We’re encouraging everyone to read and connect over a terrific book for Tower Hill’s first community read. The Invention of Nature by award-winning author Andrea Wulf is the book at the center of Tower Hill READS, but we’ve also assembled events and activities for all ages to expand our appreciation and understanding of Alexander Von Humboldt, someone considered by many to be the first environmentalist.

The complete line-up of Tower Hill READS events may be found here and below. Most of the events are at Tower Hill, but we’re excited the Boylston Public Library is joining in and offering The Invention of Nature as their May 2016 Book Group selection. Please contact Lynn Clermont (lclermont@boylston-ma.gov or 508-869-2371) to register.

What’s a Community Read?

A Community Read (or One Book/One Community, etc.) encourages community-wide reading and discussion around one title. The concept had its beginnings in public libraries but today Community Reads may be found around the world and in every imaginable kind of institution. Our hope is that Tower Hill READS will become an annual event at Tower Hill Botanic Garden.

The author: Andrea Wulf:

“With her vivid writing, Wulf has given Humboldt a new, popular, high profile and his work fresh relevance.”

CBHL Newsletter, February 2016

The Invention of Nature is Andrea Wulf’s fifth book, and it’s quickly becoming her most celebrated. Wulf’s website documents the accolades the book has received, but also the author’s range and versatility as a critic and essayist. Wulf now contributes a monthly column to The Atlantic and her first article was on Humboldt.

Two other books by Ms. Wulf which have long been popular with gardeners are The Brother Gardeners: Botany, Empire and the Birth of an Obsession and The Founding Gardeners: the Revolutionary Generation and the Shaping of the American Nation. Copies of all of her books may be found in the Tower Hill Library and at the Garden Shop.

We are very pleased Andrea Wulf will make her first visit to Tower Hill as part of Tower Hill READS. She will speak about The Invention of Nature on Tuesday evening, May 10th, at 7 pm. Please register if you would like to attend this lecture and book signing.

Alexander Von Humboldt (1769-1859)

Alexander Von Humboldt was born to a prominent family in Germany. His interests stretched from Astronomy to Zoology but his real passions were Geography and Botany and both were enhanced on his first scientific expedition to South America with Aimé Bonpland in 1799. His observations, collections, discoveries and writings expanded to a lifelong career as original thinker and writer. Humboldt was particularly adept at making connections between the various sciences, and he was skilled as both an experimentalist and theorist. But his interests and connections also stretched to politics and culture, and he influenced an impressive array of luminaries across disciplines in the18th and 19th centuries, including Simón Bolivar, Johann Goethe, Charles Darwin, Henry David Thoreau and John Muir among many others.

Events and Activities:

Kickoff, Saturday, April 9, 11 am in the Tower Hill Library; free with admission; join the raffle and win a copy of The Invention of Nature; Learn more about the book, see the exhibit and meet other participants.

Alexander Von Humboldt’s World; February to June 2016 Tower Hill Library; free with admission

An exhibit featuring books and information by and about Humboldt, along with the recreation of an actual Cabinet of Curiosities in the Library. Do you like to collect and organize things? Look around, pick up, and explore lots of natural items others have found interesting and contributed to Tower Hill’s own Cabinet of Curiosities!

Organizing Nature through its Evolutionary History, Sunday, April 17, 1 pm, free with admission. Presented by Jennifer Berlinger of FairHope Graphics.

Cabinets of Curiosity; Children’s Program 6+, Thursday, April 21, 11- 12:30; Registration required. School vacation week program for kids to learn about the precursors to natural history museums and get to make one of their own.

Book Discussion of The Invention of Nature at the Boylston Public Library Book Group, Wednesday, May 4, 1 pm; Contact Lynn Clermont at 508-869-2371 or lclermont@boylston-ma.gov to register.

The Invention of Nature: Talk and Book signing with Andrea Wulf; Tuesday, May 10, 7 pm. Member $15, Non-member $25; Registration required.

The Quest for Order in a Chaotic World: A Systematic Garden Tour with Horticulture Director, Joann Vieira, Wednesday, June 22, 6 pm; Free with admission.

Register at: www.towerhillbg.org

For more information please contact: Kathy Bell, Tower Hill Library, 508-869-6111 x116 or kbell@towerhillbg.org