Our Favourite Cold-Weather Reads

It’s January in New Brunswick, which means snow, snow, and – you guessed it – more snow. While you’re cozying up to your wood stove with woolly socks and a hot cup of something, we’re serving up a selection of our favourite things to read at the end of a long winter day!

Afton’s Picks

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 Permaculture by Sepp Holzer

Sepp Holzer farms steep mountainsides in Austria 1,500 meters above sea level. His farm is an intricate network of terraces, raised beds, ponds, waterways and tracks, well covered with productive fruit trees and other vegetation, with the farmhouse neatly nestling amongst them. This is in dramatic contrast to his neighbors’ spruce monocultures. In this book, Holzer shares the skill and knowledge acquired over his lifetime. He covers every aspect of his farming methods, not just how to create a holistic system on the farm itself, but how to make a living from it. Holzer writes about everything from the overall concepts, down to the practical details.

Lasagna Gardening for Small Spaces by Patricia Lanza

You can create the garden of your dreams, no matter how limited your growing space is. Pat Lanza’s lasagna gardening method produces amazing results in pots and small plots. Even in beds just 4 inches wide, you can grow bountiful, beautiful gardens with no digging, no weeding– no kidding!

Max’s Favourites

Energy Island: How One Community Harnessed the Wind by Allan Drummond

It’s windy on the Danish island of Samsø. Meet the environmentally friendly folks who, in a few short years, worked together for energy independence, and who now proudly call their home Energy Island.

Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air by David JC McKay

Addressing the sustainable energy crisis in an objective manner, this enlightening book analyzes the relevant numbers and organizes a plan for change on both a personal level and an international scale—for Europe, the United States, and the world. In case study format, this informative reference answers questions surrounding nuclear energy, the potential of sustainable fossil fuels, and the possibilities of sharing renewable power with foreign countries. While underlining the difficulty of minimizing consumption, the tone remains positive as it debunks misinformation and clearly explains the calculations of expenditure per person to encourage people to make individual changes that will benefit the world at large. 

Charlotte’s Reads

Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv

In this influential work about the staggering divide between children and the outdoors, child advocacy expert Richard Louv directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today’s wired generation—he calls it nature-deficit—to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as the rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression. This is the first book to bring together a new and growing body of research indicating that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults. More than just raising an alarm, Louv offers practical solutions and simple ways to heal the broken bond—and many are right in our own backyard.

We Are Unprepared by Meg Little Reilly

Ash and Pia move from hipster Brooklyn to rustic Vermont in search of a more authentic life. But just months after settling in, the forecast of a superstorm disrupts their dream. Fear of an impending disaster splits their tight-knit community and exposes the cracks in their marriage. Where Isole was once a place of old farm families, rednecks and transplants, it now divides into paranoid preppers, religious fanatics and government tools, each at odds about what course to take. This novel is an emotional journey, a terrifying glimpse into the human costs of our changing earth and, ultimately, a cautionary tale of survival.

Michelle’s Picks

Here On Earth by Tim Flannery

What is our place on Earth? Are humans destined to become a footnote in history, or will we become stronger and wiser, and conquer our environmental problems? In this extraordinary story of our planet and our place upon it, Here on Earth discovers the remarkable source of all life and how it has developed into the wonder around us today. From ant-colonies to zinc mining, Tim Flannery (author of The Weather Makers) takes us on a journey around the world and from the top of the food-chain to the very chemicals of which we are made, and explores how the fate of humanity is in our own hands.

 The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben

In this book, Peter Wohlleben shares his deep love of woods and forests and explains the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in the woodland and the amazing scientific processes behind the wonders of which we are blissfully unaware. Drawing on groundbreaking new discoveries, Wohlleben presents the science behind the secret and previously unknown life of trees and their communication abilities; he describes how these discoveries have informed his own practices in the forest around him. As he says, a happy forest is a healthy forest, and he believes that eco-friendly practices not only are economically sustainable but also benefit the health of our planet and the mental and physical health of all who live on Earth.

Looking to reduce your carbon footprint while you read? Get your books from the NB Public Library system! We’ve included links to the library catalogue entry for each title so you can easily place some holds and reserve your favourites. Let us know your thoughts on our picks through social media using the hashtag #FBCReads. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

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