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Ten Books to Read on Earth Day

This Earth Day, the Read Alberta team has curated a selection of Alberta books that speak to environmental issues and nurturing meaningful relationships with the earth. We encourage you to grab one of the books on this list (or something different, your local independent bookstore can make a suggestion) and spend some time on Earth Day reading!

By Sharon English

Coming May 2022 from Freehand Books, Night in the World is a novel exploring our interconnectedness with the earth, especially in an age when everything is unravelling all around us.

Brothers Justin and Oliver have never been close. Justin owns an iconic Toronto restaurant and lives with his wife and daughter in Baby Point. Oliver, a former environmental reporter, does admin for a local gym and rents an attic apartment. Yet both men know their worlds stand on the brink. With their mother’s abrupt death, each sets out to set things right: Oliver to reclaim a beloved home, Justin to save one that’s falling apart.

Night in the World

Sharon English (CA)

Published: May 01, 2022 by Freehand Books
ISBN: 9781990601026

By A.K. Hellum

Combining personal experience with concrete fact, A.K. Hellum’s Listening to Trees tells the story of a man’s lifelong journey to salvage the world’s declining forests. As Hellum guides us on his journeys through the forests of Thailand, China, Guyana, and the Philippines, we emerge with a new understanding of how the smallest elements of the planet’s ecosystems can have a significant and devastating impact on the environment at large. Listening to Trees serves as a staunch reminder of the fragility of modern forests while providing a glimpse into the soul of an environmentalist pleading for his beloved timberland.

Listening to Trees

Andreas (A.K.) Hellum (CA)

Published: Sep 15, 2008 by NeWest Press
ISBN: 9781897126332

By Lynn Martel

Western Canada’s glaciers are dynamic, enigmatic, exquisitely beautiful, and sometimes dangerous environments where people play, work, run businesses, explore, and create art every single day. Author Lynn Martel is one of them. In Stories of Ice: Adventure, Commerce and Creativity on Canada’s Glaciers, Martel examines Canadian glaciers to uncover their secrets and their future. Featuring gorgeous images by some of the country’s best outdoor photographers, Stories of Ice shares the excitement, the mystery, and the wonder of Canada’s glaciers and poses questions about their future.

Stories of Ice: Adventure, Commerce and Creativity on Canada’s Glaciers

Lynn Martel (CA)

Published: Oct 27, 2020 by RMB | Rocky Mountain Books
ISBN: 9781771603898

By Hayley Shepard

Born in New Zealand, now residing in northern Vancouver Island as a naturalist, guide and adventurer, Hayley Shephard has led wilderness expeditions around the world. Introducing people to the natural and wild environment is her passion. South Solo: Kayaking to Save the Albatross is the story of Shepard’s solo kayaking trip in the frigid waters off Antarctica to save the Albatross, an endangered seabird.

Cover of South SoloSouth Solo: Kayaking to Save the Albatross

Hayley Shephard (CA)

Published: Oct 27, 2011 by Bayeux Arts, Inc.
ISBN: 9781897411582

By Carrie Armstrong 

In this beautiful book, author Carrie Armstrong blends the finest essential oils, berries, medicinal herbs, and ceremonial plants that Mother Earth provides with teachings she learned as a young child from her grandmother. She brings to light the significant contributions Indigenous Peoples have made regarding plants and their medicinal properties and uses.

Mother Earth Plants for Health & Beauty: Indigenous Plants, Traditions, and Recipes

Carrie Armstrong (CA)

Published: Dec 01, 2020 by Eschia Books
ISBN: 9781926696645

By Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

In A Short History of the Blockade: Giant Beavers, Diplomacy, and Regeneration in Nishnaabewin, award-winning writer Leanne Betasamosake Simpson uses Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg stories, storytelling aesthetics, and practices to explore the generative nature of Indigenous blockades through our relative, the beaver—or in Nishnaabemowin, Amik. Moving through genres and shifting through time, amikwag stories become a lens for the life-giving possibilities of dams and the world-building possibilities of blockades. These stories will deepen readers’ understanding of Indigenous resistance as both a negation and an affirmation.

A Short History of the Blockade: Giant Beavers, Diplomacy, and Regeneration in Nishnaabewin

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (CA)

Published: Feb 08, 2021 by Canadian Literature Centre / Centre de littérature canadienne
ISBN: 9781772125382

Edited by Colin M. Coates

The radical countercultural movement of the 1960s had a great impact on the environmental movements of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, influencing everything from the recycling programs to the back-to-the-land movement to urban bicycling advocacy. Canadian Countercultures and the Environment is an in-depth exploration of this understudied period in Canadian environmental history, offering a sustained analysis of the beginning of major environmental debates and broad environmental concerns.

Canadian Countercultures and the Environment

Published: Feb 04, 2016 by University of Calgary Press
ISBN: 9781552388143

By Michael Leeb

The poems in Spirit of Place: Earth, Wind, Sky and Water ring with a deep appreciation for Indigenous culture and history and how they were formed by the land itself. A reverence for those who came first and the effects of time and natural forces in shaping the natural world is evident in this collection. The interplay of nature and spirituality in Leeb’s poems will get readers off the couch and outside to appreciate the wild environment of Alberta that persists around us.

Spirit of Place: Earth, Wind, Sky and Water

Michael Leeb (CA)

Published: Jul 15, 2016 by Eschia Books
ISBN: 9781926696317

By Jennifer Brower

In Lost Tracks: Buffalo National Park, 1909-1939, Brower explores the history of Buffalo National Park, a Canadian National Park that no longer exists. The establishment of Buffalo National Park in Wainwright, Alberta was intended as a wildlife saving effort to stem the decline of the plains buffalo in North America. By unravelling an intricate web of correspondence and other documentation, Brower reveals the fiscal and corporate management policies that doomed the herd and the park, providing important insight into successful wildlife management.

Lost Tracks: Buffalo National Park, 1909-1939

Jennifer Brower

Published: Jun 01, 2008 by Athabasca University Press
ISBN: 9781897425107

By Laura Peters

With spring around the corner, it is the perfect time to learn how to start an organic garden. Laura Peters, the author of more than 25 gardening books, has practised and taught about organic gardening for years. In this guidebook, Peters explores the subject thoroughly and shares advice and tips for creating and maintaining an organic garden, including the importance of healthy soil, pest and disease problems and treatments, and the different types of organic gardens.

Organic Gardening for Canada

Laura Peters (CA)

Published: Mar 01, 2010 by Lone Pine Publishing
ISBN: 9781551058405