Free books: It’s the August GLC giveaway!

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FREE BOOKS! | UPDATE: The books are gone. Yeah, you know the drill: The first person to write in and request one of the books linked below gets it for free. Limit one per person and you must request a specific book and send me your mailing address — although we won’t use your email or postal address for anything other than sending you the book. Oh yeah… if you’ve already won a book from me then give other folks a chance! Thanks :-) Email me for a free book while they last!

Gone! Sent to Jerry of Alhambra, California
Ginseng Dreams: The Secret World of America’s Most Valuable Plant | “Though the ginseng root is a mainstay of Chinese medicine, it’s as American as apple pie: in fact, for over 300 years, Americans have exported ginseng to China. Today an acre of ginseng can bring a farmer $100,000. Travel and environmental writer Johannsen (Ecotourism in Appalachia: Marketing the Mountains) takes readers into America’s ginseng fields and forests. Ginseng is one of the most devilish plants to cultivate, taking up to a decade to be ready for market and growing in only the most specific conditions. Despite the root’s persistent popularity, the difficulty of farming ginseng, the constant threat of poachers and the dwindling number of wild ginseng plants has rendered its future uncertain. Instead of focusing on the medicinal powers of ginseng to those who can afford it, Johannsen paints a picture of the poor in Appalachia who still rely on wild ginseng to provide some cash in lean times. Unfortunately, she lapses into long descriptions of ginseng farming that would bore all but the most devoted horticulturalist. For many, ginseng holds the promise of perfect health and miracle cures. Johannsen shows that, for just as many, ginseng holds an even more American dream — that of instant riches.” By Kristin Johannsen —Publishers Weekly (List price: $24.95)

Gone! Sent to Michael of Brooklyn, New York
The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell | “Who knew that New York City was once the oyster capital of the world, and that at one time it held half of the earth’s supply, harvesting 700 million in 1880 alone? Or that oysters were not just a delicacy for aristocrats but also affordable, cheap even, sustenance for working folk. Tom Stechschulte’s pairing with Kurlansky’s (Salt, Cod) ode to the heyday of the Crassostrea virginicas (the eastern oyster) is a dead-on perfect match. With an authoritative yet amiable tone and sounding very much like Gene Hackman, Stechschulte delivers the information in as calm and instructive, yet wholly engaging way. The Big Oyster is a cautionary tale of man’s nature, which lays waste to any exploitable resource, with conservation always a tardy afterthought. Stechschulte’s fine reading entertains while educating about how New York City, once known for its oysters and concretely connected to the sea, slowly becomes an island unto itself, losing its connection to its surrounding waterways completely and, along the way, lost some of its unique identity to the name of progress.” by Mark Kurlansky —Publishers Weekly (List price: $14.95)

It’s true — just email me for a free book while they’re still available! UPDATE: The books are gone.

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