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Books (and E-books!) to Gift This Holiday Season

by Stephanie Phelan
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Knowledge is power. And sometimes the gift of knowledge is this best thing you can give. Especially for the 2020 holidays! We’ve had a long year. Time to sit back, relax and read about what proactive changes we can make for the future.

This holiday season, some families are spending time further apart from loved ones. There is always the option of gifting e-books or shipping gifts to their home! For a sustainable and more cost-friendly option, I always like to consider the “Like New” options on Amazon as well. Sometimes the prices are significantly lower and the books look brand new. You can also get (or gift) an Audible membership as well, several of the books on our list have this option.

Here’s our Holiday Book Guide breakdown:

1) Real Food: What to Eat and Why

For those who care about what our body needs, ethical eating, and the humane treatment of animals  – the book Real Food by Nina Planck is a must. She is hailed as the “patron saint of farmers’ markets” by the Guardian.  And has been called one of the “great food activists” by Vanity Fair‘s David Kamp. Nina Planck is a farmers’ daughter, food writer, farmers’ market entrepreneur, local foodie, and advocate for traditional cooking methods. Read our review here.

The book can be found on Amazon here.

Price: Hard copy $13 | Kindle $10 | Audible: No

2) Easy Green Living

This is the ultimate guide to “greening” your home. It’s brimming with suggestions, tips, and tools to help anyone choose the best nontoxic and environmentally safe products to bring into your home. These choices enhance personal and planetary health. This guide is great whether you’re a beginner or a more advanced eco-expert. The book can be found on Amazon here.

Price: Hard copy $16 | Kindle $11 | Audible: No

3) The Glass Castle

Sometimes I like to mix up the educational and inspiring material with memoirs or nonfiction. A while back, I read Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls and fell in love with the story. The author tells the story of her grandmother,  a frontier farm girl who trains horses. The Glass Castle tells the story of Jeannette, herself. It’s a story of family resilience and redemption while living in a self-sustaining, glass home. Somewhat even more superior than the first book, I believe you will find the series spectacular by reading them in sequence. You may even watch the Glass Castle movie! The book can be found on Amazon here.

Price: Hard copy $8 | Kindle $12 | Audible: Yes

P.S. Want to listen to the book on Audible? You can do so with a free trial here!

4) Full Planet, Empty Plates

The world’s food security problem is becoming increasingly alarming, and people are searching for answers on how to ensure everyone is fed. Full Planet, Empty Plates is written by Lester R. Brown, an inspiring novelist who has authored and co-authored over 50 books in more than 40 languages. Brown is an environmental analyst, founder of the Worldwatch Institute, and founder and former president of the Earth Policy Institute, a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C. Read our review here.

The book can be found on Amazon here.

Price: Hard copy $13 | Kindle $10 | Audible: Yes

P.S. Want to listen to the book on Audible? You can do so with a free trial here!

5) Sustainable Home

Similar to Easy Green Living, but less lists, more pictures and how-to’s. The book Sustainable Home  is a bit easier to pick up and read quickly. It’s great for someone who wants to focus on one sustainable improvement at a time, such as body care or food choices. The sustainable lifestyle blogger Christine Liu  takes you through a tour of each room in your home, and gives you practical suggestions. The book can be found on Amazon here.

Price: Hard copy $16 | Kindle $15 | Audible: No

6) Outliers

This is another classic. It focuses on less about food systems than other books mentioned. It talks about understanding successful people throughout history. How some didn’t focus too much on their intelligence and ambition, but rather were somewhat just “gifted”. The lives of outliers – people whose achievements fall outside normal experience – follows a peculiar an unexpected logic. The book can be found on Amazon here.

Price: Hard copy $8 | Kindle $13 | Audible: Yes

P.S. Want to listen to the book on Audible? You can do so with a free trial here!

7) The Fate of Food

In The Fate of Food, Amanda Little explores the future of farm and food production, from hydroponic operations, lab-grown meat, and GMOs, to permaculture and beyond – eyeing each area with a healthy sense of journalistic skepticism and a commitment to exposing the truth of the future of our food. A hopeful book, it evades greenwashing or becoming a product of partisanship. Instead, it allows us, the reader, to consider each of these elements as a part of a holistic solution to finding not one, but many solutions to our current food and soil crises. This, she argues, is the key to determining the outcome of food production in the future. Read our review here.

The book can be found on Amazon here.

Price: Hard copy $20 | Kindle $6 | Audible: Yes

P.S. Want to listen to the book on Audible? You can do so with a free trial here!

8) The Omnivore’s Dilemma

There is a coveting decision to be made when one is atop the food chain: What To Eat. For most animals, eating is a simple matter of biological imperative: if you’re a koala, you seek out eucalyptus leaves; if you’re a buffalo, you munch on prairie grass and herbs. But Homo sapiens, blessed but encumbered by a big brain, have created agriculture and other industries to achieve more options. By facing a bewildering array of choices, we have lost touch with what our body craves. We tend to focus on the addictive yet insubstantial nutrition that has been introduced overtime by large manufacturers. The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan is a classic! Read our review here.

The book can be found on Amazon here.

Price: Hard copy $11 | Kindle $15 | Audible: Yes

P.S. Want to listen to the book on Audible? You can do so with a free trial here!

9) Folks, This Ain’t Normal

Farmer Joel’s perspective shows that life in the 21st century “just ain’t normal”. The controversial author and regenerative farmer discusses how far removed we are from the simple, sustainable joy that comes from living close to the land and the people we love. The regenerative farmer has many thoughts on what normal is and shares practical and philosophical ideas for changing our lives in small ways in Folks, This Ain’t Normal. Read our review here.

The book can be found on Amazon here.

Price: Hard copy $18 | Kindle $10 | Audible: Yes

P.S. Want to listen to the book on Audible? You can do so with a free trial here!

10) Farm to Table: Essential Guide to Sustainable Food

This book is a splurge, but the ultimate educational tool for purchasing, marketing, and employing farm-to-table principles in restaurants, schools, hospitals, and other institutions. Farm to Table is a one-of-a-kind resource on how to integrate sustainable principles into each of these settings and facilitate intelligent, healthful food choices at every juncture as our food system evolves. The book can be found on Amazon here.

Price: Hard copy $40 | Kindle: None | Audible: No

 

In search for a better tomorrow, we may find a lot of it has to do with what we eat. Along with what we consume, produce and indulge in (sometimes to find happiness). We have found that the simplest things are the best things, and it’s great to focus on that this holiday season. You can read articles about reflection and what makes a green Christmas on TexasRealFood. For a gift guide on things non-book related (rather, food related!) click here.

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