Today, April 22, is the international celebration of Earth Day! Go hiking! Plant some trees! Get a little dirt under your fingernails!
Or don't. Join us here at LA Book Examiners in celebrating Earth Day in true bookworm fashion - with our noses firmly stuck between some pages! Check out Miceala's list of her top five reads for Earth Day!
Just... maybe do it on an e-reader. You know. To conserve paper and all that. Today is about saving trees, after all. ;)
The Sacred Language of Trees by A. T. Mann
Trees are the most central symbol of Earth Day. In his book The Sacred Language of Trees, author A. T. Mann provides a sweeping overview of the role that cultures and religions throughout history have assigned to the arbors around them. The Sacred Language of Trees proves a thoughtful look at how humans and the branches that shelter them have a history of entwinement, both pragmatic and spiritual.
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No Impact Man by Colin Beavan
The culture of the first world, especially in the United States, has become one of waste and excess. Almost five years ago now, freelance writer (and now ethical politician, a very rare bird indeed) Colin Beavan decided to experiment with breaking free from that culture. For one year, he (and his Prada-toting wife and still-toddling daughter) ventured into the realm of the strange and untried to see what life off the grid – but still in their middle-of-Manhattan apartment – could be like. Beavan’s writing is circumspect, analytic, and beautifully funny. His book is raw and honest, self-congratulatory followed by self-deprecation. The book does not preach a sermon; it describes a science project. Beavan experiments with how he could live, making no presumptions about whether that is how all should live. Brilliantly balanced, fun to read, and yet somehow still chock-full of facts made easily absorbable, No Impact Man is a worthy addition to any conscious individual’s bookshelf.
Find out more about the No Impact Project, Colin Beavan, and his current exploits:
The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert
The O-S genera wipe-out, the Devonian desolation, the Great Dying of the Permian-Triassic, the Triassic-Jurassic transition, the K-T death of the dinosaurs, and now much of the rest of the world because of –us?
In her fresh-off-the-2014-presses book The Sixth Extinction, highly decorated writer Elizabeth Kolbert reviews the last five great extinctions and details the next big one, which as it so happens is occurring right now. No longer does it take an asteroid to wipe out absurd numbers of species; humans are doing it all quite fine, picking off at the earth’s biodiversity of species one by one. Kolbert goes where the death is, consulting with geologists and marine biologists and researchers across the breadth of science. The Sixth Extinction is no sensationalist pile of hype – it is a calm and clear presentation of the undeniable, evidence-based facts. Herein be no speculation. Herein be science.
And herein, most definitively, be a reminder of the real importance behind Earth Day.
Unbowed: A Memoir by Wangari Maathai
Land and people have always been very tied together in the struggle for existence. In her memoir Unbowed, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Wangari Maathai recounts her days from the 70’s and 80’s spent founding and forwarding the Green Belt Movement. Maathai’s story is one of a gasping land home to a social and economic, a human struggle. Woman and fighter, Maathai tells of the storms she weathered in the battle to a piece of the earth whose inhabitants – whether tree, animal, or human - were dying from need of nourishment.
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The Secret Garden by F. H. Burnett
Of course, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s children’s classic The Secret Garden is always a good choice for Earth Day literature. Burnett’s story of a girl, a boy, and a garden that taught them about wounds and healing – and about the working of plain ol’ dirt – has enchanted countless readers, adult and child, with its tale of greenness and growing.
To purchase The Secret Garden or begin reading it right away for just $0.99 on Kindle: