Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Good Vibes Book Club: First Edition

      Summertime is an excellent time for me because I finally have enough time to indulge my inner bookworm! I know there are a lot of people out there just like me, so I thought I'd put together a little summer reading list of sorts. I've read all of these books and thoroughly enjoyed them, so I hope you will check them out (of the library, heh).

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Immensely humorous and quirky, the basic premise of this novel outlines the battle between heaven and hell. Representatives from both  realms (an angel and a demon, respectively) constitute the main characters, both tasked with watching over the Anti-Christ and preparing for the ensuing apocalypse. The book is absolutely hilarious and extremely offbeat and inventive, and the cast of characters includes colorful individuals, including witch-hunters, psychics, hellhounds, and regular suburbanites. I have a fierce love for this book and I highly recommend it :)

Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach
Originally published in 1975 amid the surge of the environmental movement in the U.S., this book's glittering optimism is fantastically inspiring. The book is set 20 years after Washington, Oregon, and Northern California have seceded from the U.S. to form a new nation, Ecotopia. They have been very isolated from the U.S. until the point when the book starts, as Ecotopia allows in one U.S. journalist, Will Weston, to enter the country and observe their way of life. Will is the main characters, and the novel mostly details his adventures and escapades in discovering Ecotopia, detailed through a mix of diary entries and journalistic reports sent back to the U.S. The world the author describes is radically different from ours and so imaginatively detailed, it feels real.

Non Fiction

All Natural by Nathanael Johnson
In this book, the author, who was brought up by parents who belonged to the hippie-esque crowd in Nevada City, California and had a strong preference for all things natural when it came to questions of parenting and lifestyle. However, the author has grown skeptical of his parents' beliefs and decides to compare natural and technological approaches side by side in this investigative book. His journey leads him all over the place, and the book follows suit, discussing subjects as diverse as midwifery, forestry practices, pig farming, and the benefits of raw milk. This book is extremely well-written and fun to read, and provides lots of interesting facts!

Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living by Rachel Kaplan and K. Ruby Blume
This book is vastly informative, and one of my first thorough introductions to understanding sustainable living and how ecological concepts apply to human living. Chock-full of advice and step-by-step tutorials, this book is a practical handbook that is also immensely enjoyable to read. One of my favorite things about it is that it does not focus solely on gardening or the environment, but instead takes a more holistic approach and discusses human communities too. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has even a minute interest in sustainability, communities, gardening, permaculture, or all of the above!

Eaarth by Bill McKibben
This excellent book covers climate change, the impending effects, and how to deal with them. Backed up with a myriad of scientific studies and statistics, this book will get you extremely well-informed about climate change and what to expect in the coming years. If you're skeptical, I highly recommend reading at least the first chapter of this book! That aside, reading this book can be rather sobering, at least during the first couple chapters. Stick it out, it gets better at the end :) And when you're finished, be sure to pass it on to someone else!

Happy reading! Love, 
Photos: 1, all others found via google.