Readers Respond: Books on Climate Change

by  WLT

We asked our readers, “What work of fiction, poetry, theater, or nonfiction has had the most profound impact on your understanding of climate change?” Here's what you said:

“We need a new vocabulary to speak accurately about our dire situation and to imagine a better way forward. Counter-Desecration: A Glossary for Writing in the Anthropocene, edited by Linda Russo and Marthe Reed (2018), a collective glossary of terms, both invented and redefined, offers that, as well as a model for literary cooperative action.”

— Denise Newman



“I absolutely love Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being (2015), which is about so many types of connections, including global, in the time of climate change.”

— Monica Seger





“Marcia Bjornerud’s book Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World (2018) sees Deep Time thinking as an essential concept in the Anthropocene. We must think multigenerationally to reverse human damage to Earth.”

– Susan N. Maher




“While it may underestimate literary responses to the climate crisis, Amitav Ghosh’s The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable at least holds us accountable for our distractions.”

– Laird Christensen




“I just started reading Field Notes from a Catastrophe, by Elizabeth Kolbert, which is creative nonfiction/reportage. I love how the reporter, Kolbert, is in the trenches and describes her own experiences talking to climate scientists. Engage.”

– Kenny Yim




“Though not overtly a book on climate change, the late C. D. Wright’s Casting Deep Shade invokes the magnificence of beech trees as emblematic of all we stand to lose in our hell-bent lurch toward destruction. Her quirky, memorable poems harmonize with Denny Moers’s magical photos of beeches and beg us . . . Listen.”

– Frank Paino