2024 Summer Reading Recommendations


Jun 21, 2024


Minute Read


Summer is here! For many on our team the longer days usually involve finding a warm, sunny spot to dive into a great book. And there’s few things better to do after reading a great book than to share it with others. So whether you’re looking for a book to guide, entertain, or inspire you, we hope you consider checking out some of our team’s picks. And don’t forget to share your own recommendations with us too!

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

Recommended by Meg Nakahara

“I’m reading Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown with a few members of our 2023 Wilburforce Leaders cohort. It’s become clear to many of us that in our desire to achieve conservation goals and work toward change in western North America, we have taken on too much and spread ourselves too thin. At our retreat, we began discussions about what it means to be strategic and selective about what we take on so that we use our energy on the things that matter most. This book is a natural continuation of that conversation about how we can be better leaders, colleagues, and even family members by “do[ing] less, better.”

Fresh Banana Leaves by Jessica Hernandez, Ph.D.

Recommended by Robin Garcia

“As a person that identifies as Central American, I very much connected with this personal story interwoven with information on the impact that colonialism has on environmental science. This was a beautiful reminder that my upbringing has already equipped me with the tools to work in this field.”

Read an excerpt from the book on our blog.

I Cheerfully Refuse by Leif Engel

Recommended by Sarah Sunu

I Cheerfully Refuse sweeps you into a world that is a little too familiar for comfort. Typically I struggle to read books set in apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic worlds–too bleak, too demoralizing–but traveling with Rainy as he navigates relationships, grief, and Lake Superior, left me feeling hopeful more than anything else. If you’re ready for a lyrical odyssey that ultimately reminds you that there’s a lot of good out there, if we look for it, then give this a try. It’s also the source of one of my favorite quotes, which feels appropriate for the work many of us are doing: ‘Our job always and forever was to refuse Apocalypse in all its forms and work cheerfully against it.’”

Bitch: On the Female of the Species by Lucy Cooke

Recommended by Paola Estrada

“I am often drawn to playfully daring books that are not afraid to challenge the status quo. This book didn’t disappoint. The range of stories of female animals that defy the long-held image of the ‘passive’ female is exhilarating. But as fascinating as the animals presented in the book are, what really stood out to me was the way human culture influences our understanding of the animal world (and visa versa) — from the questions that are asked to the answers that are accepted. Bitch was enlightening, thought-provoking, and liberating. Plus, it’s hilarious.”





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