Recent Reads Recommendations

Posted & filed under Community, Learning.

Looking for an environmentally-themed book for your next read? Below are some of our board members’ recent reads. 

Fiction/Poetry:

  • A Children’s Bible by Lydia Millet. Climate change allegory through the eyes of young people 
  • A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers. An interesting take on the future when humanity decides to separate from factories and robots in order to lead a more sustainable existence.
  • Bewilderment by Richard Powers. A professor struggles with raising a neurodiverse son who is consumed with preventing environmental destruction and animal extinction.
  • Black Nature: Four Centuries of African-American Nature Poetry edited by Camille T. Dunghy, Spotlights the connection Black poets have with nature, often missing from canonical poetry texts.
  • How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue. Novel illustrates an oil company’s impact on a village’s social and economic systems.
  • Matrix by Lauren Groff. While not outwardly environmental, the narrator inserts commentary about what the abbey’s expansion means for the surrounding landscape and wildlife. The expansion directed by the main character is both laudable as it gives her nuns power and independence but also typical of how our actions have unintended consequences for the other animals. 
  • Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy. Beautifully written, sad and hopeful novel
  • Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy. A researcher goes to a town in Scotland to oversee the re-introduction of wolves to a protected forest in order to support its regeneration but the efforts are fraught by her own personal history and an antagonistic sheep-farming community.
  • Overstory by Richard Powers. Epic novel telling the story of multiple people trying to save Redwoods.
  • The Four Winds by Kristen Hannah. Follows a young woman as she leaves her upper-class family and marries the son of a farmer where she finds happiness and belonging until the Dust Bowl hits, and she migrates to California for a better life, only to face xenophobia and dehumanization. 
  • The Ministry of the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson. One of the best “cli-fi” writers around, here Robinson is at the top of his game writing about the world of the near future. Though there are calamities, it is a book that is oddly optimistic as it shows how people around the world work on solutions (including ecosystem repair) which, over time, begin to work.
  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Beautifully evokes a time past in Florida before all the development and is a page turner at the same time.

Nonfiction:

 

Old favorites: We recommend anything by Robin Wall Kimmerer, Aldo Leopold, Heather Holm, and Doug Tallamy too. 

 

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