A Reading List for World Environment Day

As part of World Environment Day this year, we’d like to encourage you to read more about the environment and climate crisis. Apart from our forthcoming title Eating Chilli Crab in the Anthropocene, we’d like to share the personal reading lists of 3 authors: Esther Vincent (The Tiger Moth Review), Isabelle Lim (Mynah Magazine) & Matthew Schneider-Mayerson (Eating Chilli Crab in the Anthropocene).

You can download the full reading list in PDF format by clicking here. It was originally conceived for the event 2219 Book Club: A Book List for Climate Grief, as part of The World Around the Corner programme organised by ArtScience Museum in 2019. 

Given all that is happening in the world at the time of this post, the Ethos team wishes to append this list with the following resource: Black environmentalists on climate and anti-racism (New York Times). 

If you're not sure where to start, here are some highlights from the list:

  1. (Book) A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster by Rebecca Solnit

    The most startling thing about disasters is not merely that so many people rise to the occasion, but that they do so with joy. A Paradise Built in Hell is an investigation of the moments of altruism, resourcefulness, and generosity that arise amid disaster’s grief and disruption and considers their implications for everyday life. It points to a new vision of what society could become—one that is less authoritarian and fearful, more collaborative and local.

    *You can borrow this title as an ebook from the NLB app.

  2. (Book) On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal by Naomi Klein

    The Green New Deal is a vision for transforming our economies to battle climate breakdown and rampant inequality at the same time. On Fire’s long-form essays, based on Klein’s extensive research and reporting, show Klein at her most prophetic and philosophical, investigating the climate crisis not only as a profound political challenge but as a spiritual and imaginative one as well.

    *You can borrow this title as an ebook from the NLB app.

  3. (Book) An Ecotopian Lexicon edited by Matthew Schneider-Mayerson & Brent Ryan Bellam

    A collaborative volume of short, engaging essays, An Ecotopian Lexicon offers ecologically productive terms—drawn from other languages, science fiction, and subcultures of resistance—to envision and inspire responses and alternatives to fossil-fueled neoliberal capitalism. Each of the thirty suggested “loanwords” helps us imagine how to adapt and even flourish in the face of the socioecological adversity that characterises the present moment and the future that awaits.

  4. (Poem)Eagle Poem by Joy Harjo

    A poem about the circularity and interconnectedness of all things. In connecting the majesty of the eagle to the beauty around us and within us, Joy Harjo calls for us to take “the utmost care/ And kindness in all things.”

  5. (Documentary) Lost World directed by Kalyanee Mam

    As Singapore dredges sand out from beneath Cambodia’s mangrove forests, an ecosystem, a communal way of life, and one woman’s relationship to her home face erasure. An important resource on the impacts of Singapore’s fraught relationship to land reclamation.

  6. (Documentary) A Life Forgotten directed by Brian Chew

    The Orang Laut Seletar were once a proud tribe, roaming freely in the straits between Malaysia and Singapore. Since resettling on land, developments along the coast of Johor have severely diminished their livelihood at sea. The Orang Laut fear for the future. The sea is what they know and they are reluctant to leave it and work on land. Fighting to hold on to the familiar, this documentary tells their story from an Orang Laut’s perspective.

  7. (Poem)Good Fossil Fuels by Craig Santoz Perez, The Tiger Moth Review Issue 3

    Craig Santoz Perez laments the state of the planet, how the earth has been fracked and exploited. The speaker mourns how their children will inherit this world, and denounces the greed of capitalist structures in sharp, piercing verse. 

  8. (Podcast) No Place Like Home hosted by Mary Anne Hitt & Anna Jane Joyner

    From staying sane in the age of climate change, to real talk about whether or not our personal choices really matter to saving the planet, No Place Like Home dives into the spiritual, personal, cultural, and emotional dimensions of climate change. Hosts Mary Anne Hitt and Anna Jane Joyner don't shy away from science and politics, but they always bring along our sense of humor—and a feisty dose of hope.

  9. (Book) The Overstory by Richard Powers

    The Overstory is a sweeping, impassioned work of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of—and paean to—the natural world. There is a world alongside ours—vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.

    *You can borrow this title as an ebook from the NLB app. 

  10. (Book) Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer

    In Braiding Sweetgrass, botanist and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Robin Wall Kimmerer brings these lenses of knowledge together to show that the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings are we capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learning to give our own gifts in return.

    *You can borrow this title as an ebook and audiobook from the NLB app.