Earth Day 2023: Nature and Travel Books That Inspire

Earth Day 2023: Nature and Travel Books That Inspire

Apr 21, 2023|Natural History| by Holbrook Travel
Special guest post by Andrea Holbrook

This Earth Day, I would like to share a few special books with you. Each book, either directly or indirectly, involves an appreciation for the nature and people of our planet. And each book was written or co-authored by a leader that works with Holbrook to bring people into the field. Despite my 25 years working in tourism, it still feels like a dream that I get to connect with talented authors, artists, and scholars and talk about great stories, plan trips, and just have fun! 

First and foremost, documentary photographer Kristen Grace, together with environmental journalist Heather Dewar, co-produced the stunningly beautiful book, All Things Beautiful: Wonders from the Collections of the Florida Museum of Natural History. This large-format, lush, and gorgeous tome gleams like the jewel that it is. Aimed at bringing alive the marvelous artifacts and amazing stories of the Florida Museum, this book makes those stories accessible at the turn of every page.

Some very fortunate travelers will get to explore Costa Rica with Kristen learning about her craft: Kristen will be leading the Nature Photography Workshop to Costa Rica (July 6-12, 2023), which is open to families with teens and adult travelers who want to learn how to tell stories about nature through photography. In addition to being a Girl Scout leader—part of a family tradition—Kristen knows how to tell stories through her lenses. There is a quality to her images—beyond being beautiful images, and they are exquisite—there is always a question seemingly being asked or answered with her photos. What a treat to learn from her! Space is still available! 

The next book is geared to the most important stewards of our planet—children. Illustrated by artist Mindy Lighthipe and written by Denise Gillen, Where the Wild Sloths Roam tells a story about two- and three-toed sloths that can be found in the forests of Costa Rica.  We are truly honored to count Mindy amongst our leaders. She is both a gifted artist as well as a scientific illustrator for highly technical work. She has such a deep appreciation for nature’s beauty which underscores everything she does in addition to being a fabulous leader!

Feature on Mindy's book in Ocala Style magazine

Proceeds from the book are donated to the Toucan Rescue Ranch, a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center that many of Holbrook’s programs visit. Mindy will be leading her annual Artistic Workshop to Costa Rica from Feb. 16-25, 2024 (webpage for this program still in progress).

Finally, I would like to close with Black Witch Moth. This book is one I am still beginning since author C. Michael Curry graciously gave me a copy earlier this week. Centered on Key West and Cuba, this fictional work is about a spiritual journey involving Afro-Cuban religion and destiny. Mike and I share a deep love and passion for Cuba. Some years ago, Holbrook assisted with arrangements for Mike and some his colleagues to attend a colloquium on Hemingway in Havana. According to Mike, the private home or casa particular where they stayed had a big black moth in it that made its way into the title of his book. This year, Mike and other scholars will be returning to Cuba in May for another colloquium. Stay tuned for future trips led by Mike to Cuba exploring themes related to Hemingway, Afro-Cuban religion, and the Gulf Stream, which ties together two areas indelibly linked in more ways than their geography.

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