I enjoy both work-related and fiction books, and I like surfing my colleagues’ blogs. Some recommendations are given below.
I recommend Joan Martinez-Alier’s classic book ‘The Environmentalism of the Poor’, and José Manuel Naredo’s ‘Las raíces económicas del deterioro social y ecológico. Más allá de los dogmas’. John F. McCarthy’s book ‘The Fourth Circle: A Political Ecology of Sumatra’s Rainforest Frontier’ is a great read for those interested in the political ecology of deforestation in Asia, and ‘Powers of Exclusion’ by Derek Hall and colleagues is also really inspiring. I recently read (again) David Mosse‘s ‘Cultivating Development’, and I really enjoyed it.
Matthew Paterson and Peter Newell’s ‘Climate Capitalism’ is a short and well structured piece on the current state of climate change science, politics and action from a critical perspective. If you followed the University of East Anglia’s climate-gate saga, you may be interested in Fred Pearce’s ‘The Climate Files – The Battle for The Truth About Global Warming’. It is a great chronology and an accurate narrative about what really happened during the hacking of UEA’s Climatic Research Unit emails. I also enjoyed reading Mike Hulme’s ‘Can Science Fix Climate Change’, which should be a must read for those interested in understanding why solar radiation engineering is not a good idea to address climate change.
Finally, I have been recently inspired by Michael Sandel’s ‘Justice: what’s the right thing to do?’, and by Maggie Berg and Barbara Seeber’s ‘The Slow Professor’. The latter has contributed to change some aspects of the way I approach my own work and interact with others within the University.
Some of my most recent and favourite fiction include: Haruki Murakami’s ‘Killing Commendatore’ (Vol.1&2), which together with ‘What I talk about when I talk about running’, have become my favourites of this author; Paolo Cognetti‘s ‘The Eight Mountains’, which made me inevitably think about my dad and our shared passion for the pyrenees; Pierre Lamaitre’s ‘I’ll see you up there’; Arnaldur Indridason’s ‘Silence of the Grave’, a great thriller!; Gregory David Robert’s ‘Shantaram’, a biographic adventure in India; Mohsin Hamid’s ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’; and finally (in Spanish) the great conversation between the philospher José Luis Sampedro and the cardiologist Valentí Fuster in ‘La Ciencia y la Vida’. Not to forget of course, ‘How to get filthy rich in Asia’, or ‘The reluctant fundamentalist’.
I recommend the blogs of the following colleagues: Katrina Brown, on resilient development; Mike Hulme, on climate and society; Dan Brockington, Bram Büscher and Sian Sullivan, on capitalist conservation; Bill Adams and Chris Sandbrook‘s punchy thoughts over conservation, politics, development issues; Miquel Ortega, on environment, globalisation and climate change; Jesús Ramos Martín, on ecological economics; and Dan Smith, on international politics and development.