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January 1&15, 2017 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Books on Sustainability
As the titles below attest, sustainability—the need to stabilize and balance the relationship between humankind and the rest of nature—encompasses everything from facing the facts about climate change to defending human rights, protecting wilderness areas, and establishing clean, renewable energy sources.
The Conundrum: How Scientific Innovation, Increased Efficiency, and Good Intentions Can Make Our Energy and Climate Problems Worse. By David Owen. Riverhead, paper, $14 (9781594485619).
Owen, brisk, funny, and forthright, dispels environmental misperceptions to enable us to proceed toward sustainability on firmer ground.
Empire of Shadows: The Epic Story of Yellowstone. By George Black. St. Martin’s, $35 (9780312383190).
Black’s account of the ordeals and discoveries of nineteenth-century explorers in Yellowstone, and how the region became America’s first national park, is both hair-raising and elucidating.
Facing the Wave: A Journey in the Wake of the Tsunami. By Gretel Ehrlich. Pantheon, $25 (9780307907318).
Ehrlich’s sensitive chronicle of her time in Japan after the devastating March 2011 earthquake and tsunami subtly raises questions about culture, nature, global warming, and nuclear power.
Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats. By Kristen Iversen. Crown, $25 (9780307955630).
Iversen grew up in Colorado near Rocky Flats, a criminally mismanaged federal nuclear-weapon factory, and tells the full story of how it poisoned the land and its people.
Global Weirdness: Severe Storms, Deadly Heat Waves, Relentless Drought, Rising Seas, and the Weather of the Future. By Climate Central. Pantheon, $22.95 (9780307907301).
Climate Central, a nonpartisan collective of ecological experts, does a masterful job of clarifying all aspects of climate change, separating indisputable scientific evidence from myth and denial.
The Land Grabbers: The New Fight over Who Owns the Earth. By Fred Pearce. Beacon, $27.95 (9780807003244).
Pearce exposes enormous land grabs by foreigners in Africa, Asia, Indonesia, the Ukraine, and South America, stealthy acquisitions that involve crimes against humanity and environmental destruction.
On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson. By William Souder. Crown, $30 (9780307462206).
Souder brings a fresh and delving perspective to scientist, writer, and environmentalist Carson’s trailblazing achievements, hard-won artistry, and heroic sacrifices.
“A Rich Spot of Earth”: Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden at Monticello. By Peter J. Hatch. Yale, $35 (9780300171143).
Hatch’s elegantly illustrated homage to Jefferson’s horticultural genius establishes the great statesman as the forefather of modern organic and sustainable garden movements.
Visit Sunny Chernobyl and Other Adventures in the World’s Most Polluted Places. By Andrew Blackwell. Rodale, $25.99 (9781605294452).
Blackwell chronicles his visits to “the world’s most polluted places” in this witty yet alarming work of adventurous global environmental investigation.
When Women Were Birds: Fifty-Four Variations on Voice. By Terry Tempest Williams. Farrar/Sarah Crichton, $24 (9780374288976).
Williams reflects on her family’s suffering and revelations as atomic-bomb-test “downwinders” in a transcendent tribute to wilderness and women’s lives, nature and culture, place and sense of self.
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