Monday, December 30, 2013

University of Iowa Press Annual Holiday Sale Ending Tomorrow!

There is one day left for our holiday sale! Stock up on books up to 65% off while you still can! We have a large selection of books for all of the readers in your life. From new titles to cookbooks to pocket guides, it's all there.

Check out our sale books here. Hurry and order your favorites from the UI Press!

Friday, December 27, 2013

For the History Buff in Your Life

The end of our holiday sale is quickly approaching. Get our books at prices up to 65% off while you still can! We're sure to have a book for all of the loved ones in your life. You can browse through our selections here.

Here are just a few books that are on sale now…

by Lowell J. Soike
Iowa and the Midwest Experience

"Soike tells the stories of those individuals—enslaved and free, black and white, male and female—who had the 'necessary courage' to prevail against the tragedy of slavery."—Dearanda Johnson, Midwest regional manager, National Park Service's Network to Freedom

Regular Price: $24.95
Sale Price: $15.00

by Philip C. Gerber and Charlotte Wright
Bur Oak Book

The lively letters home of young "Bachelor Bess" Corey as she faces the realities of life in an Iowa country school system with energy, enthusiasm, and ambition.

Regular Price: $25.00
Sale Price: $14.00

Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Holidays!

The University of Iowa Press wishes you a very happy and safe holiday season. This is always a good time to reflect, and we couldn't be more pleased with this past year. Thank you for your continued readership and support. We can't wait to see wait the next year has in store for us. We hope you're spending these holidays like we are: keeping warm and reading a good book.

A very happy holiday to you all!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Bur Oak Guides on Sale Just in Time for the Holidays!

It's that time year of again, and the University of Iowa Press' annual holiday sale is well underway! Find great books for up to 65% off for all of the readers in your life.

Here are just a few of the books that are on sale now…

Forest and Shade Trees of Iowa, Third Edition
by Peter van der Linden and Donald Farrar
Bur Oak Guide

"Amateur naturalists, professional scientists, and landowners in Iowa and beyond—in fact, tree lovers everywhere—will enjoy this much-appreciated update of a widely used classic."—John Pearson, ecologist, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Regular Price: $34.95
Sale Price: $17.50

Turtles in Your Pocket: A Guide to Freshwater and Terrestrial Turtles of the Upper Midwest
by Terry VanDeWalle, photographs by Suzanne L. Collins
Bur Oak Guide

Regular Price: $9.95
Sale Price: $6.00

Snakes and Lizards in Your Pocket: A Guide to Reptiles of the Upper Midwest
by Terry VanDeWalle, photographs by Suzanne L. Collins
Bur Oak Guide

Regular Price: $9.95
Sale Price: $6.00

Frogs and Toads in Your Pocket: A Guide to Amphibians of the Upper Midwest
by Terry VanDeWalle, photographs by Suzanne L. Collins
Bur Oak Guide

Regular Price: $9.95
Sale Price: $5.00

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Plant of the Week: kitten tails

Besseya bullii (Eat.) Rydb., also called Wulfenia bullii (Eat.) Barnh.

other common names: 
Bull’s synthesis
Besseya: named for Bessey, a well-known botanist
Bullii: named for its discoverer, George Bull
Snapdragon family: Scrophulariaceae

Wildflowers of the Tallgrass Prairie: The Upper Midwest, Second Edition, by Sylvan Runkel and Dean M. Roosa, photographs by Thomas Rosburg

Monday, December 16, 2013

Douglas Bauer on Author2Author

Douglas Bauer, author of What Happens Next? Matters of Life and Death, will be interviewed by Author2Author, part of BlogTalk Radio, tomorrow! Tune in by visiting their website. In the meantime, let us know if you'll be listening by joining our Facebook event.

Date: Tuesday, December 17
Time: 4:00 P.M.4:30 P.M.

Praise for What Happens Next?
"Douglas Bauer's prose is as bracing as clear, cold water, its depths stunningly visible from the surface. What Happens Next? is a work of extraordinary empathy and great art."—Bernard Cooper

"A literate, thoughtful memoir/essay collection from the heartland."—Kirkus

Friday, December 13, 2013

Gardening the Amana Way

Looking for a holiday gift for the gardener in your life?
"This book has something for everyone, with a plant list, gardener’s almanac, and even recipes. Rettig’s pride in the Amana colonies is apparent. This book provides a welcomed alternative for tourists to craft shops and restaurants, a view of everyday life in these fascinating communities." - Adele Kleine, volunteer and garden writer, Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago Botanic Garden

See full review here.

Plant of the Week: prairie smoke

Prairie smoke
Geum triflorum Pursh

other common names
: old man’s whiskers, Johnny smokers
Geum: the ancient Latin name used by Pliny for this group
Triflorum: from Latin, meaning “three-flowered”
Rose family: Rosaceae

Wildflowers of the Tallgrass Prairie: The Upper Midwest, Second Edition, by Sylvan Runkel and Dean M. Roosa, photographs by Thomas Rosburg

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Give an Iowa Cookbook this Season!

Still holiday shopping? The University of Iowa Press is currently holding our annual holiday sale. We've got great books covering a wide range of topics and interests for up to 65% off. Buy some for your loved ones or buy some for yourself!

Here are just a few of the books that are on sale now…

Gardening the Amana Way
by Lawrence L. Rettig
Bur Oak Book

As a child of parents who were part of the communal life of the Amana Society, Larry Rettig pays homage to the Amana gardening tradition and extends it into the twenty-first century and extends his gardening advice into the kitchen. He shares family recipes for radish salad, dumpling soup, Amana pickled ham, apple bread, and more!

Regular Price: $27.50
Sale Price: $15.00

A Cook's Tour of Iowa
by Susan Puckett
Bur Oak Book

"This book may shock the food snobs of America because Iowa's down-home cuisine is not dull after all."--Des Moines Register

"…a combination oral history and cookbook which should delight aficionados of Americana."--Cookbook Digest

"Puckett tapped into the culture of America's Middle West and the result is a book that will give Iowans cause for pride."--World of Cookbooks

Regular Price: $23.00
Sale Price: $5.00

Monday, December 9, 2013

Bur Oak Books for Readers of All Ages -- On Sale!

If you missed (or avoided) Black Friday and Cyber Monday but still need some great gifts, check out the University of Iowa Press's holiday sale! Find great books for up to 65% for all of the readers in your life.

Here are just a few of the books included…

Where Do Birds Live?
by Claudia McGehee
Bur Oak Blog

"An an artist and a nature enthusiast, I am completely enthralled by Where Do Birds Live? Beauty is everywhere if one only slows down to look for it. This lovely book is a good reminder of that."--Stan Fellows, illustrator, The Cuckoo's Haiku and Other Birding Poems

Regular Price: $17.95
Sale Price: $8.00

illustrated by James F. Landenberger
essays by Dean M. Roosa, Jon W. Stravers, Bruce Ehresman, and Rich Patterson
Bur Oak Book

"To pioneer homesteaders, a hawk in the sky was reason to reach for a gun. Now, with out better understanding of the raptors' ecological importance and of their perilous future, a wheeling red tail against the sun is something to cherish, not kill. In The Raptors of Iowa, artist and authors have given to all who are interested in midwestern birds a book that will set the standard for years to come."--J. Fenwick Lansdowne

Regular Price: $29.95
Sale Price: $14.00

Happy shopping!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Andrea M. Jones: reading, signing, & blogging

Michael's On Main in Canon City, Colorado will be hosting a reading and reception for Andrea M. Jones, author of Between Urban and Wild: Reflections from Colorado. Andrea Jones will be reading from and signing copies of her new book. If you plan on attending, RSVP at our Facebook event!

Reading & Reception
Date: Saturday, December 7
Time: 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Location: Michael's On Main, 605 Main St., Canon City, CO

Can't make it to the reading? Get your nature writing fix at Andrea Jones' new blog, Between Urban and Wild!

Praise for Between Urban and Wild
In Between Urban and Wild, Andrea Jones explores the dangers and contradictions of establishing her home between urban and wild lands. Wasting no energy on blame, anger, or excuses, she examines ways to live more responsibly, demonstrating how we must thoughtfully adjust to our surroundings rather than changing the landscape to fit our whims."—Linda M. Hasselstrom, author, No Place Like Home: Notes from a Western Life

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Hot off the Press: SALAMANDERS IN YOUR POCKET, by Terry VanDeWalle

The University of Iowa Press is proud to announce the release of our newest Bur Oak Guide, Salamanders in Your Pocket: A Guide to Caudates of the Upper Midwest, by Terry VanDeWalle and photographs by Suzanne L. Collins.

Terry VanDeWalle provides a complete description of each series as well as distinguishing characteristics for twenty-one subspecies, from the striking orange and yellow spots of the spotted salamander to the lichenlike patches of the green salamander to the prominent rounded head of the mole salamander. He also includes information about the salamanders' range and habitat preferences, from twilight zones of limestone caves and crevices to seepages and spring-fed bogs. Superb photographs by Suzanne Collins make this new guide the perfect companion for outdoor expeditions in all kinds of moist environments.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


The University of Iowa Press is proud to present our newest Iowa and the Midwest Experience book, The Lost Region: Toward a Revival of Midwestern History, by Jon K. Lauck!

Praise for The Lost Region
"Jon Lauck justifiably laments the neglect of the Midwest by both the contemporary media and, more surprisingly, by historians, but this book is a robust and persuasive response rather than a complaint. The Midwest is vital to any explanation of the United States, and at one time midwesterners—particularly his Prairie Historians—explained the region to itself and praised its importance to the rest of the country. He is right. Historians need to refill the space they once occupied."—Richard White, Stanford University

"The Lost Region should be a significant contribution to midwestern history. As far as I know, no one has pulled together such a substantial reflection of the past and potential future of the field."—Pamela Riney-Kehrberg, Iowa State University

Plant of the Week: water hemlock

Water hemlock
Cicuta maculata L.

other common names: beaver poison, cowbane, musquash root, spotted cowbane, spotted hemlock
Cicuta: the ancient Latin name for poison hemlock
Maculata: from Latin, meaning “spotted” or “mottled”
Parsley family: Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)

Wildflowers of the Tallgrass Prairie: The Upper Midwest, Second Edition, by Sylvan Runkel and Dean M. Roosa, photographs by Thomas Rosburg

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Interview with Andrea M. Jones: part 3

Andrea M. Jones is the author of Between Urban and Wild: Reflections from Colorado, published just this month. University of Iowa Press editor Holly Carver asked her a few questions about the book.

HC: You’re obviously comfortable reading and writing on both literary and scientific subjects. How have you managed to bridge the communications gap between these two worlds?
AMJ: This topic is (to me) so interesting I could write a dissertation on it... oh, wait, I did: my PhD dissertation focused on the public’s perception of science.

When it comes to communication about science, I think the problem is an overabundance of garbled messages rather than a gap. The spillover from academic bickering about the two cultures of science and literature or the rift between science and religion as a way of explaining the universe only adds to the muddle because it implies that you have to pick a side, which is just silly. The situation is further confused because a lot of the chatter about science and science education fails to make a distinction between doing science and learning about science. The skills and frame of mind that make for good scientific research are particular and specialized, but the average Joe or Jane doesn’t need to be an amateur scientist, they just need to feel free to pursue the topics that interest them.

I interpret the idea of scientific literacy in a very basic way: reading about how the world works. There’s a universe of popular science writing out there that’s clear, accessible, and thought-provoking, and a lot of it is beautifully crafted, too. I read mostly nonfiction, but I don’t want to make too much of genre categories. I was a heavy user of science fiction in my youth. Natural history frequently offers a seamless crossover into scientific topics. Biography, memoir, and history can all weave writing about science in with their primary subjects.

HC: As your editor, I appreciate the fact that you are an editor yourself. How has this kind of detailed work on others’ manuscripts affected your own writing?
AMJ: I’ve done some editing and proofreading in various capacities over the years, but my focus now is on indexing, which is kind of a hidden niche in the publishing world—a lot of people don’t realize that indexes (good ones, anyway) are a form of written text, not computer-generated.

Editing and indexing both emphasize the needs of the reader over the desires of the writer. Now, I won’t say that I always live up to the ideal of clarity, but I do aspire to bring the reader along with me, whether I’m following the trail of an idea or trying to capture the look of a place or the feel of an event. When I get stuck while writing, I’ll sometimes use the same technique I rely on when I come across a convoluted passage in a book I’m creating an index for, stepping back and asking myself, “What is this about, really?” If I can keep the writing oriented so that it relates to the “aboutness” of the piece, even if the narrative is moving around a lot, I stand a better chance of making it work.

The other question I ask when I get stuck is one that an editor might ask on behalf of the reader: “So what?” Writing words down is a solitary activity, but written communication is ultimately a social endeavor. Without readers the process is incomplete. If I don’t offer something that matters not just to me but to some reader somewhere, then the writing is bound to short-circuit and fail.

HC: What are you working on now?
AMJ: My local terrain constantly offers up new material, and I continue to work on essays inspired by the events and issues around me. What I’m most focused on at the moment, however, is a project that’s been steeping in the back of my mind for a long time. Like Between Urban and Wild, the new book (tentatively titled Identity’s Edge) is about the human relationship to the world, but in this case I’m exploring how individuality and the sense of self emerge from the body’s interactions with its environment. 

Don't miss your chance to meet Andrea Jones and hear her read from her new book! She will be in Boulder, Colorado tomorrow night to give a reading.

Date: Thursday, November 21
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: Boulder Book Store, 1107 Pearl St., Boulder, CO

Between Urban and Wild: Reflections from Colorado, by Andrea M. Jones

Monday, November 18, 2013

Interview with Andrea M. Jones: part 2

Andrea M. Jones is the author of Between Urban and Wild: Reflections from Colorado, published just this month. University of Iowa Press acquisitions editor Holly Carver asked her a few questions about the book. We'll be posting the final section of the interview on Wednesday!

HC: In Between Urban and Wild you focus on the realities of settling and living in a partially wild environment. Have you ever lived in a totally urban environment?
AMJ: I lived “in town” in Boulder during college, and Doug and I lived in a condo a few blocks from downtown there before we moved to Fourmile Canyon, but in the sense of big-city urban living, no.

I’m fascinated at how major urban areas like New York City function. Although we gravitate toward destinations where we can hike when we make travel plans, Doug and I often incorporate “city breaks,” in which we partake of public transportation and walk-to amenities for a few days. And when we talk about retirement, we talk about settling someplace urban. As much as I love my home ground, I can foresee a time when the chores and harsh weather and distance are more than we want to cope with. Between Urban and Wild is a chronicle of the effort to be present in a place, and attentiveness is portable. Urban areas are very much a part of our world, and they represent a type of environment I’d like to dedicate some time to exploring at some point in my life.

HC: Tell us more about your horses.
AMJ: Sadly, Max died in January 2012. He developed a case of colic after a string of hot days (temperatures in the low 50s, in January) followed by a cold snap; we think he wasn’t drinking enough water once it got cold to keep his digestive tract moving, and he developed an impaction. For Doug and me, our horses are our family, and Max’s death was devastating. He was a great horse and a great character.

Jake is Moondo’s new pasture-mate. He’s a dapple gray Quarter Horse-Percheron cross, the Percheron being a draft breed. He’s about the same height as Max was, but a totally different build: stocky and massive. He’s got a sweet personality but was spoiled as a youngster. He assumes everyone loves him, so he tends to walk up too close or push too hard for a scratch or snoop too aggressively at a pocket where he thinks there might be a treat, none of which is all that endearing when an animal weighs around 1400 pounds. We continue to whittle away at his bratty habits, which is made easier by the fact that he’s smart and wants to please, and is frustrating in that he’s a little bit of a smart aleck.

Jake pushes Moondo around but seems to have developed a respect for Moondo’s experience when it comes to dealing with their environment. This was no doubt helped along by the fact that Jake got bit on the nose by a rattlesnake a few months after his arrival. I can’t help but think that Moondo was dancing around behind him at the time, trying to convince Jake to leave that thing alone!!

Jake is nine years old and remarkably athletic for his size. He loves a good run across the field, and when I ride Moondo in the arena he will sometimes canter laps up and down the pasture to keep himself occupied. Moondo, now nineteen, is healthy and, with Jake as a personal trainer, more fit even when he’s not being ridden regularly. He’s still sweet and, if it is possible, more maddeningly persnickety than ever. He still loves his pasture, hates the barn, and has very firm ideas about the daily routine and what activities the neighbors should NOT pursue, notably target shooting and riding ATVs.

HC: What are your favorite natural areas?
AMJ: The glib response is the one I’m in at the time, which is usually the landscape around our home. I like the element of exploration that a new place affords, and I like the sense of recognition that comes with visiting a familiar spot. I’m easily entertained by small details, so vastness and grandeur aren’t important criteria. Still, the deserts of the Southwest’s Colorado Plateau fire my psyche in a way that no other place does—any place in Red Rock country will do.

Having said all that, the recent drought has got me thinking how nice it might be to explore a wet coastal environment for a change.

Between Urban and Wild: Reflections from Colorado, by Andrea M. Jones

Friday, November 15, 2013

Gardening in November

Friday, November 24's probably time to harvest most of the greens and put a period to things before another Arctic storm comes along and makes its own conclusion. I'm not looking to set any outdoor records, just to keep eating our homegrown stuff as long as we can.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Andrea M. Jones: reading

Andrea M. Jones will be giving another reading this week in Denver, Colorado, as part of the Rocky Mountain Land Series. She will be reading from her new book, Between Urban and Wild: Reflections from Colorado.

Date: Saturday, November 16
Time: 2:00 P.M.
Location: Tattered Cover Book Store, 1628 16th St., Denver, CO

We hope you can all join Andrea on her mini book tour! If you're planning on attend, please join our Facebook event.

Praise for Between Urban and Wild
"Westerners have arrived at a Y in Nature's rocky road—a forked path littered with ethical questions. In Between Urban and Wild, Andrea Jones offers humble and probing answers to the question of whether it's too late for Westerners to find an integral way of being with the land, and not just on the land. Her book offers hope."—Page Lambert, author, In Search of Kinship: Modern Pioneering on the Western Landscape

Between Urban and Wild: Reflections from Colorado, by Andrea M. Jones

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Interview with Andrea M. Jones: part 1

Andrea M. Jones is the author of Between Urban and Wild: Reflections from Colorado, published just this month. University of Iowa Press acquisitions editor Holly Carver asked her a few questions about the book. Come back next week to read the rest of the interview!

HC: You’re a native of Colorado. How has your homeplace influenced your writing?
AMJ: That issue of nativeness has essentially been my topic for the past few years, so my background in Colorado has most recently been an impetus to write, full stop. More generally and looking forward, I’d have to say that living in a place that calls my attention outward—with nice scenery and dramatic weather and very evident development pressures—urges me to resist being too self-referential. First-person narrative has the advantage of giving readers the sense that they’re connecting with a specific person, but I want to use my frame of reference as a point of departure, not as the destination.

HC: Who are your inspirations among nature writers and writers of place?
AMJ: Edward Abbey was an early influence, as I mention in Between Urban and Wild. Terry Tempest Williams shaped my perspective on the give-and-take between a person and the environment, and she’s also a role model for the craft of writing. In terms of thinking of and writing about place and constructing elegant essays, I am in awe of Scott Russell Sanders. Linda M. Hasselstrom, in both her writing and through the retreats she offers at her family ranch in South Dakota, pushed me to think longer and harder about the relationship between people and landscape and what that relationship means for those of us who live on the land but don’t make our living from it. And in the broader sense of the human place in the world, including the world of ideas, Mary Catherine Bateson’s Peripheral Visions: Learning Along the Way is a book I return to over and over again.

HC: You’re responding to my questions while, once again, it’s wildfire season in Colorado. How do you live with these annual dangers?
AMJ: Although we’ve been under persistent drought conditions for several years now, the fire risk will always be here—it’s built into the ecology of the region. There are days when I can put on my pragmatic hat and do some more planning; talk through evacuation scenarios with my husband, Doug; or go outside and pick a chore that counts as mitigation or that reduces an ignition risk around the house or barn. There are other days when I’m worn down by the anxiety and stress and wish I could just leave the whole issue behind. Aspects of our intense and destructive fires are climate-driven, however, and I know we are hardly alone in coming to terms with extreme weather events.

Trying to learn more about a topic is one of my coping mechanisms, so I continue to read and seek out information. And it remains true that fire season pushes me to be more attentive to our surroundings. This year, I am amazed yet again at how quickly and effectively the native grasses and wildflowers take advantage of whatever precipitation comes their way.

Between Urban and Wild: Reflections from Colorado by Andrea M. Jones