Environmental Book Club Books

2009 Book Selections

February 19th 2009 Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas Friendman

March 19th 2009 Animal, Vegetable, Mircle by Barbara Kingslover

April 16th 2009 Omnivores Dilemma by Michael Pollen

May 21st 2009 Cradle to Cradle by William McDonough & Michael Braungart

June 18th 2009 Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future By Bill McKibben

July 16th 2009 A discussion lead by Rich Sidwell on ‘The Passive House’

August 20th 2009 Better Off : Flipping the Switch on Technology by Eric Brende

September 17th 2009 Gone Tomorrow:The Hidden Life of Garbage by Heather Rogers.

October 15th 2009 The Hawk’s Nest Incident: America’s Worst Industrial Disaster by Martin Cherniack

November 19th 2009 Massive Change by Bruce Mau, Jennifer Leonard

December 17th 2009 Reenchanted World: The Quest for a New Kinship with Nature by James William Gibson


2010 Book Options to be Voted on January 21st

Silent Spring by Rachael Carson

Limits of Growth : The 30 year update  by Donella H. Meadows

Sacred Sea: A Journey to Lake Baikal by Peter Thompson

The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century by James Howard Kunster

The Last American Manby Elizabeth Gilbert

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

My Antonia  by Willa Cather

The Snow Leopard by Peter Mathiessen

A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean

Kingbird Highway: the Biggest Year in the Life of an Extreme Birder by Kenn Kauffman

A field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit

Ceremonyby Leslie Silko

An American Land Ethic by M. Scott Momaday

The Golden Spruce by John Vaillant

Right Relationship, building a whole earth economy  by Peter Brown and Geoffrey Garver

The Green Collar Economy  by Van Jones

Blessed Unrest, how the largest movement in the world came into being and why no one saw it coming  by Paul Hawken

Pedal Power, the quiet rise of the bicycle in American public life by J. Harry Wray

Plan C, community survival strategies for peak oil and climate change by Pat Murphy

Crisis Opportunity: Sustainability in American Agriculture by John E. Ikerd

Biomimicry, innovation inspired by nature  by Janine Benyus

Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything  by Daniel Goleman

The Long Descent: A users’s Guide to the End of the Industurial Age  by John Michael Greer

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl    by Timothy Egan

The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature by David Suzuki

Uncommon Grounds The History of Coffee And How it Transformed Our World by Mark Pendergrast

Detoxification and Healing: The Key to Optimal Health by Sidney MacDonald Baker

Earth in Mind: On Education, Environment, and the Human Prospect  by David W. Orr

Small is Beautiful: economics as if people mattered  by E.F. Schumacher

The Post-American World by Fareed Zakaria

When Smoke Ran Like Water : Tales of Environmental Deception and the Battle Against Pollution by Devra Lee Davis

In Defense of Food : An Eater’s Manifesto  by Michael Pollan

Real Food; What to Eat and Why  by Nina Planck.


Topophilia – Love of Place

I have thought a lot about the word ‘enchanted’ lately.  I helped begin (ready?) The Environmental  Schrader Center of Oglebay’s first environmental book club and we have been meeting with a new book every month since last January 2009.  We are now reading ‘A Reenchanted World: The Quest for a New  Kinship with Nature by James Gibson.

I have read the first two parts of the three-part book and am looking forward to reading the third section which is titled ‘Hope Renewed.’

In a one-sentence description the book is about awakening the reader to review their life, the times they have lived, been in awe, awakened by beauty and thankfulness.  Giving such accounts from astronauts watching the earthrise from behind the moon, or ‘looking back on the earth, an image of self-reflection or an out-of-body experience.’
The book has made me compare my own times of enchantment, sleeping by the ocean, lulled to sleep by the ocean waves, the trance of nature held out to me by the forest, the rest of thought abandoning me completely, the fluid movement of tuned sound within the leaves, branches and bird calls.  The time above Portland in the Rose Gardens, free to wanderers, the roses sweet smelling like bath soap and cleanliness.  Crossing the Ohio River on foot, over the suspension bridge, exhilarating as the current below me swept away.
Chapters of ‘..the Greening of Religion’ and ‘The Right-Wing War…’ bring up churned feelings of holy land versus our belief of religious values.  I think the argument is fundamentally a literal interpretation of the bible, that the earth is for human domain and that the only sacred thing to be considered is God.  But, what about respect in what God made?  I do not think of nature as an idol, but as a way of reminding myself of the reverence, holiness and comfort that faith can give someone.  In the solitude of nature I feel my relationship to a greater world shall not impede on another’s life, and so my commitment to nature and the preservation of it serves as the basic understanding of the famous Golden Rule ‘Do unto others as you will have them do unto you .’