Upstream
by Langdon Cook (read by John H. Mayer)
Random House Audio

Despite its focus on salmon, this exceptional book will give you an overarching appreciation for nature. Upstream argues that the health of wild salmon runs is an indicator of our own health as a society. The picture, while not rosy, is not doom-laden, either, according to Langdon Cook. While traversing salmon country (the Pacific northwest and Alaska), he seeks out the people who have devoted their lives to salmon, including commercial and tribal fishermen, scientists, activists, chefs and even a “masturbator of fish”. Amid fascinating facts about the life cycle of salmon – and how their death and decay promote other life – we learn about the human-induced problems behind their decline in numbers. Upstream is a call for greater understanding of “virtuous circles”.