Ethics and Ecologies Reading Group

Ethics & Ecologies Reading Group

We read:

  • non-fiction about the complex environments that support human life and ways that humans can help restore those environments
  • fiction about characters faced with questions of ethics and survival in shifting environments on this or other worlds

Everyone is welcome! We’re so open to ideas for future selections. There are a lot of worlds out there!

Note: Copyright law allows us to share excerpts of works, so some readings are posted as .pdfs. If you’d like readings in a different file format, or for more information in general, contact Kris at freeman.ks [at]

Upcoming Readings & Meetings

Future Reading

What Your Food Ate: How to Heal Our Land and Reclaim Our Health by David R. Montgomery and Anne Biklé (PDF Intro and Chapt. 1)

The Overstory by Richard Powers (PDF first two chapters)

June 5, 2023, 7 PM

In Person (SJU conference room at 5515 Phinney Ave. N)
Zoom link: Pass code 937916 (shouldn’t need it)

Homewaters by local author David Williams , Chapters 7-10. Presentation by the author at the Museum of History and Industry.

Restoring Kelp and Seagrass

  • “Restoring seagrass meadows is one tool that coastal communities can use to address climate change, both by capturing emissions and mitigating their effects” New York Times, May 24, 2023, URL, PDF
  • “The Vanishing Forest” The Nature Conservancy, May 26, 2023, URL, PDF

Past Readings: Ethics and Ecologies

May 8, 2023, 7 PM

Homewaters by local author David Williams , Chapters 1-6.( PDF of Preface and First Chapter)

Other Puget Sound Wonders:

Wonderful map that shows Seattle shorelines prior to settler development.
April 10, 2023, 7 PM

Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer, Sections 4-5

  • Braiding Sweetgrass
  • Burning Sweetgrass

Interviews with Robin Kimmerer

February 27, 2023

Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer, Sections 1-3

  • Planting Sweetgrass
  • Tending Sweetgrass
  • Picking Sweetgrass
January 23, 2023

Braiding Sweetgrass
, by Robin Wall Kimmerer (PDF)

  • Preface
  • Skywoman Falling
  • The Council of Pecans

Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest, by Suzanne Simard (PDF)

  • Introduction: Connections
  • Ghosts in the Forest
  • Hand Fallers

Are Trees Talking Underground? For Scientists, Itʼs in Dispute.” (PDF) Article in the New York Times with researchers debating the research on fungal networks described in Finding the Mother Tree and The Hidden Lives of Trees.


  • Yggdrasil and the Nine Worlds“, from Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (PDF)
  • “You’ll Never Believe What Happened is Always a Good Way to Start” from The Truth About Stories by Thomas King (PDF)
November 28, 2022

Short Stories

    • “One Easy Trick” by Hiromi Goto from the anthology “Sun Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color”, edited by Nisi Shawl ( PDF)
    • “Vaster than Empires and More Slow” by Ursula Le Guin ( PDF)
    • “The Trees Between” by Karyn L. Stecyk from the anthology Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation, edited by Phoebe Wagner & Brontë Christopher Wieland ( PDF)


October 24, 2022

A Prayer for the Crown Shy [novel] by Becky Chambers

September 26, 2022

A Psalm for the Wild-Built Book [novel] by Becky Chambers

Past Readings: World Theologies and Alternative Universes

July 26, 2022

A Canticle for Leibowitz [novel] by Walter M. Miller Jr

February 7, 2022

Dune [novel] by Frank Herbert

November 9, 2021

The Parable of the Talents [novel] by Octavia Butler, sequel to The Parable of the Sower

October 12, 2021

Good Omens [novel] by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Good Omens has also been adapted in a mini-series, available on Amazon Prime and from the Seattle Public Library.

August 3 & September 14, 2021

The Parable of the Sower [novel] by Octavia Butler

July 6, 2021

Wild Seed [novel] by Octavia Butler

June 1, 2021

The Lathe of Heaven [novel] by Ursula LeGuin

May 4, 2021

The Sparrow [novel] by Maria Doria Russell–second half

April 6, 2021

The Sparrow [novel] by Maria Doria Russell–first half

March 2, 2021