With so much happening, perhaps a good book or film can help put things in perspective. There are many thought-provoking, inspiring and informative books and films that we and others have discovered about energy (generation, distribution and efficiency), sustainability and climate change.
Below is a list we have compiled so far. Please note that this list does not imply our endorsement of the book or film. If you have a recommendation, please pass it along. Thanks!
With many book titles, we have provided a link to Amazon to make it easier to learn more about that book. Amazon typically has many reviews and lists related books to help you in your selection process. The link does not imply this is the only or the best way to gain access to the book. We highly recommend borrowing, swapping or asking a friend, borrowing it from your local public or school library, downloading it or purchasing it from your local book store. Please choose whichever method you find ethical and least environmentally damaging.
Drawdown, the Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, edited by Paul Hawken
Maybe our first plan to address climate change, this book addresses the many factors that could help us overcome Greenhouse Gas escalation and move towards reversing it. Lots of social changes could have a significant impact. Lots of great information
The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert
Selection for MAREA March 2018 book discussion
Climate of Hope, by Michael Bloomsberg and Carl Pope
The authors share their successes addressing climate change, particularly with coal and in the cities. Engaging to read; not too technical.
Selection for MAREA January 2018 book discussion
The Grid, by Gretchen Bakke, PhD (Bloomsbury, 2016)
Engaging perspective on the U.S. electric grid, particularly historically how it came to be what it is and the challenges it currently faces. Conceptually helpful; not technical.
Selection for MAREA October 2017 book discussion
Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition, by Charles Eisenstein (North Atlantic Books, 2011)
First suggested by Bruce Hankins
Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, by Michael Braungart and William McDonough (North Point Press, 2002)
Engaging argument for how products should be designed for sustainability. Good conceptually; it would be nicer if current design practices and society could have provided more examples to emulate.
Selection for MAREA August 2017 book discussion
The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability, Designing for Abundance, by Michael Braungart and William McDonough
Sequel to Cradle to Cradle, more focused with more examples to illustrate. Summarizes Cradle to Cradle in first chapter.
The End of Nature, by Bill McKibben (Anchor Books, 1989 or Random House, 2006)
Illuminating book about climate change with descriptions eerily prescient in our 21st century world.
Selection for MAREA May 2017 book discussion
Our Renewable Future: Laying the Path for 100% Clean Energy, by Richard Heinberg and David Fridley (Island Press, 2016)
Important book for understanding the implications of our transition to renewable energy. Very good technically; illuminates the issues but limited in imagining where we may need to or can go to achieve a 100% renewable energy future.
Selection for MAREA March 2017 book discussion
The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water, by Charles Fishman (Free Press, 2012)
Fascinating narrative of the psychology and handling of our most precious resource. Makes important connection between water and energy.
Selection for MAREA January 2017 book discussion
Supply Shock: Economic Growth at the Crossroads and the Steady State Solution by Brian Czech (Author), Herman Daly (Foreword) (New Society Publishers, 2013)
Dire Predictions, Understanding Climate Change by Michael Mann and Lee R. Kump
Helpful to understanding climate change.
Selection for MAREA October 2017 book discussion
Energy Switch by Craig Morris
Fascinating narrative of how Germany’s energy policy enabled them to become a world leader in renewable energy generation. Useful perspective for enabling more U.S. success.
Selection for MAREA August 2016 book discussion
Ecology of Commerce by Paul Hawken
Selection for MAREA May 2016 book discussion
Laudato Si, Pope Francis’ Encyclical
Selection for MAREA February 2016 book discussion
The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines, by Michael Mann (Columbia University Press, 2013)
This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate, by Naomi Klein (Simon & Schuster, 2015)
Selection for MAREA Oct 2015 book discussion
Not sure which book to select? MAREA holds community book discussions, open to all interested in thoughtful discussion and positive sharing about the books selected. Well attended and thoughtfully moderated, these discussions provide meaningful opportunity for in-depth dialogue on topics central to our work. Book discussions are typically on the second Thursday of selected months, approximately every other month and typically at the Kutztown, Pennsylvania Public Library. Even if you have not read the book, please join us. The discussion may inspire you to read it afterward!
Kutztown too far to travel? We include some of the group feedback from our discussions in the review sections below. You can also start your own book discussion in your community. Please feel free to use our list to inform your choices!