Braiding Sweetgrass

By Robin Wall Kimmerer,

Book cover of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants

Book description

Called the work of "a mesmerizing storyteller with deep compassion and memorable prose" (Publishers Weekly) and the book that, "anyone interested in natural history, botany, protecting nature, or Native American culture will love," by Library Journal, Braiding Sweetgrass is poised to be a classic of nature writing. As a botanist,…

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Why read it?

39 authors picked Braiding Sweetgrass as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Science, in the hands of accomplished author Kimmerer, is both passion and awe. It is a blending of fact and sensation into a tapestry that invites us to journey through new fields, past distant horizons, and amongst an environment previously unseen.

She celebrates nature as an integral part of the human experience and masterfully draws readers into a world that is equally mystical and inviting.

This is a nature writer at her peak, a keen observer and dynamic chronicler of natural history who expertly guides us into new worlds and vast possibilities. If you love nature, you will most certainly…

This is a wonderful memoir of Native American wisdom and the roots of botanical knowledge, written with a scientist’s eye and heartfelt prose. I read it while researching my third book. 

Braiding Sweetgrass offers indigenous lore and beliefs and encourages us to respect plants and wildlife as living beings and our spiritual friends.

This is especially important with climate change, as many native species become extinct. Everyone should read this book on Native American ways to respect and care for Mother Earth.

Braiding Sweetgrass was important to me as a writer of children’s environmental nonfiction because environmental news is often depressing. I work hard to add hope to my stories to empower young readers to feel grateful for nature’s gifts and to care about protecting them.

Braiding Sweetgrass felt like going to a well and being replenished. I felt simultaneously inspired and validated. I will reread this book frequently.

The author of this amazing, eye-opening, and heart-warming book, Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer, is the role model I wish I had when I was young.

She is the kindest soul, the mother of two accomplished and loving daughters, a member of the Potawatomi Nation with deep roots in the traditions of her people and their Native neighbors, a professor of plant science, a gardener, and a knowledgeable and compassionate commenter on the human condition.

There is an old Jewish tradition according to which the world owes its continued existence to 36 tzadikim nistarim, hidden righteous people, who may themselves…

This author is the teacher I wished I’d had, the friend I want on my walks in the woods. She helped me see nature and our planet in a deeper way. Her recommendations will help us live with each other differently, closer to God’s ideal.

You’ll want to read it slowly, savor each sentence, and grow.

Braiding Sweetgrass is a beautiful meditation on the interconnectedness of living things. It has shaped my thinking about ecosystems—not just in the natural world, but within social justice movements, communities, and organizations.

The concept of being in the “right relationship,” which comes from many Indigenous cultures, is one that has greatly influenced how I lead and manage, and Robin Wall Kimmerer’s deep dive into the relationship between humans and the natural world is incredibly thoughtful and thought-provoking.

Braiding Sweetgrass already appears on many of these lists with good reason.

It’s an amazing book that combines Kimmerer’s passions as a botanist, a mother, and a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Celebrating the natural wisdom of the plant and animal realms, Kimmerer teaches us to rethink our place in the world as living organisms who are also members of families, communities, and peoples.

Her expansive and healing perspective offers readers concrete and creative ways to inhabit our shared life worlds.  These are much-needed lessons for supporting all sentient beings in these troubling times.

From Ed's list on learning to heal.

This book is so many things that “traditional” science writing eschews: lyrical, deeply personal, and wholly welcoming to many different ways of thinking and knowing.

Kimmerer, an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and decorated professor, beautifully weaves together lessons from Western science and Indigenous ecological understanding—showing it to be the deeply sophisticated, priceless body of knowledge that it is.

Whether you’re getting curious in a national park or your own backyard, this book is a must-have.

This book touched my soul. Braiding Sweetgrass blends indigenous wisdom, science, and the teachings of plants to teach an important message about rekindling our relationship with the land.

It’s written with such tender knowing that perhaps it should be given to every child and adult in the world. Overflowing with soulful stories that resonate so deeply it could start a kind of revolution in remembering.

Elizabeth Gilbert says this book is 'like a hymn of love to the world,’ It explores how through listening to the lessons plants teach us, we can enable a cycle of reciprocal flourishing - a…

There’s a reason this book has been on the bestseller list for 100 million weeks straight.

Kimmerer, an environmental biologist and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, writes about ecosystems in a way that is both poetic and scientific. I learned so much, my heart swelled, I despaired, and I hoped.

In an age of climate change and microplastics and a different toxic spill each week, Kimmerer offers a way forward in which we care about the land and its non-human inhabitants, in which we act like the lives of future generations matter.

From Blythe's list on nature and freedom.

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