68 books like Earth

By David Brin,

Here are 68 books that Earth fans have personally recommended if you like Earth. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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By Frank Herbert,

Book cover of Dune

Kim Alexander Author Of The Sand Prince

From the list on fantasy that make you feel like you’ve been there.

Who am I?

I’m a writer of epic fantasy and paranormal romance, and my obsession is writing about the fashion, food, language, and social politics of the worlds I create. World building is vital if you intend to create a lived-in backdrop for your story, but intricate, elaborate world building will only take you so far. You (the author) must have a cast of characters equally well developed. I’ve tried to take lessons away from every book I’ve read and every author I’ve interviewed and worked to balance characters to fall in love with against places that feel absolutely alive. Their joy/terror/love/hate/experience becomes the readers. It’s that combination that makes a book unforgettable.

Kim's book list on fantasy that make you feel like you’ve been there

Why did Kim love this book?

Well, I suppose a few words have been devoted to Dune already, but I’m going to chime in!

I read Dune the first time as a teenager, and found some of it (Paul’s adventures, everything to do with Jessica) exciting and engrossing. On the other hand, some of it I couldn’t puzzle out—mostly politics. Now, that’s my favorite part! Honestly, I got my first and most vital lesson in world building from Dune, and it remains a huge influence on my writing.

What does it smell like, this new world? What happens if you get caught outside in a storm? What do your clothes look like and do they mark you as an outsider? What do you eat and when? And so on, ad infinitum. And I loved the quotes that open the chapters, so much that I created my own book-within-a-book just so I could similarly quote it.

By Frank Herbert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Before The Matrix, before Star Wars, before Ender's Game and Neuromancer, there was Dune: winner of the prestigious Hugo and Nebula awards, and widely considered one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written.

Melange, or 'spice', is the most valuable - and rarest - element in the universe; a drug that does everything from increasing a person's lifespan to making interstellar travel possible. And it can only be found on a single planet: the inhospitable desert world of Arrakis.

Whoever controls Arrakis controls the spice. And whoever controls the spice controls the universe.

When the Emperor transfers stewardship of…

American War

By Omar El Akkad,

Book cover of American War

Mal Warwick Author Of Hell on Earth: What we can learn from dystopian fiction

From the list on dystopian since “Brave New World” and “1984”.

Who am I?

When I was twelve years old, my picture appeared in my hometown newspaper. I was holding a huge stack of books from the library, a week’s reading. All science fiction. I’ve read voraciously for the past seventy years—though much more widely as an adult. I’ve also had a life founding several small companies and writing twenty books. But I’ve continued to read science fiction, and, increasingly, dystopian novels. Why? Because, as a history buff, I think about the big trends that shape our lives. I see clearly that climate change, breakthroughs in technology, and unstable politics threaten our children’s future. I want to understand how these trends might play out—for better or for worse.

Mal's book list on dystopian since “Brave New World” and “1984”

Why did Mal love this book?

The widening partisan divide between Red and Blue in the United States today gives me nightmares.

I read a lot of history, so I know how closely today’s divisions resemble those before the Civil War. Which is why Omar El Akkad’s American War resonates so deeply with me.

In 2074, four Deep South states secede over the passage of new legislation banning fossil fuels—and a Southerner assassinates the President.

The Red and Blue states are now at war again. And that’s my nightmare brought to life. 

By Omar El Akkad,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Best Book of the Year: The Guardian, The Observer, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and The Washington Post.

2074. America's future is Civil War. Sarat's reality is survival. They took her father, they took her home, they told her lies . . .

She didn't start this war, but she'll end it.

Omar El Akkad's powerful debut novel imagines a dystopian future: a second American Civil War, a devastating plague and one family caught deep in the middle. In American War, we're asked to consider what might happen if America were to turn its most devastating policies and…

The Wandering Earth

By Cixin Liu,

Book cover of The Wandering Earth

John Elkington Author Of Green Swans: The Coming Boom in Regenerative Capitalism

From the list on green sci-fi books.

Who am I?

I have long been fascinated by history – and by the future. As a Boomer, born in 1949, I have surfed successive environmental, green, and sustainability waves. Since 1978, I have co-founded four businesses in the field, all of which still exist. I am now Chief Pollinator at Volans. I have served on some 80 boards and advisory boards and spoken at nearly 2000 major events worldwide. And I have authored or co-authored 20 books, including the million-selling Green Consumer Guide series from 1988. Science fiction has been a constant inspiration. The books I have picked are generally optimistic, in contrast to dystopias like Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. Finally, given the richness of this area of fiction, we can be sure that there are many many other green sci-fi shortlists out there waiting to be published, including ones featuring women like Ursula K. Le Guin and Margaret Atwood.

John's book list on green sci-fi books

Why did John love this book?

Countries tend to produce great science fiction when they are developing fast  like Britain and France did in Victorian times — think HG Wells and Jules Verne—and the US did in the post-WWII era (from Asimov to Zubrin). Given how fast China has been developing, it should come as no surprise that sci-fi has been booming there. And given how central a role China will play in the rest of the 21st century, we should be reading more of it. Like many people, I came across Liu Cixin through his novel, The Three-Body Problem. The Wandering Earth, by contrast, started out as a novella and was turned into a smash-hit film of the same name.

By Cixin Liu,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Wandering Earth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


The Sun is dying. Earth will perish too, consumed by the star in its final death throes. But rather than abandon their planet, humanity builds 12,000 mountainous fusion engines to propel the Earth out of orbit and onto a centuries-long voyage to Proxima Centaurai...

Cixin Liu is one of the most important voices in world Science Fiction. A bestseller in China, his novel, The Three-Body Problem, was the first translated work of SF ever to win the Hugo Award.

Here is the first collection of his short fiction: ten stories, including five Chinese Galaxy Award-winners.…

The Ministry for the Future

By Kim Stanley Robinson,

Book cover of The Ministry for the Future

Nick Fuller Googins Author Of The Great Transition

From the list on ward away your global warming anxiety.

Who am I?

I was working installing solar panels in rural Maine when I first had the idea to write a climate crisis novel. I grew up in the woods of New England, and have always loved nature, but I was feeling pretty despondent about global warming. I started to wonder: what would it feel like to be part of a mass mobilization installing solar, wind, and so on, to save the planet? Those were the seeds of the novel. When I’m not writing, I’m a fourth grade teacher. I worry about the planet my students will inherit, and if I’m doing enough to make that world as hopeful as possible.

Nick's book list on ward away your global warming anxiety

Why did Nick love this book?

I read this novel when I was about three-quarters finished with my novel, and was just blown away by the attention to detail, possibilities, and hope between the pages.

This is another hopeful near-future novel, in which humanity is trying its best to overcome the worst of climate change. Unlike my novel, however, which is told from the perspective of one family, Ministry for the Future is a truly global story, with dozens and dozens of narrators, many unnamed, who give us snapshots everywhere from the Arizona border to Antarctica to Switzerland to India, all coalescing into what becomes a global movement to try to save the planet.

This novel is a little lighter on plot, but fascinating as a menu of hopeful options and possibilities for what could be done if humanity really got its act together. 

By Kim Stanley Robinson,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked The Ministry for the Future as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


“The best science-fiction nonfiction novel I’ve ever read.” —Jonathan Lethem
"If I could get policymakers, and citizens, everywhere to read just one book this year, it would be Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Ministry for the Future." —Ezra Klein (Vox)

The Ministry for the Future is a masterpiece of the imagination, using fictional eyewitness accounts to tell the story of how climate change will affect us all. Its setting is not a desolate, postapocalyptic world, but a future that is almost upon us. Chosen by Barack Obama as one of his favorite…


By Bill McKibben,

Book cover of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

Bruce E. Johansen Author Of Nationalism vs. Nature: Warming and War

From the list on climate change and how to deal with it.

Who am I?

I retired in 2019 after 38 years of teaching journalism,  environmental studies, and Native American Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. About half of my employment time was set aside for writing and editing as part of several endowed professorships I held sequentially between 1990 and 2018. After 2000, climate change (global warming) became my lead focus because of the urgency of the issue and the fact that it affects everyone on Earth. As of 2023, I have written and published 56 books, with about one-third of them on global warming. I have had an intense interest in weather and climate all my life.

Bruce's book list on climate change and how to deal with it

Why did Bruce love this book?

Very probably the world’s foremost organizer against global warming, Bill McKibben played a leading role in founding 350.org, a worldwide citizen-based, grass-roots solution for climate changes that already are well underway.

An eloquent writer and author of several other books that focus on humankind’s debt to nature, his role as an author on natural issues began in 1989 with The End of Nature. In October, 2009, McKibben took a leading role in organizing what CNN called “The most widespread day of political action in the planet’s history.”  

By Bill McKibben,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Twenty years ago, with "The End of Nature", Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about global warming. Those warnings went mostly unheeded; now, he insists, we need to acknowledge that we've waited too long, and that massive change is not only unavoidable but already under way. Our old familiar globe is suddenly melting, drying, acidifying, flooding, and burning in ways that no human has ever seen. We've created, in very short order, a new planet, still recognizable but fundamentally different. We may as well call it Eaarth. That new planet is filled with new binds and traps. A…

Book cover of How Did We Get Into This Mess?: Politics, Equality, Nature

Nick Meynen Author Of Frontlines: Stories of Global Environmental Justice

From the list on the state of the world we live in.

Who am I?

Walking the rims of remote crater lakes in Uganda to map a tiny piece of terra incognita was a big childhood dream coming true. I then went from a geography master to studies of conflicts, development & journalism. This brought me to the DRC, India, and Nepal, where I covered war, aid, and revolution. Since 2009 I combine professional environmentalism with freelance journalism, publishing books, and giving lectures. With a great global team of researchers and activists I co-created the largest database of environmental conflicts in the world, which doubled as fieldwork for my book Frontlines.

Nick's book list on the state of the world we live in

Why did Nick love this book?

Politics, nature, society, identity, money, work, energy...Monbiot doesn't only touch a whole lot, I almost always agree with him. This selection of his best essays is like a box full of brain candy and one should treat it accordingly: do not swallow it all in one go. In one of his small-group talking rounds right after a big lecture, I witnessed his never appease-able hunger to bounce ideas off, get to the bottom of things, identify flaws in assumptions that most of us didn't even know we had. Monbiot doesn't allow social or political conventions to get in his way. His goal is clear: unpacking the reality of the world of today, no matter how dark this needs to be. 

By George Monbiot,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How Did We Get Into This Mess? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Leading political and environmental commentator on where we have gone wrong, and what to do about it " Without countervailing voices, naming and challenging power, political freedom withers and dies. Without countervailing voices, a better world can never materialise. Without countervailing voices, wells will still be dug and bridges will still be built, but only for the few. Food will still be grown, but it will not reach the mouths of the poor. New medicines will be developed, but they will be inaccessible to many of those in need. " George Monbiot is one of the most vocal, and eloquent,…

Facing the Climate Emergency

By Margaret Klein Salamon, Molly Gage,

Book cover of Facing the Climate Emergency: How to Transform Yourself with Climate Truth

Molly Young Brown Author Of Growing Whole: Self-Realization for the Great Turning

From the list on building resilience in hard times.

Who am I?

As a teacher, counselor, and author, I aspire to support people’s personal and spiritual unfolding for the benefit of all life. I studied psychosynthesis with its founder, Roberto Assagioli, and explored peace psychology and eco-psychology. During my Masters of Divinity studies in the 1990’s, I began working with Joanna Macy, which led to our co-authoring Coming Back to Life and focused my professional life on the Work That Reconnects. The challenges of climate disruption, systemic racism, and economic inequity and instability require us all to act from our most mature, creative, and loving dimensions, which I believe these books can help engender.

Molly's book list on building resilience in hard times

Why did Molly love this book?

I found this book to be an inspiring and practical self-help book for the 21st century, challenging us to overcome denial about the global climate emergency and honor our grief, fear, and anger, so we can better take part in the urgently needed transformation of our society and economy.

By Margaret Klein Salamon, Molly Gage,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Facing the Climate Emergency as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Face the truth of climate change, accept your fears, and become the hero that humanity needs.

Facing the Climate Emergency gives people the tools to confront the climate emergency, face their negative emotions, and channel them into protecting humanity and the natural world.

As the climate crisis accelerates toward the collapse of civilization and the natural world, people everywhere are feeling deep pain about ecological destruction and their role in it. Yet we are often paralyzed by fear. Help is at hand.

Drawing on facts about the climate, tenets of psychological theory, information about the climate emergency movement and elements…

The Mushroom at the End of the World

By Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing,

Book cover of The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins

Diana E. Marsh Author Of Extinct Monsters to Deep Time: Conflict, Compromise, and the Making of Smithsonian's Fossil Halls

From the list on where authors infiltrate a wild community.

Who am I?

I’m a nerd about all things museums and archives, which I teach and write about. I was trained as an anthropologist, and got really interested in using anthropology’s methods (namely ethnography) to do long-term, embedded, deep-dive fieldwork in bureaucratic settings, like big museums. I love reading books by journalists, economists, historians, and others who do ethnography and really embed themselves in different communities, places, and cultures.

Diana's book list on where authors infiltrate a wild community

Why did Diana love this book?

This is an academic book, but it's beautifully written, and not too, too jargony. Tsing does a kind of commodity ethnography, embedding herself in multiple parts of the lifecycle of the Matsutake Mushroom trade, while depicting the worlds of pickers, restauranteurs, mushroom traders and auctioneers, nature guides, and more. She also weaves in a critique of capitalist markets in which these kinds of natural entities now are embedded, which I dig! 

By Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Mushroom at the End of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What a rare mushroom can teach us about sustaining life on a fragile planet

Matsutake is the most valuable mushroom in the world-and a weed that grows in human-disturbed forests across the Northern Hemisphere. Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing's account of these sought-after fungi offers insights into areas far beyond just mushrooms and addresses a crucial question: What manages to live in the ruins we have made? The Mushroom at the End of the World explores the unexpected corners of matsutake commerce, where we encounter Japanese gourmets, capitalist traders, Hmong jungle fighters, Finnish nature guides, and more. These companions lead us into…


By Lance H. Gunderson (editor), C. S. Holling (editor),

Book cover of Panarchy: Understanding Transformations in Human and Natural Systems

A.H. Hay Author Of Before the Storm: Exploring Protection Planning and Security Integration

From the list on operational resilience and why it's important.

Who am I?

I practised risk, resilience, and protection of infrastructure systems for 35 years. Mid-career, I became frustrated that we could deliver highly successful projects yet didn't deliver their ultimate purpose. This difference is particularly pronounced in war zones and the developing world, where most of my work has been. My research at the University challenged what I knew: it was as if someone had taken my heuristic understanding and cast the components like a pack of cards into the wind. I have shared some highlights in my journey to gather the cards. I hope you like them.

A.H.'s book list on operational resilience and why it's important

Why did A.H. love this book?

Not easy reading, it may well slide down your "must read" list. However, resilience is an ecological concept. C.S. Holling, co-author of Panarky, coined the term resilience in a 1973 ecological science paper. The practical application of resilience, specifically operational resilience, and its relationship to adaptation and protection, has evolved greatly over the last 20 years. Nonetheless, Panarchy gets to the raw ingredients of these multi-domain ideas. It remains an invaluable touchstone for those exploring nature-based solutions as tools of protection and resilience planning for disaster risk reduction. It is a fascinating reminder of how quickly the world and emerging practices can change, yet the fundamental concepts endure. It reminds me of the essential value of books and how reading and internalizing an argument is so much more intellectually nourishing than today's tendency to graze information.

By Lance H. Gunderson (editor), C. S. Holling (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The book examines theories (models) of how systems (those of humans, nature, and combined humannatural systems) function, and attempts to understand those theories and how they can help researchers develop effective institutions and policies for environmental management. The fundamental question this book asks is whether or not it is possible to get beyond seeing environment as a sub-component of social systems, and society as a sub-component of ecological systems, that is, to understand human-environment interactions as their own unique system. After examining the similarities and differences among human and natural systems, as well as the means by which they can…

Shadow Dancing in the USA

By Michael Ventura,

Book cover of Shadow Dancing in the USA

Barry Spector Author Of Madness at the Gates of the City: The Myth of American Innocence

From the list on American addiction to innocence.

Who am I?

As a student of mythology and archetypal psychology, I invite you to interrogate your assumptions about self and society, to consider the narratives that we all take for granted. We live between great polar opposites. One is how our leaders embody old, toxic stories. The other asks who we might become if we imagine new ones. But only by dropping our sense of innocence and acknowledging the depths of our darkness can we open ourselves to the possibilities of real transformation. I invite you inside our mythic walls, to examine what it means to be an American. I hope to facilitate a collective initiation and invite you to think mythologically.

Barry's book list on American addiction to innocence

Why did Barry love this book?

This journalist, screenwriter, and novelist is well-versed in psychology, mythology, history, and musicology. His essay in this book, Hear That Long Snake Moan, is the single best piece of non-fiction I have ever read, and it inspired me to write my book.

Our disease – the Western divorce of consciousness from flesh – appears as consumerism, environmental degradation, fundamentalism, perpetual war, genocide, and racism. Yet, mysteriously, it may be possible that the terrible uprooting and enslavement of some fifty million black people over three centuries actually initiated a great healing process.

For all its sorrows, the twentieth century saw periods when Dionysian madness seized the Apollonian mind in its flight from the body and brought it back to Earth. African-American music fundamentally altered America and began the slow process of cleaning out the festering wounds underlying puritanism, nationalism, and materialism. We have a long way to go, but Ventura has…

By Michael Ventura,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Shadow Dancing in the USA as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Essays discuss marriage, sexuality and religion, dance, the sixties, conversation, the American Revolution, television, rock music, motion pictures, cities, and modern myths

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