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January 1&15, 2017 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Books on the Environment
Environmental issues are complex and controversial, but the authors of the 10 best environmental books reviewed in Booklist over the past year, be they scientists, journalists, or novelists, manage to go to the heart of the matter, whether they’re grappling with global warming, pollution, energy, agriculture, or extinction.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. By Barbara Kingsolver. 2007. HarperCollins, $26.95 (0-06-085255-0).
Cognizant of all the fossil fuel burned to bring food to the Arizona desert, the Kingsolvers move to a family farm in Appalachia and learn how to eat locally and seasonally.
Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming. By Paul Hawken. 2007. Penguin, $24.95 (9780670038527).
Just as antibodies rally when the body is besieged, people all over the world are organizing to combat environmental woes and corresponding forms of social injustice, a lifesaving movement Hawken examines in depth.
The Blue Death: Disease, Disaster, and the Water We Drink. By Robert D. Morris. 2007. HarperCollins, $24.95 (0-06-073089-7).
Physician and public health expert Morris warns that outdated and inadequate filtration systems fail to remove thousands of potentially hazardous chemicals from public freshwater sources in this clarion call to repair and protect our water system.
Cape Wind: Money, Celebrity, Class, Politics, and the Battle for America’s Energy Future on Nantucket Sound. By Wendy Williams and Robert Whitcomb. 2007. Public Affairs, $26.95 (1-58648-397-8).
The Cape Cod elite fought a proposed offshore wind farm with clout and disdain, a many-faceted battle powerfully chronicled by journalists Williams and Whitcomb.
How the Dead Dream. By Lydia Millet. 2008. Soft Skull, $22 (1-59376-184-8).
In Millet’s riveting novel, a reclusive L.A. real-estate developer suddenly perceives the suffering of animals in the age of catastrophic extinction and foresees a tragically impoverished future.
The Secret History of the War on Cancer. By Devra Davis. 2007. Basic, $27.50 (9780465015665).
Oncologist Davis reveals both the serious risks posed by the many environmental carcinogens we’re exposed to and the huge financial interests invested in suppressing this crucial information.
Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet. By Mark Lynas. 2008. National Geographic, $26 (1-4262-0213-X).
Lynas presents a compulsively readable “degree-by-degree guide to our planet’s future.”
Strange as This Weather Has Been. By Ann Pancake. 2007. Shoemaker & Hoard, paper, $14.95 (9781593761660).
Novelist Pancake illuminates the human toll of environmental destruction in this tale of a woman who tries to defend her beloved West Virginia home from the coal industry’s ruthless and devastating practices.
Terra: Our 100-Million-Year-Old Ecosystem and the Threats That Now Put It at Risk. By Michael Novacek. 2007. Farrar, $27 (0-374-27325-1).
After vividly describing the evolution of the fantastically beautiful and dynamic ecosystem that sustains us, paleontologist Novacek analyzes the alarming environmental impact of everyday human activities.
Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds. By Claire Hope Cummings. 2008. Beacon, $24.95 (9780807085806).
Environmental lawyer and farmer Cummings argues that, thanks to the patenting and high-pressure global marketing of genetically modified seeds by multinational corporations, there is now a seed crisis.
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