A Book About Climate Change: Picks for the TPL Reading Challenge 2020
Reading about climate change can feel overwhelming, but when the future of our planet is at stake being informed is essential. Our picks for "a book about climate change" will help you make sense of our changing world.
A Fire Story by Brian Fies
A memoir about the consequences of a climate change fueled natural disaster in Northern California. Fies recounts his family and community's recovery from what was, at the time, the most destructive wildfire in California history.
Hope Jahren's memoir, Lab Girl, is one of my favourite science reads. Jahren does an amazing job of presenting dense information in an accessible and actionable way.
These books were picked by our staff for "a book about climate change."
The Barren Grounds by David A. Robertson
The Barren Grounds has a strong message about living with the earth and not taking more than you need. It is a YA or Middle Grade title, a fantasy with a Narnia feel.
– Alice, Senior Collections Specialist
The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells
It's a tough read as Wallace-Wells doesn't pull any punches. He attacks humans complacency to global warming right from the very first line, "It is worse, much worse, than you think", and then proceeds to keep hammering away, chapter by chapter until the reality of what we are doing to our planet is driven home. This is not a book that has an optimistic light shining throughout the difficult passages. It is an incredibly informative, realistic and alarming read. It is meant to shock us and purposefully open our eyes.
– Christie, Branch Head
Climate Changed: A Personal Journey Through the Science by Philippe Squarzoni
Squarzoni is a French cartoonist and journalist who realizes that he doesn't understand the issues involved with climate change and sets out to learn more. It's a personal story about how he reacts and changes his life in response to what he's learned.
One caveat though, I usually assume graphic novels are going to be a light quick way to learn stuff but this is a giant door-stopper of a book.
– Margaret, Librarian
Weather by Jenny Offill
Weather by Jenny Offill is the book I snuck into this category – I couldn't handle a non-fiction title on this topic after the trials and tribulations of 2020. That being said it is a story about a librarian fielding correspondence for her mentor's climate change podcast while trying to psychologically bubble-wrap everyone in her life, so basically, in trying to avoid going in the frying pan I jumped into the fire.
– Tessie, Librarian
There's Something In The Water: Environmental Racism in Indigenous and Black Communities by Ingrid R. G. Waldron
One that's on my reading list (about environmental racism) is There's Something In The Water: Environmental Racism in Indigenous and Black Communities by Ingrid R. G. Waldron. It's no secret that marginalized communities after often impacted by climate change at earlier periods of time, and environmental racism is ensuring this is the case.
– Jamie, Indigenous Digital Content Lead
A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future by David Attenborough
Sir David Attenborough has been an incredible advocate for the planet during his 94 remarkable years. His latest book, which is part memoir and part manifesto, focuses on humanity's role in our climate crisis. Attenborough is a gifted communicator. His calls to action will stay with you.
– Jen, Librarian
New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson
– Kim, Librarian
This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate by Naomi Klein
A sobering read, highly recommended.
– Cynthia, Manager, Adult Services & Program Development
Nothing Human by Nancy Kress
– Annette, Services Specialist
The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery
I read this a long time ago and found it very informative.
– Jamie, Public Service Assistant
Recommendations from the Facebook Group
These are just some of the recommendations from our Facebook TPL Reading Challenge 2020 discussion group.
- The Case for Climate Capitalism: Economic Solutions for a Planet in Crisis by Tom Rand
- The Great Derangement: Climate change and the Unthinkable by Amitav Ghosh
- The Right to be Cold: One Woman's Story of Protecting Her Culture, the Arctic, and the Whole Planet by Sheila Watt-Cloutier
- Nature's Mutiny: How the Little Ice Age Transformed the West and Shaped the Present by Philipp Blom
- We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast by Jonathan Safran Foer
- Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
- The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolber
- The End Of The Ocean by Maja Lunde
- Overstory by Richard Powers
- On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New by Naomi Klein
- The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World by Jeff Goodell
- Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming edited by Paul Hawken
- Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
We'll be hosting an online discussion for this category, along with "a book about current events" on Wednesday, November 18 from 4 - 5:30 pm. Everyone is welcome! And if you miss the event, we'll be having another virtual TPL Reading Challenge event in December.
And if you've already completed the TPL Reading Challenge and Advanced Challenge 2020, please fill out our feedback survey. You can also enter our draw by submitting the titles you've read for a chance to win a prize!
What did you read for "a book about climate change"? Do you have other recommendations? Share in the comments below!