"Anyone who has dipped a paddle in a northern lake–or even dreamed of doing so–will be rewarded by mind-expanding dips into this celebration of curiosity, science, and the nature of a very special ecosystem."
— Agate Magazine
"If your first imaginary visit to the North Woods was through Henry David THoreau's writings, going back with Pastor is a totally different and beautiful way to relive it...the book is nice reading and the author's holistic way of presenting complexity is a notable strength."
— Conservation Biology
"Even if you've never been to the North Woods...you will come to appreciate it through ecologist Pastor. With an eye for fine detail and the gentle explication of a born teacher, Pastor crafts a rich biography of one of North America's most beautiful and diverse ecosystems, from the geology of its foundations to the birds in its skies."
"Pastor writes with striking simplicity despite the detailed and sometimes complex descriptions of how the North Woods was created, its structure, and how it functions. Given the straightforward writing and glossary of terms, this book should be accessible to the layperson, yet also informative and educational for the seasoned ecologist. pastor combines his years of scientific writing experience as a professor at the University of Minnesota-Duluth with poetic prose, making this book a pleasure to read."
— Journal of Wildlife Management
"Pastor's book does more than answer the question 'what should a clever moose eat?' It helps explain why we should care."
— KUMD Duluth Public Radio
'Evocative, multilayered and fascinating book...an elegant and multi-tiered examination of the complexity and interplays of a region’s current, past and future ecology"
— New Scientist
"An interesting and informative read from start to finish."
— Plant Science Bulletin
"I strongly recommend the author's pensive essays on the evolution of a system he is clearly passionate about, and without dispute expert in...The author makes a great case for why we can all learn from the North Woods...his examples and prose are vivid and rousing...Without reservation, I recommend Pastor's volume and hope that readers find as much enjoyment and inspiration in its pages as I found."
— Quarterly Review of Biology
"It’s a celebration of curiosity. It will make your own walk in the woods a richer experience. And it showcases that a lot of scientific advancement still begins with an open mind, out in nature."
— The Nature Conservancy's Cool Green Science
"An intellectual descendant of Aldo Leopold, Pastor chooses a domain far wider than the area of Sand County, encompassing the whole of the North Woods...[b]ut his perceptive love for the ecosystem shines through just as brilliantly as Leopold’s did...As he considers the intricate natural details of the place…Pastor reveals an ethos that stewards of the land can (and probably should) apply on a global scale."
— The Scientist
"In What Should a Clever Moose Eat?, John Pastor mounts a strong defense of natural history, reminding us that all good questions in science come from the observation of nature by a questioning mind. Pastor has an obvious love for the natural history and ecology of the North Woods, and this, coupled with his skillful writing, make his wide-ranging but connected set of essays a success."
— John Alcock, author of "In a Desert Garden" and "Animal Behavior: An Evolutionary Approach"
"Pastor weaves a passion for the North Woods’ beauty with deep insight into the area’s natural history. With an expert eye, Pastor describes the slow grind of glaciers across the ages, beavers damming the land into a waterscape, and the intricate connections between voles and the creation of spruce forests or meadows. This book is a valuable guide to understanding how ecosystems develop, function, and change."
— Josh Schimel, Professor, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, UC, Santa Barbara
"'I took a job in the Great North Woods,' wrote Bob Dylan, and so did John Pastor. Unlike those who took to the woods before, Pastor brought back not fur and fiber, but facts—from the optimal shape of trees to the best bill size for birds that eat their cones. Few books capture the natural history of a storied land—and the importance of natural history itself—as does this one, in John Pastor’s graceful words and drawings."
— Robert Michael Pyle, author of "Wintergreen", "The Thunder Tree", and "Mariposa Road"