Earth Day is upon us, and you know what that means: time to pick up the trash in your neighborhood, or hug a tree, or at least think a little bit about your carbon footprint. Not exactly your cup of tea? Then how about reading one of these novels (er, and two short story collections and one children’s book), each guaranteed to turn you into some kind of environmentalist, whether by scare tactics (post-apocalyptic climate nightmare!) or straight wooing (look at all these pretty plants and things!). And, we promise, none of these is as boring as Walden. Celebrate Earth Day from the comfort of your couch this year, and next year… well, who knows?
Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood
The first in Atwood’s remarkable trilogy takes place in a climate change-induced bio-wasteland where humans are not quite humans anymore. The most terrifying thing about it? As Atwood has said, it’s not even science fiction, because it doesn’t feature anything that hasn’t, in some form, already been invented. The next two books in the series, which you’ll gobble up as soon as you finish this one, only intensify the feeling that something must be done.