Preview: The Science Friday Book Club Reads ‘Rising’

Elizabeth Rush explores climate change, flooding, and its effects on vulnerable communities in ‘Rising.’ We’ll read it together this fall.

illustrated stack of books with text "scifri book club"

This story is a part of our fall Book Club conversation about ‘Rising: Dispatches From the New American Shore.’ Want to participate? Join our online community space or record a voice message on the Science Friday VoxPop app.

The Science Friday Book Club is back this fall! Last season, we invited readers to explore food security, culinary extinction, Indigenous food systems, and the future of food. We even gathered for a Lost Feast online cooking class!

a book cover reads "Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore" by Elizabeth Rush, with an image of a walkway overflowing with sea water and a city skyline faded into the background

This time, we are exploring climate change, coastal flooding, and its effects on communities around the country with Elizabeth Rush’s Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore (you can get your copy from Powell’s, Bookshop, or Indiebound). Published in 2018, the book voyages to communities in Louisiana, Staten Island New York, coastal Florida, the Bay Area of California, and the forests of Cascadia and asks us to witness the slow, the fast, and the inexorable changes wrought by global warming. 

Rising is a book that speaks directly from the people who are experiencing these changes firsthand, and we’re excited to introduce you to both those people, and the places they live. Our Fall Book Club kicks off on October 1, 2021, and you can read along with us! We’ll be following this reading schedule (pages align with the paperback copy currently in print):

  • Week 1 (October 3-9): “The Password” to “The Marsh at the End of the World”, or pages 1-69;
  • Week 2 (October 10-16): “Pulse” to “On Vulnerability”, or pages 71-135;
  • Week 3 (October 17-23): “Risk” to “Connecting the Dots”, or pages 137-205;
  • Week 4 (October 24-30): “On Restoration” to “Afterward”, or pages 206-264.

Want to know all the exciting things we have going on for this Book Club season? Check out all the details below.

Read An Excerpt (Or A Whole Chapter)

Not sure this is the book for you? Want to read an excerpt before you commit? We got you covered.

Milkweed Editions, the publisher of Rising, has graciously offered SciFri Book Clubbers not just a snippet, but a whole chapter to sample. Click the link below to read an excerpt on our website, or download an additional chapter.

Read The Excerpt

Checkout The Book From Our Library Partners

You can support your local library by checking out the book from our partner libraries! Science Friday has teamed up with libraries across the country to offer local communities unlimited checkouts of the Rising eBook via OverDrive, as well as increased physical copies, for the duration of the Fall Book Club! That means more copies to share, and no more waiting in a digital queue—and, of course, always free of charge.

Grab Your Own Copy For Keeps

As always, if you’d like to purchase a physical copy, we encourage you to start with Powell’s Books, our bookstore partner, when looking to get your copy of the book. They are offering 20% off purchases of Rising throughout our Book Club season!

Not only that, but Powell’s will be sending free copies of Rising to 20 lucky readers! You can enter our giveaway from September 10-19, 2021. Winners will be chosen and notified via email on September 20.

The giveaway is now closed; check out other ways to get your copy!

If you’re more of an eBook reader, Milkweed Editions has offered free downloads of the eBook on their website! Use the code SCIENCEFRIDAY to receive a free copy of the Rising eBook. This offer is valid now through September 17, 2021—so grab your free eBook today!

Full eBook access instructions can be found here on Milkweek’s website under Orders. Please contact if you have any question about the process.

Save The Date(s)! SciFri Book Club Calendar

Mark your calendars, because the Fall 2021 season of SciFri Book Club kicks off strong on October 1, 2021. Find a full list of gatherings on the Book Club events page, or scroll down to RSVP to each (or every!) upcoming event.

a calendar of events in october 2021, with text at the bottom reading: "Learn more about Rising by Elizabeth Rush and how to participate on our website:"

You can RSVP to all of our events!

Join Our Community Space

And as you start reading, join us on our online community space: the Science Friday Book Club is now on Mighty Networks, a platform where we can gather and read together. We’ve built this community space because you told us you wanted a better way to be connected with other SciFri Book Clubbers, and we hope you’ll join us there. You can learn more about why (and how) we created this new space here.

Join Our Community

Meet the Writers

About Christie Taylor

Christie Taylor was a producer for Science Friday. Her days involved diligent research, too many phone calls for an introvert, and asking scientists if they have any audio of that narwhal heartbeat.

About Diana Plasker

Diana Plasker is the Experiences Manager at Science Friday, where she creates live events and partnerships to delight and engage audiences in the world of science.

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