Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Salvaging the Real Florida: Lost and Found in the State of Dreams Hardcover – April 3, 2011
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
"There's still enough real Florida left in Florida to wow even the most attention-addled imagination. All it takes are a few left turns. Just ask Bill Belleville, who's gotten off on more unnamed exits than anyone I've come upon in quite some time. In his delightfully meandering Salvaging the Real Florida, Belleville will not only tell ya which turns to take, he'll let you know what goes down once you get [there]. And trust me, once you've gotten a gander at Belleville's Real Florida you will wanna be hitting the low road--or at least a wild waterway. Taking a page from ol' Henry David Thoreau . . . Belleville begins his sauntering series of journeys by explaining just what sauntering really meant to the infamous Transcendentalist. Belleville is encouraging us to adapt 'a behavior that sets you squarely in the moment.' And to 'retrieve the real Florida from those who would turn the Land of Flowers into one giant, giddy corporate amusement park.' Most remarkably perhaps is that no matter where Belleville goes, he sinks into what he calls 'gator time,' and he achieves a oneness with the world that would surely please a saunterer such as Thoreau. That Belleville does so with a naturalist's eye and a historian's attention to detail only makes this rich appreciation of a largely forgotten Florida all the more rewarding."--Miami Sun Post Weekly
"Salvaging is the kind of book that will enthrall devotees of Henry David Thoreau and Ed Abbey. Reading [it] is a bit like going on a field trip with your favorite science teacher : fun because you get to be outside and get your hands dirty, and wholesome because, despite your best efforts, you end up learning something. . . . It's impossible not to soak up Belleville's concern for a sustainable, healthy environment. . . . In appreciating natural places, we become better observers, Belleville says, and his essays are a relaxed study in observation."--Orlando Weekly
"[Belleville's] essays in the new Salvaging the Real Florida are an immensely readable introduction to his conservation philosophy and respect for nature."--Orlando Sentinel
"In Salvaging the Real Florida essayist Bill Belleville saunters through pine and palmetto country, fins deep down into artesian springs, visits shipwrecks off Key Largo, and kayaks through the densest gator populations in Florida. He treks off the map and close to home, seeking not only 'the real Florida,' but a 'chance to rediscover [him]self-the chance to be found.' . . . This is a smart, knowing collection that sheds light on Florida's lesser known natural wonders. Belleville takes the reader to places that most people figure are already gone. He reminds us that all is not lost; there are places worth being found. We only have to know where and how to look."--Florida Book Review
"Reaffirms that [Belleville's] poetic work belongs with a class of Florida writers that includes Al Burt (too often forgotten), Archie Carr, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Sidney Lanier, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and William Bartram. . . . He still turns a cold eye on the trampling, gouging, lacerating, scorching, mauling, draining, and eradicating that lies behind a perverted notion of progress. But he does not allow the conceit to get him down as he crisscrosses the state in search of the 'real Florida,' an expression Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings usd more than six decades ago to distinguish to indigenous landscape from the developed."--Jack Davis, Tampa Bay History
"...Longtime Florida author Bill Belleville takes a personal approach to sharing his love for wild places in his latest book “Salvaging the Real Florida” (University Press of Florida, 240 pages $24.95).This work is a collection of writings about Belleville’s travels around Florida...The point of Belleville’s writings is that getting outside is the point. You learn about nature by getting inside habitats. You get scratched up and sunburned. You have muck on the outside of your shoes and sand on the inside. You may, like Belleveile... have minor misadventures of being temporarily lost in the woods or trying fruitlessly to paddle down an unwelcoming creek.
It’s the kind of experience that makes you look back and laugh at your temporary folly, but it’s also the antidote to the scripted experiences that await you in the unnatural entertainment venues that increasingly dot this part of Florida today, leaving tourists with the impression that that’s all there is to the Florida experience....Belleville’s book also puts Florida’s nature in historical and cultural contexts when the occasion calls for it-he quotes early Florida naturalist William Bartram a lot-and suggests some other books that anyone interested in Florida’s natural history might enjoy...."--Lakeland Ledger
A ramble through the wild backyard of Florida
"Bill Belleville writes gorgeously and straight from the heart." --Carl Hiaasen, reviewing Losing It All to Sprawl
"If Bill Belleville were a quilt maker, this book would be his finest spread. It is a mosaic, in fact; a series of essays, each a snapshot of Florida. But pieced together, the collage becomes a kaleidoscopic rendering of our remarkable peninsula. And underlying the whole fabric is a fine batting of philosophy: we are reminded of our spiritual links to such a place, and our obligations to keep it whole."--Archie Carr III
"Get off the interstate, cast a cold eye on the strip mall, eschew the theme park, and come with Bill Belleville to the green heart of the real Florida. He takes you to the secret places in the deep woods, the holy swamps, the springs blue as a sapphire and cold as a January midnight."--Diane Roberts, author of Dream State
"Bill Belleville has earned the respect of just about everyone who cares about the Florida environment and Salvaging can only confirm his reputation. It's a little repast of little essays, replete with delicious revelations, such as the color of apple snail eggs (pink) and what sorts of organisms will grow on a sunken refrigerator (read the book). But it's much more than that. Spend some time with Belleville and he'll show you how much beauty there still is in our flowered state and how much, deeply much, it's worth saving."--Lola Haskins, poet and author of Still, the Mountain
Modern life has a tendency to trap people in cubicles, cars, and cookie-cutter suburbs. Thankfully, someone comes along now and then to remind us of the beauty that presents itself when we turn off the information feeds and turn away from the daily grind.
Bill Belleville’s enchanting Salvaging the Real Florida invites readers to rediscover treasures hidden in plain sight. Join Belleville as he paddles a glowing lagoon, slogs through a swamp, explores a spring cave, dives a "literary" shipwreck, and pays a visit to the colorful historic district of an old riverboat town. Journey with him in search of the apple snail, the black bear, a rare cave-dwelling shrimp, and more. Everywhere he goes, Belleville finds beauty, intrigue, and, more often than not, a legacy in peril.
Following in the tradition of John Muir, William Bartram, and Henry David Thoreau, Belleville forges intimate connections with his surroundings. Like the works of Marjory Stoneman Douglas and Archie Carr, his evocative stories carry an urgent and important call to preserve what is left of the natural world.
Bill Belleville is a veteran author and documentary filmmaker specializing in environmental issues. His books include the critically acclaimed Losing It All to Sprawl: How Progress Ate My Cracker Landscape and River of Lakes: A Journey on Florida’s St. Johns River.
Top Customer Reviews
His writing is engaging, literate, and steeped in an intimate knowledge of his subject. Belleville has hiked her woods, kayaked her waters, and dived deep into the heart of her springs to bring us these tales. He is informed by a naturalist's commitment to a scientific understanding of Florida's unique environment. Yet it is his heart and his passion for his subject that captivates our imagination.
Come along with a a modern day adventurer as he opens our eyes to the treasures that are literally in our own back yard. The collection of essays in Salvaging the Real Florida celebrate and explore a mythic world that we have the power to preserve. They also lament a world that is sadly passing before our eyes. We, just as the state, hang in the balance. The loss of Florida's wild spaces is in no small part, the loss of our selves. Belleville makes a powerful argument for their preservation through non-argument. He leaves the debating and parsing of words to the politicians. Instead, he takes us on a journey, and we emerge wiser for following his lead.
This work, as eminently readable as all his others, offers a wide spread of differing essays about our natural word, and the threats that we ourselves pose to its beauty and sustainability. The work draws on the authors wide experience in the outdoors and reflects his love and sincere efforts to protect it by educating his readership to the dangers of development, sprawl and the downright stupidity of ecological abuses by those `boomers', developers, and our `nature-blind' politicos.
Bill dives the wreck of Stephen Crane's, The Open Boat the S.S. Commodore off Ormond Beach, and recounts the adventures of earlier dives in the Galapagos Islands and the Florida Keys. But it is when he is wading through the St. Johns River wetlands, strolling the RiverWalk around Lake Monroe or kayaking the wilder reaches of our waters that he is most `local' and at home. Bill has adopted the St Johns River into his own sense of place, as did Bartram, and is truly now one of the river's Keepers.
This book attempts to salvage our own, perhaps waning, regard for this gorgeous State of Florida and tempts us to engage in the efforts to protect and appreciate what there is left of that 1774 paradise found by the original "Puc-puggee".
North Florida's St. Johns River is a troubled water. It crawls slowly northward through the top half of a troubled state. The river took shape in the Pleistocene-era Florida, nearly 65 million years ago, but it has taken humans only 400 years to change its nature--to harness its energy, redirect its flow, dredge its depth, widen its banks, pollute it with wastes and runoff, fill its floodplains, and draw down its water. New threats to the St. Johns River seem to pop up daily, so keeping tabs is a full-time job for researchers, enviro groups, scientists, and writers like Bill Belleville.
About the only thing humans haven't managed to spoil is the character of the St. Johns. It's that special character that writer/naturalist Bill Belleville admires, and it's what he writes about with such grace and enthusiasm.
Belleville's 2001 book on the St. Johns, River of Lakes, brought readers a new understanding of Florida's longest river. Others have told us how much North Floridians depend on and love the St. Johns; Belleville's book shows us why. River of Lakes helps demystify, and in fact often clarifies, the interconnectedness of man, land, and water. Its evokative prose derives from the author's special understanding of place.
Belleville's words ring honest and true because he `kens' his subject, understands it at a nearly molecular level. One senses that he uncrated much about himself in the process of writing River of Lakes.
Belleville's newest book, Salvaging the Real Florida, is an equally compellingly read. It's more about love of place than any book in recent memory.Read more ›
Shadows and Shade in the Sunshine State
With all the hoopla about Earth Day, it only seems right we localize the holiday and celebrate what we've got right under our lucky noses. Yes, I mean the beaches and the theme parks (after all they're both as intrinsic to our state as sunshine itself). But I also mean the more off-the-beaten-path kinda places, those that don't boast multi-million dollar advertising budgets and triple-figure family admittance fees. Yes, I know, some of the best of those have gone the way of the dodo. But there's still enough real Florida left in Florida to wow even the most attention-addled imagination. All it takes are a few left turns.
Just ask Bill Belleville, who's gotten off on more unnamed exits than anyone I've come upon in quite some time. In his delightfully meandering Salvaging the Real Florida (University Press of Florida $24.95), Belleville will not only tell ya which turns to take, he'll let you know what goes down once you get wherever it is he suggests you go. And trust me, once you've gotten a gander at Belleville's Real Florida you will wanna be hitting the low road - or at least a wild waterway.
Taking a page from ol' Henry David Thoreau, who he cites as saying "the natural world can be a source of `vigor, inspiration and strength,'" Belleville begins his sauntering series of journeys by explaining just what sauntering really meant to the infamous Transcendentalist.
"[Thoreau] used a superb term to characterize how he moved across the landscape. He called it sauntering, and explained it as a derivative of a word used to describe pilgrims in the Middle Ages who were traveling to La Sainte Terre, the Holy Land.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In college, this book gave me new eyes with which to view the place that I live. It's easy to overlook the authentic in Florida but it's definitely there in abundance if you know... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Christina Laird
Salvaging the Real Florida is a masterpiece. Bill Belleville is able to describe the Florida landscape with word pictures that are insightful, poetic and often have deep meaning... Read morePublished on February 5, 2012 by Claudia Scott
As a librarian, I read a LOT of books, but this is the first title in quite some time, to mesmerize me. Read morePublished on November 7, 2011 by John R. Lightbody
Belleville is the 21st century Thoreau. There are some differences, though. Belleville writes about Florida, Thoreau wrote about New England. Read morePublished on October 17, 2011 by ELIZABETH J. Randall