Here are a few books to get you in the Earth Week spirit.
1. Devotions by Mary Oliver
Every time I open this book I am reminded to look around and notice the beauty of the world around me. Mary Oliver sees life like a child and glances in wonder at that which is familiar yet never fails to fascinate them. This collection contains the best poems from every collection of poetry that Oliver released throughout her lifetime, so it is well-curated and gives a pretty all-encompassing experience of her life’s work.
2. The Overstory by Richard Powers
The first thing I remember about reading The Overstory is that the summary doesn’t do justice to the complexity of its content. Richard Powers weaves together the stories of 10 people from all corners of life, with seemingly little commonalities. However, as the book progresses, Powers not only shows the interconnected nature of their lives, he shows how everybody’s lives are interconnected through our being in this beautiful world.
3. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
A list of books to read during earth week would not be complete without the book that was instrumental in spreading national awareness of environmentalism. Although admittedly lacking in stylistic flair, Rachel Carson brings attention to the unspoken impacts of humans on the environment. I admire all the work that went into writing this book, as Carson really cares about the environment and the lives of animals that pesticides have damaged.
4. The Hour of Land by Terry Tempest Williams
If you have ever been interested in traveling to national parks but haven’t been able to, this is a wonderful book to read. Terry Tempest Williams describes the most famous of parks in such a fantastical way, a way that transports you to these places without having been there. It contains “personal topographies” of Big Bend, The Grand Tetons, and many others. It certainly inspired me to visit more national parks, and I’m sure it will inspire others as well.
5. Faith in a Seed by Henry David Thoreau
Thoreau’s writing is unique in that it is the perfect intersection between prose and scientific writing. Written around the same time as Darwin's On the Origins of Species, this book is a compilation of Thoreau’s journals of observations on seeds and tree growth. It is an amazing book to read if you do not have the patience for super analytical non-fiction, but enjoy reading facts about the earth.
Sara is a sophomore International Relations major at Pomona from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She is especially interested in environmental policy, the effects of climate change, and food sustainability.