featured image for nature centered books to read on earth day

Earth Day Reads that aren’t ‘The Lorax’

It’s hard to find ways to connect with people while we all social distance.  However, as the world sits at home, we are beginning to notice over social media, telephone calls to those we haven’t spoken to in a while, and even waving at others across the street for their daily walk that we have a lot more in common that we usually might think.  The biggest thing we share is our Earth, and in honor of Earth Day here are some spectacular modern titles about the collective challenge facing us across the globe.



Elizabeth Rush’s book takes readers to the cultural, social, and economic peripheries of the United States.  From places like Louisiana’s marginalization shores to the glass castles of Silicon Valley, Rush shows the encroaching problem of rising tides on our coastal communities around the country.


Image Via amAZON

The Uninhabitable Earth

Columnist and editor David Wallace-Wells traverses past, present, and future to bring his readers a harrowing picture of life in the time of anthropogenic global warming.  His tone is urgent, keenly aware of the emergency crisis we face today.  However, he seizes moments of hope, possibility, and ways out of the mess if we act soon.

Uninhabitable earth
Image via amazon


Silent Spring

Published in 1962, Silent Spring was a cornerstone of modern America’s awareness about the adverse effects of indiscriminate pesticide use.  Author Rachel Carson began her research in 1950, driven by a belief that many environmental problems were the effect synthetic pesticide contamination.  Upon its publication, Silent Spring was unsurprisingly met with opposition from chemical companies but the truth in its pages spread across the country in a transformative way.

silent spring
Image via AMAZON


This Radical Land

Daegan Miller dives deep into the archives in this collection of essays that explore the history of the environmental conservation movement from its very beginnings.  These early radicals believed in a way for humans to coexist with the natural world rather than exploit it, even when most were under the impression that Earth was an endless supply of resources.  Miller reminds his readers that efforts to live in harmony with our environment have always been part of our history, and it’s up to us to harness these early sentiments in our actions today.

this radical land
Image via Amazon



Where the Water Goes

David Owen takes a trip along the Colorado River, from its start in the Rocky Mountains all the way down to Mexico.  This prized waterway is depended on by nearly 40 million people, but overuse by farmers, engineers, lawyers, and politicians is quickly threatening the river’s resilience and longevity.  We must do something, argues Owen, before the tap runs dry.

where the water goes
Image via amazon


The End of Nature

If the waves crash up against the beach, eroding dunes and destroying homes, it is not the awesome power of Mother Nature. It is the awesome power of Mother Nature as altered by the awesome power of man, who has overpowered in a century the processes that have been slowly evolving and changing of their own accord since the earth was born, writes Bill McKibben in The End of Nature.  McKibben refuses to sugarcoat our defamation of the natural world, suggesting we return to a more humble way of living.

the end of nature
image via amazon
Feature Image Via Smithsonian Magazine

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