"The Incidental Steward: Reflections on Citizen Science (2013)
"Every subject Akiko Busch touches, she fills with grace. In The Incidental Steward, she has combined her spiritual appreciation of the Hudson valley with her own gift for elegant prose to chronicle the quiet work of dedicated citizen scientists whose observations and data are helping us all to understand the landscape and prepare for its future. Busch invests the commonplace of the valley--its weeds and vernal pools, herring and eels, bats and bald eagles, and countless other flora and fauna--with fresh revelation, and the wisdom of one who knows the land." --Tom Lewis, Skidmore College, author of The Hudson: A History.
"Through her evocative prose Akiko Busch reminds us of the beauty of being in and connecting with nature--and that nature is not necessarily something to be solved, but to be explored and in our explorations it helps to revive our sense of wonder. Busch enters the lives of amateurs and professionals who share her love of nature, and readers will greatly enjoy her immersion with fascinating people and places, intimate recorded, as well as her musings about how our relationship to nature has changed in the 21st century. Part of her eloquent plea is that nature is the source of our awe and inspiration, so we'd better work hard to keep from losing it, or we will be lost. I loved it." --James Prosek, author of Tight Lines.
"Every once in a while, a place finds someone to speak for it. The hero of The Incidental Steward is the Hudson River and its valley--its woods and rocks, its schedules, changes, species, and mysteries. This book, gracious and intelligent, made me want to go look closely at the river, which I felt I had never seen properly before." --Alec Wilkinson, author of The Ice Balloon.
"Akiko Busch reflects deeply on what it means to be an observant citizen-scientist, confronted with all the challenges of recording meaningful data on organisms from eels to eagles. Scientists and volunteers studying the natural world will benefit greatly from reading this eloquent and beautifully illustrated book." --Elizabeth Farnsworth, Senior Research Ecologist, New England Wildflower Society
"In these graceful and inviting essays, Akiko Busch unveils the remarkable ways ordinary citizens advance our understanding of a rapidly changing world, an understanding now more critical then ever." --Deborah Cramer, author of Great Waters: An Atlantic Passage and Smithsonian Ocean: Our Water Our World.
Nine Ways to Cross a River: Midstream Reflections on Getting There from Here A Library Journal Best Book of 2007
“This inspiring little book shows how this world will be saved: by tens of millions of little efforts, in the end succeeding where big expensive efforts of power-hungry men have failed.” —Pete Seeger
“Beautifully written. It’s compelling, transcendental, reflective, and just pure fun … so many layers of understanding and clarity and philosophy and poetry. At times, it seems as if Akiko is immersed in the water and is singing along with the river’s song through her melodic voice.” —Lynne Cox, author of Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer
“Busch’s journey across these rivers becomes an elegant metaphor for life. … She shares delightful lore about these important waterways, insinuating aspects of each river’s particular history and beauty.” --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Writing with a swimmer’s economy, propulsion, and buoyancy, Busch muses with quietly thrilling originality and resonance over the profound metaphors and life lessons rivers embody. In all, a beautiful and gracefully enlightening book of riverine reflection.” --Booklist
“Memorable … stories of transformation and renewal … solitary journeys exploring an internal landscape as well as connecting to the natural world around her.” --Kirkus Reviews
“Just two weeks before 9/11, Busch swam across her first river and found the experience so transformative that she made it an annual summer ritual. From the Hudson to the Mississippi, her elegant little book chronicles the eight rivers she crossed (she swam one river twice) and celebrates their power to connect and heal us.” --Library Journal, “Best Book of 2007” “Busch brings the reader into the textures of the waters and the conversations she has on the riverbanks. … With equal parts sensual description and environmental reporting, the author converts us, too, into yearning for clean rivers and the opportunity to swim in them. … Busch’s telling of her swim in [the Current River] has to be among the best travel writing I’ve ever read. She makes me want to go there.” --Chicago Tribune
“Gentle and elegiac …poignant … refreshingly optimistic … achieves a quiet eloquence. [Busch possesses] a gift for nature writing that brings to mind Annie Dillard and Ed Abbey.” --Los Angeles Times
“In a way, Busch swims for all of us, bringing another perspective, one drenched in the essence of these waterways. … She swims and thinks, making intelligent associations as she makes her way, sometimes whisked considerable distances downriver, always walking away dripping with insights.” --Hartford Courant
“Graceful … Nine Ways to Cross a River is lovely, thoughtful, and economical. It puts rivers right where rivers belong—in the forefront of our thinking.” --Orion
“The beauty of Busch’s book is found in the thoughts and memories she enjoys as she swims. Her reflections on being a mother, daughter, and a friend flow easily and convincingly.”--Portland (Ore.) Tribune
“A great read. Busch’s fluid, reflective prose carries the reader along as pleasurably as a gentle current.” —Anne Mackin, author of Americans and Their Land
Geography of Home: writings on where we live (1999)
“If you haven’t given much thought to your front door, dining rituals, or lawn chairs, curl up with Akiko Busch’s Geography of Home. You’ll be inspired to look closely at where and how you live.” --Oprah: the Magazine
“Yes-s-s-s! Finally a design writer more interested in the relationship between people and their rooms than in the number of springs in the chair cushions or the cut of a curtain.” --San Francisco Examiner
“Busch doesn’t so much look at houses as cock her head and listen to them. What she hears is the rustle of humanity within their all-too-mortal frames.” --House & Garden
“This cozy book provides provocative and intelligent insights that land close to home.” --Kirkus Reviews
“Busch’s elegant and provocative essays plumb the relationships we have to the places in which we live and the objects that we use to furnish them.” --American Homestyle and Gardening
“Busch’s elegant and charming book walks us through the American house as if we were on a tour not only of a home’s geography, but also of its culture and history.” --Austin (Texas) Chronicle
“Fourteen thoughtful, witty essays on house and home that mix philosophy and history.” --San Diego Reader
“Busch’s essays linger long after they’ve been read, and while they’re filled with interesting observations, they manage to accumulate on an emotional level. After finishing these essays, I found myself filled with nostalgia, not for the past—but for the present.” --Star Tribune
“Busch offers a literary tour of spaces that make up our households, especially with regard to how we define such qualities as comfort, privacy, and security.” --Miami Herald
The Uncommon Life of Common Objects: essays on design and the everyday(2005) “There is nothing common about Akiko Busch’s observations. … One senses that if everyday things could respond to the questions we put to them it would be in Busch’s gentle voice. This book packs the emotional power of a message in a bottle, conveying how design is our childlike intuition that the objects around us are, in fact, listening to us.” —John Hockenberry