UConn Reads invites all members of the extended UConn community (students, staff members, faculty members, alumni, friends) to join in an engaging discussion around this year's selection - Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. We look forward to multidisciplinary conversations, critical debates, and an array of supporting activities.

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book cover for Braiding Sweetgrass. Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer.

About Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

The UConn Reads selection for academic year 2023-2024 is Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. Braiding Sweetgrass is a New York Times Bestseller, Washington Post Bestseller, Los Angeles Times Bestseller, named a “Best Essay Collection of the Decade” by Literary Hub, and a Book Riot “Favorite Summer Read of 2020”

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).

Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, a mother, and 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 a rich braid of 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 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 will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.

Access the Book

Get the electronic version through the UConn Library (UConn affiliated only).

This book is also available via purchase through the UConn Bookstore, as an audio book, and from Amazon as a digital download.

Initiatives & Events

Planning is underway for programs around UConn Reads.

Get Involved

Interested in participating in the UConn Reads program in your classroom or community with a more in-depth focus? Please contact uconnreads@uconn.edu to connect with a member of our team to help.


Please email us at uconnreads@uconn.edu with any questions you have regarding the UConn Reads Program.

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