A GreenWorks Reading List

This is a contribution from GreenWorks Landscape Designer, Kelly Stoecklein.

If you were to drop in on us here at GreenWorks, you would most likely overhear people talking about books, podcasts, and other inspiring media while re-upping on coffee or tea in the kitchen.

It’s a part of the culture here many of us really enjoy and foster. If I’m ever in need of a good book recommendation, I know I can turn to my fellow GreenWorker bookworms to point me in the right direction.

If you’re in need of a good book, here’s what the good people at GreenWorks are reading these days:

The Lost Art of Reading Nature's Signs.jpg

by Tristan Gooley

“I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys discovery. One of my favorite aspects of landscapes is that they are embedded with countless clues that, when taken as a whole, convey rich and otherwise overlooked stories— and this book teaches you how to read those stories. Although Tristan’s “Holmesian” process is nature-based, it provides a lens that empowers readers to appreciate more of the world wherever they are, whether it be urban or undeveloped.”

- Nadja Quiroz, Landscape Designer


by Peter Brown

“Despite being a children’s book, this easy reader has interesting parallels with our modern world. It gives me hope that in our robotic and busy lives, that we can communicate and become one with nature if we give ourselves the time and space. Or maybe I’m missing the subtext and it’s really about artificial intelligence and collusion. You’ll just have to read it for yourself.”

- Ben Johnson (+ his son Henry), Associate, Landscape Architect

Braiding Sweetgrass.jpg

by Robin Wall Kimmerer

“This book was recommended to me by a fellow GreenWorker and, even though I’ve just started it, I’m captivated. Kimmerer’s prose weaves together her botanist background, Potawatomi Nation culture, and her experience as a mother, creating a powerful book that challenges us to look at plants, culture and ourselves through a new lens.”

- Kelly Stoecklein, Landscape Designer

The Last Girl.jpg

by Nadia Murad

“This year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner has published a riveting book that captures how her family and community were ripped apart and follows her devastating but courageous path to reconnect with the remaining family that was not murdered. This book brings awareness to the types of devastation that many women and families still endure.”

- Jennifer D’Avanzo, Senior Project Manager

The Uninhabitable Earth.jpg

by David Wallace-Wells

“There’s lots of books focused on how we can understand and think about climate change. This one connects with how we can feel about it, fully absorb what it means for our life and the planet, and perhaps inspire us to develop the courage to act with passion and purpose.”

- Jason King, Associate Principal, Landscape Architect


by Yuval Noah Harari

“Sapiens provides some much-needed insight into our behavioral patterns across a variety of social and landscape scales. It’s easy to read and intuitively understood, but also peppered with interesting facts from recent discoveries and changing scientific consensuses.”

- Nadja Quiroz, Landscape Designer

“With approachability, precision, and a wry sense of humor, Yuval Harari places modern humans in the context of our complete collective history and in doing so, calls into question almost every human “truth” we’ve ever clung to. As Harari states it, “We study history not to know the future but to widen our horizons, to understand that our present situation is neither natural nor inevitable, and that we consequently have many more possibilities before us than we imagine.”

- Judith Edwards, Marketing Manager

Brain Rules.jpg

by John Medina

“This book details 12 “brain principles” useful for everyday life and work. By showcasing the inner-workings of our brains and helping people outside of the neuroscience fields to better understand their brains; the book helps individuals capture how we can work with – not against – our minds by better understanding them. Intersecting topics/principles cover memory sleep, memory, and gender differences.”

- Wes Shoger, Landscape Architect

The Weather Detective.jpg

by Peter Wohlleben

“The Weather Detective calls attention to patterns in weather and in the world to help readers connect with the natural environment. Wohlleben advocates for interacting with and observing nature from a broad atmospheric-scale down to the scale of your garden. This book also reminds us urban busy bodies to take pleasure in time spent outdoors and relaxing outside.”

- Margot Halpin, Landscape Designer

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The Unsettling of America

by Wendell Berry

“A look into Culture and Agriculture. How Agri-business takes farming out of its cultural context and away from families, distancing current populations from an understanding and appreciation of the land.”

- Jim Figurski, Senior Associate, Landscape Architect