by XR Wordsmiths
Title: Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard
1-2 sentence recommendation: “There is a necessary wisdom in the give-and-take of nature – its quiet agreements and search for balance”. That’s on the first page and Suzanne Simard eloquently expounds on that wisdom through fifteen chapters to nudge us towards the balance that WE need to find with the nature that has supported us throughout the entire existence of our species.
Title: The Future we Choose: The Stubborn Optimist’s Guide to the Climate Crisis by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac
1-2 sentence recommendation: This invigorating book is for anyone worried about the climate crisis but unsure what to do or who feels it’s a fight that’s already lost. It is filled with radical, contagious optimism and practical steps for how to face and engage with this crisis while also creating a better world.
Title: Factfulness by Hans Rosling with Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Ronnlund
1-2 sentence recommendation: Subtitled “Ten reasons we’re wrong about the world – and why things are better than you think” this book highlights the misconceptions and biases that many of us have and shows how to overcome them through a greater focus on facts and evidence.
Title: On Black Sisters Street by Chika Unigwe
1-2 sentence recommendation: In a Belgian city four African women are selling their bodies. What led them to be in this situation? Each woman has her own story of broken dreams, the horror of war and more – however, there is one common factor. In a sense, the book begins at the end of the story, with the death of the most charismatic of the four women. The story then traces what brought us to this moment.
*I was given a copy of this book to read in my cell after being arrested at an XR action! What I read convinced me I had to buy the book and read it in full.
Title: Losing Eden.by Lucy Jones.
1-2 sentence recommendation: ‘A hymn to the healing power of nature’ says the Times. From her own despair, Lucy Jones went to nature for help, researched the science behind it and offers compelling reasons why we should all “fall back in love with the natural world and form a connection.”
Title: A Sting in the Tale – My Adventures With Bumblebees by Dave Goulson
1-2 sentence recommendation: Everything you ever wanted to know plus a few things more about these wondrous creatures. Learning doesn’t get much more enjoyable than this.
Title: Slowness by Milan Kundera
1-2 sentence recommendation: Everything moves at breakneck speed in this techno driven capitalist world. Does it have to? Do you have to? Is there an inherent value in just doing nothing, and taking time to really see the world? This is a short but very poetically written book, moving hypnotically through space and time, and taking in pain, regret and passion.
Title: Silent Earth [Averting the Insect Apocalypse] by Dave Goulson
1-2 sentence recommendation: The subtitle says it all. A bit of history, a lot of science, glorious profiles of insects you’ve never heard of and the steps we need to take in order to save not just insects – but also ourselves.
Title: Underland by Robert MacFarlane
1-2 sentence recommendation: An extraordinary evaluation of what lies beneath our feet. It took ten years for MacFarlane to write it “but it will take you longer to forget it”, said Elif Shafak, author of ‘The Island of Missing Trees’.
Title: From What is to What if: Unleashing the Power of Imagination to Create the Future We Want by Rob Hopkins
1-2 sentence recommendation: Seeing that our world is in trouble, Rob Hopkins imagines a world based on love, co-operation, caring for others and for the natural environment. His world rebuilds local communities and uses the talents and skills of local people. His inspirational introduction takes us through a day in life c 2030 where roads are almost traffic free, streets are lined with fruit trees, the air we breathe is clean and where education encourages creativity and skill-building. Bring it on he encourages us all!
Title: The Mushroom at the End of the World – On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing
1-2 sentence recommendation: Ethnographies are woven unchronologically and organically together through one common theme: Matsutake, a Japanese mushroom species that Tsing presents as the hardy hero we should look up to in these frightening times – a resilient fungus capable of surviving in post-capitalist destruction.
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