On behalf of the Writing Center, Happy Earth Week! Caring for the Earth is not a once a year event; it is something we should be doing all year-round. Whether you are interested in non-fiction, fiction, or poetry, here are a few book recommendations for celebrating our shared home. Special thanks to Dr. Elly Engle from the Environmental Studies department for sharing some of her favorites, too! All photos and descriptions are from Goodreads.
All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine Keeble Wilkinson (Nonfiction)
- “All We Can Save illuminates the expertise and insights of dozens of diverse women leading on climate in the United States–scientists, journalists, farmers, lawyers, teachers, activists, innovators, wonks, and designers, across generations, geographies, and race–and aims to advance a more representative, nuanced, and solution-oriented public conversation on the climate crisis. These women offer a spectrum of ideas and insights for how we can rapidly, radically reshape society.”
- Read more about All We Can Save on Goodreads.
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer (Nonfiction)
- “As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these lenses of knowledge together to show that the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings are we capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learning to give our own gifts in return.”
- Read more about Braiding Sweetgrass on Goodreads.
Chesapeake Requiem: A Year with the Watermen of Vanishing Tangier Island by Earl Swift (Nonfiction)
- “A brilliant, soulful, and timely portrait of a two-hundred-year-old crabbing community in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay as it faces extinction from rising sea levels—part natural history of an extraordinary ecosystem, starring the beloved blue crab; part paean to a vanishing way of life; and part meditation on man’s relationship with the environment—from the acclaimed author, who reported this story for more than two years.”
- Read more about Chesapeake Requiem on Goodreads.
Oceanic by Aimee Nezhukumatathil (Poetry)
- “In her fourth collection, Aimee Nezhukumatathil hums a bright blue note—a sensuous love song to the Earth and its inhabitants. Oceanic is both a title and an ethos of radical inclusion, inviting in the grief of an elephant, the icy eyes of a scallop, “the ribs / of a silver silo,” and the bright flash of painted fingernails. With unmatched sincerity, Oceanic speaks to each reader as a cooperative part of the natural world—the extraordinary neighborhood to which we all belong. This is a poet ecstatically, emphatically, naming what it means to love a world in peril.”
- Read more about Oceanic on Goodreads.
Strange as This Weather Has Been by Ann Pancake (Fiction)
- “Set in present day West Virginia, Ann Pancake’s debut novel, Strange As This Weather Has Been, tells the story of a coal mining family— a couple and their four children— living through the latest mining boom and dealing with the mountaintop removal and strip mining that is ruining what is left of their mountain life. As the mine turns the mountains to slag and wastewater, workers struggle with layoffs and children find adventure in the blasted moonscape craters.”
- Read more about Strange as This Weather Has Been on Goodreads.
What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City by Mona Hanna-Attisha (Nonfiction)
- “Here is the inspiring story of how Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, alongside a team of researchers, parents, friends, and community leaders, discovered that the children of Flint, Michigan, were being exposed to lead in their tap water–and then battled her own government and a brutal backlash to expose that truth to the world. At the center of the story is Dr. Mona herself–an immigrant, doctor, scientist, and mother whose family’s activist roots inspired her pursuit of justice.”
- Read more about What the Eyes Don’t See on Goodreads.
Ciara | Spring 2021