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Reading Group: The Reindeer Chronicles

Author Judith Schwartz

We’re thrilled that Judith Schwartz will be joining us as our guest speaker at our upcoming annual gathering on October 14th —please save the date and reserve your ticket(s) today

Judith will be discussing the intersection of the environment and community as well as her book The Reindeer Chronicles. The evening will also include dinner and dessert by Montgomery's own Lily Powers and Dave Bott who've provided the fantastic fare at our last two events, a raffle which will open online ahead of the event, as well as a CHC update and Board member re-elections.

In preparation for our annual gathering, we invite our members (you all!) to come together and join a group of readers in active discovery! Compliments of Phoenix Books* (the owners, Renee Reiner and Mike DeSanto are members of our newest CHC Woodlots group!), we have 30 books available on a first-come, first-served basis to anyone interested in reading Judith’s book together with us this summer. 


The Active Discovery Reading Group Format, Starting 8/12: 

We would like to provide an opportunity for active discussion and engagement around the ideas presented in The Reindeer Chronicles within the context of our own landscape. Starting in mid-August, we’ll send those who sign up for our reading group four thought questions that pertain to each chapter of the book as well as offer the chance to ask Judith one question. We will continue with this format, sending you questions that pertain to one chapter each week through the end of September. Each week’s reading is no more than 30 pages and the questions are grounded in the reading, but often place-based here in our region. All of the information will be collated and curated, with a selection of the reading group's questions for Judith posed to her at the annual gathering. We will also host a lively virtual discussion after everyone has finished reading the book on Thursday, October 7 (specific time TBD) to kick-start the conversation ahead of the event.

Please contact CHC Vice President Nancy Patch here to sign up and to reserve your copy of the Reindeer Chronicles today! All readers encouraged, regardless of whether you will be reading a copy donated by Phoenix Books, already have a copy of The Reindeer Chronicles, will be borrowing a copy from your local library, or would like to purchase one separately (we of course encourage you to buy it from Phoenix Books!)If you are reserving a copy, please include your mailing address and phone number to facilitate book distribution. 

Come join us, this will be fun!

*Proudly independent, Phoenix Books serves book lovers in VT and beyond with a diverse, hand-picked selection of books and gifts for all ages. Shop online or visit them in Essex, Burlington and Rutland. 


Review: The Reindeer Chronicles

By Nancy Patch, CHC Vice President

I do my share of non-fiction reading about the environment and when I read through a copy of The Reindeer Chronicles, I fell in love with it. The stories of perseverance, ownership and problem solving capacity across the globe found me thinking squarely about our work here at Cold Hollow to Canada. Judith shows that work we do here at home is a planet changing endeavor. I found myself writing down quotes from the book that resonated with me.  

The state of a given landscape mirrors the consciousness of those who dwell there.

This tells me that the world is what we make of it and what we do matters more than the single actions we take. It is a collective undertaking.  

A landscape that is suffering gives rise to people who are suffering.

The converse is a landscape that is healthy and whole and can lead to a community that is healthy and whole. There can be no better avenue toward environmental justice than ensuring that the place where we live remains intact and welcoming to all. One cannot exist without the other. In our own landscape we can strive to heal past harms as we protect and conserve the integrity and connectivity of the ecosystem. I place my own hope in the future that we build together.  

Environmental healing to promote human healing, shifting to possibilities.

We do not know all the answers to reaching our goals at CHC, but we can stay open to the shifting possibilities.  


Other Reviews:

“The Reindeer Chronicles is a resource of ecosystem restoration pioneers. As Judith reveals, the eco-restoration process is more than just about the land. It is a process that involves the interconnected workings of the environment, the economy and society. Judith is an engaging and skilled story teller. She brings her subjects and their work to life. Also she shows us how the power of inspiration can lift the human spirit, open the heart and restore our American “can do” attitude.”  

—Margot Taylor, owner of Principle Land Ethics

“It can be hard to be an environmental optimist these days. Schwartz’s reporting lights the way forward, helping us to stay optimistic in a world that all too often seems to conspire against faith in a better world.”

—David Montgomery author of Dirt and Growing a Revolution

“Bolstered by a hopeful tone, Schwartz’s study shows what can be accomplished to ensure that the green orb we sail on remains fit for habitation.”  

—Publishers Weekly