Suggested Reading for Adults
As part of a Read Green, Live Green summer reading program, the Chicago Public Library developed this select bibliography related to the environment and ecological preservation.
Writers in the Wild
Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv
Do children spend too much time inside? In this compelling book Richard Louv looks at the unhealthy implications of what he calls ‘nature deficit' on children, adults and society as a whole.
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
Deeply contemplative and poetic, this Pulitzer Prize-winning essay collection explores solitude, writing and religion from the vantage point of a year spent examining the natural world of Tinker Creek in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
Plants & Parks
Anatomy of a Rose: Exploring the Secret Life of Flowers by Sharman Apt Russell
A joyous look at the science and the splendor of flowers, as well as the secret tricks they use to tempt birds, animals and insects to come a little closer.
Chicago's Urban Nature: A Guide to the City's Architecture + Landscape by Sally A. Kitt Chappell
Chicago leads the way in the international movement towards greener cities, and this book highlights the places where buildings and green spaces come together to form the "City in a Garden."
From the Bottom Up: One Man's Crusade to Clean America's Rivers by Chad Pregracke with Jeff Barrow
Armed with only gloves and a used boat, Pregracke set out to single-handedly clear the garbage from the Mississippi river, and ended up bringing national media attention to the state of America's largest rivers and growing his lone efforts into a not-for-profit organization engaging thousands of volunteers.
The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson
Winner of the 1952 National Book Award, Rachel Carson's classic look at the lifecycle of the ocean and its inhabitants remains a beautiful and thought-provoking exploration of what Carson describes as "the last great frontier of Earth."
Silence of the Songbirds: How We Are Losing the World's Songbirds and What We Can Do to Save Them by Bridget Stutchbury
Following migratory birds around the world to seek reasons for their decline, Stutchbury explains the many roles that these birds play in our fields and forests, and offers strategies to save the songbirds before it is too late.
Grayson by Lynne Cox
While swimming in the ocean one morning as a teenager, Cox realized that she was being followed by a baby gray whale. This is the tale of the magical hour she spent leading the whale back to its mother.
Food & Farming
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver with Steven L. Hopp & Camille Kingsolver
Best-selling author Kingsolver moved her family to the hills of Appalachia with a vision of eating only homegrown and local food, and shares their joys and struggles on the road to a successful harvest.
Food, Inc.: Mendel to Monsanto--the Promises and Perils of the Biotech Harvest by Peter Pringle
Are genetically modified foods the key to ending world hunger and disease, or are they dangerous to our health and to the environment? In this balanced look at genetic modification, author Pringle explores both sides of the controversy.
Energy & Design
Apollo's Fire: Igniting America's Clean Energy Economy by Jay Inslee & Bracken Hendricks
In response to global warming, companies are racing to find new ways to power our lives. Filled with moving stories and thoughtful optimism, this book outlines the possibilities for our energy future.
Strange As This Weather Has Been by Ann Pancake
When the coal companies come to mine the peaceful valley where Lace Ricker has lived all her life, she and her family must decide whether to defend their land as the waste and run-off from the mining threatens their safety.
Climate Change & Waste
Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash by Elizabeth Royte
Where does trash go after it disappears into a garbage truck? Stopping along the way to talk to scientists, CEOs, composters and others involved in waste removal, Royte follows our garbage and explores its environmental impact.
Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle Over Global Warming by Chris Mooney
New Orleans native Mooney investigates whether global warming has had an effect on the strength of hurricanes, and offers an account of the ongoing debate over what to expect from storms in the future.
Living Green: A Practical Guide to Simple Sustainability by Greg Horn
A thoughtful, positive guide to making changes that help protect the environment, this book provides an excellent starting point for improving health, home and community.
Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future by Bill McKibben
In this thoughtful work, prolific environmental author McKibben encourages readers to invest their money in projects that will enhance their communities, enrich their neighbors and encourage self-reliant and value-based local cultures.
More on "Read Green, Live Green"
Visit the original Read Green, Live Green program's home page.
- Happening Now
The longest running exhibition of African-American art in the U.S. features more than 100 works.
Seventy years ago, a historic landing changed the world.
- Coming Soon
See a favorite film, catch one you missed, or experience a new one.
Exhibit Resource Guide
- Download the 2012 Smart Home resource guide to see the eco-friendly products, "green" ideas and resources found in the exhibit.
- Exhibit Resource Guide (PDF)