John Vaillant’s The Golden Spruce is a superb book: the best I have read in many months. It tells the intertwined stories of British Columbia, the economic development of Canada, old growth logging, the Haida (and the Haida Gwaii), and, of course, a unique Sitka Spruce and the man who destroyed it. Particularly for somebody interested in both Western Canada and the environment, it was the ideal type of non-fiction reading.
The story told is a compelling one, full of informative detail and light on preaching and speculation. I read it in one long session, sitting in my hermitage in Devon while temporarily avoiding thesis work. What the book did remind me of, in part, is why the whole study of the environment is important.
I already have two people waiting to borrow my copy (one of the books my mother kindly sent to England for me), but there are surely other examples of it out there.