Fiction dealing with religion & science with nature & ecology
September 8, 2004 12:42 PM   Subscribe

I just got done reading Ishmael by Daniel Quinn for class. Now, I have to find a book that also deals with nature in the same regard to read (ie, we're destroying it- go fix it! Though it could be how nature is ours to control and we should actually exploit it more). Preferable, though not necessary, for my own pleasure would be something that intertwines religion and science with nature (from a negative or positive standpoint) into the book.
posted by jmd82 to Writing & Language (15 answers total)
The second Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy book, "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe," includes a world-weary look at mankind destroying prehistoric Earth.
posted by inksyndicate at 12:43 PM on September 8, 2004

Ernest Callenbach's Ecotopia
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:49 PM on September 8, 2004

I haven't read any Quinn but a friend has read them all. One of his other favorite books is A Language Older Than Words, which I have read, and recommend.
posted by dobbs at 12:53 PM on September 8, 2004

Not sure if you're looking for fiction or not, but Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight by Thom Hartmann is a (slightly spiritual) non-fiction look at how we are destroying many of Earth's natural resources. Actually, the link to the author's site above has a quote from Daniel Quinn.
posted by widdershins at 12:59 PM on September 8, 2004

A bit off the mark, but if you're looking for a business-nature perspective I recommend Paul Hawken's Natural Capitalism - online excerpts here.
posted by will at 1:28 PM on September 8, 2004

The obvious pick is Walden, which, if you haven't read it, is one of the most enjoyable books in all of literature. Everyone should read it at least once.
posted by josh at 1:45 PM on September 8, 2004

I suggest reading the other books that Daniel Quinn wrote concerning Ishmael and his teachings: My Ishmael and Story of B. Especially Story of B. My Ishmael is written from the perspective of a 16 year-old girl, and uses the Taker/Leaver scenario to denounce the modern education system. Story of B is an extension of Ishmael. It's the second book of the series, and especially intertwines religion and nature. I strongly suggest Story of B.

For further reading, check out Also, Quinn references and names a lot of other books in his writings. Do some research to find those. An excellent one is called Man's rise to civilization as shown by the Indians of North America from primeval times to the coming of the industrial state. The name's long because it's that good.

You can email me if you have any further questions.
posted by bitpart at 2:00 PM on September 8, 2004

A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold.
posted by stefanie at 2:51 PM on September 8, 2004

if the breakdown of communities and society qualifies in its effects and science fiction is allowed, there's a lot of 70's philosophical sci fi and embrace nature stuff. Someone gave me a copy of "Woman on the Edge of Time" by Marge Percy which is so totally seventies utopia/distopia but impacting.
(personally was reccommended ismael ages ago in a bookstore, found it way too pedantic for me as theory couched as fiction.)
posted by ethylene at 3:02 PM on September 8, 2004

David Quammen - the song of the dodo: island biogeography in an age of extinctions
Although that may only be half of what you were asking, it's only the science behind some of the problems, not much about how or why to fix it.
posted by milovoo at 3:47 PM on September 8, 2004

Think like a mountain by Paul Chadwick... Except it's a graphic novel.
posted by drezdn at 6:57 PM on September 8, 2004

I second stefanie's suggestion.

If you're looking to expand your reading beyond pure environmentalism, consider Peter Leschak and his books on wildfires.
posted by F Mackenzie at 7:16 PM on September 8, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks for the advice all. We're reading Aldo Leopold's Land Ethic in class so that'de be something I have to check on, though his stuff does look very promising!
posted by jmd82 at 9:52 PM on September 8, 2004

If you're open to fiction, Dune covers all of those themes.
posted by willnot at 11:52 PM on September 8, 2004

I just read Quinn's My Ishmael and right thereafger George Stewart's The Earth Abides. Look into them. My Ishmael is parallel to the one you read, and The Earth Abides somewhat puts it into practice.
posted by codger at 9:07 PM on September 9, 2004

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