Jon Mooallem's Wild Ones is my favorite book of the year so far. An investigation of the current and historical relationship between humans and wild animals, it's full of enlightening and beautifully told stories about conservationists and polar bears and the migratory patterns of cranes, all underpinned by Mooallem's worry about what the world he's raising his daughter into will look like. I'm a little smushy about this book; it made me feel a little bit better about everything being terrible.*
Local band Black Prairie recorded a "soundtrack" to Moollem's book; and because that wasn't enough good things in one package, Roman Mars, host of the excellent podcast 99% Invisible, liked the book so much that he violated the "one cardinal rule on 99% Invisible" (which is that they typically deal with the built world, not the natural world) to feature Wild Ones on the show. How's that for an endorsement? Here's Mooallem reading excerpts from Wild Ones, set to Black Prairie's soundtrack:
*A MEMBER OF NEWS TEAM WHO WILL REMAIN NAMELESS BUT IT WASN'T DENIS found it boring.