Durable Human (2 book series)

5 Great Green Books for Giving

Want to give something to that green-leaning person on your shopping list, or just looking for some great ways to care for the Earth and its inhabitants?

Check out these titles from The Durable Human reading list:

The Good Food Revolution by Will Allen with Charles Wilson. This page-turner, about one man who transforms an urban landscape from blight into bounty, offers hope for the world. Author and protagonist Will Allen travels full circle from reluctant child farmhand to professional basketball player to business executive and back to urban farmer, ultimately cultivating not only vegetables, fish and bees, but the hearts and minds of inner-city young people – plus a whole new movement in urban agriculture.

The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age by Richard Louv. The Nature Principle is the sequel to Louv’s watershed Last Child in the Woods, this time with a nod to technology.  Louv contends that people today need a “hybrid mind” which blends experience in the digital world with experience in Nature to maximize intelligence, creative thinking, and productivity.

Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants (Updated and Expanded) by Douglas Tallamy. For the homeowner on your list. I wrote about this one in a post about how invading plants species are reducing biodiversity and may have increased the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. This book is crammed with beautiful photographs of plants and animals that help and hurt the landscape. Tallamy tells you exactly what to plant and pull so you can bring the lush life back to your garden and yard.

Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity by Lester R. Brown. No matter the country or political system, Lester gives the unadorned facts, without spinning or proselytizing. I reviewed his prior book, World on the Edge and his prescription for reversing climate change and curbing population growth. Full Planet paints a darker picture of “a new era of rising food prices and growing hunger,” but also offers solutions for ending what more and more families around the world experience: voluntary “foodless days.”

In The Eye of the Hawk: Reflections along the Potomac by Martin Ogle.  One part park ranger and one part mystic, Ogle cuts through our “megapolitan malaise,” offering an up close and personal look at a short stretch of Potomac River shoreline, just a stone’s throw from the Nation’s Capital. Informed by his growing-up years in South Korea, Ogle asks and answers the question: “Can we burst from our self-imposed bubbles – collectively and individually – and allow the places we live to flood our senses and put our Human affairs in context?”

This last one is more about leadership than the Great Outdoors, but it is written by the director of a park system.

Lead like a General: Modern research on leadership as seen through the Civil War by Paul Gilbert. This slim, easy-to-read paperback applies lessons learned from the greatest (and most flawed) leaders of the Civil War. As Gilbert says, “Organizations, whether public or private, have the potential to achieve great things when good leadership is exercised.” I was particularly impressed by the ingenious and wily John Mosby, a.k.a. “the Grey Ghost”, who was a lot like Brad Pitt’s character in “Inglourious Basterds.”

Got any others to add to the List?

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M. Pierce

Here’s another book about being at one with the environment, with a beautiful title – The Blue Sapphire of the Mind: Notes for a Contemplative Ecology – by Douglas E. Christie.


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