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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: Summer 2023 

The Sentence

a novel by Louise Erdrich

Sunday, August 20,  3:00–4:30 pm on Zoom

All are welcome (for some of us, this will be the second of two informal discussions). For Zoom link, email You can preview the book online, but consider buying it from a local shop like Next Chapter...or better yet Birchbark Books, the Minneapolis store owned by Erdrich and the setting for parts of this novel. It's also found in libraries. 

In The Sentence, Pulitzer-winning author Erdrich asks what we owe to the living, the dead, to the reader and to the book. A tiny Minneapolis bookstore is haunted in 2020 by the ghost of a recent customer. Tookie, who has landed a job there after years of incarceration, must solve the mystery of this haunting while trying to understand all that occurs in the Twin Cities and the nation during a year of grief, astonishment, isolation, and furious reckoning.

Past book selections

Blending history, journalism, and memoir, Rez Life is  a nonfiction view of Native American reservation life, especially in Minnesota and Wisconsin, the home ground of Ojibwe writer Treuer.  With vivid characters, the book spans past and present— and recent groundswells to preserve language and culture. About the author:  David Treuer divides his time between the Leech Lake reservation and Los Angeles. His latest book is The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee.  

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A Half-Built Garden is science fiction that extrapolates from our climate emergency. In 2083, a young scientist stumbles upon alien arrivals who have crossed the galaxy to save humanity, aiming to convince them to leave their ecologically ravaged home and join them among the stars. But some earthlings have already begun to save their planet, forming watershed networks to heal ecosystems and communities. Should they stay or should they go? About the author: Author of many fiction books, Ruthanna Emrys lives in the Washington DC area. 

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 widely 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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