Great Reads for Earth Day

e-books, e-audiobooks and movies for Earth Day available any time, any day.

Earth Day is April 22nd. While we're sheltering in place, Earth Day will look different than it has in the past, but there are still plenty of books you can read and activities you can do at home. Check out the City of Oakland's Earth Day website for ideas to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day without leaving home.

If you're looking for e-books and e-audiobooks to celebrate the day check out the electronic books listed below. Hoopla titles are available to check out immediately. There are never any holds so there's never a wait!

Hoopla e-Books

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating  The Abundance  Black Spaces White Faces  Rooted in the Earth 

Hot  just Cool It  The Hidden Life of Trees  The Secret Wisdom of Nature

                      The Water Wise Home  Zero Waste  

The sound of a wild snail eating / Elisabeth Tova Bailey
In a work that beautifully demonstrates the rewards of closely observing nature, Elisabeth Bailey shares an inspiring and intimate story of her uncommon encounter with a Neohelix albolabris -a common woodland snail. While an illness keeps her bedridden, Bailey watches a wild snail that has taken up residence on her nightstand. As a result, she discovers the solace and sense of wonder that this mysterious creature brings and comes to a greater under standing of her own confined place in the world.

The abundance : narrative essays old and new / Annie Dillard ; foreword by Geoff Dyer
The Abundance includes the best of Annie Dillard’s essays, delivered in her fierce and muscular prose. Intense, vivid, and fearless, her work endows the true and seemingly ordinary aspects of life with beauty and irony. These essays invite readers into sweeping landscapes, to join her in exploring the complexities of time and death, often with wry humor.

Black faces, white spaces : reimagining the relationship of African Americans to the great outdoors / Carolyn Finney
Drawing on a variety of sources from film, literature, and popular culture, and analyzing different historical moments, including the establishment of the Wilderness Act in 1964 and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Finney reveals the perceived and real ways in which nature and the environment are racialized in America. Looking toward the future, she also highlights the work of African Americans who are opening doors to greater participation in environmental and conservation concerns.

Rooted in the earth : reclaiming the African American environmental heritage / Dianne D. Glave
With a basis in environmental history, this groundbreaking study challenges the idea that a meaningful attachment to nature and the outdoors is contrary to the black experience. The discussion shows that contemporary African American culture is usually seen as an urban culture, one that arose out of the Great Migration and has contributed to international trends in fashion, music, and the arts ever since. But because of this urban focus, many African Americans are not at peace with their rich but tangled agrarian legacy. On one hand, the book shows, nature and violence are connected in black memory, especially in disturbing images such as slave ships on the ocean, exhaustion in the fields, dogs in the woods, and dead bodies hanging from trees. In contrast, though, there is also a competing tradition of African American stewardship of the land that should be better known.

Hot : living through the next fifty years on earth / Mark Hertsgaard
HOT is a father's cry against climate change, but most of the book focuses on solutions, offering a deeply reported blueprint for how all of us―as parents, communities, companies and countries―can navigate this unavoidable new era. Combining reporting from across the nation and around the world with personal reflections on his daugh ter’s future, Hertsgaard provides "pictures" of what is expected over the next fifty years: Chicago’s climate transformed to resemble Houston’s; dwindling water supplies and crop yields at home and abroad; the redesign of New York and other cities against mega-storms and sea-level rise. Above all, he shows who is taking wise, creative precautions.

Just cool it! : the climate crisis and what we can do : a post-Paris Agreement game plan / David Suzuki & Ian Hanington
Just Cool It is David Suzuki at his most passionate. In this book, he offers a comprehensive look at the current state of climate science and knowledge and the many ways to resolve the climate crisis, imploring us to do what’s necessary to live in a better, cleaner future.

The hidden life of trees : what they feel, how they communicate : discoveries from a secret world / Peter Wohlleben ; foreword by Tim Flannery
This title is also available as an audiobook.
Peter Wohlleben shares his deep love of woods and forests and explains the amazing processes of life, death and regeneration he has observed in the woodland and the amazing scientific processes behind the wonders, of which we are blissfully unaware.

The secret wisdom of nature : trees, animals, and the extraordinary balance of all living things : stories from science and observation / Peter Wohlleben ; translation by Jane Billinghurst
Master storyteller and international sensation Peter Wohlleben takes listeners on a thought-provoking exploration of the vast natural systems that make life on Earth possible. In this tour of an almost unfathomable world, Wohlleben describes the fascinating interplay between animals and plants and answers such questions as "How do they influence each other?", "Do lifeforms communicate across species boundaries?", and "What happens when this finely tuned system gets out of sync?".

The water-wise home : how to conserve, capture, and reuse water in your home and landscape / Laura Allen
Laura Allen provides expert strategies for using water smartly and efficiently while fulfilling all of your home and garden needs. Learn how to create a water-wise landscape, reuse greywater, harvest rainwater, and even set up a waterless composting toilet.

Zero waste
: simple life hacks to drastically reduce your trash / Shia Su
What if there were a simple—and fun—way for you to make a difference? What if you could take charge of your own waste, reduce your carbon footprint, and make an individual impact on an already fragile environment?
A zero waste lifestyle is the answer—and Shia Su is living it. Every single piece of unrecyclable garbage Shia has produced in one year fits into a mason jar—and if it seems overwhelming, it isn’t! In Zero Waste, Shia demystifies and simplifies the zero waste lifestyle for the beginner, sharing practical advice, quick solutions, and tips and tricks that will make trash-free living fun and meaningful.

Hoopla Audiobooks

Braiding Sweetgrass  Gathering Moss  This Changes Everything

Braiding sweetgrass : [indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and the teachings of plants] / Robin Wall Kimmerer
As a botanist and professor of plant ecology, Robin Wall Kimmerer has spent a career learning how to ask questions of nature using the tools of science. As a Potawatomi woman, she learned from elders, family, and history that the Potawatomi, as well as a majority of other cultures indigenous to this land, consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers. Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowing together to reveal what it means to see humans as "the younger brothers of creation". As she explores these themes, she circles toward a central argument: The awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgement and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the world.

Gathering moss : a natural and cultural history of mosses / by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Robin Wall Kimmerer's audiobook is not an identification guide, nor is it a scientific treatise. Rather, it is a series of linked personal essays that will lead general listeners and scientists alike to an understanding of how mosses live and how their lives are intertwined with the lives of countless other beings, from salmon and hummingbirds to redwoods and rednecks. Kimmerer clearly and artfully explains the biology of mosses, while at the same time reflecting on what these fascinating organisms have to teach us. Drawing on her diverse experiences as a scientist, mother, teacher, and writer of Native American heritage, Kimmerer explains the stories of mosses in scientific terms as well as in the framework of indigenous ways of knowing.

This changes everything : capitalism vs. the climate / Naomi Klein
Naomi Klein argues that climate change isn’t just another issue to be neatly filed between taxes and health care. It’s an alarm that calls us to fix an economic system that is already failing us in many ways. Klein meticulously builds the case for how massively reducing our greenhouse emissions is our best chance to simultaneously reduce gaping inequalities, re-imagine our broken democracies, and rebuild our gutted local economies.

All descriptions are provided by the publishers.


Have you tried our movie service Kanopy? If you're having trouble concentrating on reading Kanopy might be a better option for you. Thousands of movies are available with your library card. Just set up an account with a user name and password and you're in! Then search on Earth Day and you'll see many offerings.

If you need to renew your library card or have questions about your account, e-mail us at or call (510) 238-3134. If you'd like us to create a customized reading list for you, just fill out the form through our Book Me service and we'll find books to suit your taste.