5 Must-Read Books for Eco-Enlightenment

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book review 3.29.11

This post is the first in a series as I work through some of the amazing books I’ve been sent to review. The pile of books nicely arranged on my desk represents about half of the books I have in the review pipeline. I am woefully behind in my reading . . .

I have a little bit of a book addiction and I get offered several books to review EVERY day. The 30 or so I have on deck are just the ones I couldn’t resist! I’m working on it. I can’t promise to read from cover-to-cover, but I do promise to try and to make sure to share the books and the wonderful ideas that come from them.

Here are 5 books that have landed on my doorstep over the last few months that I think have the potential to provide insight, to offer some hearty chuckles, to make you think and most of all to inspire.

Sleeping Naked is Green, by Vanessa Farquharson is a hilarious and insightful diary of her year of exploring the realities of green living. Here’s a sample entry: “July 3, Day 125 – Shower in the dark – why have I never taken a shower in the dark before? It’s the perfect way to wake up while still denying the existence of daylight and all forthcoming responsibility.” We interviewed Vanessa, but sadly it wasn’t recorded for podcast posterity. Good reason to get her back on the show! A very refreshing read.

Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms and Fertility Mattered, by Woody Tasch is the highly inspiring basis of what I hope will be a significant movement towards thoughtful, sustainable investment in creating stronger local economies and communities. I am quite passionate about creating healthier regional food systems and this book provides some clear pathways to how we can invest in our health, the health of the earth and create healthier local economies while we’re at it! We are interviewing Mr. Tasch on the 3.31.11 show. If you miss the show, don’t miss the podcast or visit our archive page!

Four Fish: the Future of the Last Wild Food, by Paul Greenberg is a surprisingly fascinating and detailed look at the history and impact of four specific types of fish that we are most familiar with – salmon, sea bass, cod and tuna. There is a lot of depth to the reporting and accounting of how these fish have evolved into our world and onto our dinner plates. Probably more than I really wanted to know, but it offers a fresh and unique perspective on a food source that has been a staple in the human diet for as long as we’ve been foraging for food near a shoreline.

Hope Beneath Our Feet: Restoring Our Place in the Natural World, edited by Martin Keogh is a compilation of the thoughts and words of the leading minds in the movement towards a more thoughtful and truly sustainable world. They were all asked to answer the question, “In a time of environmental crisis, how can we live right now?” The thought-provoking answers from Paul Hawken, Barbara Kingsolver, Bill McKibben, Michael Pollan and others offer a wide variety of perspectives and refreshing ideas. How would you answer the question?

Plastic: A Toxic Love Story, by Susan Freinkel is a frightening and necessary look at how we (as a culture) have become dependent on plastic. The realities of what happens to plastic and how it interacts with the environment and our own bodies is startling. I just did a plastic-free month in February with Rodale.com and was entirely discouraged by it initially, but once I surrendered to the impossibility of eliminating plastic entirely and got into a realistic mode of considering responsible use and re-use of this crazy material, I came to the conclusion there is a LOT to learn and this book is an entertaining way to educate yourself about the pervasive plastic thing we’ve got going.

Many more books to come. Look for next installment! 

About the author / 

Green Diva Meg

(aka Megan McWilliams Bouchard) is the founder of The Green Divas and GDGD Radio Network (the first green and healthy living radio network on earth for the earth). She's the producer and host of the popular Green Divas Radio Show, one of the first radio shows dedicated to sharing low-stress ways to live a deeper shade of green. Green Diva Meg is a well-known green living expert and media personality.

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