December 26 2021
This article is part of our "Round Ups" series, where we share things that inspire us, guide us, or are just really cool. Today, a brief discussion of where we're at, plus our newest Sustainable Book Club contender.
We kicked off our book club tradition when we launched in October 2021, which means we’ve been doing our sustainable book club (one book a month!) for 15 months straight. Whew! It’s a LOT of reading, and we’d be lying if we said we didn’t fall behind some months. (Looking at you, November and October.)
But we also learned SO much, and you don’t have to read 15 books on climate to get there-- there’s something for everyone in this book line-up, and you’re making gains whether you pick up one new book or three.
Looking for a plane read, a cozy time at home read, or a book to gift? You’re in the right place! Scroll for our 2021 sustainable book round up and some reflections from our reader in chief (aka founder and CEO), Azora Zoe.
First and foremost, our parameters: there are lots of good books about climate and sustainability, but we try to focus on ones that are in step with what we do here at Goldune. (Think: no shaming, gatekeeping, or fear-mongering. Yes to optimism, kindness, curiosity, warmth, and centering BIPOC, non binary and female identifying perspectives.) This year we struck a pretty good balance between making sure the books we were reading were realistic (tough but fair vibes) but not doom-mongering. We also did a decent job with sourcing books by underrepresented authors, though next year we’d like to pull in more indigeneous writers than we did this year.
Since I generally pick the book club books, selfishly it also acts as my “to-read” list. (Though I’d be totally lying if I told you I could both run a company full time and read a gajillion books and to everything else on my list-- don’t be fooled! I had a head start on a lot of these books!) That also means that I usually like what I read, since I got to pick it!
There are still some faves that stand out as a cut above the rest, or books I keep coming back to, recommending, gifting or re-reading-- here’s my shortlist.
Inconspicuous Consumption by Tatiana Schlossberg. One of my all-time favorites and the sustainability related read I find myself recommending the most.
All We Can Save, an anthology of essays curated and edited by Katharine Wilkinson and Ayana Johnson. I am a climate optimist (and so is Goldune!) and this book is basically the how-to guide for climate optimism and activism. It is an absolute essential!
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. This reads as much to me as personal essay and memoir as it does an essential climate read, which is to say it’s a page turner, it’s inspiring, and it’s got a humanist depth that most folks don’t associate with climate.
- Dedicated: The Case For Commitment In An Age of Infinite Browsing by Pete Davis. This doesn’t present as a book about climate change… and it’s not! But it is a book about what it takes to commit to a cause, and what it takes to actually change the world. Spoiler alert: it means picking one tiny thing, and chipping away at it for your entire life. If you’re looking for a read that will actually help you find your place in this movement or others, or you’re feeling a little lost or grappling with climate anxiety and helplessness… pick this one up.
January: Climate Justice by Mary Robinson
February: All We Can Save by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K Wilkinson
March: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
April: Inconspicuous Consumption by Tatiana Schlossberg
May: The Future We Choose by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac
June: Dedicated: The Case For Commitment In An Age of Infinite Browsing by Pete Davis
July: Under A White Sky: The Future of Nature by Elizabeth Kolbert
August: How to Prepare for Climate Change: A Practical Guide to Surviving the Chaos by David Pogue
September: The Future Earth: A Radical Vision for What’s Possible in the Age of Warming by Eric Holthaus
November: Old Enough to Save the Planet by Loll Kirby
December: Consumed: The Need for Collective Change: Colonialism, Climate Change, and Consumerism by Aja Barber
Have a read that you think we should definitely feature in our 2022 book club? Our ears are open! Shoot us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.