Earth Day

Earth Day

Fiction and Nonfiction books about sustainability, ecology, climate change, and green living.


Fiction

American War

Omar El Akkad
Adult Fiction - Elakkad

Sarat Chestnut, born in Louisiana, is only six when the Second American Civil War breaks out in 2074. But even she knows that oil is outlawed, that Louisiana is half underwater, and that unmanned drones fill the sky. When her father is killed and her family is forced into Camp Patience for displaced persons, she begins to grow up shaped by her particular time and place. Eventually Sarat is befriended by a mysterious functionary, under whose influence she is turned into a deadly instrument of war. The decisions that she makes will have tremendous consequences not just for Sarat but for her family and her country, rippling through generations of strangers and kin alike.


Flight Behavior

Barbara Kingsolver
Adult Fiction - Kingsol

Flight Behavior is a brilliant and suspenseful novel set in present day Appalachia; a breathtaking parable of catastrophe and denial that explores how the complexities we inevitably encounter in life lead us to believe in our particular chosen truths. Kingsolver's riveting story concerns a young wife and mother on a failing farm in rural Tennessee who experiences something she cannot explain, and how her discovery energizes various competing factions—religious leaders, climate scientists, environmentalists, politicians—trapping her in the center of the conflict and ultimately opening up her world.


Oil on Water

Helon Habila
Adult Fiction - Habila

From the desks of Nigeria's newsrooms, two journalists are recruited to find the kidnapped wife of a British oil engineer. Zaq, an infamous media hack, knows what's in store, but Rufus, a keen young journalist eager to get himself noticed, has no idea what he's let himself in for. Journeying into the oil-rich regions of South Africa, where militants rule and the currency dealt in is the lives of hostages, Rufus soon finds himself acting as intermediary between editor, husband, captive and soldier.


On Such a Full Sea

Chang-rae Lee
Adult Fiction - Lee

In a future, long-declining America, society is strictly stratified by class. Long-abandoned urban neighborhoods have been repurposed as highwalled, self-contained labor colonies. And the members of the labor class—descendants of those brought over en masse many years earlier from environmentally ruined provincial China—find purpose and identity in their work to provide pristine produce and fish to the small, elite, satellite charter villages that ring the labor settlement. In this world lives Fan, a female fish-tank diver, who leaves her home in the B-Mor settlement (once known as Baltimore), when the man she loves mysteriously disappears. Fan’s journey to find him takes her out of the safety of B-Mor, through the anarchic Open Counties, where crime is rampant with scant governmental oversight, and to a faraway charter village, in a quest that will soon become legend to those she left behind.


Oryx and Crake

Margaret Atwood
Adult Fiction - Atwood

 Snowman, known as Jimmy before mankind was overwhelmed by a plague, is struggling to survive in a world where he may be the last human, and mourning the loss of his best friend, Crake, and the beautiful and elusive Oryx whom they both loved. In search of answers, Snowman embarks on a journey–with the help of the green-eyed Children of Crake–through the lush wilderness that was so recently a great city, until powerful corporations took mankind on an uncontrolled genetic engineering ride. Margaret Atwood projects us into a near future that is both all too familiar and beyond our imagining.



Octavia E. Butler
Science Fiction - SF Butler

Lauren Olamina and her family live in one of the only safe neighborhoods remaining on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Behind the walls of their defended enclave, Lauren’s father, a preacher, and a handful of other citizens try to salvage what remains of a culture that has been destroyed by drugs, war, and chronic shortages of water, gasoline, and more. When fire destroys their compound, Lauren’s family is killed and she is forced out into a world that is facing apocalypse. With a handful of other refugees, Lauren must make her way north to safety, along the way conceiving a revolutionary idea that may mean salvation for all mankind.


Snowpiercer

Jacques Lob
Graphic Novels - Snowpie

From fearsome engine to final car, all surviving human life is here: a complete hierarchy of the society we lost. The elite, as ever, travel in luxury at the front of the train - but for those in the rear coaches, life is squalid, miserable and short. Now the poor have had enough: it's time to seize control of the engine - and their future!


The Story of Owen

E. K. Johnston
Young Adult Fiction - Y Johnsto

In an alternate world where industrialization has caused many species of carbon-eating dragons to thrive, Owen, a slayer being trained by his famous father and aunt, and Siobahn, his bard, face a dragon infestation near their small town in Canada.


Threatened

Eliot Schrefer
Young Adult Fiction - Y Schrefe

Luc is an orphan, living in debt slavery in Gabon, until he meets a Professor who claims to be studying chimpanzees, and they head off into the jungle--but when the Professor disappears, Luc has to fend for himself and join forces with the chimps to save their forest.


The Windup Girl

Paolo Bacigalupi
Science Fiction - SF Bacigal

What happens when bio-terrorism becomes a tool for corporate profits? And what happens when this forces humanity to the cusp of post-human evolution? This is a tale of Bangkok struggling for survival in a post-oil era of rising sea levels and out-of-control mutation.


Juvenile Fiction

The Lorax

Dr. Seuss
Children's Easy – Seu

The classic and cautionary tale that's educated young readers for generations about the importance of seeing the beauty in the world—and our responsibility to protect it.


Nonfiction

	Homegrown & Handmade: A Practical Guide to More Self-reliant Living

Deborah Niemann
Adult Nonfiction - 640 Nie

You can become more self-sufficient and create a more authentic life for yourself and your family. And you don't need 40 acres in the country to do it. Homegrown andHandmade shows how anyone can learn to 'make it from scratch' for the good of their health, their finances and the planet.


American Earth

Bill McKibben
Adult Nonfiction - 808.8036 Ame

As America and the world grapple with the consequences of global environmental change, writer and activist Bill McKibben offers this unprecedented, provocative, and timely anthology, gathering the best and most significant American environmental writing from the last two centuries. 


Bikenomics

Elly Blue
Adult Nonfiction - 796.6 Blu

Making the case for adopting more sustainable modes of transportation, this reference explores the economic benefits of bicycling. It starts with an analysis of the real costs incurred by individuals and families in existing transportation systems and goes on to examine the current civic expenses of these systems. With critiques of modern society's deep-rooted attachment to car culture, this book tells the stories of people, businesses, organizations, and cities who are investing in two-wheeled transportation.


Cadillac Desert

Marc Reisner
Adult Nonfiction – 333.91 Rei

Widely considered to be the definitive work on the water crisis in the American West.

 

 


The Death and Life of the Great Lakes

Dan Egan
Adult Nonfiction – 577.6309 Ega

The Great Lakes hold twenty percent of the world’s supply of surface fresh water and provide sustenance, work, and recreation for tens of millions of Americans. They're also under threat as never before. An urgent examination of what threatens this precious resource that's also a convincing call to arms detailing the relatively simple things we need to do to protect it.


Do-It-Yourself Projects to Get You Off the Grid

Noah Weinstein
Adult Nonfiction - 640 Doi

Instructables is back with this inspiring book focused on a series of projects designed to get you thinking creatively about going green. Twenty Instructables illustrate just how simple it can be to make your own backyard chicken coop, or turn a wine barrel into a rainwater collector.


Farm City

Novella Carpenter
Adult Nonfiction - 630.9173 Car

Novella Carpenter loves cities-the culture, the crowds, the energy. At the same time, she can't shake the fact that she is the daughter of two back-to-the-land hippies who taught her to love nature and eat vegetables. Ambivalent about repeating her parents' disastrous mistakes, yet drawn to the idea of backyard self-sufficiency, Carpenter decided that it might be possible to have it both ways: a homegrown vegetable plot as well as museums, bars, concerts, and a twenty-four-hour convenience mart mere minutes away. Especially when she moved to a ramshackle house in inner city Oakland and discovered a weed-choked, garbage-strewn abandoned lot next door. She closed her eyes and pictured heirloom tomatoes, a beehive, and a chicken coop.


Nature's Allies: Eight Conservationists Who Changed Our World

Larry A. Nielsen 
Adult Nonfiction – 920 Nie

These biographies of eight diverse conservation pioneers tell the story of people with little in common except their outspokenness in protecting various natural habitats. Inspirational reading for anyone wanting to follow in their footsteps.


The Planet Remade: How Geoengineering Could Change the World

Oliver Morton
Adult Nonfiction – 628 Mor

Morton explores the cutting-edge science of geoengineering and weighs the promise and perils of the controversial strategies of a small but influential group of scientists. Their proposals for planned human intervention in the climate system include a stratospheric veil against the sun and fleets of unmanned ships seeding the clouds.


The Price of Thirst: Global Water Inequality and the Coming Chaos

Karen Piper
Adult Nonfiction - 333.91 Pip

In visits to the hot spots of water scarcity and the hotshots in water finance, Piper shows us what happens when global businesses with mafia-like powers buy up the water supply and turn off the taps of people who cannot pay.


Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman: Conservation Heroes of the American Heartland

Miriam Horn
Adult Nonfiction – 333.7209 Hor

Many of the men and women doing today’s most consequential environmental work―restoring America’s grasslands, wildlife, soil, rivers, wetlands, and oceans―would not call themselves environmentalists. Unfolding as a journey down the Mississippi River, this book tells the stories of five representatives of the stewardship movement: a Montana rancher, a Kansas farmer, a Mississippi riverman, a Louisiana shrimper, and a Gulf fisherman.


Resurrection Science: Conservation, De-extinction and the Precarious Future of Wild Things

M.R. O'Connor
Adult Nonfiction - 591.68 Oco

A tour of current advances in biology and ethics demonstrates how humans are increasingly in control of evolution, exploring how as the scientific community endeavors to save near-extinct species, the creatures being saved become less wild and more dependent.


A Sand County Almanac

Aldo Leopold
508.7755 Leo

One of the most influential books ever published about nature, and the challenge of protecting it.


Sewing Green

Betz White
Adult Nonfiction - 646.4 Whi

By its nature, do-it-yourself sewing is environmentally friendly. In Sewing Green, Betz White takes stitching to an even higher level of sustainability, presenting 25 projects made from "repurposed" thrift-store and back-of-the-closet finds and organic fabrics.


Silent Spring

Rachel Carson
Adult Nonfiction – 363.7384 Car

The landmark study that sparked awareness of the dangers of pesticides and other common products. This book also inspired the environmental movement and led to the annual Earth Day observance on April 22.


The Story of Stuff

Annie Leonard
Adult Nonfiction - 306.4 Leo

The author tracks the life of the "stuff" we use every day, transforming how we think about our patterns of consumption.


This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate

Naomi Klein
Adult Nonfiction - 363.73874 Kle

Klein argues that climate change isn't just another issue to be neatly filed between taxes and health care. It's an alarm that calls us to fix an economic system that is already failing us in many ways. Klein ... builds the case for how massively reducing our greenhouse emissions is our best chance to simultaneously reduce gaping inequalities, re-imagine our broken democracies, and rebuild our gutted local economies.


Walden

Henry David Thoreau
Adult Nonfiction – 818.31 Tho

The classic paean to the virtues of simplicity and self-sufficiency from the revered American philosopher.


The World Without Us

Alan Weisman
Adult Nonfiction – 304.2 Wei

The revelatory account of what would happen to planet Earth if the human presence were to be removed.


The Zero-Waste Lifestyle

Amy Korst
Adult Nonfiction - 640.286 Kor

A practical guide to generating less waste, featuring meaningful and achievable strategies from the blogger behind The Green Garbage Project, a yearlong experiment in living garbage-free. The average American tosses out nearly five pounds of trash every day, yet studies show the more we buy, the less happy we are. In The Zero-Waste Lifestyle, Amy Korst shows us how to have a happier, healthier, more sustainable life by sharing the lessons she learned while going waste-free for an entire year. Each chapter presents easy steps that anyone can take to create less trash: from composting and retaking reusable containers to the grocery store to burning clean organic materials; upcycling, downcycling, and recycling goods; and more