Some of us read nonfiction (The Future Eaters, An Inconvenient Truth, etc) to learn more about the environment, and that’s good, but we can also read fiction for inspiration and entertainment. Here is a ‘Greenie Adult Fiction’ list which I came across last year. The books on it which I do know made me think that the books I don’t know ought to be good too. This version of the list was published in Waves, newsletter of Reef HQ Aquarium Volunteers Association, in February 2012 but the original, created and hosted by a US public library, has vanished from the web since then so I can’t simply point you to it.
Marcia Muller: Cape Perdido
When a South Carolina company wants to take water from Cape Perdido, the town’s residents protest. Eventually, things get ugly and someone is killed. An ecological thriller by a well-known mystery writer.
Ernest Callenbach: Ecotopia
In this classic eco-fiction novel, Oregon, Washington and Northern California secede to form an ecologically and socially progressive society. Their citizens rely totally upon solar power and other environmentally safe technology.
Edward Abbey: The Monkey Wrench Gang
Four environmentalists resort to guerrilla welfare when legal tactics fail to stop ecological disasters in the desert of southwestern USA. This is classic Edward Abbey and shouldn’t be missed.
Barbara Delinsky: Looking for Peyton Place
Novelist Annie Barnes returns to her hometown upon the early death of her mother to find her sister also suffering medical problems. Annie turns detective when she begins to suspect that her family’s illnesses were caused by mercury poison from the town’s paper mill.
C. J. Box: Savage Run
Game warden Joe Pickett tries to find out who murdered an environmentalist and his wife, and finds himself fighting millionaire ranchers wanting to put more money in their own pockets.
Brian Clarke: The Stream
This book tells the story of a stream and all the creatures who live in it or near it, and how their world slowly changes when an industrial park moves nearby. This is the first novel ever to win the Natural World Book Prize, Britain’s premier literary environmental award.
Rick Bass: Where the Sea Used to Be
A veteran petroleum geologist clashes with his environmentalist daughter in this novel by a well-known short story writer.
Charles Pellegrino: Dust
A biological thriller with fungus gnats, bugs, and vicious mites eating their way up the food chain in a world gone wild because of human environmental mishandling.
T. Coraghessan Boyle: A Friend of the Earth
In 2025, global warming and the greenhouse effect have altered the environment drastically and the book’s main character commits the rest of his life to being an “Earth Forever” activist.
My main interest a year ago was Young Adult fiction, rather than Adult fiction, with environmental themes. This page lists some of those books.