YBG Book Club – Recommended Reading List

Looking for a great book to read? Check out these suggestions by fellow alums. Authors with a Yale affiliation are denoted by “*” after their name. Email us with suggestions for books to add. We are aiming to build a robust and diverse list of topics and authors. Happy reading!


The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey

The Ninemile Wolbes by Rick Bass

Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter by Ben Goldfarb*

Wild City: A Brief History of New York City in 40 Animals by Thomas Hynes

Satellites in the High Country: Searching for the Wild in the Age of Man by Jason Mark

Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea, and Human Life by George Monbiot

Behavioral Change

Why Good People Do Bad Environmental Things by Elizabeth R. Desombre

Inconspicuous Consumption: The Environmental Impact You Don’t Know You Have by Tatiana Schlossberg


Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less Are the Keys to Sustainability by David Owen

Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City by Eric Sanderson

Inventing Niagara: Beauty, Power, and Lies by Ginger Strand


Desert Solitaire and The Monkeywrench Gang by Edward Abbey

The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture by Wendell Berry

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold*

Encounters with the Archdruid: Narratives about a Conservationist and Three of His Natural Enemies by John McPhee*

Small Is Beautiful: Economics as If People Mattered by E.F. Schumacher

Walden, The Maine Woods, and Walking by Henry David Thoreau

Climate Change

A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest by William DeBuys

The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth by Tim Flannery

How to Avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein

The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert*

Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? by Bill McKibben

How to Prepare for Climate Change: A Practical Guide to Surviving the Chaos by David Pogue*

Design & Technology

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by Bill McDonough*


The New Ecology: Rethinking a Science for the Anthropocene by Oswald J. Schmitz*


Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air by David MacKay

Environmental Justice

Clean and White: A History of Environmental Racism in the United States by Carl A. Zimring

Food & Agriculture

Kiss the Ground: How the Food You Eat Can Reverse Climate Change, Heal Your Body & Ultimately Save Our World by Josh Tickell

How to Be a Conscious Eater: Making Food Choices That Are Good for You, Others, and the Planet by Sophie Egan

Bring It to the Table: On Farming and Food by Wendell Berry

Eating Animals by Jonathan Fafran Foer

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle – Tenth Anniversary Edition: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver

Feasting Wild by Gina Rae La Cerva

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: Young Readers Edition by Michael Pollan


The Trees in My Forest by Bernd Heinrich

The New Wild: Why Invasive Species Will Be Nature’s Salvation by Fred Pearce


Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England and Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West by William Cronon*

The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America by Timothy Egan

Wilderness and the American Mind by Roderick Nash

After Nature: A Politics for the Anthropocene by Jedidiah Purdy*

The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions by David Quammen*

The Invention of Nature: Alexander Von Humboldt’s New World by Andrea Wulf

Indigenous Knowledge

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Industrial Ecology

Journal of Industrial Ecology Bookshelf


The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer

The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara

The Man with the Compound Eyes by Wu Ming-Yi


The Turquoise Ledge Leslie Marmon Silko

Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment by Sandra Steingraber

Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place by Terry Tempest Williams

Philosophy of Nature & Spirituality

Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things by Jane Bennett

Journey of the Universe by Brian Thomas Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker*

The World Without Us by Alan Weisman

Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future by Elizabeth Kolbert*

Listening at Lookout Creek – Nature in Spiritual Practice by Gretel Van Wieren*

Science & Conservation

Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake


Values at Work: Sustainable Investing and ESG Reporting edited Daniel Esty and Todd Cort*

A Better Planet: 40 Big Ideas for a Sustainable Future edited by Daniel Esty*

The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability by Gus Speth*


Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation by Dan Fagin

Unquenchable by Robert Glennon

Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water, Revised Edition by Marc Reisner

Wealth & Inequality

Billionaire Wilderness by Justin Farrell*

Tales of Two Planets: Stories of Climate Change and Inequality in a Divided World edited by John Freeman

Yale New Books In Brief

YaleNews features works recently or soon to be published by members of the University community. Descriptions are based on material provided by the publishers.