Top 10 Summer Reads

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Summer often means more leisure time–the perfect season to make some fresh-squeezed lemonade and catch up on all the reading you’ve missed during the first six months of the year. Listed below are 10 fabulous summer reads, including both recently published books as well as a few green “classics.”

So whether you’re soaking up sun by the pool or enjoying the shade while your kids play at the park, feed your brain with one of these savory green cuisines.

Photo: Zenogroup.com

Newsweek hails Friedman's book as "a compelling manifesto that deserves a wide reading, especially by members of Congress and candidates for President." Photo: Zenogroup.com

1. Hot, Flat and Crowded, by Thomas L. Friedman

Friedman’s newest book addresses the issues of destabilizing climate change and rising competition for energy, problems which could “poison our world if we do not act quickly and collectively.” He proposes the implementation of a new national strategy in order to not only save the planet, but also make America healthier, richer and more secure.

2. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, by William McDonough and Michael Braungart

If you haven’t already read this green “classic,” now is a great time. McDonough and Braungart argue that the conflict between industry and the environment is not without a solution. They suggest old practices of the Industrial Revolution must be replaced by a new approach that allows nature and commerce to fruitfully co-exist.

3. The Green Collar Economy, by Van Jones

Jones, founder of the Free For All organization, explores the twin crises of our day: economic downturn and environmental devastation. He argues that the two crises are interlinked, and that pursuing green industry will bring prosperity.

4. Green is the New Black, by Tamsin Blanchard

Model Lily Cole gives a good preview to the book in its foreword, describing it as “a bible for the ethical shopper.” Blanchard weaves the fashion and green worlds together, including everything from face mask recipes to sorting and recycling clothing to developing your own personal style rather than copying celebrities.

Photo: Ospreydesign.com

Pittsburg Post-Gazette says, "The World Without Us" gradually reveals itself to be one of the most satisfying environmental books of recent memory, one devoid of self-righteousness, alarmism or tiresome doomsaying.” Photo: Ospreydesign.com

5. Go Green, Live Rich: 50 Simple Ways to Save the Earth and Get Rich Trying, by David Bach and Hillary Rosner

Bach, the author of several New York Times Bestsellers, focuses in this book on how helping the earth can coincide with smart financial choices, such as avoiding bottled water and starting a vegetable garden. One reader featured on Bach’s Web site described the book as “not a bunch of touchy feely, mumbo jumbo, but real world solutions that show why going green is just plain smart.”

6. The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman

How would our planet respond without the relentless pressure of human presence? Weisman dedicates his book to answering this central question.

Drawing on the expertise of engineers, atmospheric scientists, art conservators, zoologists, oil refiners, marine biologists, astrophysicists, religious leaders and paleontologists, Weisman illustrates what the planet might be like today, if not for us.

7. Raising Baby Green: The Earth-Friendly Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Care, by Alan Greene, Jeanette Pavini, and Theresa Foy DiGeronimo

Dr. Greene advises parents how to make healthy green choices for pregnancy, childbirth and baby care—from feeding your baby the best food available to using medicines wisely. Consumer advocate Jeanette Pavini includes information for making green choices, from zero-VOC paints for the nursery, to pure and gentle lotions for baby’s delicate skin, to the eco-friendly diapers now in the marketplace.

Photo: g2ggreen.com

Recycle Your Day raves about Savedge's work: "The Green Teen is just the book I truly wish I had when I was a teenager. I always dreamt of getting involved and taking action but never had the guts or motivation to do it." Photo: g2ggreen.com

8. The Green Teen, by Jenn Savedge

Savedge, the author of “The Green Parent,” now has a book catering to the rising generation. She gives realistic and simple guidelines on how young people can get involved in the green movement, including tips on how to land job in the environmental field.

9. The Green Book, by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen

Rogers and Kostigen discuss the 12 aspects of our habitat, such as home, work and school. The book suggests simple lifestyle changes in each arena. Included is green advice from Ellen DeGeneres, Robert Redford, Will Ferrell, Jennifer Aniston, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Martha Stewart, Tyra Banks, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Tiki Barber, Owen Wilson and Justin Timberlake.

10. The Carbon Diaries: 2015, by Saci Lloyd.

If you’re in the mood for fiction, this book was chosen as the 2009 winner of the Green Book Festival. Lloyd’s novel details the futuristic world of 16-year-old Laura Brown, who lives in a carbon-constrained U.K. where everything from heat to transportation to the daily shower is regulated by government-issued points. In a world gone eco-mad, and with the highest-category storm in history headed straight for her, Laura clings to her band, the Dirty Angels, and dreams of a normal life.

For additional green fiction titles, visit the Green Book Festival Web site.

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