We love a good reading list that expands our tools and ideas around community resilience and fire adaptation. We asked network members and staff to see what folks had on their reading list this year, so we could share them with you! This list features forestry, fire and community resilience-focused books, Indigenous and Black authors, autobiographies, inspirational stories, and more! 

Got something on your 2021 reading list that you think other FAC practitioners would enjoy? Drop a comment below and let us know! 

From the FAC Net Book Club: 

Book cover entitled Braiding SweetgrassBraiding Sweetgrass:  Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer 

As a collective, this was one of our favorite books that we read this year. Book club participants absolutely raved about this book during discussion sessions and we have too many favorite quotes to count. 

From Elizabeth Gilbert’s introduction: “As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on “‘a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise.’” Read more here



Book cover entitled A Field Guide to Climate AnxietyA Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet by Dr. Sarah Jaquette Ray

We explored this book last autumn in our book club and we still find ourselves going back to so many parts of it as we set out on the start of another summer that has already experienced record-breaking heat and extreme fire behavior. A particular point we keep telling ourselves is this:  “One of the book club participants shared that the most powerful idea in this book for them was the concept that we don’t have to try to do everything ourselves, or all at once. They said this recognition offered “better perspective and freedom.” So many of us in fire are driven by a narrative of urgency. The next fire season is always around the corner…” Dr. Ray’s book helps us see our unproductive patterns and address ways to cope with them. 


Recommendations from Network Members and Staff:

Getting to the Heart of Science Communication: A Guide to Effective Engagement By Faith Kearns

This book is next up on our staff reading list, after being recommended by a newsletter author that we follow closely. 

According to the review in this article in Science Magazine’s online blog, “The book offers a view from the front lines of science communication, profiling practitioners who explain their journeys and share stories of relationship building and community engagement. Framing herself as a scientist turned science communicator, Kearns describes her vision for the future of the field, one in which relational communication is fundamental.”


A book cover entitled Black Woman in GreenBlack Woman in Green and the Unmarked Trail to Forest Service Leadership by Gloria Brown

This story of the first Black woman District Ranger for the Forest Service chronicles her journey from agency transcriptionist in DC to forest supervisor leading the Siuslaw National Forest in Oregon and then onto Los Padres in California. Gloria Brown’s story shares the perspective of the paths  African Americans have trodden  in the outdoor movement as well as in environmental policy and public lands administration. Set throughout the last 50 years we learn Gloria’s thoughts and experiences about the shifts in government agencies as well as the shifts in our society. Written in partnership with Donna Sinclair this memoir provides a deeper understanding about the power of a woman committed to her career, the outdoor world and her family. Read an interview with co-author Donna Sinclair and a few excerpts from the book here. 


Lentil Underground by Liz CarlisleBook cover entitled Lentil Underground

Recommended by a Network member, this is the story of a group of Montana farmers who defied corporate agribusiness by launching a sustainable food movement. 

From the network member that reviewed the book: “I liked this book because it covers how a diverse array of farmers from very different backgrounds banded together to sustainably farm organic lentils in northeastern Montana. This change was driven by both big thinking and economic necessity, and reminded me of where we are currently as we work towards wildfire resiliency.”  



A book cover entitled The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it MattersThe Art of Gathering: How we Meet and Why it Matters by Priya Parker

Do you want to create “gatherings that crackle and flourish?” This book will help you bring the right mindset and tools, including “curiosity, willingness and generosity of spirit to try.” 

“Gatherings consume our days and help determine the kind of world we live in…yet most of us spend very little time thinking about the actual ways in which we gather. We spend our lives gathering…and we spend much of that time in uninspiring, underwhelming moments that fail to capture us, change us in any way, or connect us to one another…this book will help you think differently about your gatherings.”


Summer Podcasts: 

For the times you don’t feel like reading — on a bike ride, road trip, or walk — podcasts are a great enjoyment. And we would be remiss if we didn’t mention one of our favorite things we are listening to this summer.  We  highly recommend checking out Season Two of the Life with Fire podcast by Amanda Monthei. This season features a Land Use Mini-Series as well as a deep dive into wildfire perceptions, suppression discussions and so much more.  Also, go back and listen to Season 1, it features our very own Annie Schmidt, Jeremy Bailey, and other Network members and staff!