Tom McNamee and Diane Smith at Elk River Books

Elk River Books presents
The Inner Life of Cats by Thomas McNamee

Award-winning author Thomas McNamee will read from his latest work of nonfiction, The Inner
Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions, at Elk River
Books, 7 p.m. on Tuesday, August 8.
McNamee received a Guggenheim fellowship for his work on this book, in which he uses the life
and development of his own cat, a tabby named Augusta, blended with scientific reportage to
explore the natural history of domestic cats and their relationship to human society.

As the narrative progresses, McNamee charts cats’ evolution, explores a feral cat colony in
Rome, tells the story of Augusta’s life and adventures, and consults with behavioral experts,
animal activists, and researchers, to help readers more fully understand cats. 
Kirkus Reviews calls it “An affectionate yet realistic portrait of felis silvestris catus and a definite
boon to anyone contemplating adopting a cat.” Cat Warren, author of the bestselling book, What
the Dog Knows, says that "The Inner Life of Cats is filled with shining prose, moments of sheer
cat joy—and intimate, careful scientific observation. Thomas McNamee's naturalist’s eye,
combined with his humor and heart, bring the always wild, yet domesticated cat into delightful,
insightful focus.”
McNamee’s previous books are far ranging, from biographies of American food pioneers Alice
Waters and Craig Claiborne, to fiction, to environmental politics and natural history. He’s the
author of The Grizzly Bear, The Return of the Wolf to Yellowstone, A Story of Deep Delight, and
Nature First: Keeping Our Wild Places and Wild Creatures Wild. His work has appeared in The
New Yorker, Audubon, Natural History, The Washington Post and The New York Times, among
other places.
The reading is free and open to the public. It will take place upstairs at Elk River Books, 120 N.
Main St., and will be followed by a signing and reception.

Elk River Books presents

Yellowstone and the Smithsonian by Diane Smith

Author and historian Diane Smith turns to nonfiction for a reading from her latest work,
Yellowstone and the Smithsonian: Centers of Wildlife Conservation, at Elk River Books on
Tuesday, August 22, at 7 p.m.
Exploring the intertwined histories of two iconic American institutions, Yellowstone National
Park and the Smithsonian Institution, Smith’s book details the development of the conservation
movement as guided by the park’s mission, which in part is “to protect against the wanton
destruction of the fish and game,” and the Smithsonian’s task of promoting “the increase and
diffusion of knowledge.” By tracing the long-standing connections between Yellowstone and
Washington, Smith provides background and context for many of the practices used by
conservation biologists today. The book shows how Yellowstone, through its relationship with
the Smithsonian, helped establish the iconic nature of the wildlife of the American West,
especially bison.
Douglas Brinkley, author of Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America,
calls Yellowstone and the Smithsonian “an essential and much needed work of U.S.
environmental history.”
Smith is a research historian with the U.S. Forest Service and the author of the novels Pictures
from an Expedition and Letters from Yellowstone, which received the Pacific Northwest
Booksellers Association fiction prize. She lives in Missoula.
The reading is free and open to the public. It will take place upstairs at Elk River Books, 120 N.
Main St., and will be followed by a signing and reception.