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Books to Read in 2022

2022 is finally here and we hope you are enjoying some time to chill out, tune out and regenerate.  

Summer holidays can make a great time to catch up on reading, something many of us dream to do but never seem to get the time to. If you do manage to reward yourself with time to bury yourself in a book, I managed to get a few recommendations from our team before they headed off on leave, plus a few suggestions from me of books to read in 2022.

There’s a handful focused on what we do – books on climate change and sustainability, books on energy and climate action, and a few other gems, sprinkled with fascinating real-life stories and life lessons. Whether you’re lucky enough to be relaxing by a beach, on a country veranda, or just in a quiet room at home, I hope you get to spend time with a good book over the holidays – or flag them for your reading list sometime in 2022.

Books on Climate and Sustainability

  1. Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation by Paul Hawken. Hawken’s last book, Drawdown (also recommended) was a ground-breaking book offering a collaborative, researched analysis from over 200 researchers and advisors who came together to model the most substantive solutions to reverse global warming. Hawken’s new book is focused on action and as he describes “a radical new approach to the climate crisis, one that weaves justice, climate, biodiversity, and human dignity into a seamless tapestry of action, policy, and transformation that can end the climate crisis in one generation.”
  • Blackout. How is Energy Rich Australia Running out of Electricity? by Matthew Warren. For 20 years Australia has been in political denial about the seismic changes occurring in the way we power our country. In an entertaining and fascinating narrative, Blackout cuts through the waffle to chart the disintegration of Australia’s energy security, call out what is holding us back, and plot the way for a brighter future. Recommended by Dan.
  • The New Climate War by Michael E Mann. The main protagonist in the latest Netflix blockbuster Don’t look up is Dr Randall Mindy played by Leonardo DiCaprio. The character was inspired in part by DiCaprio’s friend and renowned climate scientist Michael E Mann. In The New Climate War, Mann discusses how fossil-fuel companies have waged a thirty-year campaign to deflect blame and responsibility and to delay action on climate change, draws the battle lines between the people and the polluters — fossil-fuel companies, right-wing plutocrats, and petro-states — and outlines a plan for forcing our governments and corporations to wake up and make real change.

  • Electrify by Saul Griffith. Griffith took part in a webinar I recently watched and was a fascinating speaker who made me want to add his book to my must read list. Electrify is an optimistic—but realistic and feasible—action plan for fighting climate change while creating new jobs and a healthier environment by electrifying everything.
  • The Resilience Dividend by Judith Rodin. We are at greater risk than ever from city-wide catastrophes, and as the severity and frequency of disasters increase, we must become better at preparing for, responding to, and recovering from them. The Resilience Dividend combines vivid stories with practical insights and ground-breaking research to help build a radical future in which individuals, companies, and entire societies face disaster by creating more dynamic, more resilient cities. Recommended by Paola.
  • Our Sunburnt Country by Anika Molesworth. Anika is one of the young generation of Australian farmers speaking out about the effects of climate change on our agricultural systems and how farming can be part of the solution. Her book is vividly and beautifully written and full of hope. Our Sunburnt Country shows that there is a way to protect our land, our food, and our future, and it is with the right choices we can do it.
  • Our Biggest Experiment by Alice Bell shines a spotlight on the little-known scientists who sounded the alarm to reveal the history behind the climate crisis. Bell cuts through complicated jargon and numbers to show how we’re getting to grips with the defining issue of our time, with a message that relays hope by harnessing the ingenuity and intelligence that has driven the history of climate change research and how it can result in a more sustainable and bearable future for humanity.

True Stories and Life Lessons

  • Somebody’s Land – Welcome to Our Country by Adam Goodes. One for the kids. Somebody’s Land invite’s children and their families to imagine themselves into Australia’s past – to feel the richness of our First Nations’ history, to acknowledge that our country was never terra nullius, and to understand what ‘welcome to our country’ really means. Recommended by Hannah and Polly.
  • Breathe – A Life in Flow by Rickson Gracie. Gracie is one of the most famous martial artists of the twentieth century alongside legends such as Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, and Jackie Chan. This riveting and insightful memoir weaves together the story his stunning career with the larger history of the Gracie family who developed Jiu-Jitsu, showing how the connection between mind and body can be harnessed for success both inside and outside the ring. An inspiring tale of weathering life’s complexities and overcoming them with style and grace. Recommended by Matt.
  •  Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans de Waal. Based on extensive research of the animal kingdom, de Waal explores the scope and depth of animal intelligence, revealing how we have grossly underestimated non-human brains. With incredible stories of animal cognition, Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? is a fascinating read that challenges everything you thought you knew about animal – and human – intelligence. Recommended by Juliana.

  • Resilience Project by Hugh van Cuylenburg. The story of Melburnian Hugh van Cuylenburg’s travels to India as a teacher, and the life-changing lessons he learned from his underprivileged students — including the three keys to happiness. After the year that was 2021, this has some great tools to inspire you to take a step towards living each day with gratitude, empathy, and mindfulness. Recommended by Simone.
  • Marching Powder by Rusty Young. Based on a true story, Marching Powder is one of the most compelling prison stories of all time. A shocking, sometimes darkly comic account of life in San Pedro prison in Bolivia.  It is the story of one of the strangest places on earth, where horror is leavened by humour and where cruelty lives side by side with compassion. Recommended by Dan.

We hope you find time to delve into some of our suggestions for books to read in 2022, we’d love to hear what you think and your recommendations for further reading, leave us a comment or send us a mail!

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