WOMB picks: books to inspire conscious lifestyle
We are in constant search for inspiration; inspiration for a greener, more conscious, more holistic life. As two book-nerds, we dig for inspiration in books. Today we recommend a couple titles that we have diggeD deeper into recently. Some of them are new publications, whereas others have been around libraries and bookshops for quite some time already.
In “The Human Age” Ackerman cleverly joggles between the very positive and worrying mark of anthropocentrism on our planet. She discusses both, the endangered species and how it is becoming more difficult for wildlife to thrive on this planet, but she also mentions the ambitious protection programs that we engage in, in order to protect the Earth’s wild fauna and flora.
Ackerman presents hundreds of very tangible examples and the book is highly relatable. You do get a lot of facts, but you are not bombed with statistics and unreliable numbers. The book is welcoming, and almost holistically it guides the reader through first the history, then the effects, challenges but also benefits of our anthropocene age.
We would recommend the book to everyone who wants to know more about the possible social and socioeconomic threats of the climate change, but also learn about out-of-the-ordinary methods to save the planet from doomsday! All that spiced up with interesting facts, notes from wildlife protection programs and real-life examples of creative Earth-aid!
This book crossed our field of vision on Tanja’s aka. All In- Asia’s instagram Feed. Intrigued by a cute Insta-shot and a colorful cover (yup, here were, judging the book by its cover) we figged deeper and found out that the book is authored by the co-founder of THINX, a project that we highly support; the product (reusable menstrual underwear) is environment-friendly, but THINX is more than a piece of underwear, it is a statement, a conversation-opener, an encouragement for women to stick together, break taboos and simply root for each other’s queen'ness.
“Belong” is not necessarily and eco-book, however it teaches us a lot about building (and guarding!) of our own eco-system. Agrawal talks communities; she talks people that help us grow, help us cultivate the best versions of ourselves. And if we want positive change in this world, we cannot do this alone. Just look at the currant affairs! Would Greta’s message be as strong as it is, if her climate strikes were not backed up by children all around the world?
The chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and we need a full chain to make a change here. And Agrawal’s book encourages you to re-examine your (mental) environment and essentially eliminate “links” that do not serve you.
The book is filled with small exercises, it can be read fast, but that’s not advised, actually. Grab the book, grab your pen and see where it leads you!
CLIMATE JUSTICE BY MARY ROBINSON
This short, easily digestible but important book is probably among the easier reads out there to learn about climate change and what current politics actually does to fight it (obviously, not enough), as well as how complex of a problem it is. Written by the former President of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, the book offers a quick and hands-on info set on what is at stake if we warm the climate even a little bit more. When we think of “recovering politician” gone environmentalist, we usually have Al Gore in mind, but Mary Robinson is actually the person who has worked solely on climate and environment action for years, less on the education side of the problem but actively trying to change the policy and law-makers to really act towards a better direction.
But what the book might actually win your heart with, is the collection of real life stories it offers. Case studies build Climate Justice and tell stories of people (mainly women) whose lives have been re-written because of climate change and how they try to not only make ends meet, but also act locally on climate change relief - and succeed. Their stories are extremely inspirational and interesting, speaking of various aspects of climate change destruction. From societies and languages disappearing and studied on example of Alaska, post-Katrina relief co-created leadership to the complex problem of needed but problematic declassification of coal mines - Mary Robinson goes through examples that really show us complexity of the mega-phenomenon that climate change is - and how it influences literally every single thing out there.
UTOPIA BY THOMAS MORE
What a weird choice - you might think. Yes, it is. We all have heard about it and most of us read it at school, but after we gave it a re-read recently, the book seemed even simpler and more clear than before. Typically, the book is often read and interpreted as an example of an ideal, quasi communist society and looked through its unique rhetorics and its depth is overlooked, when truly it’s a cook about how harmony and sustainability can be achieved in a societal structure. The fashion in Utopia is never-changing, every single item is hand-made and the citizens only use one piece of each garment. As reads in the book:
So whereas in other countries you won’t find anyone satisfied with less than five or six suits and as many silk shirts, while dressy types want over ten of each, your Utopian is content with a single piece of clothing every two years. For why should he want more? They wouldn’t make him any warmer - or any better looking.
The simplicity and purity of this idea is truly beautiful. Sustainability, minimalism and mindfulness of the Utopians described by Thomas More are maybe entirely “make-up” taken by the times when the book was created, but entirely relatable and inspirational nowadays. Who would have thought that a person living at the break of 15th and 16th century, could actually teach us, nowadays, about how to live fuller, more meaningful and decluttered lives. For us, Utopia, has proven to be a conscious inspiration, rather than a communist manifesto.
GUNS, GERMS AND STEEL BY JARED DIAMOND
Last but not least, a book not really about nature and climate, but about us and our common genealogy. A book that did the incredible job of proving, to all of those who needed proof, that our nature, or rather complexity of natures of people all around the planet, is not race-based but rather influenced by path of development and geographical predetermined location. A once predominant racist idea of classification (unfortunately still present in certain circles and sometimes sadly creeping in in discussions between tolerant and non-racist people) got challenged by Jared Diamond first in 1997 with this huge study of multiple societal systems on all continents. The author amassed incredible amount of information, research and proof, that it’s essentially our geographical location and geo-socio-political location, rather than inner and personal qualities that made certain societies dominant over others. Diamond studied development of viruses, bacteria and diseases, eagerness for conflicts, farming capabilities, natural fauna and flora environment, access to technology and even other “tribes” but also completely random and unavoidable processes, and how all those, together and separately, gradually shaped and still shape the interrelations between us as people, as different faces of the same species. It’s a long and tough book, but truly beautiful in its genuine approach of connecting our thought and strip us of all illusion - we truly are equal. What should have always been clear, but as we know often is not, in Guns, germs and steel becomes proven, research-based and undeniable.