Looking for a good read?

Listed below you will find books on climate change, wildlife and diversity, how to live well with less, sustainability, regenerative farming, growing food in communities and emerging technologies – to name just a few. These topics are some of the most important issues facing humanity today and it’s essential that we all learn more about them.

We’ve included books that explore the science behind climate change and others that examine the impact of climate change on biodiversity. Some offer practical advice on how to live a more sustainable lifestyle, while others offer new models for a sustainable economy or explore emerging technologies to help us tackle climate change.

If you find something you like, be sure to share it with your friends and family so they can learn more too! And – in the spirit of sharing – let us know your favourite reads so we can grow our list. 🌍

PS – Remember you don’t have to buy new. DO your bit to Re-Use and buy your pre-loved books from World of Books or Music Magpie. If you’re a Kindle or Audio Book user – download a digital copy to read. Or, make the most of your Northumberland CC library membership, and join BorrowBox to read for FREE.

This was a groundbreaking book when first published in 2009, when most of us were hearing the phrase ‘carbon footprint’ for the first time. Mike Berners-Lee set out to inform us what was important (aviation, heating, swimming pools) and what made very little difference (bananas, naturally packaged, are good!). Ten years on, an updated new edition of Mike Berners-Lee’s invaluable and entertaining guide shows just what effect everything has on carbon emissions. It details the carbon footprint of a wide range of activities and helps guide people towards a less carbon-costly lifestyle.

The author offers a full year’s worth of daily wisdom, to inspire you to take the urgent action our very existence desperately needs. You’ll find actions and challenges, surprising facts about the climate crisis, templates for writing to political representatives, scientific explanations of important concepts, popular misconceptions about sustainability, and much more.
Here you’ll discover the small stuff you can do every day to change the world. Because when we get the little things right, the big things follow.

Peter Wohlleben shares his deep love of woods and forests and explains the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in the woodland. Much like human families, tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, and support them as they grow, sharing nutrients with those who are sick or struggling and creating an ecosystem that mitigates the impact of extremes of heat and cold for the whole group.

Taking inspiration from nature, the circular economy is a series of interconnecting systems that make everyday life more sustainable. Plus, we can all be part of it: you, your second cousin, that guy that lives down the street and the person you follow on Instagram on the other side of the world. In this handy book, Claire Potter helps explain what the circular economy is, how we as individuals fit into a bigger landscape, how we can demand more of brands, corporations and governments – and how all the decisions we make really do make a difference.

Release date May 18th 2023. A book for anyone who is despondent, anxious, or unsure about climate change and seeking answers. As the contributors to this volume make clear, the future will be decided by whether we act in the present—and we must act to counter institutional inertia, fossil fuel interests, and political obduracy. A collection of dispatches from the climate movement around the world including essays from poets, climate scientists, activists, social justice lawyers – and more,

Isabella Tree tells the story of the ‘Knepp experiment’, a pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex, using free-roaming grazing animals to create new habitats for wildlife. It is an inspiring story of hope. Extremely rare species, including turtle doves, nightingales, peregrine falcons, lesser spotted woodpeckers and purple emperor butterflies, are now breeding at Knepp, and populations of other species are rocketing. The Burrells’ degraded agricultural land has become a functioning ecosystem again, heaving with life – all by itself.

Kate Hughes and her husband transformed the lives of their ordinary family of four. They ditched plastic, shunned supermarkets, cooked all meals from scratch, bought only second-hand clothes, and made their own cleaning agents. Then they went deeper – greening every aspect of their home life, from their gas and electricity to their car, from their money to their IT. Told with refreshing humility and humour, this eye-opening story shows that a well-lived life doesn’t have to come wrapped in plastic.

Jake Fiennes is on a mission to change the face of the English countryside. As Conservation Manager at Holkham in Norfolk, his radical habitat restoration and agricultural work has nurtured its species and risen its crop yields – bringing back wetlands, hedgerows, birds and butterflies over 25,000 acres of land. Fiennes’s ambition is to bring back our flora and fauna – by reclaiming our traditions and trialling new experiments which could restore our symbiosis with our land, and save our shared future.

The environment is collapsing at a rapid rate, and in increasingly unpredictable ways. How should the left respond? Building on the debates surrounding the Green New Deal, Lawrence and Laybourn-Langton argue that it is not enough merely to spend our way out of the crisis. Instead we need to rapidly change the shape and purpose of the economy, away from the emphasis on endless growth, and towards creating a healthy and flourishing environment for everyone.

This book is a wake-up call to transform our capitalist worldview obsessed with growth into a more balanced, sustainable perspective that allows both humans and our planet to thrive. Raworth challenges the necessity for never-ending economic growth by identifying seven critical ways in which mainstream economics has misled us, while sketching out an alternative plan on how we can satisfy humanity’s needs without overshooting Earth’s ecological ceiling.

The Solutionists by Solitaire Townsend tells the stories of leading entrepreneurs and organisations paving the way to solving the climate crisis whilst driving business innovation and growth. The book coaches the reader through the steps, mindsets and strategies it will take to lead change. Solitaire Townsend is a female entrepreneur, sustainability expert, TED speaker and author. She co-founded the change agency Futerra in 2001, and works with the world’s most influential organisations to activate social justice and environmental restoration.

English Pastoral is the story of an inheritance: one that affects us all. It tells of how rural landscapes around the world were brought close to collapse, and the age-old rhythms of work, weather, community and wild things were lost. And yet this elegy from the northern fells is also a song of hope: of how, guided by the past, one farmer began to salvage a tiny corner of England that was now his, doing his best to restore the life that had vanished and to leave a legacy for the future.

The Arctic Treeline – the northern limit of the boreal forest that encircles the globe in an almost unbroken green ring – is the second largest biome on our planet. At this little-known frontline of climate change, the trees have been creeping towards the pole for 50 years already. Six tree species that populate these forests form the central protagonists of Ben Rawlence’s story. In Scotland, Scandinavia, Siberia, Alaska, Canada and Greenland, he discovers what these trees have to tell us about the past, present and future of our planet.

A cautionary but optimistic book, from Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac—who led negotiations for the United Nations during the historic Paris Agreement of 2015. They present us with two potential visions of life on earth: one of sweltering heat, diminishing biodiversity, and severely declining quality of life, and one where the planet’s temperature has stabilized. The world we choose will depend on the actions we take now.

Jordan Liberata is a lover of simplicity, living below one’s means, connecting to nature, living an adventurous life. An avid tiny house enthusiast he is deeply entrenched in the tiny house community. He has amassed a wealth of knowledge through hundreds of interactions with current and aspiring tiny house owners, designers, and builders alike. He has lived in tiny houses, spent time off-grid, and has long practiced sustainable living and minimalism.

Considered the book that started global grassroots environmental movements. It is about humanity’s misguided attempts to control nature through the use of chemical pesticides. Explores how the use of manufactured poisons to kill unwanted pests disrupts the delicate balance of nature and threatens our very existence. Ultimately, these poisons have the power to destroy the environment, infect the food we eat and contaminate our very lives.

Colin Tudge explores the hidden role of trees in our lives – and how our future survival depends on them. As this celebration of the trees shows, they are our countryside; our ancestors descended from them; they gave us air to breathe. Colin Tudge travels from his own back garden round the world to explore the beauty, variety and ingenuity of trees everywhere: from how they live so long to how they talk to each other and why they came to exist in the first place.

The more we learn about fungi, the less makes sense without them.
They can change our minds, heal our bodies and even help us avoid environmental disaster; they are metabolic masters, earth-makers and key players in most of nature’s processes. In Entangled Life, Merlin Sheldrake takes us on a mind-altering journey into their spectacular world, and reveals how these extraordinary organisms transform our understanding of our planet and life itself.

We have to learn to live as part of nature, not apart from it. And the first step is to start looking after the insects. Insects are essential for life as we know it – without them, our world would look vastly different. Drawing on the latest ground-breaking research and a lifetime’s study, Dave Goulson reveals the long decline of insect populations that has taken place in recent decades and its potential consequences. Silent Earth asks for profound change at every level and a passionate argument or us to love, respect and care for our six-legged friends.

We are using up the planet at almost double the rate it can regenerate. To support our economies, we’re told we must shop now like we’ve never shopped before, yet the scale of our consumption remains the biggest factor in the ruination of the world. But what would life look like if we stopped? Visiting places where economies have experienced temporary shut-downs, artisan producers, zero-consumption societies and bringing together a host of expert views, this is a history of our relationship with consumption and a story about the future.

Rob Hopkins asks the important question that society has forgotten- What If? He explores what we must do to revive and replenish our collective imagination. If we can rekindle that creative spark, whole societies and cultures can change rapidly and dramatically for the better. From What Is to What If is a call to action to reclaim and unleash the power of our imaginations and to solve the problems of our time. Meet the individuals and communities around the world who are doing it now and creating brighter futures for us all.