ambition, corruption, and connectedness in the age of environmental collapse and ecological awakening — a darkly unsettling near-future novel for readers of Don DeLillo and Ottessa Moshfegh

East Coast novelist Patrick Hamlin has come to Hollywood with simple goals in mind: overseeing the production of a film adaptation of one of his books, preventing starlet Cassidy Carter’s disruptive behavior from derailing said production, and turning this last-ditch effort at career resuscitation into the sort of success that will dazzle his wife and daughter back home. But California is not as he imagined: Drought, wildfire, and corporate corruption are omnipresent, and the company behind a mysterious new brand of synthetic water seems to be at the root of it all. Patrick partners with Cassidy — after having been her reluctant chauffeur for weeks — and the two of them investigate the sun-scorched city’s darker crevices, where they discover that catastrophe resembles order until the last possible second.

In this often-witty and all-too-timely story, Alexandra Kleeman grapples with the corruption of our environment in the age of alternative facts. Something New Under the Sun is a meticulous and deeply felt accounting of our very human anxieties, liabilities, dependencies, and, ultimately, responsibility to truth.

Buy the Book:
Owl’s Nest Books Shelf Life Books

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