The UUCY Book Club will meet again at 6:00 PM on Thursday, January 12, 2023 in the Ann Ingham Corner of our current home at 407 North 1st Street, Yakima, to discuss the celebrated collection of essays by Robin Wall Kimmerer. Copies from the Yakima Valley Libraries Book Club set are now available for up to eight of our readers!  Pick your copy up at Wednesday coffee or Sunday Service, or contact Susan for arrangements. Or get your own; Inklings Bookshop offers a discount to Book Club members.

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer. (390 pages)

Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings–asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass–offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices. In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of 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 will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.

Named a Best Essay Collection of the Decade by Literary Hub

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 two lenses of knowledge together to take 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” (Elizabeth Gilbert).

“Her book of wisdom, knowledge and teachings celebrates life that is both ordinary — her simple days as a working parent — and magical, filled with many gifts from good-hearted communities. Her interactions, however, are not solely with human groups but are equally and necessarily with the natural world. She introduces readers to a language of flora and fauna that is readably right in front of them, and nudges — at times, urges — her readers to recognize an inclusive reciprocity with our environment. – Elizabeth Wilkinson, The Star Tribune

Susan Kaphammer will pick up eight copies of Braiding Sweetgrass in the Yakima Valley Libraries Book Club set early in December and will have them available at Wednesday coffee and Sunday Services, providing time to read before our January 12th meeting. Copies are also available at the public library and from Inklings Bookshop with a Book Club discount.

(Book information adapted from web pages for Inklings Bookshop and Yakima Valley Libraries.)

10 Plus Years of UUCY Book Club Selections


November, 2022 – Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro. Speculative fiction.
September, 2022 – Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Fiction.
July, 2022 – Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge. Historical Fiction.
May, 2022 – Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver. Fiction.
March, 2022 – The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. Fiction.
January, 2022 – The Children’s Bible by Lydia Millet. Fiction.