The best nature books to help us disconnect from modern life

Jacqueline Raposo Author Of The Me, Without: A Year Exploring Habit, Healing, and Happiness
By Jacqueline Raposo

Who am I?

Journalistic interviewer Jacqueline Raposo has created hundreds of stories discussing the human condition for magazines, websites, podcasts, and her book, The Me Without—a personal growth memoir exploring the science and spirit of habit change. Chronically ill and disabled, she’s never uncovered a new app, product, or study as directly beneficial to emotional health as time spent observing the natural world.

I wrote...

The Me, Without: A Year Exploring Habit, Healing, and Happiness

By Jacqueline Raposo,

Book cover of The Me, Without: A Year Exploring Habit, Healing, and Happiness

What is my book about?

At the age of thirty-four, journalist Jacqueline Raposo finds herself chronically sick, single, broke, and wandering in a fog. Weary of trying to solve her problems by adding things to her life, she attempts the opposite and subtracts habits including social media, shopping, sugar, and negative thoughts over the course of one year. In this intimately curated search for self-improvement, Raposo confesses to the sometimes violent and profound shifts in her social interactions, physical health, and sense of self-worth. With the input of doctors, psychologists, STEM experts, and other professionals, she offers fascinating insights into how and why our brains and bodies react as they do to habits, and sheds light on the impact of everyday choices on our mental state. Part memoir, part case study, this book offers an inspiring example of how to forge your own journey, expose your wounds, and help yourself heal. 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Winter: From the Journal of Henry D. Thoreau

Why did I love this book?

Modern living requires that we move, consume, absorb, and process quickly—and our bodies can’t always keep up. Thoreau’s journals transport us back to Massachusetts between 1837 and 1860, where his recordings of seeds and birds and worms, his philosophies on man and mankind, and his personal struggles against all else are set against the hush of frozen rivers, crackling fires, and ringing telegraph wires. Especially when read daily, this most prolific botanist, transcendentalist, and introvert of New England history reminds us to value the comfort of contemporary living, but never to forget the value of moving, observing, and living a slow and intentional life.

By Henry David Thoreau,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Winter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book has been considered by academicians and scholars of great significance and value to literature. This forms a part of the knowledge base for future generations. So that the book is never forgotten we have represented this book in a print format as the same form as it was originally first published. Hence any marks or annotations seen are left intentionally to preserve its true nature.

Anne of Green Gables

By L.M. Montgomery,

Book cover of Anne of Green Gables

Why did I love this book?

Anne Shirley believes in the power of the imagination and leans into it during hard times. And so, in romantically naming the lakes, groves, and rural roadways of her new home, the orphan wins over her new town of prim locals and reminds us that awe of simple pleasures can transform hearts and lives. This is the first of six books in a classic series written for children. But reading as an adult, we regain permission to believe that the natural world is mystical and magical, that we can be transmitters of its loving energy, and that — no matter how old we get —there are many kindred spirits out in the world, wanting to play with us.

By L.M. Montgomery,

Why should I read it?

21 authors picked Anne of Green Gables as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Anne of Green Gables is the classic children's book by L M Montgomery, the inspiration for the Netflix Original series Anne with an E. Watch it now!

Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert are in for a big surprise. They are waiting for an orphan boy to help with the work at Green Gables - but a skinny, red-haired girl turns up instead. Feisty and full of spirit, Anne Shirley charms her way into the Cuthberts' affection with her vivid imagination and constant chatter. It's not long before Anne finds herself in trouble, but soon it becomes impossible for the Cuthberts to…

Book cover of A Naturalist Buys an Old Farm

Why did I love this book?

“For us it is a farm with a different kind of harvest,” Teale describes of how his aging Trail Woods farm yields observations, memories, and adventures. Teale has been called a “20th-century Thoreau” for his work as a naturalist, writer, and nature photographer. But in chapters titled A Hammock in the Woods, Stone Fences, The Man in the Brushpile, and more, his expression of love for living things transcends scientific observation; he shares his relationships with stones, plants, and animals so that we recognize they are made not only of earth, but of spirit, too.

By Edwin Way Teale,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Naturalist Buys an Old Farm as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In A Naturalist Buys an Old Farm, Edwin Way Teale gives us not only his most personal writing but some of his finest. Considered by many to be his greatest book, it is as relevant today as when it was first published.

Book cover of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants

Why did I love this book?

A mother, scientist, professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Kimmerer shares stories of the natural world with an unparalleled blend of science and spirit. She tells stories about making maple syrup with her daughters, fighting environmental contamination, and celebrating the indigenous Three Sisters crops with passion, authority, and humility—we follow Kimmerer as a mother, professor, and lifelong student on every page. We feel her awe and respect for the past, present, and future of living things. We find revived awe and respect for the things living in our immediate little worlds, too.

By Robin Wall Kimmerer,

Why should I read it?

39 authors picked Braiding Sweetgrass as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Called the work of "a mesmerizing storyteller with deep compassion and memorable prose" (Publishers Weekly) and the book that, "anyone interested in natural history, botany, protecting nature, or Native American culture will love," by Library Journal, Braiding Sweetgrass is poised to be a classic of nature writing. As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer asks questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces indigenous teachings that consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers. Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take "us on a journey that is…

Book cover of Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude

Why did I love this book?

Poet Ross Gay is a shape shifter who observes the struggle of living in a human body such with compassion and intelligence and artistry that he not only describes such struggles, but also transports us inside of the elements that create them. In this meditation on love and life and loss, we are soothed by the garden, the beehive, the orchard; by the mourning doves and dung-filled dirt and knots of dead bees that he reaches for to nourish and calm and heal. Gay is very much alive to the living and the dead around him. This collection of poems brings us back to life with gratitude transformed.

By Ross Gay,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award, poetry category. Winner of the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Finalist for the 2015 National Book Award, poetry category.Finalist for the 2015 NAACP Image Awards in Poetry.

Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude is a sustained meditation on that which goes away - loved ones, the seasons, the earth as we know it - that tries to find solace in the processes of the garden and the orchard. That is, this is a book that studies the wisdom of the garden and orchard, those places where all - death, sorrow, loss - is…

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