Sunday, July 13, 2008

Top Five Green Reads

I didn't start reading green reads until a couple of years ago. And even then it was an accident. I had no idea what I was getting into.

It's easy to pick the top five. They’re the ones I want to read again. That I won't give away. These five books have woken me up and pushed the bed out the window so I can't go back to sleep. Which is a good thing because there are so many more books to read.

Here are the five in no particular order.

Uncertain Peril – Genetic Engineering And The Future Of Seeds
Claire Hope Cummings

My stomach turns when I remember this book. Not at the book but at the villainous world of GMO seeds and the way they are sold around the world. The stories aren't all bad guys though. Seeds savers, the people in white, get equal time and these are the stories the author seeks to save. Yeah, one seed at a time.
Rated: Hands down 5 out of 5 stars
Recommended: Everyone that has had their bed pushed out the window.

Bottomfeeder – How To Eat Ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood
Taras Grescoe

I was the first person to read this book from the library. And then I went and bought my own copy. I would carry this book with me to and from the bus with the title facing out as a subliminal message to everyone I passed. Read this book, I wanted to say. Read this book.
Rated: 5 out of 5 stars
Recommended: For everyone who eats food, period.

An Unreasonable Woman – A True Story of Shrimpers Politicos Polluters and the Fight for Seadrift, Texas
Diane Wilson

Diane Wilson is crazy. There’s no other way to explain her story. She took a stand against a billion dollar chemical industry. And she would not back down. Until they stopped polluting, which they did. Diane is brilliantly unreasonable and puts words on the page in the same straight forward way she conducts her life of activism. I could not put this book down.
Rated: 5 out of 5 stars
Recommended: For people who like a good story and fire in their belly.

Omnivore's Dilemma - A Natural History Of Four Meals
Michael Pollan

My timing was off with this book. I read it before I knew anyone who had even heard of Michael Pollan let alone read the book. Now I feel cliche adding it to my list of top five. But here it is. The accidental book that pushed my bed out the window.
Rated: 5 out of 5 stars
Recommended: For anyone still asleep about the world of industrial food.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle – A Year of Food Life
Barbara Kingsolver with Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver

This book feels cliche on the list too but the story of BK’s family eating local for a year provided the narrative I needed to make the switch to local at my own table. And for that I have great gratitude.
Rated: 4 out of 5 stars
Recommended: Kingsolver and memoir enthusiasts as well as anyone considering eating seasonally.

What are your favorite one or five green reads?


Unknown said...

Thanks for your suggestions! I'm fairly new to reading "green", so it's nice to have someone recommend their favs!

Burbanmom said...

Top five for me (in order):

1. Local Economy by Bill McKibben
2. Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv
3. Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
4. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
5. In Defense of Food also by Michael Pollan

Burbanmom said...

yeah, so I don't even give you the right title of my favorite one... it's DEEP Economy by Bill McKibben (but is all about how fostering local economies can help us heal the environment)

Green Bean said...

Katrina: Great list. I've heard of your top 2 - only because I've read your reviews of them - and never heard of #3. I will have to add them to my list. I also felt "cliche" with OD and AVM but, honestly, for people coming into the green movement, I think those are must reads. They only feel cliche because we read them a year ago and all the blog world did too. Anyone I know reading them for the first time is blown away by them.

Burbs: FINALLY, I am reading Deep Economy. I kept postponing it but was up til midnight last night. Of course that dang thing is due back at the library last week!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I have a favorite five yet. My list of those I favor from those I have read so far in no particular order, and with a few reservations for each, is:
AVM by Kingsolver
IDF by Pollan
Life of the Skies
and, Collapse by Jared Diamond. I finally finished this massive tome, and I have to say it has really shaped the way I think about things.

Anonymous said...

I just lent my copy of AVM to my mom, and she loves it. I knew she would... She asked to borrow Plenty but I told her she'd like AVM better (cause she's a mom, farmer's wife, writer and teacher).

BerryBird said...

I have never read either OD or AVM, and obviously I need to, because they are favorites of so many. The odd thing is I am huge fans of both authors, having read and enjoyed nearly all their previous works, and both books are on my wishlist. I guess it's just hard to keep up sometimes.

Kale for Sale said...

bobbi - We've got a couple more lists of favorites before the month is out too, so stay tuned and check out the comments for other bloggers favorites too.

burbanmom - I saw Local Economy on your list and didn't even catch the title slip and I read the book too. Local actually fits in the title beautifully. It's in my top ten of green books because I liked the book but also because I saw McKibben speak and he was such a sincere smart guy. He made me care about everything even more.

Thanks for the great list.

green bean - Thank goodness for libraries. They're like digital cameras in that you can check out and test a bunch of books, read a few and it cost nothing. Well, that is unless they're late.

Susanb - Thanks for the list. I haven't heard of Life Of The Skies nor read Collapse. Any chance you're going to write a review of Collapse? I'd love to know how it's changed the way you think about the world.

berrybird - I've read everything by Kingsolver too and each new book is like a birthday present. You'll like AVM. And yes, it is hard to keep up with all the good books. My copy of Lost Mountain per your review arrived at the library today and I have two others I can't wait to read too!