What We’re Reading Editors' Picks: Touching the Jaguar, Welcome to the Agrihood, Story of the First Earth Day

In Touching the Jaguar, activist and author John Perkins documents how his experiences in the Amazon converted him from “an economic hit man” to a crusader for indigenous people and the planet, and what all of us can do to convert our failing “Death Economy” into a flourishing “Life Economy.” In the book, Perkins relates the story of how, as an ailing young Peace Corps volunteer, his life was saved by Amazon shaman who took him on an Ayahuasca-fueled journey and taught him how to “touch the jaguar”—confront its fear and use its power to create positive change. Perkins is a founder and board member of the Pachamama Alliance and Dream Change, nonprofits that partner with indigenous people to protect environments and offer global programs to change the destructive ways of industrial societies.

You don’t have to live in the country to enjoy farm-to-table dining every day if you plan your eating habits accordingly. Anna DeSimone lights the way in her book Welcome to the Agrihood, a practical guide for how to indulge in farm-to-table living anywhere depending on where you live (near a working farm?), what you can grow on your own, and how good your local shopping options are. Award-winning author Anna DeSimone explains all the ways that sustainably sourced, locally grown food is healthier, preserves farmland, and lowers your carbon footprint.

The Story of the First Earth Day 1970 is a fact-filled, concise and well-written eye-witness account of how the first Earth Day came to be in 1970 from the perspective of an insider, Congressman Pete McCloskey, who served as co-founder of the event with Senator Gaylord Nelson and helped organizer Denis Hayes make it a reality. It’s a thrilling read, especially in light of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this year.