Reading Material

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Books that influence our work and that are available in our lending library...

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50 Simple Things You Can Do To Save The Earth from The Earth Works Group

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101 Design Methods by Vijay Kumar

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Air-To-Air Heat Exchangers for Houses by William A. Shurcliff


The Algiers Motel Incident by John Hersey

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Alternative Energy Projects for the 1990's by John Kuecken

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American City: Detroit Architecture 1845-2005 Text by Robert Sharoff; Photographs by William Zbaren

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American Earth Edited by Bill McKibben

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American Green: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn By Ted Steinberg

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Amos Walker's Detroit Text by Loren D. Estleman; photographs by Monte Nagler

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An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore


Animals Make Us Human by Temple Grandin

Animal, Vegetable Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver (A donated book from Harriet Green)


Architecture: The Natural and the Manmade by Vincent Scully (donation from Armando Delicot)

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Arc of Justice by Kevin Boyle


The Armchair Environmentalist: 3 Minute-A-Day Action Plan To Save The World by Karen Christensen

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The Art of Mindful Gardening: Sowing the Seeds of Meditation by Ark Redwood

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The Atlas of New Librarianship by R. David Lankes

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Attract and Feed a Hungry Crowd: How Thinking Like a Chef Can Help You Build a Solid Business by Tea Del Alma Silverstre

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Bayou Farewell: the Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana's Cajun Coast by Mike Tidwell

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Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande


Belle Isle to 8 Mile: An Insider's Guide to Detroitedited by Amy Linn, Emily Linn & Rob Linn (various contributing authors, including our own Matthew Piper)


Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living by Nicole Caldwell

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Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology by Eric Brende

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Better World Shopping Guide by Ellis Jones

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The Big Picture: Reflections on Science, Humanity, and a quickly Changing Planet by David Suzuki and Dave Robert Taylor (signed copy donated by Susan and Tom O'Connor)

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The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan

Building Green For The Future: Case Studies of Sustainable Development in Michigan by Urban Catalyst Associates

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Building the Green Economy by Kevin Danaher, Shannon Biggs and Jason Mark.

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Building Green Without Going in the Red: A Household Guide to Healthy, Affordable Building Materials by Kathleen Curtis, Roberta Chase, and the Citizens' Environmental Coalition, Albany, NY

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The Business Case for Renewable Energy: A Guide for Colleges and Universities by Andrea Putman and Michael Philips

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Camillo Sitte: The Birth of Modern City Planning by George R. Collins and Christiane Crasemann Collins (1 copy) (donation from Jon Koller)

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Canvas Detroit by Julie Pincus and Nichole Christian

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The Carbon Buster's Home Energy Handbook by Godo Stoyke

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Carbon Strategies: How Leading Companies Are Reducing Their Climate Change Footprint by Andrew J. Hoffman

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The Careless Society: Community and Its Counterfeits by John McKnight

Cities For a Small continent: International Handbook of City Recovery by Anne Power with Bruce Katz

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Cities as Sustainable Ecosystems Principles and Practices by Peter Newman and Isabella Jennings (donation from Jannie Biernat)

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City of Destiny: The Story of Detroit by George W. Stark

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The Company We Keep by John Abrams (2 copies)

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Cradle to Cradle by William McDonough & Michael Braungart

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Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism by Muhammad Yunus

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Cultivating Food Justice by Alison Hope Alkon and Julian Agyeman


David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and The Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

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The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs. (2 copies) From Wikipedia: A greatly influential book on the subject of urban planning in the 20th century. First published in 1961, the book is a critique of modernist planning policies claimed by Jacobs to be destroying many existing inner-city communities.


Design & Build Tumbleweed Tiny House web site by Stan Tekiela


Design for Community by Derek M. Powazek


Detour In Detroit by Francesca Beradi


Detroit:1860-1899 (Images of America) by David Lee Poremba

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The Detroit Almanac: 300 years of life in the Motor City by Peter Gavrilovich and Bill McGraw

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A Detroit Anthology by Anna Clark

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Detroit City Is The Place To Be: The Afterlife of an American Metropolis by Mark Binelli. (2 copies; one donated by Bethany)

Review by Peggy Brennan:

Mark Binelli grew up in St. Clair Shores, left for New York, but returned for a year to develop material for this book. As the title indicates, the focus is an examination of Detroit as the struggling post-industrial city, with an attempt to explain how it got there. Each chapter is a separate essay covering a wide variety of subjects: the ruined buildings, politics, crime, the newer movements into the city (arts and urban agriculture). He has done his research, and has done a good job analyzing the various areas. As relentlessly depressing as the book is, he somehow, in the end, ends up siding with the optimists who believe Detroit has a bright future.

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Detroit Future City: 2012 Detroit Strategic Framework Plan by The Detroit Works Project Long-Terms Planning Steering Committee (1 copy; Reference only)


Detroit Divided by Reynolds Farley, Sheldon Danziger, and Harry J. Holzer

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Detroit's Cass Corridor by Armando Delicato and Elias Khalil. We are mentioned with historic and recent photos!


Detroit's Coming of Age: 1873 to 1973 by Don Lochbiler (Donation from Mitzi Carter)


Detroit’s Polonia (MI) (Images of America) by Cecile Wendt Jensen

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Detroit Resurrected by Nathan Borney


Detroit Then and Now by Cheri Y. Gay (Donation from Harriet Greenwood)


Diet For A Hot Planet:The Climate Crisis At The End of Your Fork And What You Can Do About It by Anna Lappe and Bill McKibben (a donation from Harriet Green)


Driving and the Built Environment Transportation Research Board Special Report 298


Driving Detroit: The Quest For Respect in the Motor City by Geroge Galster

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Earth (The Book): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race by Jon Stewart

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Earth in the Balance by Al Gore.

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Earth Prayers from Around the World edited by Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon

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Earth User's Guide to Permaculture by Rosemary Morrow

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Eco-Economy by Lester R. Brown

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The Ecology of Commerce Revised Edition: A Declaration of Sustainability by Paul Hawken


Economicology - The Eleventh Commandment Revised Edition by Peter M. Wege

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The Economics of Place: The Value of Building Communities Around People Published by the Michigan Municipal League (


Edible Cities: Urban Permaculture for Gardens, Balconies, Rooftops, and Beyond by Judith Anger, Dr. Immo Fiebrig and Martin Schnyder


The End Of Poverty: Economic Possibilities For Our Time by Jeffrey D. Sachs (hard copy signed by author)


The Energy Imperative: 100 Per Cent Renewable Now by Hermann Scheer, Forward by Bianca Jagger (donation from Michael Cartwright)

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The Essential Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter and Willow Rosenthal

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Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy by Hazel Henderson and Simran Sethi

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Explore Our Natural World: A Biodiversity Atlas of the Lake Huron to Lake Erie Corridor by Mary Kehoe Smith and Bob Weir

Eyes On The Street: The Life of Jane Jacobs by Robert Kanigel

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Extreme Simplicity: Homesteading in the City by Christopher and Dolores Lynn Nyerges

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Fair Food:Growing a Healthy Sustainable Food System for All by Oran B. Hesterman

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Filling the Gaps: Environmental Protection Options for Local Governments by Katherine A. Ardizone & Mark A. Wyckoff


Flourishing: A Frank Conversation About Sustainability by John R. Ehrenfeld and Andrew J. Hoffman (the latter teaches Sustainable Enterprise at U of M).

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Foods That Heal by George D. Pamplona-Roger

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The Forest Unseen by David George Haskill.


Forgotten Landmarks of Detroit by Dan Austin

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From Eco-Cities to Living Machines by Nancy Jack Todd and John Todd

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The Future of the Commons by Elinor Ostrom


GAIA: An Atlas of Planet Management General Editor, Dr. Norman Myers

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Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, 2nd Edition by Toby Hemenway

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Gardening in Small Spaces: A Comprehensive Practical Guide to Designing, Planning, and Planting a Garden in the Smallest of Spaces by Peter McHoy

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Getting Ghost by Luke Bergmann

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Global Warming Survival Handbook by David de Rothschild

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Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage by Heather Rogers

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Good Morning Beautiful Business by Judy Wicks

  • The Great Work by Thomas Berry. Berry asks us to move from being a disruptive force on the earth to a benign presence. He calls this our great work - the most necessary and most ennobling work we will ever undertake.

Reading Material 2 (Green - P)

Reading Material 3 (R - Z)

Books - Children