Recommended Reading: Books About Nature and Climate Change

If you need an excuse to curl up with a thought-provoking book, September 6 is National Read A Book Day!

In honor of National Read A Book Day on September 6, we're recommending a few powerful books of fiction, nonfiction, essays and poetry about nature and climate change.

"What I Stand On: Collected Essays"

by Wendell Berry

Published in 2019, "What I Stand On" is a collection of essays spanning 1969 to 2017 by writer and environmentalist Wendell Berry.

"Dumping in Dixie"

by Robert Bullard

Robert Bullard is considered the father of environmental justice, and his 1990 book, "Dumping in Dixie," was groundbreaking.

The Earthseed Series, "Parable of the Sower" and "Parable of the Talents"

by Octavia Butler

"Parable of the Sower," Octavia Butler's dystopian science fiction novel published in 1993 and set in 2024, is described as "prescient" in a 2017 article.

"Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry"

edited by Camille T. Dungy

Published in 2009, this 200-poem anthology by poet, author and professor Camille T. Dungy is the first to focus on nature writing by African American poets.

"All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis"

edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkinson

"All We Can Save," published in 2020, is an anthology of writings by 60 women at the forefront of the climate movement.

"Flight Behavior"

by Barbara Kingsolver

In a 2012 interview, Barbara Kingsolver talks about why she chose to look at the issue of climate change in her novel "Flight Behavior."

"The Overstory"

by Richard Powers

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in fiction in 2019, "The Overstory" influenced the environmentalism of writer Richard Powers.

"The Nature of Nature: Why We Need the Wild"

by Enric Sala

Dr. Enric Sala, a member of the National Aquarium Board of Directors, describes the connection between conservation, human health and the economy in his 2020 book.

"Why We Swim"

by Bonnie Tsui

In a 2020 interview, author Bonnie Tsui talks about her book and humans' deep connection to water.

"Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants"

by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Robin Wall Kimmerer's "Braiding Sweetgrass" became a bestseller in 2020, seven years after its original release.

Borrow or Buy Locally

And what better time than National Read A Book Day to profess our love for Maryland's amazing public libraries—including our Read to Reef partner, the Enoch Pratt Free Library—and all the incredible, independent bookstores in Baltimore City and throughout the state of Maryland.

Happy reading!

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