2020 Summer Reading List
22 interesting reads from Raise Green
A summer of working from home has led to an increase in team Zoom calls, time spent out in nature, Netflix binging, and a lot more time to read some good books! While our summer has been quite busy with the launch of our investor marketplace, communications with prospective Originators, and the ongoing growth of the Raise Green team, we took some time to compile a list of the books our team members have been reading to educate and entertain themselves.
Check out our list below! Feel free to start a conversation with any of us about the list, or shoot us any recommendations you have through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Behave: The Biology of Humans at our Best and Worst - Robert Sapolsky If you want to know why people are Republican, it may be because they have a hyperactive amygdala. This exceptionally detailed and yet relatable tour de force into brain chemistry is the best explanation and examination of our human behavior and impulses that I’ve come across.
The Beautiful Struggle: A Memoir - Ta Nehisi Coates A gorgeously written first-hand account of a young black man’s experience growing up in urban Baltimore. Rife with grit, heartbreak and the hardships as well as some gentle joys of adolescence, this book was gripping.
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America - Richard Rothstein In this powerful assessment of American urban history, we see how from the 1920s up to the passage of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, the laws and policy decisions passed by many local, state and Federal governments unconstitutionaly contributed to de jure racial segregation in housing, planning and zoning. This legacy of structural racism continues to contribute to persistent racial unrest today.
All We Can Save - Multiple Authors, edited by Ayanna Johnson and Elizabeth Wilkerson Looking forward to this coming out on September 22. A book of “provocative and illuminating essays from women at the forefront of the climate movement who are harnessing truth, courage, and solutions to lead humanity forward.” https://www.allwecansave.earth/
Skin in the Game - Nassim Nicholas Taleb The latest from the author who inspired me to study data, Taleb tells us that if you don’t have skin in the game, you shouldn’t be playing. Raise Green helps us all get in the game as investors or project creators.
Dancing in the Streets - Barbara Ehrenreich Using the history of collective dance, we learn how systems of power try to stamp out spontaneous celebrations. But exuberance cannot be held back. In confronting the challenges of our projects and the problems they stare down, we take solace in the beauty of spontaneous celebrations with our friends, neighbors, and strangers.
Emergent Strategy - Adrienne Maree Brown Healing for self and communities amidst the challenges and elations of activism, inspired by esteemed science fiction author Octavia Butler. All our collective - originators, investors, friends, mentors, and believers - need to stay strong and heal in the fight against global warming, air pollution, and income inequality.
Where the Crawdads Sing - by Delia Owens A window in life beautiful marshes of North Carolina in the 1950's and 1960's, from the vantage point of a girl, Kya, left to bring herself up for the most part from the age of 6, and how she navigates incredibly poor, uneducated, with no family support. Weaving back and forth in time, around an unsolved murder in the town. Captivating, moving, and inspirational.
The Vanishing Half - Brit Bennett In this fictional NYT best seller, Brit Bennett shares a story of twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white. Clever and timely, it was a riveting read.
How to be an Antiracist- Ibram X. Kendi Ibram X. Kendi's concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America--but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. Instead of working with the policies and system we have in place, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it.
How do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight- Jane Yolen & Mark Teague A fun book with exceptional illustrations to introduce our 3-month old to the concept of sleep.
This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate - Naomi Klein Naomi Klein, author of bestsellers including The Shock Doctrine and the more recent On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal, pits capitalism against climate change in this book. Klein outlines why free-market capitalism will fail to address the climate crisis, as well as how the chance to fix our fossil-fuel powered economy is also an opportunity to fix the ongoing failures of our democracies and economies.
Superpower: One Man’s Quest to Transform American Energy - Russell Gold A book that provides a detailed exploration of Michael Skelly’s renewable energy journey, along with all of the political, economic, and social obstacles he encounters along the way. For those wondering how some huge renewable energy farms get built, look no further.
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow - Yuval Noah Harari Yuval Noah Harari looks to the future on his most recent prospective on the human race. A great read that begs the question: what does it mean to be human? It is necessary to reflect and consider our actions as we contemplate the technological advancements that will bring far-reaching changes to Earth and its inhabitants.
A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and Its Assault on the American Mind - Harriet A. Washington This book, by Harriet A. Washington, looks into the destructive consequences of environmental racism, including the effects that it can have on a person’s IQ. It also discusses potential solutions to remediating the communities that are disproportionately affected by climate change. A very important and informational read!
The Quest - Daniel Yergin Daniel Yergin is a leading energy expert and author of the Pulitzer prize-winning book, The Prize. This book explains how energy is at the center of all global political, social, and economic change. Yergin identifies key issues within our energy systems and the new emerging energies that are replacing old technologies, and gives an insightful look into our clean energy future.
The Age of Sustainable Development - Jeffrey D. Sachs By world-renowned economist, this book presents a compelling and practical framework for how global citizens can use a holistic way forward to address the seemingly intractable worldwide problems of persistent extreme poverty, environmental degradation, and political-economic injustice: sustainable development. It offers the tools, metrics, and practical pathways needed to achieve Sustainable Development Goals and helps to inform, inspire, and spur action.
Energy and Climate: Vision for the Future - Michael B. McElroy This book is a broad and comprehensive introduction to the issue of energy and climate change intended to be accessible for the general reader. It covers energy basics, a discussion of the energy systems of the US and China, and also the debate regarding climate change. The perspective is global but with a specific focus on the US and China recognizing the critical role these countries must play in addressing the challenge of global climate change.
Climate Change from the Streets - Michael Mendez Michael Mendez explains the power behind location and the inequalities of climate change. He explores the perspectives and the influence that low-income people of color bring to their advocacy work on climate change. Mendez contends that we must incorporate local knowledge, culture, and history into policymaking to fully address the global complexities of climate change and the real threats facing our local communities.
Whose Water is it Anyway?: Taking Water Protection into Public Hands - Maude Barlow Maude Barlow, also known as one the world’s most notable water justice activists includes a detailed plan on how to help prevent communities from going dry due to the actions of irresponsible companies and governments.
The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor - William Easterly The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor is a 2014 book by the development economist William Easterly arguing that there are no silver bullets for promoting economic development and that the best hope is to support economic, political, and personal freedom worldwide. William Easterly was also a professor of mine in my final semester at NYU. This book served as reading material for the class. I found it an engaging and insightful look into the world of foreign aid and the underlying structures that inhibit successful outcomes in developing countries.
The Road - Cormac McCarthy The story of a father and son living in a post apocalyptic America journeying through the country to reach the coast. The bond between a father and his son is nearly all that remains in a ravaged world. The Road asks us all to think about the future world we want for ourselves and for our children. It is particularly relevant today as if the world does not make collective changes in the name of saving our climate, the future in The Road, just may be ours as well.