2013 Reading the West Shortlist

— Mountain & Plains Independent Booksellers Association

“You might say it started with the bird feeder….”

So begins Between Urban and Wild, a collection of essays by Colorado native Andrea M. Jones. Reflecting on the familiar details of country living as well as the larger responsibilities of life outside the urban boundary, Jones offers a calm, carefully reasoned perspective on place. Operating partly on a practical level, partly on a naturalist’s level, Between Urban and Wild honors the subtleties of the natural world while illuminating the importance of working to safeguard it.

Jones writes about life at the urban-wild interface from two different homes in the Colorado Rockies, first in Fourmile Canyon west of Boulder, then near Cap Rock Ridge in central Colorado. Whether negotiating territory with a mountain lion, working to reduce her property’s vulnerability to wildfire, or decoding the distinct personalities of her horses, she offers useful and engaging perspectives on natural beauty, and the nature of home.

— Linda M. Hasselstrom

“Wasting no energy on blame, anger, or excuses, [Jones] examines ways to live more responsibly, demonstrating how we must thoughtfully adjust to our surroundings rather than changing the landscape to fit our whims.”

— Page Lambert

“…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.”

— Susan J. Tweit

“Jones is the rare writer about nature and the land who loves deeply but is not blinded by her affection. In this slim volume of essays, she looks at life in general and life in the rural West in particular with a truly reflective eye, an appreciation for irony, and a wry sense of humor.”

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