Consilience Productions
Book Picks

On this page, we present to you links to recommended books or other publications, arranged alphabetically by title, that have to do with the environment or nature. When you click on a title below, you will be taken to another page that describes the publication in greater detail. From that individual page, we then link you to Amazon where you can purchase the book or publication.

IIf you have any suggestions for other books or publications to be included on this page, please send them in and we will consider including them on this page. Thanks!

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The Beauty of the Beastly - Natalie Angier, the Pulitzer Prize-winning science reporter for the New York Times, confesses that she enjoys writing "about organisms that many people find repugnant: spiders, scorpions, parasites, worms, rattlesnakes, dung beetles, hyenas."

Biophilia - Author E. O. Wilson is the entomologist Curator of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard. His science writing for the general public has won him the Pulitzer Prize and his scientific publications have won him the highest honors American science can bestow. He is well equipped to engage a subject dear to nature-lovers which until now has not been identified as a species trait --biophilia, "the innate tendency in human beings to focus on life and lifelike process." ~~ Hiram Caton.

** Check out our CD release by Vinson Valega, entitled, "Biophilia."

Blessed Unrest - Blessed Unrest is about a movement that no one has noticed, not even the people involved. “The movement,” as author Paul Hawken calls it, is made up of an unknowable number of citizens and mostly ragtag organizations that come and go. There are a few billionaires, working hard to give their wealth away, and there are even some Christian evangelicals, who have decided the earth is not theirs to trash, but the movement is mostly about shared beliefs, even if those beliefs are unproclaimed.

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The Omnivore's Dilemma. In this remarkably clearheaded book, author Michael Pollan takes us on a fascinating journey up and down the food chain, one that might change the way you read the label on a frozen dinner, dig into a steak or decide whether to buy organic eggs. You'll certainly never look at a Chicken McNugget the same way again. Pollan approaches his mission not as an activist but as a naturalist: "The way we eat represents our most profound engagement with the natural world."

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Consilience - The Unity of Knowledge. This book is the inspiration for Consilience Productions! Edward Wilson is a fabulous writer, thinker, scientist, and humanist. A must-read!

Cradle to Cradle - Paper or plastic? Neither, say authors William McDonough and Michael Braungart. Why settle for the least harmful alternative when we could have something that is better--say, edible grocery bags!

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Dakota: A Spiritual Geography - Nearly 20 years ago, poet Kathleen Norris and her husband moved from New York to the isolated town of Lemmon in northwestern South Dakota, home of her grandparents. Living there radically changed her sense of time and place, forcing her to come to terms with her heritage, her religious beliefs and the land.

Demon-Haunted World - Carl Sagan muses on the current state of scientific thought, which offers him marvelous opportunities to entertain us with his own childhood experiences, the newspaper morgues, UFO stories, and the assorted flotsam and jetsam of pseudo science.

Denying Evolution - Denying Evolution aims at taking a fresh look at the evolution–creationism controversy.
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Eaarth - Bill McKibben leads readers to the devastatingly comprehensive conclusion that we no longer inhabit the world in which we've flourished for most of human history.

The Elegant Universe - Brian Greene, the author, "uses everything from an amusement park ride to ants on a garden hose to explain the beautiful yet bizarre realities that modern physics is unveiling." (L.A. Times).

The Empty Ocean - Maritime extinctions are largely invisible, leaving us "stranded on shore, watching as the bountiful sea life disappears before our uncomprehending eyes." The author, Richard Ellis, is more than qualified with his four decades of studying marine life and his term on the International Whaling Commission to comment and critique the current woeful destruction of our unseen sea life.

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Fast Food Nation - Eric Schlosser documents the effects of fast food on America's economy, its youth culture, and allied industries, such as meat packing, that serve this vast food production empire. A must-must-read!!

Field Notes from a Catastrophe - In writing that is both clear and unbiased, Kolbert approaches the monumental problem of global warming from every angle. She travels to the Arctic, interviews researchers and environmentalists, explains the science and the studies, draws frightening parallels to lost ancient civilizations, unpacks the politics, and presents the personal tales of those who are being affected most—the people who make their homes near the poles and, in an eerie foreshadowing, are watching their worlds disappear.

The Food Revolution - Considering a plant-based vegetarian diet? This best-seller is the book for you!

The Future of Life, by Edward Wilson, author of Consilience, Harvard University naturalist and Pulitzer Prize winner. "Based on a love affair with the natural world that spans 70 years, Wilson combines lyrical descriptions with dire warnings and remarkable stories of flora and fauna on the edge of extinction with hard economics."

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A Sand County Almanac - Aldo Leopold laid out his "Land Ethic" principle in this "bible" for environmentalists. To be serious about protecting our planet, we must start to think of our land in more ethical terms, and Leopold was the first to espouse these views.

Sea of Slaughter - This book will make you laugh, cry and rip your hair out. Mowat does not mince words as he recounts the history of fishing in the Atlantic. His research and quotes come from from the actual accounts of early sailors, explorers, colonists, government officials and even modern day scientists, as he connects our greed-driven fishing policies with the intractable problem of over fishing.

Sex on Six Legs - Insects have a lot to teach us. Among their pedagogical qualifications are, oddly enough, their looks: lacking facial expression, insects aren’t so easy to anthropomorphize, which makes researchers less likely to bias interpretations of their behavior. Then there’s their tremendous variety: it’s given evolution an enormous scope upon which to act. Having many types of insects to compare and contrast makes it easier for scientists to parse which genes are responsible for life span or body size. As author Marlene Zuk notes, “A monkey is a lot more like a mouse than a grasshopper is like a flea.”

Song For The Blue Ocean - Carl Safina, a seabird scientist who also heads the National Audubon Society's Living Oceans Program, has written this beautifully poetic book as part travelogue, part reporter's notebook,and part scientific paper.

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Garbage Land - The Vice President of a New York City waste transfer station recommends, "You want to solve the garbage problem? Stop eating. Stop living." Indeed, to ponder waste disposal is to confront the very limits of our society. Where does it all go? Most of us are content to shrug off the details—as long as it's out of sight (and smell).

The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems - "This book illustrates the link between the struggle to restore the environment and the need to revive the US economy. Van Jones demonstrates conclusively that the best solutions for the survivability of our planet are also the best solutions for everyday Americans." -- Al Gore

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Tao of Physics, by Fritjof Capra, is the best-selling mid-70's book that discusses the meeting of the East and the West.

The Meat You Eat: How Corporate America Has Endangered America's Food Supply - Sierra Club director, Ken Midriff, includes the familiar horror stories of the squalid slaughterhouses, the toxic lakes of pig manure, etc. But he offers a solution even a carnivore can love: don't stop eating meat - buy it from sustainable farmers!

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Javatrekker: Dispatches From the World of Fair Trade Coffee - "Dean is truly a singular character in the world of coffee roasters. He takes an intense interest in knowing the origins of his coffee. While most roasters and importers brag about their 'Third World' experiences, Dean travels to the 'Fourth World,' getting down and dirty with the indigenous groups growing the coffees, way out beyond where most folks will go. He is embraced universally by these groups and hailed as a true brother."
--John Cossette, Royal Coffee, Inc.
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The Lazy Environmentalist - "The book is broken into 22 sections, from clothing to…ahem…dying, each of which gives a quick rundown of the issues (under five pages) and suggests resources for further learning and shopping. So whether you want to make a purchase or set yourself up with a nice eternal resting place, you can do it in a fashionable green way." ~~ Tom Arnold, Terrapass

Lives of a Cell - Notes of a Biology Watcher. A collection of 29 essays on issues of biology by Lewis Thomas, physician & former president of Sloan-Kettering and lover of music, language, medicine, and social behavior. Winner of the 1974 National Book Award.

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