This month the Green Moms Carnival is tackling love for the month of February but not in the usual sense. Participants were asked to share the green books and authors they love. At first I was rather anxious because I thought it was just what books we love in general and that would be, for me, like picking which grains of sand I like best. I go to the library 2-3 times a week. I have 20-30 books checked out at any given time. I always have my nose in book and have since I was a teen. Books are like oxygen to me and I love quite a few of them. But green books is a much more manageable a task to identify. Or is it?
Once I got to thinking about all the memoirs, local food books, homesteading guides, green energy/green living books, eco crafts, nature enjoyment books, etc. that I have read, I started thinking maybe it wasn’t so easy to pick just a few to highlight here. With some heavy sighs I will try to isolate some of those grains of sand…
I must start off with some of the very first green books I ever read.
The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It by John Seymour – This was one of the first books I ever read about self sufficiency and sustainability. I had grand dreams of having a farm and growing/raising my own food. At the time my husband was so not interested in any of it. Now… 7ish years later he is the one devouring this book and others like it and insisting we take steps to become more self sufficient and responsible for our own food. This book is a true classic.
This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader – It was this book that made me see that having a big farm was not necessarily the only route to go. The author, Joan Dye Gussow, is an inspiration and she lives on a suburban lot where she grows lots of her own food. As a big city lover I found this book very inspirational.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life – This book by Barbara Kingsolver was another important book in my own journey. Like me, she moved from the Southwest to the East in search of greener pastures, literally. It was her family’s mission to buy food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it.
EcoVillage at Ithaca: Pioneering a Sustainable Culture – A wonderful look inside an eco village, and planning for sustainable futures as a group and community.
Some Newer Books I Love…
Girl Hunter by Georgia Pellegrini – A book that made me change my mind about something I never thought I would change my mind about. A book that most likely will have inspired me to buy my first hunting license very soon. I almost hesitate to classify it as a green book but it is very much about local food!
The Dirty Life – It follows along on the real life adventure of Kristin Kimball who was a writer working in NYC. She met a farmer while on assignment, married him, and they started an ambitious “whole diet” CSA.
Frugal Luxuries by Tracey McBride – Choosing simplicity is green and that is what this book is about. The idea behind the book is to show us how being frugal and simple in our taste is really an art form. It has nothing to do with being miserly or being a cheapskate and everything to do with living well, even luxuriously, on less. LOVE this book!
Big Green Purse by Diane MacEachern – I think this is such an important book because it shows how we can create world change by being mindful about how we shop and what we buy. It doesn’t encourage senseless spending or rampant consumerism but it does address the fact that everyone is still going to spend money on the products that matter to them. If money talks then we need to be aware of what our money is saying. It is all about using the power of our purses to affect change. Read my review here: Shopping for World Change. Diane is also one of the most amazing, intelligent, and inspiring ladies you could ever meet. I feel honored to have met her last month.
A Mile in Her Boots – Women Who Work in the Wild (multiple authors) – It has essays and stories from park rangers, smokejumpers, field scientists, and other female outdoorswomen.
I could really only think of two non-fiction authors that are on my must-buy list… as in it doesn’t matter what the book is about, I must have it. I would of course buy other books by the authors mentioned above but the two below have multiple books on the market and I have them all.
Amanda Soule of Handmade Home, The Creative Family, and The Rhythm of Family. All her books are beautiful and inspirational. The projects inside them are green and resourceful usually and the whole concept behind them is to live in simplicity and with greater mindfulness.
Any book by MaryJane Butters. She is the Martha Stewart of homesteading and farming. My fave’s are MaryJane’s Ideabook, Cookbook, Lifebook : For the Farmgirl in All of Us and MaryJane’s Outpost. I get them out and re-read at least once a year.
What you think? What are your favorite green books/authors?