My 7 fav books – only 3 are about Sustainability!
I normally excuse myself from internet memes on the grounds that I’m a grumpy old sod, but last I did find myself enjoying the #7books one where you have to nominate 7 books you love. As I was nominated by Richard Clarke of Cedrec, a sustainability contact, I thought I’d concentrate mainly on ‘work’ books during the working week, and then get a little more personal over the weekend.
Here’s my list (with the explanations I wasn’t meant to give under the meme):
- Material Concerns by Tim Jackson. I came across this at the start of my first Sustainability job as a research associate at Newcastle University and reading it was the moment when a huge miasma of greenish stuff coalesced into something meaningful and concrete. It’s hard to get hold of now, but I will always treasure my copy.
- Thinking Fast & Slow by Daniel Kahneman – if we want to change people’s outlook and behaviour, understanding a little decision making psychology is essential and this book has more than you’ll ever need.
- Confessions of a Radical Industrialist by Ray Anderson. Every sustainability professional should read this. Full stop.
- Switch by Dan & Chip Heath: a nice, simple, but powerful change management structure which underpins my work to this day.
- Cradle to Cradle by William McDonough and Michael Braungart – brilliant on eco-design and the circular economy, this book was given to me by my last boss, Prof Graham Street, as a goodbye present when I left to set up Terra Infirma, so it has particular resonance.
- The War of the End of the World by Mario Vargas Llosa. My dear late mother bought me this when I had glandular fever as a teen, and it opened up a world of magic realism and sparked an interest in the wider world.
- The Onion Eaters by JP Dunleavy: a bawdy romp that showed that literature could be a lot of fun. It also put me in touch with my Irish side having grown up as a (very small ‘u’) unionist in Northern Ireland which can be discombobulating to say the least.