Recommended Books and Reviews

Here is a list of some essential and optional books about related topics.

When buying a book, considering first these options:

  • Does anybody I know have the book and may be able to lend it to me? (Browsing a book before deciding to buy it is a good idea as you may or may not like the book after all)
  • Does the local library have this book? If not, do they have a system where I can suggest them to buy the book so it is available not only to me but to other locals?
  • Can I buy this book used from somebody (or exchange it for another good or service)?

If you decide to buy the book (I do believe that a basic Permaculture library is essential in every household as you may need to re-read and consult certain topics many times), consider the following:

  • How many times do I plan to read or consult this book? Does this make the book an “essential” and “must have” or do I have alternatives?
  • What will most likely be the future of this book? May it go to my children and grandchildren, do I plan to donate it to a group, library or give to a friend as gift?
  • Who is the author and what is her experience in the topic? Does the author have a website or blog where I can check his background, projects and philosophy?
  • Who publishes this book? Is the publisher ethical with the use of paper and other resources? Do they pay the author well?
  • Who is selling the book? Are they ethical with the environment, the people who work for them and the author?
  • How is this book coming to me? Is it travelling long distances? Can I make a bulk order so I minimize footprint in shipping?

Here are a few places you may like to consider when buying books:

New Society Publishers:

Green Shopping:

You can also use Amazon if the book you are looking for is nowhere to be found in the above websites or similar ones, but please consider ethics when buying from Amazon and probably it may be your last option.

Books about Permaculture:

Must have’s:

Permaculture Principles & pathways beyond sustainability by David Holmgren

Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual by Bill Mollison

Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway

Permaculture Handbook by Peter Bane

Earth User’s Guide to Permaculture by Rosemary Morrow


Optional readings on Permaculture:

Future Scenarios: how communities can adapt to Peak Oil and Climate Change by David Holmgren

People & Permaculture by Looby Macnamara

Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture by Sepp Holzer

Sowing seeds in the desert by Masanobo Fukuoka

One Straw Revolution by Masanobo Fukuoka (free PDF download)


Books on Teaching Permaculture:

Free!: A facilitator’s handbook for Permaculture by IDEP Foundation (awesome downloadable PDF!)

Earth User’s guide to teaching Permaculture by Rosemary Morrow


Books about Sustainable Farming and gardening, urban farming, etc:

Food not Lawns by H.C. Flores

The farmers handbook volume one – the house (free eBook!)

The winter harvest handbook by Eliot Coleman

Gardening when it counts by Steve Solomon


Books about preserving food:

How to store your garden produce: the key to self-suficiency by Piers Warren

The solar food dryer by Eben Fodor

Preserving food without freezing or canning by Deborah Madison


Books about waste management (including humanure)

Reduce, reuse, recycle: an easy household guide by Nicky Scott

Compost toilets: a practical DIY guide by Dave Darby

The toilet papers: recycling waste and conserving water by Sim Van Der Rin

The Humanure Handbook by Joseph Jenkins

Create an oasis with grey water by Art Ludwig


Books about composting:

How to make and use compost by Nicky Scott

Composting: an easy household guide by Nicky Scott


Books on Energy efficiency at home, work and communities:

Consumers Guide to home energy savings by Jennifer Amann

The home energy diet by Paul Sheckel


Books about Transition:

The Transition Timeline: for a local and resilient future by Rob Hopkins

The Transition Companion by Rob Hopkins


Books about the new, sharing and gift economy:

Local money: how to make it happen in your community by Peter North

Gaian economics: living well within planetary limits by Gaian Education

The resilience imperative by Michael Lewis and Pat Conaty

Thriving beyond sustainability by Andres R Edwards


Books on Career planning and the right livelihood:

Making a living while making a difference by Melissa Everett

Ecopreneuring by John Ivanko & Lisa Kivirist


Books about creating community, ecovillages and group dynamics (non-oppressive):

The empowerment manual by Starhawk

Creating a life together: practical tools to grow ecovillages and intentional communities by Diana Leafe Christian

The great neighbourhood: a guide to DIY placemaking by

The Sustainable [R]evolution by Julianna Birnbaum and Louis Fox


Books about emergency preparedness and survivalism:

When technology fails by Matthew Stein

Surviving the apocalypse in the suburbs by Wendy Brown
Food security for the faint of heart by Robin Weehler


Books about holistic education, social pedagogy and homeschooling:

Outdoor classrooms: a handbook for school gardens by Carolyn Nuttall and Jane Millington

Alternative approaches to education: a guide to parents and educators by Fiona Carnie

Waldorf Education by Christopher Clauder

The green teen by Jenn Savedge

Teaching green: the middle years by Tim Grant & Gail Littlejohn

Teaching Green: the elementary years by Tim Grant & Gail Littlejohn

Teaching green: the high school years by Tim Grant & Gail Littlejohn

Teaching about climate change by Tim Grant & Gail Littlejohn


Books about alternative transportation:

The practical cyclist by Chip Haynes


Books on house cleaning, natural soaps and toiletries and other related issues:

Naturally clean by Jeffrey Hollender and others

The non-toxic avenger by Deanna Duke

The holistic beauty book by Star Khechara


Books about debt management and financial independence:

The Moneyless manifesto by Mark Boyle


Books on simplicity living and de-cluttering:

Simply Imperfect by Roby Griggs Lawrence

Radical Simplicity by Jim Merkel


Books about navigating the chaotic, messy and unsustainable times we are facing (resilience building, inspiration, dealing with depression and frustration, etc):

Active Hope by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone

Find your hope: a toolkit for resilience and positive change by Chris Johnstone

7 ways to think differently by Looby Macnamara

Coming Back to Life by Joanna Macy and Molly Young Brown

2 Comments on “Recommended Books and Reviews

  1. Pingback: Resources: books I recommend | Mainstream Permaculture

  2. Pingback: Resources: books I recommend | Gaia Gazette

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