There are more Christians in Egypt than Jews in Israel. And few westerners might realize that there are Christian Arabs living in the Holy Land of Israel – some since the early beginnings of Christianity. There are Christians in Lebanon, in Syria, and until most of them were chased out, they were in Iraq too. So let us not forget Christianity is an important part of the fabric of of that multi-colored tapestry we call the Middle East. If you are buying gifts this holiday season, consider buying books, eBooks, or hard copy books for your loved ones. I personally love books as gifts – to give and get. They are easy to regift or pass on when the reading is done.
Whether you are buying for a business executive who needs to make the company more sustainable (hint, hint), a young environmental activist who wants to change the world, or an MBA student eager to be in the loop, here are some important book ideas to help them inspire change. Read on for some suggestions.
1. American Earth is a book every green-inclined person needs on their book shelf. Best read in hard copy, it’s a collection of essays by some of the strongest environmental leaders America has known. Edited by Bill McKibben, it starts with the ecological musings of Henry David Thoreau — read his essays on Walden Pond and you’ll think you’re talking with the Moneyless Man — and it goes on to transect major eras in the environment movement in America, including recent essays by characters like Julia Butterfly Hill on what it was like living in that tree.
2. Silent Spring is a classic. Written by Rachel Carson, the book was a clarion call to the world, on why we need to wake up to the industrial pollution we are putting into our earth, and bodies. Ironically Carson died quite young in her 50s from breast cancer. Cancer was one of the things she spoke about as a result of environmental pollution.
3. Barefoot Bloggers is edited by me, and includes a collection of short chapters from some of the best green bloggers in the world, like Chris Tackett and Jennifer Hattam at TreeHugger, and Mike Kanellos from Greentech Media. The book is an important read for anyone who is interested in using the written word to fight for the environment. Chapters on writing for clean tech, and NGOs are helpful, and the guide includes tips on making money, and writing for various religious audiences, as well as good SEO practices.
4. Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth by Buckminster Fuller. He’s inspired generations of thinkers, futurists designers, architects, and environmentalists. It’s an extremely hopeful and inspirational book, giving tools and food for thought for steering Spaceship Earth into a sustainable future.
5. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. This book by William McDonough and Michael Braungart published in 2002 is so critical to understanding sustainability in America that you’ll be lost if you don’t know what this book is about. Yes, you already know about recycling, but what about upcycling, or designing things to last? Cradle to Cradle takes on a whole new philosophy that mankind needs to embrace.
Know of other important Christian communities in the Middle East? Let us know in the comments, and let us know about sustainable celebrations they may be doing this Christmas. Ho, ho, ho.
Above image via scissorhands.