Reading List

Here is a list of books to help connect you with the underlying themes of Shmita. Most were recommended by people on the shmita-network list serve. Thank you, to those whose suggestions appear here.

  • The Case Against Competition – Alfie Kohn
  • The Subsistence Perspective: Beyond the Globalized Economy – Veronika Bennholdt-Thomsen and Maria Mies
  • Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible – Ellen Davis (Ellen Davis is a biblical scholar who is also a follower of Wendell Berry. A lot of great stuff on shmitta and the biblical perspective on land in general)
  • Flight Behavior – Barbara Kingsolver (novel explores feelings about climate change)
  • No Impact Man – Colin Beavan (personal account of trying to live with no impact, which concludes that most important thing is community)
  • 40 Signs of Rain – Kim Stanley Robinson (science fiction, this is first volume of trilogy on climate change, which explores politics of responding, very easy read)
  • Deep Economy – Bill McKibben (non-fiction, on how to make our economy work for us)
  • The Comforting Whirlwind:  God, Job, and the Scale of Creation, Bill McKibben (brilliant commentary on Job relating to climate change)
  • The Splendor of Creation:  A Biblical Ecology – Ellen Bernstein (commentary on story of creation, short and amazing)
  • The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World – Lewis Hyde (an underground classic about the idea of gift in contrast with the idea of commodity)
  • The Myth of Progress  – Tom Wessels (a great little book which critiques from a scientific point of view the economic idea of continual growth)
  • He She & It – Marge Piercy (a novel that is both dystopian & utopian in its depiction of the mid-21st-century world, the USA, and an independent Jewish commonwealth named Tikva (Jewish-renewal and advanced computerist culture) where Boston used to be, before global ocean rise turned it into a group of islands in the Atlantic)
  • Ishmael, The Story of B, and Beyond Civilization – Daniel Quinn
  • The World until Yesterday – Jared Diamond
  • The Fifth Sacred Thing – Starhawk
  • Pretty sure there’s some good stuff in Leviticus
  • Beyond Growth – Herman Daly
  • Torah of the Earth: Exploring 4,000 Years of Ecology in Jewish Thought, Vol. 1 & 2 Edited by Arthur Waskow
  • Your Money or Your Life – Vicki Robin
  • How Much Is Enough? The Consumer Society and the Future of the Earth – by Alan Thein Durning
  • The Power of Half: One Family’s Decision to Stop Taking and Start Giving Back – by Hannah Salwen
  • Maaser Kesafim–Giving a Tenth to Charity edited by Cyril Domb
  • We Gave Away a Fortune – Christopher Mogil
  • The Generosity Plan – Kathy LeMay
  • The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl – Timothy Egan
  • Jayber Crow – Wendell Berry
  • The Gift of Good Land – Wendell Berry
  • Should Trees Have Standing?  Toward Legal Rights for Natural Objects – Christopher D. Stone (Originally published1972, Southern California Law Review)
  • Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants – Robin Wall Kimmerer
  • What We’re Fighting for Now Is Each Other: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Climate Justice – Wen Stephenson

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