Summer Reading: Choose Your Book!

Monday July 26, 2021

Compiled by Meredith Miller Vostrejs
As the urgency of the pandemic recedes in the U.S. and we return to a more routine way of life, we hope you retain some of that slower pace (reminiscent of our Peace Corps days?!) to catch up on your climate reading. Whether you enjoy fiction or nonfiction, want to learn or be inspired to act, we have suggestions for you.

These 15 Books on Climate Change are Essential Reading according to Equire Magazine. The article states, “It’s by no means an encyclopedic survey, but consider it a comprehensive syllabus for anyone looking to broaden their knowledge. Once you’ve read these books, you’ll be ready to call your representatives, hit some Sunrise Movement protests, and become a force for change in your community.” RPCV4EA is ready to harness your energy to take action: join our Peace Corps Action Team’s legislative advocacy efforts or read about and use a local climate action toolkit developed by RPCV Ben Boettger.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day last year, the New York Times published, The Year You Finally Read A Book About Climate Change, a comprehensive list of books about climate change. Authors range from Bill McKibben to Jesmyn Ward; and topics cover the gamut from dread and dystopia to tree huggers, from New York City to the Great Lakes.

Personally, I want to recommend a new book that did not make either of these lists: How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue. This fictional story follows the trials and tribulations of a rural African village and its fight against an American oil company. Detailing the environmental degradation that has shattered a community and their livelihoods, this book was simultaneously depressing and inspiring. A Kirkus Review summed it up well as a “fierce, up-to-the-minute novel that makes you sad enough to grieve and angry enough to fight back.” You can hear from the author herself, and how growing up in Cameroon influenced her, in this NPR Author Interview on Fresh Air.

Anyone interested in starting an RPCV4EA book club? Email [email protected] to discuss!

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