Best Weller's Pick

Every other month the staff of Weller Book Works nominates and then votes on books we deem worthy of extra attention, our Best Weller's selection. We discount these books to you by 20% during the months for which they're chosen because we believe in them.

Braiding Sweetgrass Cover Image
ISBN: 9781571313560
Availability: On Our Shelves Now

Published: Milkweed Editions - September 1st, 2014

Reviewed by Josh

Spiritual practices and science are often understood as diametrically opposed to one another, but Robin Wall Kimmerer proves that this is not the case in her book, Braiding Sweetgrass.

Balancing academic expertise in the botanical arts and natural sciences with Indigenous wisdom Kimmerer challenges the reader to look at the world in a new way. Her continued challenge is for us to understand our relationship with nature like any other relationship: it needs attention, time, and reciprocity to thrive. Just as the world around us offers so much that we take for granted, we need to be willing to take time to give back and protect this world we call home.

Kimmerer narrates her journey as she learns to be a parent, a caregiver of the Earth, a professor of the natural sciences, and a student in the teachings of the Potawatomi nation. This book accomplishes a great deal. Many pieces of literature are meant to teach the reader in a particular subject, and this is no exception. However, Braiding Sweetgrass is unusual because it envelopes the reader in the same passion that comes from a fervent teacher. Imagine that one class that burned itself into your memory in a positive way, not even because the subject was something you were particularly passionate about. It was the teacher’s fire and their work to share that with you. 

Kimmerer takes that same passion and makes it tangible in her written word. With each chapter the reader delves further into a love for the world around. Inevitably, after finishing this book I found myself considering my relationship to everything around me: where the contents of my lunch came from, what efforts do I take for the sake of preserving the environment, even if its possible for me to create a compost in my tiny two bedroom house. This text is a call to action, and a call to listen. A must read for tree huggers everywhere, and if you are not a self proclaimed tree hugger, pick up the book and you might reconsider.