Good Food Book Club: Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth

“A gleeful, poetic book…Like the best natural histories, Dirt is a kind of prayer."
— Sue Halpern, Los Angeles Times Book Review

Get ready to get dirty! A glowing, radiant kind of dirty. Our March Good Food Book Club selection is a luminous welcome to Spring with Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth by William Bryant Logan.


Author and essayist William Bryant Logan is known for his eloquent explorations of humanity’s connection to the natural world. Like John McPhee, Annie Dillard, Terry Tempest Williams, Henry David Thoreau, Edward Abbey and the lineage of great American natural history writers like them, Logan’s prose shimmers a reverent connection to the sacred awe of Life, and the elemental forces that shape it.

Logan’s other books may sound familiar. Like Oak: The Frame of Civilization and Air: The Restless Shaper of the World, Dirt subtly, sweetly draws in its readers as a flower calls forth a swarm of pollinators.  Logan expertly uses visual, textured blossoms of sometimes delicate, sometimes bold but always beautifully wrought turns of phrase. A book that—like a flower grown in the precious dirt cloaking its roots—personifies some of the noble elements of humanity’s use of language and storytelling, not to mention our capacity for awe, joy and an awareness of the interconnection of all things.

Though Dirt may not be specifically about food per se, it is about a wondrously mythic, almost magical reason we have food, and each other. Along with the other elemental forces—sun, water, wind—it provides a foundation for life, and the web of communities encircling our little blue planet. And as such, it is a perfect companion book to welcome in the new life of Spring.

Please join us to discuss Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth by William Bryant Logan (First paperback edition by Norton, 2007. Originally published 1995) on Sunday, March 25 from 4:30-6 pm at a member’s private residence. Location and details will come in this month’s email reminder. Remember to email to receive reminders about the Good Food Book Club. Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth is available through your local library. If you are interested in buying the book, check out the area’s local used book stores or visit BookPeople of Moscow where Book Club members receive a discount. For more information about the Good Food Book Club, check out the Outreach section of the MFC website at


April: In Memory of Bread: A Memoir by Paul Graham

May: Plenty: Eating Locally on the 100 Mile Diet by Alisa Smith and J.B. Mackinnon

June: The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy Reichert

July: Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil by Tom Mueller

August: The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet by Nina Teicholz

September: Lentil Underground by Liz Carlisle

October: Fat for Fuel: A Revolutionary Diet to Combat Cancer, Boost Brain Power, and Increase Your Energy by Dr. Joseph Mercola

November: Delicious Foods by James Hannaham

December: Extra Virgin: A Young Woman Discovers the Italian Riviera, Where Every Month is Enchanted by Annie Hawkes