Current events stimulate interest in books on environmental issues


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The recent United Nations climate change conference and ongoing news stories have increased interest in books dealing with environmental disasters, food stability and nature in general.

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The Brantford Public Library is always adding non-fiction books to its collection to meet the interest of residents who want to go beyond the headlines to learn more about environmental sustainability and climate change.

Recent images of empty grocery store shelves in British Columbia understandably spark people’s curiosity about food security and the impact of weather on our food systems. A book on this subject that is both terrifying and encouraging is The Fate of Food: What We’ll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World by Amanda Little. The 2019 book goes beyond discussions of climate change and food to cover issues of population growth, sustainability and equity.

There are also recent books by recognized environmentalists. Jane Goodall’s 2021 book The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times, which was co-authored with Douglas Abrams, addresses the climate crisis and focuses on how to maintain hope.

In line with hope, Naomi Klein’s 2015 book It Changes Everything is written to motivate a person to make change by shedding light on the many areas that impact climate change. A similarly titled film featuring Klein is available to stream on demand through the library’s Hoopla platform. This Hoopla service is available on desktop, phone or tablet through the Hoopla app, and through popular streaming devices, such as Amazon’s Fire TV.

Environmentalist David Suzuki’s 2017 book Just Cool It also goes beyond just reporting on the climate crisis by offering solutions to help reduce the impact humans have on the Earth.

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The 2021 book, The Climate Diet: 50 Simple Ways to Trim Your Carbon Footprint, written by Paul Greenberg, provides even more practical advice for limiting a person’s environmental impact.

A common theme in environmental non-fiction is the beauty of nature. Helen Macdonald’s collection of essays published in the book, Vesper Flights, does an excellent job of capturing both a sense of nostalgia and urgency when it comes to nature and environmental change. This is a book that will remain etched in your memory for a long time.

If you are looking for a collection of books on this subject, request a bag of books selected by library staff through the Grab and Go service. A form for this service is available in the Reading Recommendations section of the library’s website.

At Your Library is a weekly column provided by the staff of the Brantford Public Library. Readers wanting more information can visit


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