Climate Resolve Reading List: Books That Have Inspired Us

Posted by on November 28, 2016

Below, a list of books that have inspired Climate Resolve staff members through the years. Links bring you to Amazon, where you can log in to Amazon Smile and a portion of sales will help benefit our work on climate solutions in Los Angeles.

Animal Farm by George Orwell

“This book warned me about the world of politics, including environmental protection.” — Ignacio Fernandez

Cities for People by Jan Gehl

“It uses full-color photos to drive home principles of human-centered urban design. Rather than structuring our built environments with top priority given to streamlining fast car movement, emphasis should rather be on improving walkability and enabling people to experience cities in a more appealing and pleasant way. To transform our cities into more vibrant, thriving environs — I want that! — Gehl makes the case for why public space, including roads, should facilitate positive human interactions, and in doing so contribute towards the aims of social sustainability and an open and democratic society.” — Bryn Lindblad

The Course of Empire by Bernard de Voto

“This is a life-changing experience. The winner of the National Book Award is, in my opinion, a key text in understanding our national origins. Read it with an atlas at your side.” — Jonathan Parfrey

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

“Silverstein’s book explores the lengths we go for those we love, but I also see this as a cautionary tale for the ages. Keep cutting away at the tree and you’ll be left with nothing by a stump. The sadness of this story affected me when I was a kid and still gives me the chills.” — Stef McDonald

The Green Collar Economy by Van Jones

“In college, Van Jones’ rhetorical skill and candor in The Green Collar Economy provided me with some initial inspiration for my career. His demonstration that climate solutions and economic benefit could go hand in hand, and in fact must be aligned, gave me both relief and a sense of freedom about what lay ahead professionally for me, as I sought out ways to contribute to both social and environmental good.” — Kristina von Hoffmann

Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery

“Journalist Montgomery argues that the city is the place where we can become our best selves. I am interested in the work that leads to the building of sustainable, just, happy cities.” — Khalilha Haynes

Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

“This is a thought experiment that is an anthropological and philosophical digest. It is a fiction novel, but it discusses the common mentality that has arisen from religion, culture, and science. Great way to be able to understand how our society interacts with the natural world.” — Emmanuel Lopez

Poetry of Robert Frost

“We had a book of Robert Frost poetry in the house when I was a kid and I connected with Frost’s use of nature in his writing.  On the page, I could see and feel its power.” — Stef McDonald

The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money by Daniel Yergin 
The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World by Daniel Yergin
“The Quest and The Prize gave me a great idea of what the world’s issues that surround energy and and how the present mentalities came to be. It was a great way to educate me during my undergrad on the geopolitics of energy and national security.” — Emmanuel Lopez

Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky

“I read it when I was 20 and it was a seminal book for me. It taught me how to equalize the balance of power in our political and social systems.” — David Fink

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

“Although I had read other environmentally related books, Carson’s approach of showing how pollution will affect the world around you, if you are not alert and take action promptly, is powerful.” — Ignacio Fernandez