Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Nina Munteanu Talks Water and Writing on Minddog TV


 

I was recently interviewed by Matt Nappo on Minddog TV in New York, where we talked about the science and magic of water, climate change and how to not become cynical, the process of writing, what scares us and what takes us through it into great storytelling.

 

Here’s the interview: 

  


Tuesday, January 12, 2021

"The Best Books I Have Read This Year--2020




Author and reviewer Lee Hall recently compiled his list of the twenty best books he read in 2020. Says Lee:

It’s hard to believe that we’ve got to this point but we have. For all the words you could use to describe the dumpster fire that is and was 2020 I am going to use the word grateful. 

Grateful for the authors who have provided me with not only an escape through their wonderful works but grateful to them for providing a vital centre pillar of content for this blog – reviews. Some of these creators have become friends and important connections in the world of online authoring for me. This post is dedicated to them and the best books I have read this year. 

While the criteria of ‘best books’ is derived mainly from my own personal taste it is also influenced by how many views the review got on here along with my admiration for the author. These works are an extension of some wonderful personalities who make up an incredible community.

A Diary in the Age of Water was among the books Lee chose for 2020 reading:

‘A Diary in the Age of Water’ by Nina Munteanu

A truly important once in a generation read that flows like a wild river right through your imagination and heart– Quote from my review

I’m being 100% serious when I say ‘A Diary in the Age of Water’ is one of the most powerful books I’ve ever read. For what it stands for is truly a statement towards our own damning of this beautiful planet and our most precious resource – water. Canadian Author Nina Munteanu has put together a masterful look at where we could possibly end up if we don’t act. This one was another Reedsy Discovery find and thus totally justified my joining of the platform well and truly!

LEE HALL

 


Nina Munteanu is a Canadian ecologist / limnologist and novelist. She is co-editor of Europa SF and currently teaches writing courses at George Brown College and the University of Toronto. Nina’s bilingual “La natura dell’acqua / The Way of Water” was published by Mincione Edizioni in Rome. Her non-fiction book “Water Is…” was selected by Margaret Atwood in the New York Times ‘Year in Reading’ and was chosen as the 2017 Summer Read by Water Canada. Her novel “A Diary in the Age of Water” was released by Inanna Publications in 2020. Visit www.ninamunteanu.ca for the latest on her books.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Twelve Books on Climate and Environment for the Holidays

Gift guide: 12 books on climate can environment for the holidays

 




“For this year’s holiday gift guide,” writes Dr. Michael Svoboda, “Yale Climate Connections has gathered celebrated anthologies, deep-dives into climate-related science and solutions, inspiring books from or about spiritual leaders, and visionary works of climate fiction.”

 

All were recently published, some within the month, writes Svoboda. These twelve books address decades of writing on climate change, reassess the challenges, offer hope and guidance for action, and envision very different climate-changed futures.

 

There is, for instance, the anthology The Fragile Earth: Writing from the New Yorker on Climate Change (Harper Collins),which includes Bill McKibben’s seminal essay “The End of Nature.” The anthology All We Can Save (Penguin Random House) edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkinson is a collection of works dedicated to leadership “more characteristically feminine and more faithfully feminist, rooted in compassion, connection, creativity, and collaboration.” Hope, guide to action and challenges are provided by Future Sea (University of Chicago Press) by Deborah Rowan Wright, The New Map (Penguin Random House) by Daniel Yergin, Solved:How the World’s Great Cities are Fixing the Climate Crisis (University of Toronto Press) by David Miller, Let Us Dream (Simon & Schuster) by Pope Francis. Tales of Two Planets(Penguin Random House) edited by John Freeman explores inequality and the impact of climate change.

 

Stand Up! Speak Up! (Penguin Random House) by Andrew Joyner celebrates the inspiration of youth in taking up action through hope, activism and community. Our Only Home: A Climate Appeal to the World (Hanover Square) by the Dalai Lama and Franz Alt is a manifesto that will empower us to take action and save the environment. 

 

The novel The 2084 Report(Simon & Schuster) by James Lawrence Powell provides an “oral history” through interviews of the devastating effects of the Great Warming, which are both fascinating and frightening. My own novel A Diary in the Age of Water(Inanna Publications) chronicles the journeys of four generations of women, each carrying a unique relationship with water over a time of catastrophic change. Told in the form of a diary by a limnologist, the story explores a Canada mined for its water by United States, which, in turn, is owned by China. The Ministry for the Future (Hachette Book Group—Orbit) a novel by Kim Stanley Robinson uses fictional eyewitness accounts to tell the story of how climate change will affect us all.

 

Yale Climate Connections:

Edited by veteran journalist and journalism educator Bud Ward, Yale Climate Connections provides content developed by a network of experienced independent freelance science journalists, researchers, and educators across the country.Yale Climate Connections is an initiative of the Yale Center for Environmental Communication (YCEC), directed by Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz of the Yale School of the Environment, Yale University.

 

Dr. Michael Svobodais an expert on climate change, a professor at George Washington University, and frequent contributor to Yale Climate Connections.





Nina Munteanu is a Canadian ecologist / limnologist and novelist. She is co-editor of Europa SF and currently teaches writing courses at George Brown College and the University of Toronto. Nina’s bilingual “La natura dell’acqua / The Way of Water” was published by Mincione Edizioni in Rome. Her non-fiction book “Water Is…” was selected by Margaret Atwood in the New York Times ‘Year in Reading’ and was chosen as the 2017 Summer Read by Water Canada. Her novel “A Diary in the Age of Water” was released by Inanna Publications in 2020. Visit www.ninamunteanu.ca for the latest on her books.

 

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

"A Diary in the Age of Water" Gets Literary Titan Award


Nina Munteanu’s cli-fi eco-novel “A Diary in the Age of Water” was awarded a Silver Literary Titan Award for a book that:

expertly delivers complex characters, intricate worlds, and thought provoking themes. The ease with which the story is told is a reflection of the author’s talent in exercising fluent, powerful, and appropriate language.”–Literary Titan

“A Diary in the Age of Water” received a 4-star review by Literary Titan:

While bringing attention to the current politicization of climate change, the story maintains important underlying themes like family, love, forgiveness, and the complexity of the human soul. The author has gone to great lengths to show that there are different layers to each character, none fully evil nor fully good. A Diary in the Age of Water is an exceptional and thought-provoking dystopian fiction.
—LITERARY TITAN (4-star)

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Farewell Summer, Hello Autumn!

After a satisfying exploration day and photo-shoot of the fall colours now draping many of the trees in Ontario’s countryside, I decided to cheer Summer out and cheer Autumn in. It was a few days after the first day of Fall, after all. 

 I decided on a mint julep. It’s the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, which kicks off the summer in Louisville Kentucky where the derby takes place. Kentucky is best known for two things: its horses and its world-class bourbon. There is no better place or event that combines these two icons than the Kentucky Derby, called “the most exciting two minutes in sports.” The mint julep became the official drink of the Kentucky Derby in 1938, keeping wide-brimmed and well-heeled track-goers loose-limbed and happy ever since. 

The mint julep is a wonderfully refreshing summer drink and simple to make, so long as you have the ingredients: bourbon, sugar, ice, and fresh mint. 

Friend Merridy just happened to be about to harvest her mint from the garden and I had a bottle of Buffalo Trace Straight Bourbon. Buffalo Trace Bourbon is a great sipping bourbon: 90 proof well-rounded bourbon with initial aroma containing elements of spice, sautéed butter and old leather gloves; sweet and almost fruity, with oak, cinnamon, nutmeg, honey tar and beeswax, ending with a spirited and feisty finish. Like I said, a good sipping bourbon. 



I was about to make the simple syrup but found a recipe that would adapt this drink to Canada: maple syrup! Cookie + Kate offer this unique twist on the classic recipe for mint julep that uses Canadian maple syrup as a wonderful substitute to simple syrup. Says Kate: “Bourbon and maple syrup are a flavor pairing made in heaven, and the maple syrup adds another subtle layer of flavor.” 


The ingredients are equally simple:
 
• 10 fresh mint leaves 
• 2 oz bourbon 
• 2 teaspoons maple syrup 
• crushed ice 

 Here are the steps:
 
1. Muddle some mint leaves in a sturdy glass with a spoon (or with a mortar and pestle) until the leaves are dark, fragrant and broken down, about 30 seconds (muddling helps release essential oils and juices into the bourbon and sugar to intensify the mint flavour and aroma) 

2. Add the maple syrup and the bourbon to the muddled mint (in the mortar or the glass, depending on where you muddled) and transfer to a glass 

3. Top off with crushed ice and a sprig of mint (Kate advises that you “clap the sprig of mint before garnishing” because clapping the sprig once between your hands releases a lot of the natural oils in the mind, making it more fragrant) 

4. Settle outside on the patio and enjoy the first days of Autumn with a view of the fall colours.





Nina Munteanu is a Canadian ecologist / limnologist and novelist. She is co-editor of Europa SF and currently teaches writing courses at George Brown College and the University of Toronto. Nina’s bilingual “La natura dell’acqua / The Way of Water” was published by Mincione Edizioni in Rome. Her non-fiction book “Water Is…” was selected by Margaret Atwood in the New York Times ‘Year in Reading’ and was chosen as the 2017 Summer Read by Water Canada. Her novel “A Diary in the Age of Water” was released by Inanna Publications in 2020. Visit www.ninamunteanu.ca for the latest on her books.