Great Book Recommendations for the Dog Days of Summer

Looking for some good summer reads on environmental topics? Check out the following recommendations by Liora Silkes, Ann Berwick, Marcia Cooper, Beth Wilkinson and Andreae Downes.

  • All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis

I can’t think of a better summer read than All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis, edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine Keeble Wilkinson. This is an anthology of essays and poems, about the climate, all written by women. With writings from leaders diverse in race, ethnicity, age, and across a range of professions – scientists, teachers, journalists, lawyers, activists, artists, policymakers, teenagers – the book reminds us that everyone has a role to play to address the climate crisis. The collection is hopeful and solutions-oriented, but also gives space to acknowledge and process the loss and challenges of the changing climate, leaving you reflective and ready to take action. (Liora Silkes, Energy Coach, City of Newton)

  • The Ministry for the Future 

On his respected podcast, Ezra Klein called Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Ministry for the Future the most important book of 2020. That doesn’t seem overstated. The book is billed as a novel, but is really it’s own genre, combining a compelling plot line with discursive discussions about how economic and political systems allowed the planet to approach collapse. But at the end, it is an optimistic story about how both technological and political innovation can provide grounds for hope. (Ann Berwick, Newton’s Co-Director of Sustainability)

  • A Season Unknown 

A Season Unknown by Keith Cohen is a powerful story that thoughtfully engages us to realize the increasing threats we face from our changing climate and the inherent risks to the wellbeing of all life on our fragile planet. Cohen’s timely message is bound to inspire readers to reflect on how much is at stake, as we are moved to determine a path that leads to solutions for the most urgent environmental issues of our time. (Marcia Cooper, Green Newton President)

  • Pollinators of Native Plants 

Pollinators need our support, and I recommend biologist Heather Holm’s Pollinators of Native Plants for folks who want to attract them to their yards. The first chapters introduce important pollinators and review specific steps that one can take to create good habitat for them. The rest of the book is filled with a guide to plants native to different regions and their interactions with specific pollinators. Next on my list: Laura Harrington’s novel A Catalog of Birds and Doug Tallamy’s new book, The Nature of Oaks. (Beth Wilkinson, Past President of Newton Conservators)

  • Nature’s Best Hope 

Nature’s Best Hope by Douglas Tallamy, is about how every one of us with a yard can save, not only butterflies, but life in this corner of the earth. If you are looking for a good read (and beautiful pictures) during the summer months, this is it. (Andreae Downs, Newton City Councilor Ward 5)