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Reading Buddies

As we face a climate-altered future together, it helps to read together. Reading Buddies is a book club open to all, one title at a time. We focus on books related to climate, social, and environmental justice, meeting either in person or on Zoom.  Photo: Reading Buddies at the Saint Anthony Park Library, summer 2022.


Current book:  Winter 2023 


A Half-Built Garden, set in 2083, is smart, thoughtful science fiction that extrapolates from our climate emergency. When a scientist investigates a report of unknown pollutants in Chesapeake Bay, she stumbles upon the first alien visitors to Earth. These aliens have crossed the galaxy to save humanity, convinced that the earth's people must leave their ecologically ravaged planet behind and join them among the stars. And if humanity doesn't agree, they may need to be saved by force.

Two Sunday Zoom sessions:
January 8, 3:00–4:30 pm 

February 12, 3:00–4:30 pm 

All are welcome. On Jan. 8 we'll discuss the first half of the book; on Feb. 12 the second. Come to either or both sessions. For Zoom links, email You can preview the book online, but consider buying it from a local shop like Next Chapter. It's also found in libraries. 

About the author: Ruthanna Emrys has been called "a literary descendant of Ursula K. LeGuin." Author of more than 20 books, she lives outside Washington, DC. 

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Past selections

From What Is to What If is a call to action to reclaim our collective imagination. Shrinking our carbon footprint and building happier communities are two sides of the same coin, says author Rob Hopkins. Subtitled Unleashing the Power of Imagination to Create the Future We Want, the book is told through the stories of people and communities around the world who are doing it now and witnessing rapid, dramatic change.  About the author: Rob Hopkins is regarded as the founder of the Transition movement. He lives in Totnes, England.

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Watershed: Attending to Body and Earth in Distress, winner of a Minnesota Book Award for memoir/creative nonfiction, explores the parallels between the health of our bodies, communities, and ecosystems. Ranae Hanson reflects on her youth in the Minnesota northwoods where three watersheds meet; climate truths learned from her students in the Twin Cities, many from immigrant families; and the lessons in her own diabetic health crisis. About the author: After 30 years of living in Saint Anthony Park and teaching at Minneapolis College, Ranae Hanson now divides her time between Minnesota and Seattle.

The Seed Keeper, winner of a Minnesota Book Award in the novel category, spans several generations of a Dakhota family. Rosalie Iron Wing returns to her childhood home in the Mankato area, rediscovering her heritage and the ancestors who protected their families, traditions, and a precious cache of seeds through years of hardship. About the author: Diane Wilson is the author of Spirit Car, former executive director of the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance, and a Mdewakanton descendent.

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All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis, is an anthology by women climate leaders: scientists, journalists, farmers, lawyers, activists and innovators across generations, geographies, and races. About the editors: Ayana Elizabeth Johnson (left) is a marine biologist and founder of Ocean Lab, a think tank for the future of coastal cities. Katharine K. Wilkinson is an author, strategist, and teacher.

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