A River Runs Again: India’s Natural World in Crisis, from the Barren Cliffs of Rajasthan to the Farmlands of Karnataka
by Meera Subramanian
PublicAffairs, 2015 (($26.99))

India is a land of contradictions—it houses both a rapidly rising middle class and a third of the population that lives without electricity. Much of the development that is improving people's lives is also threatening their future by harming India's natural environment. If the nation's progress is to continue, people must find a way to live sustainably, journalist Subramanian says. To illustrate India's challenges and opportunities, she tells five true stories themed around the five elements in Hinduism: earth (organic farming), water (rejuvenating a dried-up river), fire (the quest for smokeless cooking stoves), air (restoring the vulture population) and the abstract ether permeating the space we live in (teaching sexual health to limit population growth).