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ONLINE Book Club: Audubon at Home: The Overstory

June 16, 2020 , 5:30 pm 6:30 pm

Pre-registration is required by 3 p.m. CDT Thursday, June 11th, and space is limited.

UPDATE: This online book club is now full. Check out our other online offerings here.

In response to social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are offering free online courses as a public service to help folks continue to learn about the birds they love and the natural world. While these will initially be offered for free, please support our work if you are able and make a tax-deductible donation at alaudubon.org/give. Please make sure to comply with all state and local social-distancing regulations. See our full COVID-19 statement here.

Join Alabama Audubon’s Office Manager, Alliemarie Humphries, as we read through The Overstory by Richard Powers, winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction and shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize. Powers takes readers through the life stories of nine Americans whose experiences with trees brings them together to face the issue of deforestation.

Where and when do we meet? This online book club will meet on six consecutive Tuesdays (6/16, 6/23, 6/30, 7/7, 7/14, 7/21) from 5:30–6:30 p.m. CDT. It will be an hour-long discussion. Click on the registration link above to sign up, and you’ll receive the instructions on how to join the meeting via a confirmation email.*

*Please note, you will receive a separate email with the Zoom meeting instructions before the class (likely within the week before). You’ll need the meeting ID and password from this email to join the meeting. In the event the link does not work for you, you may need to go to the Zoom website and manually enter the meeting ID and password.

Registration: Class size is limited to 10 to allow for adequate sharing. To register, click on the button above. If you’re new to our online system and don’t yet have a username and password, simply click the “X” on the pop up and fill out the basic form.

Please only register if you intend to take the online course. We’ve had a lot of people reach out after these offerings fill up who want to take them, and we want to ensure everyone has a spot that wants one! Also, please double check your email and make sure it’s a valid email address prior to completing your registration. We’ve had several kick-backs when sending the Zoom meeting instructions out to registrants, and you won’t be able to join the meeting without this information. Thanks!

The book: All participants are required to purchase their own copy of the book The Overstory by Richard Powers. You are more than welcome to purchase the book in a format that best suits your reading preferences. We encourage registrants to support their local book store when possible. Please plan to have a copy of the book before the start date to allow yourself time to read the first assigned section. Below is the schedule of reading and discussion dates:

June 16th: Pages 1–72
June 23rd: Pages 72–152
June 30th: Chapter: Trunk, part 1 (pages 153–256)
July 7th: Chapter: Trunk, part 2 (pages 256–352)
July 14th: Chapter: Crown (pages 353–473)
July 21st: Chapter: Seeds (pages 473–512)

To Purchase: The book is available to purchase through your local book store, Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, and other book retailers. Support local book stores through Bookshop when ordering online. When purchasing through Amazon, be sure to use Amazon Smile and select Alabama Audubon for an easy donation to our organization!

Questions? Email the Office Manager.

About the Book:

The Overstory, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, is a sweeping, impassioned work of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of—and paean to—the natural world. From the roots to the crown and back to the seeds, Richard Powers’s twelfth novel unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century timber wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. There is a world alongside ours—vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.”    —Richard Powers 2019 website

“This book is beyond special. Richard Powers manages to turn trees into vivid and engaging characters, something that indigenous people have done for eons but that modern literature has rarely if ever even attempted. It’s not just a completely absorbing, even overwhelming book; it’s a kind of breakthrough in the ways we think about and understand the world around us, at a moment when that is desperately needed.” —Bill McKibben

“A deep meditation on the irreparable psychic damage that manifests in our unmitigated separation from nature.” —Library Journal (starred review)


Will this be recorded, and will I have the ability to view the presentation later? Unfortunately, we do not have the ability to record our online offerings. Please check out our other upcoming online courses here.

Is there a waiting list? We do not have waiting lists for our online offerings at this time. 

The link doesn’t appear to be working. You may need to go to the Zoom website (https://zoom.us) and manually enter the meeting ID and password. Also, wait until just a couple of minutes before the meeting is supposed to begin to try to enter the meeting. It will not work if you try to join the meeting, say, half an hour before it’s scheduled to begin.

I did not receive the email with the Zoom meeting instructions. Please double-check the email address you enter when registering for the course as that is where the instructions will be sent. You may need to add us to your email provider’s safe sender list in the event it goes to spam. If you did not receive the email by the morning of the first meeting, please email the Office Manager.