Great Green Reads Book Display

Read widely, live lightly!

To celebrate the University’s first ever Green Action Week (20-24 February 2023) we have put together a display of Great Green Reads from the Social Science Library’s collections.

We asked SSL staff and those involved with sustainability throughout the University to share their favourite green reads.  The display includes books that inspired action, changed perspectives on nature, or gave greater insight into environmental issues and potential solutions.

To come and browse the books, pop in to the SSL at any time during our opening hours, from Monday 20 February – Friday 17 March.  We are open to all members of the University and are located in the Manor Road Building.

The books are listed below, with those titles where recommenders were kind enough to share a few words appearing at the top of the list.

Click the title to be taken to the SOLO record for the book where you can access the online version if available, see if other libraries hold copies, or request the book if it is out on loan.

Doughnut economics : seven ways to think like a 21st century economist / Kate Raworth.  2018.  SSL shelfmark: HB75.RAW 2018

Recommended by Kate Trinkaus, DPhil student, Dept. of Physics, who says “University of Oxford economist Kate Raworth proposes a model for economics with a new goal: meeting every person’s needs while protecting the living planet that sustains us — as opposed to our current economic models which are based on the goals of accumulating wealth and infinite growth.  She details how these previous economic theories came to be and how they aren’t serving humanity, what getting into the Doughnut – the safe zone for humanity – looks like, how humans actually operate and what we need, and how to implement these new principles and goals in reality.”


Small is beautiful : a study of economics as if people mattered / E.F. Schumacher.  1973.  SSL shelfmark: HB171.SCH

Recommended by John-Paul Clough, Brasenose College, who says “This is an oldie but a goodie (from the 1970s)

Capitalism in the web of life : ecology and the accumulation of capital / Jason W. Moore.  2015.  SSL shelfmark: HD75.6.MOO 2015

Recommended by Morgan, Social Science Library, who says: “Jason Moore argues against the simplifying term of the anthropocene, where ‘the historical-geographical patterns of differentiation and coherence are erased in the interests of narrative simplicity’ (p.171).  His arguments are extraordinarily helpful for pointing out the flaws in environmental studies which have lead to the conclusion that only certain technological components of 21st century life need be opposed.  Instead, Moore identifies our opponents as ‘the relations of power, capital, and nature that rendered fossil capitalism so deadly in the first place.’ (p.172)

Finntopia : what we can learn from the world’s happiest country / Danny Dorling and Annika Koljonen.  2020.

Recommended by Jo Gardner, Social Science Librarian, who says “The Finnish landscape is dominated by lakes and forest, and I envy the people their tradition of spending their summers in a lakeside cottage surrounded by nature.  The authors of this book refer to this, and go on to describe Finland as a country at the forefront of initiatives to reduce, mitigate and adapt to climate change. It is an uplifting book, beautifully and accessibly written.

All we can save : truth, courage, & solutions for the climate crisis / edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Katharine K. Wilkinson.  SSL shelfmark: QC903.2.U6.ALL 2021

Recommended by Kate Trinkaus, DPhil student, Dept. of Physics, who says “All We Can Save is an anthology of writings by 60 women at the forefront of the climate movement who are harnessing truth, courage, and solutions to lead humanity forward.  It covers everything from climate justice to indigenous wisdom to eco-anxiety, and the contributors are from a wide range of disciplines but all are working towards this shared goal of regenerating our planet.  It’s my personal favourite climate-related book as it helps us all find a sense of direction in the climate movement.

Rambunctious garden : saving nature in a post-wild world / Emma Marris.  2011.  SSL shelfmark: QH75.MAR 2011

Recommended by Jo Gardner, Social Science Librarian, who says “This optimistic book is not about gardening. It is more about how we need to redefine ‘nature’ and ‘wilderness’ and managing human intervention. Emma Marris proposes that our limited conservation budgets be put towards creating sustainable ecosystems, not towards restoring them to some ancient baseline.  She argues that it is time to look forward and create the “rambunctious garden,” a hybrid of wild nature and human management.”

Drawdown : the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming / edited by Paul Hawken.  2018.  SSL shelfmark: TD171.75.DRA 2018

Recommended by Kate Trinkaus, DPhil student, Dept. of Physics, who says “The book that launched Project Drawdown: a non-profit organization that seeks to help the world reach “drawdown”—the point in the future when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline, thereby halting catastrophic climate change—as quickly, safely, and equitably as possible.  They reviewed hundreds of climate solutions based on the amount of emissions they avoid or sequester, their upfront cost, cost savings, and scalability, and then ranked them —proposing the first comprehensive plan to reverse global warming.”

Braiding sweetgrass : indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and the teachings of plants / Robin Wall Kimmerer.  2013.  SSL shelfmark: E98.P5.KIM 2015


World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse / Lester Brown.  2011.  SSL shelfmark: GE149.BRO 2011



No one is too small to make a difference / Greta Thunberg.  2019.  SSL shelfmark: GE195.7.THU 2019



How bad are bananas? : the carbon footprint of everything / Mike Berners-Lee. 2010.  SSL shelfmark: GE196.BER 2010



Less is more : how degrowth will save the world / Jason Hickel.  2020.  SSL shelfmark: HC79.E5.HIC 2020



Waste and want : a social history of trash / Susan Strasser.  2000.  SSL shelfmark: HD9975.STR 2000



There Is No Planet B

There is no Planet B : a handbook for the make or break years / Mike Berners-Lee.  2020.  (Online only)



Silent spring / Rachel Carson.  1962.  SSL shelfmark: QH545.P4.CAR



Feral : searching for enchantment on the frontiers of rewilding / George Monbiot.  2013.  SSL shelfmark: QL83.4.MON 2013



Wilding : the return of nature to a British farm / Isabella Tree.  2019.  SSL shelfmark: QL83.4.TRE 2019



Do you have a favourite green read?  Let us know in the comments below!

Leave a Reply