What We’re Reading: All We Can Save

This book. This book, y’all. 

This book gave me a big hug. It cuddled me close and told me that everything is not going to be alright. But it also gave me hope that some things can be okay if we’re willing to work hard to make it that way.

It changed my life. Not in a hyperbolic way. In the way that it shifted my thinking so much that it will have an influence on my actions for the rest of my life. 

All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkerson
Let this book hug you too.

Title: All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis

Editors: Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkinson

Genre: Nonfiction, Essays, Poetry

Reading Great Things 2021 Challenge Categories: Recommended by a Durham Tech Librarian, Choose Your Own Category, A Book About Social Justice or Equity

SummaryAll We Can Save illuminates the expertise and insights of dozens of diverse women leading on climate in the United States—scientists, journalists, farmers, lawyers, teachers, activists, innovators, wonks, and designers, across generations, geographies, and race—and aims to advance a more representative, nuanced, and solution-oriented public conversation on the climate crisis. These women offer a spectrum of ideas and insights for how we can rapidly, radically reshape society. –Penguin Random House

Why did you choose to read this book?

I preordered this book because I was/am a fan of Dr. Ayana Johnson. And, it came out at a time when I was really starting to become more aware of the current effects of climate change. I wanted to read something that wasn’t all doom and gloom and this promised to be more than just apocalypse predictions. 

What did you like about this book?

Like is not a strong enough word. I LOVED this book. But in a complicated way. The way you love something that tells you information you don’t want to hear. But, you need to hear it. 

I loved that the essays in this book were incredibly well written. Not a bad one in the bunch. Which, for a book with so many writers is unusual. Some essays resonated with me more than others, and if you read them you may find that the ones that resonate with you are different from mine. This book has advice, inspiration, hope, and data for anyone and everyone, no matter where you are in your climate change awareness. 

I loved the concepts that I was introduced to in this book. Indigenous wisdom and ways of living with nature and not separate from it. Regenerative farming and how soil can be a force for carbon sequestration. The homogenous (white, male) history of environmental movements and how this holds us back. Regenerative ocean farming and why we should be eating more kelp. 

I loved that this book didn’t lie to me. It offered solutions without sugar-coating the damage and devastation already in the pipeline. It reframed, for me, how to think about the coming crisis, and how to think about my role in preparing and mitigating it. 

Was there anything particularly noteworthy about this book?

Every contributor to this book is a woman. It also centers many BIPOC authors and highlights the incredible work happening right now, and how marginalized people and communities have been fighting alongside white environmental activists the whole time (or longer) and not been getting the credit they deserve. 

What feeling did this book leave you with?

I read this book slowly. One or two pieces at a time. It’s not a book to gulp down. I went through a range of emotions while reading but the one I was left with was hope. Hope that we can still influence the future. Hope that my efforts will make a difference. Hope that together we can still save so much that is worth saving. 

Who would you recommend this book to?

Anyone who is aware of climate change but is afraid to engage with the information for fear of being paralyzed with anxiety (this is where I was). Anyone who already works in climate science. Anyone who has never heard of climate change. Anyone who is an environmentalist. Anyone who is not an environmentalist. Anyone. Everyone.

What would you pair this book with?

If possible, I would pair this book with a book discussion circle. Anyone want to start one with me?

How to Save a Planet

I also pair this book with the podcast How To Save A Planet, co-hosted by Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson. It’s an incredible podcast that touches on many of the same things the book does. Every episode ends with a small action you can take after learning about various topics relating to climate change. Both entertaining and informative, the best kind of podcast!

Where can I get a copy of this book?

From the Durham Tech Library! We have the audiobook available on the Libby app through the Dogwood Digital Library. Use your Durham Tech username and password as your “library card” to sign up. You can also check your local public library or bookstore!

About Courtney Bippley

Courtney is a Reference Librarian at the Main Campus Library. Her favorite genres are fantasy and science fiction. She loves dogs, coffee, and dancing.