Over the past few years I generally have one 'solid' non-fiction book on the go. This usually days a few months to read, sometimes more than a year, sometimes much less - but having just finished the latest I find myself reflecting how they have woven a strong thread that has changed me in response to the ideas they have expressed.
Often these books I read are interleaved with other lighter or easier to read, non-fiction, and there is a parallel strand formed by the fiction he read which sometimes intersects and even interweaves with the non-fiction thread.
Rather than jumping straight to the most recent of what I think of as the 'big' books, I'm going to spool back an arbitrary number of years and list them in more or less chronological order of reading. With _very_ brief notes (and eventually links to the Ecologer's Library)
Lets start in 2005, listed by the approximate date I finished reading
- Collapse - July 2005
Jared Diamond's tour-de-force kicking off this sequence
- Limits to Growth - September 2005
The 30 year update - yep we knew all that it '72
- The Revenge of Gaia - June 2006
Let's see what Lovelock's saying now
- Heat - November 2006
A first look at the likely futures with global climate heating with Monbiot
- Pandemonium - 2010-2015
It took me nearly six years to read this, reading about a paragraph a week as it lay bedside, but shows how we got here.
- The Spirit Level - April 2010
- Prosperity without Growth - June 2010
These two I read back to back - contemporary voices speaking clearly
- Symbiotic Planet - March 2011
Life is internal connectedness and cooperation.
- Ill Fares the Land - July 2011
Another good analysis of what ails us
- Where the Wasteland Ends - August 2012
Written 40 years earlier by Roszack, but so prescient and true
- Flight Behaviour - May 2013
Kingsolver's fiction has consistently strong ecological themes, this is a good sample
- Meadowland - May 2014
Down and dirty in the grass roots in a field in England (or Wales)
- Communities that Abide - June 2014
Included here as a sample of Orlov's writing - he was consistently good in this period
- This Changes Everything - June 2015
I met Klein in Paris later this year, but did that change anything?
- Elements of Resistance - July 2015
A first work on how to resist the monster
- Harmony - March 2016
Don't be put off by the involvement of Charlie Windsor, it's actually very good
- The Wolf Border - April 2016
Rewilding in fiction as in real life
- Plato's Revenge - August 2016
Some philosophy to complement what I read decades ago
- A Pattern Language - August 2016
This, together with The Timeless Way of Building which I read about the same time is concrete Practical Philosophy
- Ghostwritten - August 2016
David Mitchell - another author whose novels have consistent ecological threads
- A Guide for the Perplexed - November 2016
Schumacher's tour-de-force, a summary of his life's philosophy
- Into Their Labours - 2015-2016
John Berger's trilogy of novels of rural life and its call to the city
- The Ecology of Wisdom - February 2017
Arne Naess collected writings over 30 years
- Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - July 2017 (and 1975)
re-read to check that it still works 40 years on - it does.
- Mystery Teachings from the Living Earth - August 2017
Greer, like (but not like) Orlov, wrote brilliantly online blog for a dozen years from 2005.
- The Moth Snowstorm - March 2018
A personal account of love for the living earth
- The Legacy of Luna - April 2018
Practical experience of the depth of direct action from
- No Is Not Enough - July 2018
Klein again - again she is right
- Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist - August 2018
At last, a critique from inside as to what we've been doing wrong for 50 years
- Feral - August 2018
Monbiot again - essays on our relationship with the living earth
- Wilding - September 2018
If you happen to 'own' a couple of thousand acres this is a way
- Who Owns England - January 2019
Who does own a couple of thousand acres anyway?
- The Way - February 2019
Teddy's tour-de-force - a long read (several months)
- The Patterning Instinct - May 2019
Lent on why we are how we are
- The Book of Trespass - September 2020
Why do they own a couple of thousand acres?
- Entangled Life - January 2021
Learning from fungal interconnectedness
- Corona, Climate, Chronic Emergency - April 2021
A blast at the current '20/'21 state of things
- Introduction to Systems Philosophy - October 2021
A very long read (over a year) but very rewarding for a base structural understanding
- How To Blow Up a Pipeline - November 2021
A blast at the next steps needed
- The Web of Meaning - December 2021
Lent's tour-de-force - and a way forward (or back from the brink)
And that's where I've got to since I woke up in 2005. Of course there is much more - many many articles and some key blogs, plus several of the 'classics' not listed above (Silent Spring etc) and some older tomes. What's it all add up to...
Everything is connected. Life is balance and harmony. Life out of balance is unstable. Human life has got out of balance (with everything - both internally and externally) and is taking everything else down with it as it is all connected.The unbalance is coming from disconnection. The urgent work is to reconnect and act accordingly.
More details on all the above books (and more) available in The Ecologer's Library section on Roger's Reviews