The bitter pill of environmental history goes down much more easily if you mix in meth dealers, tree thieves, feral gold prospectors, and suicial bridge-jumpers.
Nature Noir, Jordon Fisher Smith's memoir of days as a California state parks ranger, led one reviewer to state, "I can't make up my mind whether Jordan Fisher Smith is John Muir at the crime scene or Elmore Leonard with a backpack."
Can Smith write "noir"? Try this:
She was stoop-shouldered woman in her late thirties who looked like this [automobile] crash wasn't the first bad thing that had happened to her. Her clothing was asexual--old jeans and a lumpy brown blouse. She wore no makeup. Her face was weathered and plain, and bore an expression of blank-faced sadness you see in women whose main talent in life is getting mixed up with the wrong men.
Another excerpt here.
Definately a good read, and you come away knowing more about California parks history, the social history of map-making, what happens when dams are rushed to completion, and Lyme disease.