Eighty degree weather has finally hit Massachusetts, and it's only a matter of time before school's out for summer. I like to take this time to ramp up my reading, even if I no longer have months of summer vacation. I'm going back to school this fall for resource economics, so I'm seeking books that relate to sustainability and the environment in some way.
One of my favorites so far has been "The Dirty Life" by Kristin Kimball. Kimball was a journalist wrapped up in the fast-paced life in NYC, when she interviewed a farmer in Pennsylvania named Mark. The two fell in love and eventually married, moving to a farm of their own in upstate New York, but the story is just as much about falling in love with farm life as it is falling for each other. It was a very inspirational memoir, and influenced me to start my own urban garden.
I'm currently working on "Animal Dreams" by Barbara Kingsolver. I have yet to read a book of hers I dislike ("The Lacuna," "Prodigal Summer," "Poisonwood Bible"...) and this is no exception. The novel focuses on a woman returning to her hometown after 14 years and reconciling with her past, but it also weaves in a story about a local environmental catastrophe destroying many of the town's vital crops.
Next on the list will be "No Impact Man" by Colin Beavan. There is a growing trend of people recognizing the full impact of their actions on this planet, from the food they eat to the waste they generate to the emissions they produce. Colin and his family pledge to have zero impact for a year, and not just off-grid devoid of civilization — in the middle of New York City.
I've got a growing list of prospective reads, and am always looking for more suggestions if you have any. (Share them below!)