Reading Group Center

Books to Read to Celebrate Earth Day

Earth Day is April 22nd, and it’s a great time to embrace the natural world around you! To celebrate the paperback release of Paradise Falls by Keith O’Brien, we’ve put together a great list of books about the environment and nature to read for Earth Day. From studies on saving endangered species to observations on the lives of honeybees, there’s so much to learn from this list of recommendations.

Grab a picnic blanket and a book, and get outside to enjoy the sunshine!

Paradise Falls by Keith O’Brien

“Propulsive…A mighty work of historical journalism…A glorious quotidian thriller about people forced to find and use their inner strength.” —The Boston Globe

The staggering story of an unlikely band of mothers in the 1970s who discovered Hooker Chemical’s deadly secret at Love Canal—exposing one of America’s most devastating toxic waste disasters and sparking the modern environmental movement as we know it today.

Read an excerpt | Buy the book

Losing EdenLosing Eden by Lucy Jones

“A passionate and thorough exploration of the growing scientific evidence showing why humans require other species to stay well.” —The Guardian

Losing Eden is a fascinating look at why human beings have a powerful mental, spiritual, and physical need for the natural world. It explores the profound impact this has on our ability to heal the soul and bring solace to the heart, as well as the cutting-edge scientific evidence proving nature as nurturer.

Read an excerpt | Buy the book

The Plant MessiahThe Plant Messiah by By Carlos Magdalena

“Carlos is an inspiration to me. He’s the perfect spokesperson for the plants of the world.” —Jane Goodall, primatologist and UN Messenger of Peace

In The Plant Messiah, Magdalena takes readers from the forests of Peru to deep within the Australian outback in search of the rare and the vulnerable. Back in the lab—at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, home of the largest botanical collection in the world—we watch as he develops groundbreaking, left-field techniques for rescuing species from extinction, encouraging them to propagate and thrive once again.

Read an excerpt | Buy the book

The Sakura ObsessionThe Sakura Obsession by Naoko Abe

“A portrait of great charm and sophistication, rich in its natural and historical range, guaranteeing that you won’t look at cherry blossoms the same way again.” —The Guardian

As much a history of the cherry blossom in Japan as it is the story of one remarkable man, The Sakura Obsession follows the flower from its significance as a symbol of the imperial court, through the dark days of the Second World War, and up to the present-day worldwide fascination with this iconic blossom.

Read an excerpt | Buy the book

A Honeybee Heart Has Five OpeningsA Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings by Helen Jukes

“As strange, beautiful, and unexpected, as precise and exquisite in its movings as bees in a hive. I loved it.” —Helen Macdonald, author of H Is for Hawk

An inspiring, up-close portrait of tending to a honeybee hive—a year of living dangerously—watching and capturing the wondrous, complex universe of honeybees and learning an altogether different way of being in the world.

Read an excerpt | Buy the book