reading & listening

Nothing replaces community and conversation, but our worlds also expand immeasurably with a good book in hand. These are some titles that bring new voices, perspectives, facts and figures into the room. The list includes both nonfiction (data-driven, historical, biographical) and fiction set against a backdrop of places, moments and individuals drawn from real life. Those settings range from farmland to marshes; from Flint, Michigan to Lyallpur, Punjab; from the Great Migration to the largest social movements of today. Some are new releases, others timeless classics that hold true.

They have kept me company, enriched my life and gotten me hooked. Hope you find some pages here that do the same for you. Click for links to summaries and feel free reach out with recommendations or reflections to share.

*Note on accessibility: Much as I encourage supporting book shops, a growing collection can get costly, and finding time to read can be tricky. That said, I found nearly all of these through the library, and though I love turning pages, appreciated how many audio versions were available – for free, and often read by the author.

Blessed Unrest
Paul Hawken

Braiding Sweetgrass
Robin Wall Kimmerer

The Wizard & the Prophet
Charles C. Mann

Silent Spring
Rachel Carson

Black Flower
Young-Ha Kim

The Warmth of Other Suns
Isabel Wilkerson

Roberto Lovato

Superman’s Not Coming
Erin Brockovich

American Grown
Michelle Obama

The Worst Hard Time
Timothy Egan

The Log from the Sea of Cortez
John Steinbeck

A Precautionary Tale
Philip Ackerman-Leist

Who Really Feeds the World?
Vandana Shiva

Farming While Black
Leah Penniman

Paul Hawken

Passsage West
Rishi Reddi

Children of the Land
Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

The One-Straw Revolution
Masanobu Fukuoka

“The Hidden Life of Trees”
Peter Wohlleben

“Last Child in the Woods”
Richard Louv

Reclaiming the Commons
Vandana Shiva

“Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth”
William Bryant Logan

Tales of Two Planets
John Freeman

“The Good Earth [Trilogy]”
Pearl S. Buck

“A Sand County Almanac”
Aldo Leopold

“The Overstory”
Richard Powers

“What are People For?”
Wendell Berry

“Guns, Germs, and Steel”
Jared Diamond

“The Gulf: The Making of
an American Sea”
Jack E. Davis

“The Mushroom at the
End of the World”
Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing

The Poisonwood Bible
Barbara Kingsolver

“Tale of Two Americas”
John Freeman

“Gathering Moss”
Robin Wall Kimmerer

“The Starfish & the Spider”
Rod Beckstrom

“Unaccustomed Earth”
Jhumpa Lahiri

Michael Pollan

“Cradle to Cradle”
William McDonough

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