Launch party for Bill Belleville's latest book of essays

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“If Bill Belleville were a quilt maker, this book would be his finest spread.” So says a quote from conservationist Archie Car III in the University Press of Florida’s preview page about the Sanford author’s latest offering, “Salvaging the Real Florida: Lost and Found in the State of Dreams.” The book, a collection of nature essays that recount Belleville’s treks into the Florida wilderness, explores the “real” Florida – the one that isn’t (yet) overrun with strip malls, highways and parking lots. If you’re familiar with Belleville, you already know that he’s an ecologically minded author and filmmaker whose works focus on the natural environment and the havoc being wreaked on it by careless development. (His previous offerings include “Losing it all to Sprawl: How Progress Ate My Cracker Landscape and “River of Lakes: A Journey on Florida’s St. John’s River.”) This newest book, he says, follows along that theme: “The tone of my earlier books and essays still rings true – in both celebration of our rare natural places as well as a lamentation for their loss,” he says in an e-mail about “Salvaging the Real Florida.” “The ‘loss’ factor seems far more real in this political climate than it ever has been.” There will be a launch party for Belleville’s new book Saturday (tomorrow) at Maya Books & Music, 201 E. First St., Sanford, beginning at 7 p.m. If you want to get an early copy of the book, it’ll be on sale at Maya, as well as at Amazon and other major bookselling outlets.

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