top of page
2022-09-28 Book Club_no link.png


Welcome! Nature Book Club is on summer hiatus.

We'll be back in September with a whole new season of books!

You are warmly invited to RPA's Nature Book Club, with Rama Hamarneh, PhD. The book club provides a space to discuss books related to nature, together as a community!

One evening a month, we will meet on Zoom to discuss a book we have read, and the work's relationship to nature. We will explore multiple aspects of nature in literature - represented through multiple genres and authors from around the globe.


Next Meeting:

Tuesday, September 24 at 7pm on Zoom


The Zoom link for each meeting will be sent out to the book club email list a few days before the meeting. ​The book club is free to attend, and all are welcome.


Join the book club email list


Alphie and Me_Carl Safina.jpg

For September, we're reading Alfie & Me: What Owls Know, What Humans Believe by Carl Safina.

When ecologist Carl Safina and his wife, Patricia, took in a near-death baby owl, they expected that, like other wild orphans they’d rescued, she’d be a temporary presence. But Alfie’s feathers were not growing correctly, requiring prolonged care. As Alfie grew and gained strength, she became a part of the family, joining a menagerie of dogs and chickens and making a home for herself in the backyard. Carl and Patricia began to realize that the healing was mutual; Alfie had been braided into their world, and was now pulling them into hers.

Alfie & Me is the story of the remarkable impact this little owl would have on their lives. The continuing bond of trust following her freedom—and her raising of her own wild brood—coincided with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a year in which Carl and Patricia were forced to spend time at home without the normal obligations of work and travel. Witnessing all the fine details of their feathered friend’s life offered Carl and Patricia a view of existence from Alfie’s perspective.

One can travel the world and go nowhere; one can be stuck keeping the faith at home and discover a new world. Safina’s relationship with an owl made him want to better understand how people have viewed humanity’s relationship with nature across cultures and throughout history. Interwoven with Safina’s keen observations, insight, and reflections, Alfie & Me is a work of profound beauties and magical timing harbored within one upended year.

This book is available through the Upper Hudson Library System, on libby as an ebook and audiobook through the library, at Market Block Books, and through other book sellers.


Previous Nature Book Club selections:

Crossings: How Road Ecology is Shaping the Future of Our Planet by Ben Goldfarb

The Life and Death of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan

Gathering Moss by Robin Wall Kimmerer

All Things Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot

Beaverland by Rachel Philip

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

What an Owl Knows: the New Science of the World's Most Enigmatic Birds by Jennifer Ackerman

World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law by Mary Roach
The Food Explorer by Daniel Stone

Forest Walking by Peter Wohlleben and Jane Billinghurst

All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot

The Lives of Bees: The Untold Story of the Honey Bee in the Wild by Thomas Seeley
Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice

The Brilliant Abyss by Helen Scales

Underland: A Deep Time Journey by Robert Macfarlane
H is for Hawk
by Helen Macdonald

The Book of Eels by Patrik Svensson
The Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity and the Natural World Alison H. Deming and Lauret Savoy, eds.
All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

Owls of the Eastern Ice: A Quest to Find and Save the World's Largest Owl
by Jonathan C. Slaght
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Around the World in 80 Trees by Jonathan Drori


​"For me, nature has always provided inspiration for both writing and reading."
- Nature Book Club Leader Rama Hamarneh, PhD.

NBC book list
Rama Hamarneh_leader photo.jpg

Rama is a published writer with a PhD in Comparative Literature. She works as a staff adviser at RPI, is on the community committee for Poesten Kill Bends Preserve in Troy, and a member of the RPA Board of Directors.

Questions about the Nature Book Club? Contact Dan at

bottom of page