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Between Earth and Sky: Our Intimate Connections to Trees Hardcover – July 2, 2008

7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“A wide-ranging and eye-opening book about trees and our connections to them.”
(New Scientist 2008-09-17)

“A wealth of entertaining arboreal facts and figures, but her personal anecdotes are the book's most compelling and inimitable feature.”
(Publishers Weekly 2008-05-19)

“Nadkarni's writing is like a love letter to trees that effortlessly mixes poetry and prose with environmentalism, culture, history and science.”
(Foreword 2008-07-01)

“Anyone who loves trees, who admires their steadfastness, who finds in their presence a certain peace . . . will love this book.”
(Canadian Field-Naturalist 2010-07-14)

“Uplifting and edifying. . . . Nadkarni has given us . . . a kind of encyclopedic examination of nearly EVERYTHING that has to do with trees.”
(Ecology 2010-07-14)

“Nadkarni introduces readers to trees in a stunning variety of ways.”
(Frederick J. Swanson, Us Forest Service Oregon Historical Qtly 2010-06-30)

“Nadkarni is a wonder. . . . Every page enthralls.”
(Terrain Magazine 2009-12-11)

From the Inside Flap

"A lovely work of writing and a rich scientific exploration of trees, suffused with poetry and humanity. Between Earth and Sky takes us on a journey through the wonders of the forest canopy and the web of spiritual and literal connections we have with trees. Nalini Nadkarni is a unique figure in forest ecology—as a pioneering tree climber and explorer, and a topnotch scientist, she's a hero in a world where heroes don't come around often."—Richard Preston, author of The Wild Trees and The Hot Zone

“Besides cutting them, climbing them, and planting them, the urge to anthropomorphize trees, make them into metaphors, and worship them, is practically universal. Many people feel an intimate connection to trees. Nadkarni's scientific, personal, and literary book shows why, on so many levels, this should be so. Although the ancient Chinese thought of humans as the connection between earth and sky, my vote would go to trees.”—Liza Dalby, author of East Wind Melts the Ice

“From mosses to giant figs, from nail polish to turpentine, from poetry to rap music, world-acclaimed arbornaut Nadkarni weaves science and story together as she shares her passion for trees, reminding us that forests and humans are inextricably linked.” –Margaret D. Lowman, author of Life in the Treetops and It's a Jungle Up There

“I came in from an afternoon of splitting firewood to find this book waiting for me in the mail. It's as wonderful a compendium as one could imagine of all things that make trees such special companions, rooted and steady and patient and full of glory.”—Bill McKibben, author of The Bill McKibben Reader

“An epic and lyrical look at trees—an exploration that ranges from molecules and metabolism to ecology, poetry and dance—so breathtaking and eye-opening that it will be impossible to ever look at a tree or think about the world in the same way again.”—Thomas E. Lovejoy, President, The Heinz Center

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 1 edition (July 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520248562
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520248564
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #702,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By WestCoastBlue on September 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Nalini Nadkarni was hooked on trees by the maples growing outside her childhood home, which she climbed every day after school as a refuge from the hazards of family life. How fitting that she ended up climbing trees for a living, working as a forest canopy researcher in both temperate and tropical rainforests. "Between Earth and Sky" is actually not her first book on trees. The first was "Be Among the Birds: My Guide to Climbing Trees," which she produced at the tender age of nine years old! Her enthusiasm for trees seems only to have grown since then, and her current book is an attempt to share that enthusiasm with others in the broadest possible way.

Like a tree the book is vertically structured. It's roots explore the many ways trees provide for our basic needs: foods and materials; shelter for people, livestock, and crops; medicines and healing; and play for children of all ages. In these chapters Nadkarni includes quite a bit of scientific background to explain the properties that make trees so valuable to us. The trunk of the book looks at how trees live in our consciousness, as markers of time and change, and as powerful symbols in art, culture, spirituality, and religion. Since the science of trees is familiar to me, I found this second part of the book was the most interesting, and I wish it had been longer. No doubt whole books could be (and perhaps have been) written on the subject.

The crown of this book is "mindfulness," which Nadkarni defines as "the need to be aware of and compassionate towards one's surroundings." I think the author hopes that by presenting such a wide variety of ways of looking at and valuing trees, readers will be moved to participate in efforts to preserve the trees and forests around them, some of which she describes in the final chapter.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Himri VINE VOICE on December 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book has loads of information on tree classification, forest classification, methods used to study dynamics of forest structure, air space, the similarities in the tributaries of rivers to branching in trees, study of epiphytes.
Wind breakers. Shade grown coffee. Significance of dead wood. Edge effects.
Insistence of demand for original oak corks for the oak tree conservation against being replaced by other trees in demand. This brings up a point to think of - utitlity with regards to conservation.
Canopy studies
Palynology - pollen studies
world tree
tree sitting
The broad range of poems on trees,show how in the Montverde forest - and in the book - the author has learned much by combining science, art and the humanities.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Martin Pruimers on July 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ever since seeing 'Heroes of the High Frontier' I've been a fan of Nalini Nadkarni. The amazing things she discovered high in the treetops of the beloved Monteverde Cloudforest (and in other places) give you a big awe for the inventivity of nature and the way plants and animals have co-evolved over the eons.
In this book Mrs. Nadkarni's focus is the intense 'cooperation' between trees and men, showing how dependant our society is on trees. Although she is sometimes carried away a bit by her enthusiasm, this is a book I can recommend unconditonally to everyone interested in the interaction between trees and animals, including ourselves.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nadkarni has a great love of trees and has a deep knowledge and much interesting research to share, as well as an emotional connection to trees. A most unusual book and very thorough.
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