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Sustainable Summer Reading List

Published May 29, 2019

Curl up on your favorite comfy chair or chill on the beach with one (or all) of these books that will feed your soul with narratives surrounding sustainability.

 

(Choose the e-book, swap books or go to a used-book store to ramp up your green game.)

 

NON-FICTION

drawdownDrawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

Edited by Paul Hawken

In the face of widespread fear and apathy, an international coalition of researchers, professionals, and scientists have come together to offer a set of realistic and bold solutions to climate change. One hundred techniques and practices are described here—ranging from clean energy to educating girls in lower-income countries to land use practices that pull carbon out of the air. 


 Finer FutureFiner FutureA Finer Future: Creating an Economy in Service to Life

by L. Hunter Lovins, Stewart Wallis, Anders Wijkman, John Fullerton, Kate Raworth

 

Is the future one of global warming, 65 million migrants fleeing failed states, soaring inequality, and grid-locked politics? Or one of empowered entrepreneurs and innovators building a world that works for everyone? A Finer Future demonstrates that humanity has a chance - just - to thread the needle of sustainability and build a regenerative economy through a powerful combination of enlightened entrepreneurialism, technology, and innovative policy.


  

a love storySustainability: A Love Story

by Nicole Walker
 

Nicole Walker questions what it means to live sustainably while still being able to have Internet and eat bacon. After all, who wants to listen to a short, blond woman who is mostly a hypocrite anyway—who eats cows, drives a gasoline-powered car, who owns no solar panels—tsk-tsking them? Armed with research and a bright irony that playfully addresses the devastation of the world around us, Walker delves deep into scarcity and abundance, reflecting on matters that range from her uneasy relationship with bats to the fragility of human life, from adolescent lies to what recycling can reveal about our not so moderate drinking habits. 


silent springSilent Spring

by Rachel Carson, Linda Lear (Introduction), Edward O. Wilson (Afterword)

 

The book appeared in September of that year and the outcry that followed its publication forced the banning of DDT and spurred revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water. Carson’s passionate concern for the future of our planet reverberated powerfully throughout the world, and her eloquent book was instrumental in launching the environmental movement. It is without question one of the landmark books of the twentieth century.

 


originalsOriginals: How Non-Conformists Move the World

by Adam Grant

 

With Give and Take, Adam Grant not only introduced a landmark new paradigm for success but also established himself as one of his generation’s most compelling and provocative thought leaders. In Originals he again addresses the challenge of improving the world, but now from the perspective of becoming original: choosing to champion novel ideas and values that go against the grain, battle conformity, and buck outdated traditions. How can we originate new ideas, policies, and practices without risking it all?

 


factfulnessFactfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World--and Why Things Are Better Than You Think

by Hans Rosling

 

Professor of International Health and global TED phenomenon Hans Rosling, together with his two long-time collaborators, Anna and Ola, reveal the ten instincts that distort our perspective. Inspiring and revelatory, filled with lively anecdotes and moving stories, Factfulness is an urgent and essential book that will change the way you see the world and empower you to respond to the crises and opportunities of the future.

 


turning the tideTurning the Tide on Plastic: How Humanity (And You) Can Make Our Globe Clean Again

by Lucy Siegle

 

Journalist, broadcaster and eco lifestyle expert Lucy Siegle provides a powerful call to arms to end the plastic pandemic along with the tools we need to make decisive change. When it comes to single-use plastics, we are habitual users, reaching out for plastic water bottles, disposable coffee cups, plastic straws and carrier bags multiple times a day. When we consider our power as influencers - whether at school, the hairdressers, at work or on the bus - we suddenly become part of something significant.


small is beautifulSmall Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered

by E. F. Schumacher

 

A landmark statement against “bigger is better” industrialism, Schumacher’s Small Is Beautiful paved the way for twenty-first century books on environmentalism and economics, like Jeffrey Sachs’s The End of Poverty, Paul Hawken’s Natural Capitalism, Mohammad Yunis’s Banker to the Poor, and Bill McKibben’s Deep Economy. This timely reissue offers a crucial message for the modern world struggling to balance economic growth with the human costs of globalization.

 


uninhabitable earthThe Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming

by David Wallace-Wells

 

In his travelogue of our near future, David Wallace-Wells brings into stark relief the climate troubles that await—food shortages, refugee emergencies, and other crises that will reshape the globe. But the world will be remade by warming in more profound ways as well, transforming our politics, our culture, our relationship to technology, and our sense of history. It will be all-encompassing, shaping and distorting nearly every aspect of human life as it is lived today.

 

 


 sun is a compasssun is a compassThe Sun Is a Compass: A 4,000-Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds

by Caroline Van Hemert

 

In March of 2012 Caroline Van Hemert and her husband set off on a 4,000-mile wilderness journey from the Pacific rainforest to the Alaskan Arctic, traveling by rowboat, ski, foot, raft, and canoe. Together, they survived harrowing dangers while also experiencing incredible moments of joy and grace -- migrating birds silhouetted against the moon, the steamy breath of caribou, and the bond that comes from sharing such experiences. The book explores the bounds of the physical body and the tenuousness of life in the company of creatures whose daily survival is nothing short of miraculous. 


This Changes EverythingThis Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate

by Naomi Klein

 

Klein argues that the changes to our relationship with nature and one another that are required to respond to the climate crisis humanely should not be viewed as grim penance, but rather as a kind of gift—a catalyst to transform broken economic and cultural priorities and to heal long-festering historical wounds. And she documents the inspiring movements that have already begun this process. Can we pull off these changes in time? Nothing is certain. Nothing except that climate change changes everything. And for a very brief time, the nature of that change is still up to us.


 FICTION

 

Gold Fame CitrusGold Fame Citrus

by Claire Vaye Watkins 

 

With the Central Valley barren, underground aquifer drained, and Sierra snowpack entirely depleted, most “Mojavs,” prevented by both armed vigilantes and an indifferent bureaucracy from freely crossing borders to lusher regions, have allowed themselves to be evacuated to internment camps. In Los Angeles’ Laurel Canyon, two young Mojavs—Luz, once a poster child for the Bureau of Conservation and its enemies, and Ray, a veteran of the “forever war” turned surfer—squat in a starlet’s abandoned mansion. When they cross paths with a mysterious child, the thirst for a better future begins.


Carbon DiariesThe Carbon Diaries

by Saci Lloyd

 

It's the year 2015, a time when global warming has begun to ravage the environment. In response, the United Kingdom becomes the first country to mandate carbon rationing―a well-intentioned plan that goes tragically awry. When her carbon debit card arrives in the mail, sixteen-year-old Laura is just trying to pass her exams, manage her ecopunk band, and catch the attention of her gorgeous classmate Ravi. But as multiple natural disasters strike and Laura's parents head toward divorce, her world spirals out of control. A severe drought sparks fires and deadly riots; then the highest-category hurricane in recent history strikes London. 


New York 2140New York 2140

by Kim Stanley Robinson

 

As the sea levels rose, every street became a canal. Every skyscraper an island. For the residents of one apartment building in Madison Square, however, New York in the year 2140 is far from a drowned city.

 

 

 

 


Prodigal SummerProdigal Summer 

by Barbara Kingsolver

 

Barbara Kingsolver's fifth novel is a hymn to wildness that celebrates the prodigal spirit of human nature, and of nature itself. It weaves together three stories of human love within a larger tapestry of lives amid the mountains and farms of southern Appalachia. Over the course of one humid summer, this novel's intriguing protagonists face disparate predicaments but find connections to one another and to the flora and fauna with which they necessarily share a place.

 


No Other WayNo Other Way

by Roger Real Droulin

 

As Samuel Leaton searches for the believed-extinct Northern Stilted Curlew, he struggles with the memory of his wife, who died a year earlier from cancer. Deep in the woods, he encounters Thomas, a forest ranger who has a run-in with the law, and together they will make a trek to the far reaches of Wilson Sanford National Forest's northern glacial lakes to prove the Curlew exists--and to make a final stand to save its last breeding ground.

 

 


Love in the Time of Climate ChangeLove in the Time of Climate Change

by Brian Adams

 

Meet Casey, a community college professor with OCD (Obsessive Climate Disorder).  While navigating the zaniness of teaching he leads a rag-tag bunch of climate activists, lusts after one of his students, and smokes a little too much pot.  Quirky, socially awkward and adolescent- acting, our climate change obsessed hero muddles his way through saving the world while desperately searching for true love. Who would have thought climate change could be so funny!  Actually, it really isn't, but Love in the Time of Climate Change, a romantic comedy about global warming, is guaranteed to keep you laughing.  Laughing and thinking.


*Novel descriptions derived from Amazon