A COVID-19-Safe Eco Book Club Starter Kit!

In the wake of COVID-19, we are all sitting at home wondering how in the world we are going to keep busy while being responsible and socially isolating ourselves. 

Well, do we have a solution for you!  

Our staff loves reading about trees and the environment (obviously). Most of you out there can admire the natural world by simply looking out the window, so we want to help you with all of the tools you need to make you look at that green space with a newfound sense of awe. 

If you’re feeling a little extra isolated, we recommend you hopping online and starting a Facebook Group, Instagram Page, and/or Twitter Hashtag to get an Eco Book Club rolling! All you have to do is break the book into sections, post about your section every week with the right tags included on the right part of the internet, and discuss away! 

We recommend using #EcoBookClub – that way we can follow along!

Here’s a list of 6 of our favorite books about trees and the natural world to get you started: 

1. The Overstory by Richard Powers

Synopsis: From the roots to the crown and back to the seeds, The Overstory unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond, exploring the essential conflict on this planet: the one taking place between humans and nonhumans. There is a world alongside ours―vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.

The Overstory is a book for all readers who despair of humanity’s self-imposed separation from the rest of creation and who hope for the transformative, regenerating possibility of a homecoming. If the trees of this earth could speak, what would they tell us? “Listen. There’s something you need to hear.”

Available here

2. The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben

Synopsis: Are trees social beings? In this international bestseller, forester and author Peter Wohlleben convincingly makes the case that, yes, the forest is a social network. He draws on groundbreaking scientific discoveries to describe how trees are like human families: tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, support them as they grow, share nutrients with those who are sick or struggling, and even warn each other of impending dangers. Wohlleben also shares his deep love of woods and forests, explaining the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in his woodland.

After learning about the complex life of trees, a walk in the woods will never be the same again.

Available here

3. Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Synopsis: In 1845, Henry David Thoreau moved into a cabin by Walden Pond. With the intention of immersing himself in nature and distancing himself from the distractions of social life, Thoreau sustained his retreat for just over two years. More popular than ever, “Walden” is a paean to the virtues of simplicity and self-sufficiency.

Available here

4. A Californian’s Guide to the Trees Among Us by Matt Ritter

Synopsis: We bring the strength and beauty of the natural world into our urban landscapes by planting trees, and California is blessed with a rich horticultural history, visible in an abundance of cultivated trees that enrich our lives with extraordinary color, bizarre shapes, unusual textures, and unexpected aromas. A Californian’s Guide to the Trees among Us features over 150 of California’s most commonly grown trees. Whether native or cultivated, these are the trees that muffle noise, create wildlife habitats, mitigate pollution, conserve energy, and make urban living healthier and more peaceful. Used as a field guide or read with pleasure for the liveliness of the prose, this book will allow readers to learn the stories behind the trees that shade our parks, grace our yards, and line our streets. Rich in photographs and illustrations, overflowing with anecdote and information, A Californian’s Guide to the Trees among Us opens our eyes to a world of beauty just outside our front doors.

Available here

5. What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses by Daniel Chamovitz

Synopsis: How does a Venus flytrap know when to snap shut? Can it feel an insect’s tiny, spindly legs? And how do cherry blossoms know when to bloom? Can they remember the weather?

For centuries we have marveled at plant diversity and form―from Charles Darwin’s early fascination with stems to Seymour Krelborn’s distorted doting in Little Shop of Horrors. But now, in What a Plant Knows, the renowned biologist Daniel Chamovitz presents an intriguing and scrupulous look at how plants themselves experience the world―from the colors they see to the schedules they keep.

Available here

6. For the Kids: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein 

Synopsis: Since it was first published fifty years ago, Shel Silverstein’s poignant picture book for readers of all ages has offered a touching interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another’s capacity to love in return.

Available here

3 comments

  1. Nadia Palton Celestin   •  

    Thank You. Very resourceful.

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