Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday's green books series: 'Gardening Eden' by Michael Abbaté

Today on our Monday's green books series we have a book with a special call: Save God's Earth.

It is a call directed specifically at the faith community, but especially now with Earth Day that is coming and with the growing need to fight climate change, it's time for both believers and non-believers to hear it (or read it in this case..).

Our book for today is:

Gardening Eden: How Creation Care Will Change Your Faith, Your Life, and Our World

Authors: Michael Abbaté
A nationally recognized expert in “green” development strategies, Mike Abbaté is a founder of GreenWorks, an award-winning landscape architecture design firm. He frequently speaks to students and leaders about practical ways to minimize the impact of building and landscape design on natural resources. Abbaté’s work has been featured in national magazines such as Metropolis and Landscape Architecture and in many local newspapers and trade publications. He and his wife, Vicki, have two adult daughters and live near Portland , Oregon .

WaterBrook Press

Published on: March 2009

What it is about (from the publisher's website):

Before the snake,
the apple,
and the Ten Commandments,
God created a garden…

“Spiritual environmentalism” did not start out as an oxymoron–it was an invitation. Yet today, many believe God’s first job description for humankind has been replaced by other “worthier pursuits”. Why has this simple instruction become so controversial? How does one sort through all the mixed messages? Is changing our lives to save the world really our responsibility–or even possible?

Gardening Eden invites you to consider a new, spiritual perspective to practical environmentalism. The question is not whether our souls find expression and inspiration in our incredible planet, but how best to preserve that fundamental connection.

Green living is no longer a fad - simple lifestyle solutions are now available to everyone. Discover creation care as an act of worship and a call to deeper harmony with our Creator, our fellow gardeners, and our living Earth. Gardening Eden is the primer in how this shift will transform not only our world, but your very soul.

Why you should get it
Building a bridge between environmentalism and religion makes so much sense to me, given the fact we're talking about what the faith community see as god's creation. And in times when even Pope Benedict XVI is showing great concern about the environment, talking about about "the unbalanced use of energy" in the world and the Vatican city is going green, it should be easier than ever to connect between the dots. But in reality it ain't necessarily so.

Why? Michael
Abbaté tries to provide his perspective in his new book and show believers (especially conservative Christians) why the spiritual and the physical should go together. As a Christian and a green expert in the field of green development Abbaté looks like the right person to build this bridge. When he talks about the relationship between god, humans and nature, he is able to combine the two hats he wears and offer a pragmatic and clear vision that is relevant not only to conservative Christians, but to believers worldwide.

This is a very important book, and not only because of its unique perspective, or the
50 great tips on how to "become gardeners of Eden" it includes, but because if spiritual environmentalism will work and will find the key to believers' mind and heart, it can make a real difference for the environmental movement and transfer it into a much more mainstream movement.

So all in all this book is recommended not only to Christians or to believers but to anyone who cares about of our own Eden.

What others are saying about the book?
"For Christians wondering why we should care for God's creation and how to get started, Mike
“Evangelicals will be well informed and morally challenged to tend the garden without being throttled. And, progressives will be thrilled to hear the Christian call to care for the earth. Where was this two decades prior? I give my evangelical and progressive, two green thumbs up!”
–Rev. Leroy Hedman, Georgetown Gospel Chapel, Seattle

“Michael Abbate’s book, Gardening Eden, offers a sound, compelling and practical approach to ‘Creation Care.’ As people seeking to become better ‘gardeners’ ourselves, we appreciated Michael’s style and approach and wholeheartedly recommend this book!”
–-Mike & Danae Yankoski, authors of Under the Overpass

On Earth Day, April 22, we will have a special raffle between all of our newsletter subscribers of three great green-themed books, including "Gardening Eden".

The winners will be announced on our blog on April 23.
If you're not subscribed yet to our monthly newsletter, it's very easy to do it - all you need to do is to add your email address on the box on the right side of the page saying 'Join Our Email List', click on the word 'join' and that's it.

If you're looking for other interesting green-themed books, you are invited to check out our green books page on our website's green resources section.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

The authors of "Green Beginnings" on the University of Delaware's Messenger

Last month we reported on our new partnership with Avrim and Vicki Toepl, the authors of "Green Beginnings". One of the things we're mostly proud about this collaboration is that their story is a local green success story - it takes place in Kennett Square, PA, which is close by to our office in Newark, DE.

So I wasn't surprised at all when I found out that the University of Delaware's magazine is publishing a story on the couple and their green journey. But, still, it's very exciting to see how this story is spreading in the area and gets more and more people aware of this great project!

You're welcome to read this interesting piece at

More links on the collaboration and the book:
"Green Beginnings" is going green with Eco-Libris
Everything you always wanted to know about green homes: An interview with Avrim Topel

The authors' website -

All you have to do is to join our Earth Day celebration on our Facebook group. We're celebrating there Earth Day with tree planting, giveaway of green books and an effort to increase our group to 1000 members! Every day, until the end of the month, we will have a giveaway of a book of authors and publishers we work with, and we have one more copy of "Green Beginnings: The Story of How We Built Our Green & Sustainable Home" to give away!

So if you're already a member, you're already taking part in our daily giveaways. If you're not a member, join in and bring other friends with you. Our Facebook group can be found at

Raz @ Eco-Libris