Summer is a great time to branch out and read or listen to something a little different from usual.
If you need some inspiration, take a look at this diverse list of books and podcasts recommended by the staff at Climateworks Centre.
To Paradise, Hanya Yanagihara
A book that blew me away (and scarred me!). The story is set in New York City over several different time periods and includes a future wracked by climate change and pandemics.
Why you should give a f*ck about farming, Gabrielle Chan
A non-fiction book published relatively recently so the facts are (mostly) up-to-date and Australian-specific. Relevant to anyone who eats food.
Give While You Live, Peter Winneke
In Give While You Live, philanthropic adviser and Climateworks friend Peter Winneke shines a light on giving to maximise impact and how it can enhance your purpose and legacy. This frank and constructive book, part memoir, part practical guide, highlights the joy of giving, considers how much wealth is enough and how much to give to the kids, and looks at reforms that would lead to more and better giving. With 20 years of experience in the philanthropic sector, Winneke highlights 35 case studies with Climateworks featured as one example.
Tell Me Again, Amy Lee Thunig
Amy Lee Thunig is a Gomeroi education academic whose memoir weaves together her childhood of poverty, trauma and parental addiction, and the intergenerational impact of this, and in particular the strength it has taken Amy to break from the cycle. She writes eloquently about the Indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing and being as a Gomeroi woman on time, and relationships and needing to navigate two cultures.
Outrage and Optimism (Podcast)
An accessible way to keep across the global trends and issues in climate change. The hosts, Christiana Figueres, Tom Rivett-Carnac and Paul Dickinsontake, a macro view on many topics, but also dive into topics in a way that has expanded my knowledge in new areas. The hosts are great together and make listening to and digesting tough information much easier!
The Secret Network of Nature, Peter Wohlleben
Peter Wohlleben is a German forester. A great introduction to thinking like an ecologist, in this book Wohlleben draws on scientific research and his experience as a forester to demonstrate the complexity of earth’s ecosystems, and how seemingly unrelated species impact each other. The network of nature – including animals, plants, rivers, rocks, and weather systems – is delicate, and Wohlleben demonstrates what is at stake if these systems become unbalanced.
The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida, Shehan Karunatilaka
Recipient of the 2022 Booker Prize, The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida is set in Colombo, 1990, in the midst of Sri Lanka’s civil war. The novel follows Maali Almeida – war photographer, gambler, and closeted man – after his murder. Now, in the afterlife, Maali must work through the people he loves most to lead them to the war photographs that will rock Sri Lanka. As a gay Australian-born-Lankan myself, I loved this tale of life as a closeted man in Sri Lanka, and the exploration of Sri Lanka’s civil war.
The Earth Transformed, Peter Frankpan
A chronicle of the ways climate change has dramatically shaped the development – and demise – of civilisations across time.
Accountable: The Rise of Citizen Capitalism, Michael O’Leary and Warren Valdmanis
Capitalism is easily placed at the heart of the climate crisis. This book is for those interested in fixing either, and it offers some interesting examples of ways out of this mess.
This Working Life: How to navigate your career in uncertain times, Lisa Leong and Monique Ross
Not your regular business or self help book, ABC broadcaster Lisa Leong and journalist-turned-forest therapist Monique Ross have condensed a wealth of knowledge about building a meaningful career into a snappy, digestible and empowering guide to finding joy and courage in the laboratory of life. The Radio National podcast of the same name is also always worth a listen.
A Psalm for the Wild-Built, Becky Chambers
Set within a solarpunk, post-dystopian society, a nonbinary monk changes their career in search of greater purpose, and in the process meets a previously-considered-extinct robot named Mosscap on a mission to help give humans what they need. Delightfully hopeful, this book is like a big hug and is very easy to read in one sitting. My all-time favourite book.