Choose Your Own Earth Day Adventure

This past weekend was Earth Day. Hopefully you were reminded of the vast beauty and wonders that fill our Earth. What was your takeaway? Were you inspired to environmental activism? Drawn to adventure and discover more? Craving wild stories of nature gone wild?

For whatever journey you choose, a book is a great place to start. Check out recommendations for each category below.

All synopsis are excerpts from GoodReads.com, click the titles for the complete descriptions.

For the Environmentally Conscious

climate of hope
Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens Can Save the Planet  – by Michael Bloomberg, Carl Pope; Call #363.738 BLO

“In these times, when it’s less and less clear if the federal government will be willing to tackle climate change, Bloomberg and Pope lay out a powerfully persuasive argument about how cities can play an outsize role in fighting and reversing the dangerous effects of a warming planet.”

silent spring
Silent Spring – by Rachel Carson; Call# 632.9 CAR

“Rarely does a single book alter the course of history, but Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring did exactly that. The outcry that followed its publication in 1962 forced the banning of DDT and spurred revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water.”

 

For the Nature Lover

wild
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed; Call # 921 STR

“Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.”

 

nature fi
The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams; Call # 155.9 WIL

“From forest trails in Korea, to islands in Finland, to eucalyptus groves in California, Florence Williams investigates the science behind nature’s positive effects on the brain. Delving into brand-new research, she uncovers the powers of the natural world to improve health, promote reflection and innovation, and strengthen our relationships.”

For the Sci-Fi Thrill Seeker

annihilation

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer

“Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.”
windupgirl

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

“What Happens when calories become currency? What happens when bio-terrorism becomes a tool for corporate profits, when said bio-terrorism’s genetic drift forces mankind to the cusp of post-human evolution? Award-winning author Paolo Bacigalupi delivers one of the most highly acclaimed science fiction novels of the twenty-first century.”

 

 

If You Liked A Long Way Gone, Try…. Why?

This list is going to focus on biographies, because I haven’t done a non-fiction list on the blog before! A Long Way Gone: Memoir of a Boy Soldier is a book you guys consistently have off the shelves–and we own 5 copies.

If you enjoyed Beah’s memoir, then there a lot of other amazing people in the 921s you’ll love to meet.

Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden

A New York Times bestseller, the shocking story of one of the few people born in a North Korean political prison to have escaped and survived.

North Korea is isolated and hungry, bankrupt and belligerent. It is also armed with nuclear weapons. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people are being held in its political prison camps, which have existed twice as long as Stalin’s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. Very few born and raised in these camps have escaped. But Shin Donghyuk did.

In Escape from Camp 14, acclaimed journalist Blaine Harden tells the story of Shin Dong-hyuk and through the lens of Shin’s life unlocks the secrets of the world’s most repressive totalitarian state. Shin knew nothing of civilized existence-he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his own family. Through Harden’s harrowing narrative of Shin’s life and remarkable escape, he offers an unequaled inside account of one of the world’s darkest nations and a riveting tale of endurance, courage, and survival.

WHY? Shin’s story is real, raw, and confronts the reader with world-shaking realities–like the actions of child soldiers in A Long Way Gone. This biography has a narrative voice that will carry you through the trauma without cushioning the blow.

First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung

Until the age of five, Loung Ung lived in Phnom Penh, one of seven children of a high-ranking government official. She was a precocious child who loved the open city markets, fried crickets, chicken fights, and sassing her parents. When Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge army stormed into Phnom Penh in April 1975, Ung’s family was forced to flee their home and hide their previous life of privilege. Eventually, they dispersed in order to survive. Loung was trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans while her other siblings were sent to labor camps. Only after the Vietnamese destroyed the Khmer Rouge were Loung and her surviving siblings slowly reunited.Bolstered by the shocking bravery of one brother and sustained by her sister’s gentle kindness amid brutality, Loung forged ahead to create a courageous new life. Harrowing yet hopeful, insightful and compelling, this family’s story is truly unforgettable.

WHY? Another autobiography about being raised a child soldier, Loung’s story is very different than Ishmael Beah’s, and about another part of the world, but similar themes of survival and redemption will appeal to people who liked A Long Way Gone.

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