Green Reads for Holiday Book Lists

  • The latest environment-themed books were on display at the Society of Environmental Journalists conefernce in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Photo: Jennifer Szweda Jordan

December 13, 2013

If you're thinking of environmentally themed books to curl up with by the fireside or to give as gifts, we're here to help.  At the recent Society of Environmental Journalists annual conference, we talked with the author of Cows Save the Planet, as well as some other writers and a publisher, who shared more about their latest efforts.

E.J. Hurst from New Society Publishers, and activist publisher which prints environmental and social justice titles, recommends American Exodus: Climate Change and the Coming Flight for Survival.  In the book, Giles Slade talks about the increasing impact of human migration because of climate change.  He posits a mass northern migration of Americans to Canada, because those northern climes will become more inhabitable through a warming planet.

For lighter reading, Hurst suggests some of their homesteading titles, like Raising Goats Naturally: The Complete Guide to Milk, Meat and More by Deborah Niemann.  Niemann is a member of the Nigerian Dwarf Goat Association and advocates for treating goats as individuals to make natural methods of raising animals work.  She includes photos and profiles of her goats.  Hurst's favorite couple of humans is profiled in Browsing Nature's Aisles, by Wendy and Eric Brown.  The couple forages for wild food in the suburbs, and brings their teenage daughters along for the journey.

Author Dan Fagan writes about a town in New Jersey in Tom's River: A Story of Science and Salvation.  The town has a troubled history of environmental pollution.  A cancer cluster developed in the town.  It was one of only two residential cancer clusters to be scientifically proven to have an environmental cause.  Fagan credits the discovery to  a group of concerned citizens  who spoke up against the pollution.

Judith D. Schwartz is the author of Cows Save the Planet, and Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth.  She says it's a look at soil "as a crucible for our many environmental, economic and social crises."  The book looks for solutions to these problems, and Schwartz says a "soil's eye view" of society's problems from climate change to biodiversity loss can change our perspective from overwhelmed to optimistic.