Eco Reading Challenge

Today is Earth Day and I've been thinking about doing this on my blog for awhile now.
The Eco Reading Challenge

It's simple. Part One, pick 5 books*** with a Environmental theme and read them in 5 months. Not sure what to read? Here are a few suggestions:

In Non-Fiction, you can read books written by or about famous or not so famous environmental activists like

*An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore
*The Big Picture by David Suzuki
*Jane Goodall: The Woman Who Redefined Man by Dale Peterson
*Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat
*Unbowed: A Memoir by Wangari Maathai
*Walden; Or, Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau (free ebook from Project Gutenberg)

Other non-fiction, including self-help guides, crafting books, etc. These books have topics such as growing your own food or eating locally, making the home more eco-friendly

*Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
*David Suzuki's Green Guide by David Suzuki
*The Green Beauty Guide: Your Essential Resource to Organic and Natural Skin Care, Hair Care, Makeup, and Fragrances by Julie Gabriel
*Sewing Green: 25 Projects Made with Repurposed & Organic Materials by Betz White
*The Scavengers' Manifesto by Anneli Rufus
*Ecoholic: Your Guide to the Most Environmentally Friendly Information, Products and Services in Canada by Adria Vasil
*Gardening Eden by Mike Abbate (this links to My Friend Amy's Giveaway)

Fiction might be a bit tricky but with some imagination you can find something, like:

*The Children of Men by P D James
*The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
(In both these books men have become sterile thought to be the result of the environment.)
*Watership Down (Rabbits must leave home due to human encroachment).
*Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat
*The Lorax by Dr Suess
*Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
*Destroy All Cars by Blake Nelson (Released May 1, 2009, Review by Alea @Pop Culture Junkie)

You can read books about wild animals, environmental disasters, people (real and fantasy) who live close to nature. You could read books where the protagonist has a job as a fishermen, logger, biologist, activist, whatever. Go crazy! Do not limit yourself to these books. These are just examples. Add any books you can think of that would fit in the comments if you like.

Now for Part Two. If you are Canadian you probably know who George Stroumboulopoulos is. He is a news show host on the CBC. Last year, he started a campaign called One Million Acts of Green, asking people to commit to one thing to help the environment. He reached 1 million but is working toward 2 million. I'm not George but we can start a little project here on book-a-rama where we commit an Act of Green Reading.

For example:

*buy used books or books made from recycled materials whenever possible
*take reusable shopping bags when buying books
*replace light bulbs in reading lamps with compact fluorescent ones
*move to window or outside to read instead of turning on lights
*wear a sweater when reading instead of turning up heat
*plant a tree to read under


Make a list of your books and tell us your Act of Green Reading on your blog and link it to Mr Linky.

The Eco Reading Challenge will be from May 1- Sept 1. As you post your reviews, add them to the Eco Reading Challenge Reviews blog.

If you complete the challenge by Sept 1, I'll put your name in a drawing for some tawashis I plan on crocheting out of some beautiful green organic cotton I bought. I haven't made any yet. When I do I'll post pictures. A tawashi is a Japanese scrubber for fruit/vegetables or dishes. Very environmentally friendly.

Please let everyone you know on your blogs, Twitter, etc about the challenge. Thanks!

*** Edited: I'm not married to 5. Please pick any number you are comfortable with (1-5).

Please link to Mr Linky with your Eco Reading Challenge post with book list and Act of Green Reading only.


  1. I would love to participate in this challenge but I already have too much to get read that there is no way I could add another five books. All the best with the challenge, I hope you get lot's of participants.

  2. Kingsolver has some fiction that I think might qualify. I remember there being a big environmental component to one of her books, Prodigal Summer, maybe?

  3. I'm seriously thinking of joining this challenge. I just bought a Rachel Carson book that wants me to read it.

    I didn't know Anneli Rufus had another book...I have her book Party Of One which I enjoyed.

  4. thatsthebook- I hope so too though it's not looking so good.

    Ali- Thanks, I'll look that up.

    Bybee- I hope you do! I think that one is brand new- I saw it in the Shelfawareness newsletter.

  5. I was thinking of eco-friendly CanLit stories yesterday too. Mowat popped into my head before everyone else. His stories always link us to our environment and how we exploit it or how it exploits us. Love it! Thanks for pointing him out too.

    Kathleen Molloy, author - Dining with Death

  6. I couldn't resist, it's a really interesting idea!!

  7. I'm still trying to decide if I can commit to this. Great idea, definitely.

  8. Joanna- Yay! I'm so glad you joined!

    Wordlily- I hope you do!

  9. Okay, I think I can do this! I need a good kick in the pants anyway since my reading (and many other things) have slacked off lately. I'm looking forward to figuring out acts of green reading! Hope there are more out there who will join us

  10. Lindy- I can't get your Mr Linky link to work.

  11. I'm not sure yet, Chris. I am hoping to read Children of Men soon, so that would be one, but there aren't a lot of books I was planning to read in this area. I just finished Animal, Vegetable, Miracle this week. I'll think about it for a while.

    A suggestion though, Crow Lake is about a biologist who grows up in Northern Ontario.

  12. I'm in. I just have to decide what I'm reading. I know Unbowed will be one. It's been on my TBR forever.

  13. Raidergirl- Thanks, I'll add that to the list.

    Jupiter- Yay! I'm glad you joined!

  14. :( If I join this one I'll definitely have to join I Suck at Challenges!! Can I be greener without the books? Can I read books that have green covers? Seriously Chris, I'm overbooked, but I'll be a green reader, I promise!!! TV, off! Read outside, check! Say no to icky plastic bag at bookstore, YES! Buy used or borrow from others, sure! If I think of some green reading, I'll be back for part 1.

  15. talked me into this challenge...did you ever work in sales?

  16. Great timing, Chris, and I like that I get to justify my choices too. I'm in!

  17. Fun! Here's my link to my blog and I posted 5 books.

  18. Bybee & Carrie- Yay! Thanks!

    Jenny- That link went to my page so I added your page to Mr Linky.

    Trish- C'mon! :)

  19. I'm ALL IN! If I hadn't been so out of the bloggy loop lately, I would've been here MUCH sooner! Can't wait. I'm just in time!

  20. Andi- Wahoo! Better late than never!

  21. This is an excellent idea for a challenge! Count me in.

  22. Some of your readers might consider Barry Lopez's Of Wolves and Men, Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire, or anything by Carolyn Merchant who writes ecofeminist criticism. :) For fiction, there's a lot of great mythology or Native American writings about the earth and our influence on it. Some might also like Joy Harjo and Stephen Strom's Secrets from the Center of the World.

    I'm thinking of joining, but my qualifying exams on Victorian lit are definitely taking priority right now...can you think of any green Victorian lit? On the Origin of Species might be the closest I can get.

  23. Okay, I've decided that I will attempt to participate. I'm thinking I'll probably get at least two read for the challenge.

  24. I hope it's not too late to join in. I made a post here with my tentative list. I absolutely love this idea...thank you so much for hosting it!

  25. I'm signing up for this - it sounds great! I just bought an ecological YA book (Exodus by Julie Bertagna) and have The Sight on my reading list, so I've already got two! I may re-read Guerilla Gardening for this challenge, too!

  26. I finally got around to posting my list :) Post is here:

  27. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions for the challenge. That gives everyone lots of ideas.

    And thanks to everyone who signed up. Happy Reading!!

  28. I have finished reading the following:

    1. Banks, Martin Conserving Rain Forests
    2. Cerullo, Mary M Coral Reef
    3. Watts, Franklin Undersea Archaeology and Concervaton
    4, Silver, Donald M. Cave, protecting them from ruin
    5. Silver, Donald M One Small Swuare Woods


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