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Fall Book Discussion: "Braiding Sweetgrass"

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Discussion of "Braiding Sweetgrass" by Robin Wall Kimmerer on five consecutive Wednesday evenings. All meetings will be via Zoom.

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In follow-up to our observation of the Season of Creation, we invite you to join us for a virtual exploration of this award-winning book which will take place on five consecutive Wednesday evenings in October and November.

A gifted storyteller, botanist and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Robin Wall Kimmerer weaves together indigenous wisdom and lore, scientific knowledge and her experiences as a teacher, mother and woman to educate the reader and to call us to live in harmony with all creation.

Braiding Sweetgrass is instructive poetry.” ―Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper, Onondaga Nation, and Indigenous Environmental Leader

“. . . a hymn of love to the world.” ―Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love and The Signature of All Things

Sponsored by the Simpler Living ministry of St. Paul's Cathedral's and the Environmental Stewardship Team of St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church in partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego

We invite you to join us in our discussion of how celebrating our interdependence with all living things can help inspire us as we work to address the climate crisis.

From the book jacket description:

As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these lenses of knowledge together to show that the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings are we capable of understanding the generosity of the earth and learning to give our own gifts in return.

What others have said:

“Robin Wall Kimmerer is a writer of rare grace. She writes about the natural world from a place of such abundant passion that one can never quite see the world the same way after having seen it through Kimmerer’s eyes. In Braiding Sweetgrass, she takes us on a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise. She is a great teacher, and her words are a hymn of love to the world.” ―Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love and The Signature of All Things

“Robin Wall Kimmerer shows how the factual, objective approach of science can be enriched by the ancient knowledge of the indigenous people. It is the way she captures beauty that I love the most—the images of giant cedars and wild strawberries, a forest in the rain and a meadow of fragrant sweetgrass will stay with you long after you read the last page.” ―Jane Goodall, author of Seeds of Hope and My Life with the Chimpanzees

Braiding Sweetgrass is instructive poetry. Robin Wall Kimmerer has put the spiritual relationship that Chief Seattle called the ‘web of life’ into writing. Industrial societies lack the understanding of the interrelationships that bind all living things―this book fills that void. I encourage one and all to read these instructions.” ―Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper, Onondaga Nation, and Indigenous Environmental Leader

Note: It is only necessary to provide your registration information for one of the sessions in order to participate in the 5 weekly sessions. You'll automatically be included in all communications and will be sent a reminder and the Zoom link each week.

In case you haven’t already procured the book, in addition to the public library and Amazon, we encourage you to consider your favorite independent bookseller.

Here are some alternatives to Amazon for people who still need to purchase a copy of Braiding Sweetgrass: is an online bookstore with a mission to financially support independent bookstores. Customers can designate an independent bookstore to receive the full profit from their order; otherwise, the funds go into a pool that's evenly distributed among independent bookstores. Prices are usually discounted slightly. (For public library enthusiasts, you can designate Joan’s favorite independent bookstore, The Library Shop located at the San Diego Central Library—all sales support the San Diego Public Library system.)

Here are a few San Diego area bookstores that currently show Braiding Sweetgrass in stock (they can also special order):

And for audiobook listeners, an alternative to Audible:

  • enables customers to purchase audiobooks through an independent bookstore.


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