10 books like Braiding Sweetgrass

By Robin Wall Kimmerer,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Braiding Sweetgrass. Shepherd is a community of 6,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Drawdown

By Paul Hawken (editor),

Book cover of Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

Edited by Paul Hawken, and written by a team of writers, researchers, and scientists from around the world, this book includes 80 game-changers—things that, if everyone got on them now, could create a dent in global warming for good.

From solutions like offshore wind farms to minimizing food waste, Drawdown takes initiatives that are world-large in scope and puts them into easily conceptualizable material. Includes information on how much carbon any given solution would reduce in the atmosphere if certain changes were made, to how much money it would cost (& save!) to do so.

If you're overwhelmed by global warming and climate breakdown, Drawdown is a handbook for imagining a more hopeful future, and giving you hard numbers regarding how to get there. If you had to take one book to a climate desert island, it would be this one.

Drawdown

By Paul Hawken (editor),

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Drawdown as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

• New York Times bestseller •

The 100 most substantive solutions to reverse global warming, based on meticulous research by leading scientists and policymakers around the world

“At this point in time, the Drawdown book is exactly what is needed; a credible, conservative solution-by-solution narrative that we can do it. Reading it is an effective inoculation against the widespread perception of doom that humanity cannot and will not solve the climate crisis. Reported by-effects include increased determination and a sense of grounded hope.” —Per Espen Stoknes, Author, What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming…

An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States

By Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz,

Book cover of An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States

This book should be required reading for every high school junior in the United States! If I had read this as a teenager, I would have understood the political landscape of the US much earlier in life. Dunbar-Ortiz shows the real history of the US through Indigenous perspectives. In doing so, she shows why dismantling White supremacy is so hard, and so necessary at the same time. This is an accessible, powerful book that could be passed around multiple generations of families, stirring up all kinds of new dinner-time conversations.

An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States

By Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York Times Bestseller

Now part of the HBO docuseries "Exterminate All the Brutes," written and directed by Raoul Peck

Recipient of the American Book Award

The first history of the United States told from the perspective of indigenous peoples
 
Today in the United States, there are more than five hundred federally recognized Indigenous nations comprising nearly three million people, descendants of the fifteen million Native people who once inhabited this land. The centuries-long genocidal program of the US settler-colonial regimen has largely been omitted from history. Now, for the first time, acclaimed historian and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortizoffers a history…

Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt

By Chris Hedges, Joe Sacco,

Book cover of Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt

An illustrated book of long-form nonfiction that examines poor Black, Indigenous, White, and Migrant communities in the United States, and how they have all been broken by extractive capitalism and racist public policy. Hedges’ writing is intentionally polemical, designed to shatter any illusions about the welfare of our fellow citizens living in communities ruined by racism and industrial-scale environmental degradation. Sacco’s long-form graphic illustrations are equally haunting. I’ve taught this book continually for many years.

Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt

By Chris Hedges, Joe Sacco,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Named a Best Book of the Year by Amazon.com and the Washington Post Three years ago, Pulitzer Prize-winner Chris Hedges and award-winning cartoonist and journalist Joe Sacco set out to take a look at the sacrifice zones, those areas in America that have been offered up for exploitation in the name of profit, progress, and technological advancement. They wanted to show in words and drawings what life looks like in places where the marketplace rules without constraints, where human beings and the natural world are used and then discarded to maximize profit. Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt is the…

Waste

By Catherine Coleman Flowers,

Book cover of Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret

One of the most important new issues faced by rights advocates is climate change. Macarthur genius award-winner Catherine Coleman Flowers is on the front line of that fight, based on her own childhood as the daughter of an activist Black family in Lowndes County, Alabama. This memoir captures Flowers’ essence: someone who just can’t let an injustice slide by. And she will talk to anyone who might be able to help, including with cleaning up the raw sewage that continues to poison the homes of many poor Alabamians. Flowers clearly describes the link between local rights issues and the global campaign to deal with climate change.

Waste

By Catherine Coleman Flowers,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Waste as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The MacArthur grant-winning environmental justice activist's riveting memoir of a life fighting for a cleaner future for America's most vulnerable

A Smithsonian Magazine Top Ten Best Science Book of 2020

Catherine Coleman Flowers, a 2020 MacArthur "genius," grew up in Lowndes County, Alabama, a place that's been called "Bloody Lowndes" because of its violent, racist history. Once the epicenter of the voting rights struggle, today it's Ground Zero for a new movement that is also Flowers's life's work-a fight to ensure human dignity through a right most Americans take for granted: basic sanitation. Too many people, especially the rural poor,…


Entangled Life

By Merlin Sheldrake,

Book cover of Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures

I picked this book up as research for a manuscript, and it had a profound effect on me even beyond the information I needed. It taught me that nature’s cycles are more complex than I ever imagined, and that it’s practically impossible to look at anything in an ecosystem—a biological one, or even our human social and technological ones—isolated from everything else. The interdependencies and relationships just run too deep. It’s a good reminder to remember what might be unseen. 

Entangled Life

By Merlin Sheldrake,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Entangled Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A “brilliant [and] entrancing” (The Guardian) journey into the hidden lives of fungi—the great connectors of the living world—and their astonishing and intimate roles in human life, with the power to heal our bodies, expand our minds, and help us address our most urgent environmental problems.

“Grand and dizzying in how thoroughly it recalibrates our understanding of the natural world.”—Ed Yong, author of I Contain Multitudes

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR—Time, BBC Science Focus, The Daily Mail, Geographical, The Times, The Telegraph, New Statesman, London Evening Standard, Science Friday

When we think…

Arctic Dreams

By Barry Lopez,

Book cover of Arctic Dreams: Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape

After I graduated from college, I moved to Alaska as an AmeriCorps volunteer teaching adult education classes. Of course, I read every book I could find about Alaska and the arctic, and to this day, Barry Lopez’s classic Arctic Dreams remains one of the best books I’ve ever read. Lopez’s lyrical prose, immersive story-telling, and impeccable research helped me learn as much about the Arctic as I did about the writing craft. Even if you’ll never travel north, this book is simply fantastic. 

Arctic Dreams

By Barry Lopez,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Arctic Dreams as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**AS HEARD ON BBC RADIO 4**

'A master nature writer' (New York Times) provides the ultimate natural, social and cultural history of the Arctic landscape.

The author of Horizon's classic work explores the Arctic landscape and the hold it continues to exert on our imagination.

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY ROBERT MACFARLANE

Lopez's journey across our frozen planet is a celebration of the Arctic in all its guises. A hostile landscape of ice, freezing oceans and dazzling skyscapes. Home to millions of diverse animals and people. The stage to massive migrations by land, sea and air. The setting of epic exploratory…


Undrowned

By Alexis Pauline Gumbs,

Book cover of Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals

Alexis Pauline Gumbs, a “queer, black feminist love evangelist and a marine mammal apprentice,” has created an exuberant book—impossible to categorize. Undrowned is everything—a dramatic account of marine mammals’ struggles, a meditation, a call for action, a manifesto, a workbook with activities. Referencing the middle passage as a Black feminist, Gumbs considers the enmeshment of breathing, drowning, and undrowning, looking to “marine mammal kindred” as “teachers, mentors, guides.” I was deeply moved by how this book passionately voices love for whales, dolphins, and seals. But this love isn’t sentimental—it is active. The chapters call readers to do things, such as “listen,” asking how can we “listen across species, across extinction, across harm?” I marvel at Gumbs’ fierce, unabashed love for marine mammals. Gumbs inspires me to take more risks for others.

Undrowned

By Alexis Pauline Gumbs,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Undrowned as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Undrowned is a book-length meditation for social movements and our whole species based on the subversive and transformative guidance of marine mammals. Our aquatic cousins are queer, fierce, protective of each other, complex, shaped by conflict, and struggling to survive the extractive and militarized conditions our species has imposed on the ocean. Gumbs employs a brilliant mix of poetic sensibility and naturalist observation to show what they might teach us, producing not a specific agenda but an unfolding space for wondering and questioning. From the relationship between the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale and Gumbs’s Shinnecock and enslaved ancestors to…


Trace

By Lauret Savoy,

Book cover of Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape

To read Trace is to go on a mesmerizing journey with the wisest of guides. Savoy searches for American identities, and her own multifaceted ones, in the history and memory of landscapes across the continent. Every turn reveals tragic histories and surprising connections and omissions with the most beautiful language. Savoy excavates the palimpsest of stories embedded in landscapes’ histories in a helpful reminder that “nature” is always entangled with the richness and complexity of human life. With each careful word, Savoy deepened my appreciation for how landscape absorbs and reflects its history—and my admiration for her unbelievable gifts as a writer. Trace is one of those books you can read each year and your respect for it grows and the insights from it enlarge your life every time.

Trace

By Lauret Savoy,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Trace as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Through personal journeys and historical inquiry, this PEN Literary Award finalist explores how America’s still unfolding history and ideas of “race” have marked its people and the land.

Sand and stone are Earth’s fragmented memory. Each of us, too, is a landscape inscribed by memory and loss. One life-defining lesson Lauret Savoy learned as a young girl was this: the American land did not hate. As an educator and Earth historian, she has tracked the continent’s past from the relics of deep time; but the paths of ancestors toward her―paths of free and enslaved Africans, colonists from Europe, and peoples…


Tales of Two Planets

By John Freeman,

Book cover of Tales of Two Planets: Stories of Climate Change and Inequality in a Divided World

Any discussion of how people and nature relate to each other in the twenty-first century will come up against the issue of climate change. And there are so many good books to read on the topic – Elizabeth Rush’s Rising comes right to mind, or the collection All We Can Save, edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine Wilkinson. What Tale of Two Planets offers is a global perspective on rising seas, changing seasons, and damaging weather through genres from poetry to prose to fiction. Each author brings clarity to the science and politics of climate change, but the sections here are also portraits of love for place and community. If you’ve never read a book on climate change before, it’s a great start; if you’ve read them all, there’s something new and beautiful here.

Tales of Two Planets

By John Freeman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tales of Two Planets as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Building from his acclaimed anthology Tales of Two Americas, beloved writer and editor John Freeman draws together a group of our greatest writers from around the world to help us see how the environmental crisis is hitting some of the most vulnerable communities where they live.

In the past five years, John Freeman, previously editor of Granta, has launched a celebrated international literary magazine, Freeman's, and compiled two acclaimed anthologies that deal with income inequality as it is experienced. In the course of this work, one major theme came up repeatedly: Climate change is making already dire inequalities much worse,…

The Overstory

By Richard Powers,

Book cover of The Overstory

A Pulitzer Prize winner and global bestseller—The Overstory is one of the most successful and widely read works of environmental fiction. It’s a complex novel, weaving together nine separate stories of Americans whose close connections with trees spur them to protect the forests. The story is divided into four sections—root, trunk, crown, and seeds, reflecting the life cycle of trees. If it strikes you that combining nine separate narratives through four cycles is complicated, then you’re right—this is no easy read. Many of the characters endure terrible hardships too—from family tragedy to paralysis and untimely deaths, but there is optimism and above all the book is an inspiring, thought-provoking homage to trees.

The Overstory

By Richard Powers,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked The Overstory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Overstory, winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, is a sweeping, impassioned work of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of-and paean to-the natural world. From the roots to the crown and back to the seeds, Richard Powers's twelfth novel unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. There is a world alongside ours-vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see…


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