Books | Nature / Essays
A New York Times bestsellerA Washington Post bestsellerA Los Angeles Times bestsellerNamed a "Best Essay Collection of the Decade" by Literary HubA Book Riot "Favorite Summer Read of 2020"A Food Tank Fall 2020 Reading RecommendationAs a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on "a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise" (Elizabeth Gilbert).Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings—asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass—offer us gifts and lessons, even if we've forgotten how to hear their voices. In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.
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"To me it reads like an anthology of poetic essays. Full of beautiful imagery and calming language, this book invokes a fresh sense of gratitude towards earth and all its gifts. While your life might not take a 180 turn, I think Kimmerer's stories embeds a new thread of thought in all her reader's minds that reminds us to appreciate all the life and sacrifice around us. "
"Beautiful book that weaves together scientific knowledge, indigenous wisdom, and the teachings of plants. Among the many, many, things I enjoyed about this book, I especially loved learning about Skywoman, The Three Sisters, and the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address. An excellent, informative, comfortingly beautiful book. #indigenous "
"A must-read for everyone who cares about the environment and its future."
"I highly recommend listening to the author read this book!"