Discover all of our recommended books for active citizens, as featured in our Book Club, Eco-Age Reads.
Welcome to our book club, Eco-Age Reads, designed to be a helpful and inspiring resource for anyone wanting a space to learn more about sustainability, environmental issues, human and social rights, feminism and more!
Each month we will feature a different book that we will discuss together on Instagram in an exciting exchange of knowledge and opinions.
Intimations, by Zadie Smith
Written as a way of comprehending the events of 2020, Zadie Smiths’ essay collection ‘Intimations’ captures the thoughts and feelings that derived from spending a prolonged period of time in lockdown. Smith said of the book: “these are above all personal essays: small by definition, short by necessity.” Within the six essays, Smith captures the concept of community, neighbourhood, politics, race and noticing the small details of everyday life; each a comment on the shift 2020 has caused within society.
A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea: One Refugee’s Incredible Story of Love, Loss, and Survival by Melissa Fleming
Doaa’s story begins with her family’s migration from war-torn Syria to Egypt. There, having fallen in love with Bassem, a former Free Syrian Army fighter, the two make the decision to leave the increasingly unstable Egypt and begin their journey across Europe, in search of safety and a home. After four days at sea, their boat is sunk by another boat filled with angry men shouting threats and insults. Doaa recounts the love and loss that inspires so many refugee stories in this devastating and empathy-inspiring memoir.
Three Things by Ana Santi & Company
The latest book to be produced by The Pound Project, the independent crowdfunding publisher based in the UK. Ana Santi has collaborated with the likes of Melissa Hemsley and Jonathan Safran Foer to produce a collection of essays on food, fashion and fresh air, with a clear message: if we all take practical, straightforward steps, we all help protect the planet.
The collective’s proceeds from this title are being donated to WaterAid. Each purchase of the book will also come with an additional three exclusive prints.
** BOOKS ARE ONLY ON SALE UNTIL OCTOBER 13TH **
What Can I Do? My Path From Climate Despair to Action by Jane Fonda
Having moved to Washington DC in 2019 to lead weekly climate change demonstrations on Capitol Hill, Jane Fonda is no stranger to protest. In her new book, Fonda details her own experience as an activist, alongside conversations with leading climate scientists that hope to inspire people to take tangible action to combat the crisis. This book is a call to action on specific issues such as water, migration, and human rights, emphasising what is at stake for the global population.
100% of the author’s net proceeds from What Can I Do? will go to Greenpeace
Who Cares Wins: Reasons for Optimism by Lily Cole
In this optimism-focused deep dive into the modern world, Lily Cole’s debut book explores issues from fast fashion to fast food, renewable energy to gender equality. Having spoken to some of the millions of people around the world working on finding solutions to our biggest challenges and committed, including the likes of Sir David Attenborough, Sir Paul McCartney and Extinction Rebellion co-founder Professor Gail Bradbrook, Who Cares Wins highlights how we can create a more sustainable and peaceful future for humanity.
Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall
In her searing collection of essays, Mikki Kendall takes aim at the legitimacy of the modern feminist movement arguing that it has chronically failed to address the needs of all but a few women. Believing that mainstream feminism fails many basic needs such as food insecurity, access to quality education, a living wage and medical care, Kendall’s book is one of intersectionality, raw honesty and an essential read for anyone who simply believes in equality.
Unfree Speech: The Threat to Global Democracy and Why We Must Act, Now by Joshua Wong
Aged just 14, Joshua Wong staged the first ever student protest in Hong Kong to oppose National Education – and won. Since then, he has led protests, founded a political party and rallied at the international community around the anti-Extradition Bill protests. Having previously been nominated for a Nobel Prize, as well as ending up imprisoned twice, Joshua Wong is no stranger to activism. Unfree Speech documents his path to activism and calls for action to change the future.
As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock by Dina Gilio-Whitaker
As Eco-Age launches its The Best is Yet To Come series, May’s book looks to years of Indigenous resistance and environmental activism. Indigenous researcher and activist Dina Gilio-Whitaker highlights everything from water security to the protection of sacred sites. As Long As Grass Grows details new approaches to environmental justice activism and policy, making the argument for modern environmental activists to look to the history of Indigenous resistance for inspiration for a just and sustainable future.
The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis by Christiana Figueres & Tom Rivett-Carnac
Inspired by our very own Livia Firth’s book recommendations, this month we’re reading The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis. Christiana Figueres, former UN Executive Secretary for Climate Change, and Tom Rivett-Carnac, senior political strategist for the Paris Agreement have combined forces to detail their call to action in how to approach the climate crisis and the need for urgent action. With a degree of optimism and hope, the duo document how there is still a chance for us to gain control on the situation and how the long-term effects of climate change are still manageable.
Weather by Jenny Offill
This novel is very much inspired by non-fiction, with the central character’s worries over the climate crisis underpinning much of the narrative. A story of empathy and despiar, Offill captures the very real emotions that many of us feel for the planet in this catastrophic novel.
Fibershed by Rebecca Burgess
Inspired by weaving and natural dyeing, Rebecca Burgess’ project to prioritise natural fibres in her clothing, Fibershed highlights the importance of transparency within supply chains. Aimed at slow fashion advocates, knitters, weavers, natural dyers and fibre farmers, the book teaches readers about the importance of natural fibres within sustainable fashion practices.
How to Break Up With Fast Fashion by Lauren Bravo
Fast fashion is the ultimate toxic relationship; bad for our brains, planet and bank balance. Journalist Lauren Bravo has called it quits on her fast fashion addiction in search of a slower, saner way of dressing. In this book, she hopes to inspire you to do the same, from clothes swaps to charity shops.
Fashionopolis by Dana Thomas
As the fashion industry starts to wake up to its environmental impacts, Dana Thomas highlights the companies – big and small – leading the crusade in the future of fashion. Learn about the latest technologies from denim processing to fabric recycling as Thomas travels the globe to discover some of the most forward thinking designers and companies who are helping the industry to have a more positive impact on our planet.
From What Is to What If by Rob Hopkins
The founder of the international Transition Towns movement, Rob Hopkins, asks why true creative, positive thinking is in decline, asserts that it’s more important now than ever, and suggests ways our communities can revive and reclaim it. The book documents Rob’s optimism and belief that things can change, and cultures can change, rapidly, dramatically, and unexpectedly—for the better. This hopeful book is a refreshing break from our eco-anxieties.
GLOBAL PLANET AUTHORITY – HOW WE’RE ABOUT TO SAVE THE BIOSPHERE
In his first book, Global Planet Authority: How We’re About To Save The Biosphere, Angus Forbes puts forward his compelling case for global taxation and regulation to protect the planet, a case supported by statistics, figures and facts. With a passion for progressive governance and expertise in environmental degradation, Forbes’ advocates for a global governance structure that can more effectively fight climate change than governing systems and how this could provide more impactful and immediate solutions.
THE SIXTH EXTINCTION, AN UNNATURAL HISTORY
American journalist and author Elizabeth Kolbert won the Pulitzer Prize in 2015 for The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History. Five mass extinctions have taken place in the last half a billion years, and scientists are currently monitoring the sixth, anticipated to be the most devasting extinction event to take place since the dinosaurs were wiped out. Kolbert compels the reader to rethink what it means to be human in this work which draws on the research of various disciplines including marine biology, botany and geologists.
WHY WOMEN WILL SAVE THE PLANET
This month’s Eco-Age Reads book is Why Women Will Save The Planet – a collaboration between C40 Cities and Friends of the Earth. These collected essays are authored by key figures in the environmental and feminist movements such as Caroline Lucas MP and Baroness Lola Young, and academics including Professors Diane Elson and Maria Mies. Focusing on a range of subjects – education, climate refugees and economics, to name a few – the essays collectively demonstrate the crucial role of women’s empowerment in the context of climate action.
WILD DRESS – CLOTHING AND THE NATURAL WORLD
Kate’s latest book explores relationships between garments and human embeddedness in nature. Going beyond the idea that nature is a means to human ends, Wild Dress documents how we wear clothes in ways that add weight to and awareness of the natural world.
This book is not fashion or sustainability as we know them – it is a thoughtful exploration and reflection of the true nature of clothing and how it connects us to the world around us.
Musings on the idea that we have obediently accepted certain fibres and articles of clothing as the items of preference for life’s pursuits also prompted further reflection on the ideas we have for what is right, what is practical, and what affect it actually has on our interaction with our surroundings and the value we can find in these interactions.
THE HONEYBEE HAS FIVE HEART OPENINGS
This month’s book is A Honeybee Has Five Openings by Helen Jukes. The book is an insightful and personal account into Helen’s first year as a beekeeper, exploring the honeybee’s way of living, their social bonds, and their vulnerability in light of new threats they are facing, as well as their relation to humanity. A must read for everyone that’s as fascinated by bees as we are!
THE WAY WE EAT NOW
This month’s Eco-Age Reads book is The Way We Eat Now by Bee Wilson. Do we think enough about the food we eat, how ingredients might have altered over time, or the potential climate cost of national appetites? Award-winning author Bee Wilson explores cultural development in the realm of food.
The Uninhabitable Earth: A Story of the Future by David Wallace-Wells
The book portrays what our future could look like after climate change (and let us give away a spoiler: it does not look good for us!) whilst also talking through realistic and possible solutions to help fight it.
Slay In Your Lane by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené
Slay In Your Lane is an inspirational resource and guide for the next generation of black female leaders. From education to work to dating, this book celebrates the strides black women have already made and provides practical advice for whose who want to be in charge of their own futures.
I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Got Shot by The Taliban
This autobiographical book by Nobel peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai tells her story of growing up in Pakistan and getting shot by the Taliban as she fought for he right to go to school as a girl.
Dress [with] Sense – The Practical Guide to a Conscious Closet by Redress
Dress [with] sense is the perfect book if you are looking to curate a more ethical wardobe. Filled with insights into the lifecycle of our clothes as well as the environmental impact of garments the book aims to give helpful advice, recipes, tips and tricks on how to buy, wear, care and dispose of you clothes in the best possible way. The authors also interview the likes of Amber Valletta and Lauren Singer to find out their secrets to a conscious wardrobe.
Rise & Resist by Clare Press
Clare Press, Sustainability Editor-at-Large of Vogue Australia and Wardrobe Crisis podcast presenter recently launched her second book ‘Rise & Resist: How To Change the World’ – a guide to new activism for environmental and social justice. In its pages Clare meets global change-makers from different fields to understand the power of revolutions with the aim to inspire individuals to make a difference.
Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and other lies by Scarlett Curtis
Feminists Don’t Wear Pink by Scarlett Curtis is a collection of essays by 52 incredible women – from teenage activists to Hollywood actresses – on what feminism means to them. Tackling the contradictions and complications around the f-word, this inspiring book aims to give very diverse women the space to explain how they actually feel and tell their stories.
A Harvest Of Thorns by Corban Addison
‘A Harvest of Thorns’ is a novel about a fictional Bangladesh-based garment factory burning to the ground, taking the lives of hundreds of garment workers. When a photo of a teenage girl lying in the dirt goes viral, with her mouth covered by a garment bearing the label of a major American retailer, a disgraced journalist starts investigating the case looking for justice. The novel plays out in three parallel stories – from the perspective of a teenage garment-worker who survived the fire; the journalist looking for redemption; and the executives of the American retailer. A poignant read about the implications of fast fashion and their supply chains.
Turning The Tide on Plastic by Lucy Siegle
More than 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the oceans each year and it is estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by weight. How do we stop the world from drowning in plastic, a material of our own creation? This is the question author Lucy Siegle aims to answer with her new book ‘Turning The Tide on Plastic’. Many of us assume that waste management is taken care of by government and brands directly, but research and high-profile campaigns have shown the need for consumer-led action. This book provides extensive research into the plastic pandemic, as well as tools to help you make signficant change in moving away from plastic consumption.