29 books like Blind Descent

By Nevada Barr,

Here are 29 books that Blind Descent fans have personally recommended if you like Blind Descent. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon

Becky Lomax Author Of Moon USA National Parks: The Complete Guide to All 63 Parks

From my list on US national parks from science to thrillers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up hiking and camping with my family in the national parks of Washington. Isn’t that what everyone did in summer? Later, I learned how wrong I was. That most people had never seen a glacier, stood on a mountaintop, walked through a rainforest, gazed at the size of a grizzly, skied past erupting geysers, or rafted a rushing river. These experiences have shaped who I am. I return to the haunts of national parks, from deserts to mountains and remote islands, because they wow me and feed my soul. 

Becky's book list on US national parks from science to thrillers

Becky Lomax Why did Becky love this book?

After I backpacked the Inner Canyon and Tonto Trail for 10 days in Grand Canyon, I longed for a book like this: one that would wrap the massive creation of the Grand Canyon into a compelling story and explore the depth of human connection. Fedarko adeptly weaves in history, geology, environmental concerns, wildlife, flora, Indigenous culture, and climate around a thrilling dory adventure on the Colorado River—so much so that you feel you really know the park. To pair reading it with hiking or boating into the inner canyon yields an immersive experience where you can see, touch, and breathe much of what he describes. This book is always my first recommendation for anyone headed to Grand Canyon, and I’ll re-read it again during my next Grand Canyon visit.

By Kevin Fedarko,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Emerald Mile as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From one of Outside magazine’s “Literary All-Stars” comes the thrilling true tale of the fastest boat ride ever, down the entire length of the Colorado River and through the Grand Canyon, during the legendary flood of 1983.

In the spring of 1983, massive flooding along the length of the Colorado River confronted a team of engineers at the Glen Canyon Dam with an unprecedented emergency that may have resulted in the most catastrophic dam failure in history. In the midst of this crisis, the decision to launch a small wooden dory named “The Emerald Mile” at the head of the…


Book cover of Yellowstone: A Journey Through America's Wild Heart

Becky Lomax Author Of Moon USA National Parks: The Complete Guide to All 63 Parks

From my list on US national parks from science to thrillers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up hiking and camping with my family in the national parks of Washington. Isn’t that what everyone did in summer? Later, I learned how wrong I was. That most people had never seen a glacier, stood on a mountaintop, walked through a rainforest, gazed at the size of a grizzly, skied past erupting geysers, or rafted a rushing river. These experiences have shaped who I am. I return to the haunts of national parks, from deserts to mountains and remote islands, because they wow me and feed my soul. 

Becky's book list on US national parks from science to thrillers

Becky Lomax Why did Becky love this book?

Since Yellowstone is within a day’s drive, I’ve visited it many times in all seasons. While it’s a fave for volcanic activity and abundant wildlife, its unnaturally straight boundaries are at odds with topography and animal needs. With stunning photography, David Quammen dives into the complexities of how everything in the national park expands into a greater interconnected ecosystem. Nothing shows it better for Yellowstone than his stories of the annual elk migrations, the return of wolves, and the intricacies of food webs. In short, no parks, including Yellowstone, are islands unto themselves, and their preservation means looking at the bigger picture. Quammen addresses the issues with skill from his decades as a science writer for National Geographic and his personal witness of living in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

By David Quammen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Best-selling author David Quammen takes readers on a breathtaking journey through America's most inspiring and imperilled ecosystem - Yellowstone National Park. Filled with amazing images captured by eight National Geographic photographers over an extensive two year deployment in the park, it is unlike any Yellowstone book before it. Yellowstone's storied past, rich ecosystem and dynamic landscape are brilliantly portrayed in a captivating mosaic of photographs and eloquently written text that blend history, science and research from the field.


Book cover of Leave It As It Is: A Journey Through Theodore Roosevelt's American Wilderness

Becky Lomax Author Of Moon USA National Parks: The Complete Guide to All 63 Parks

From my list on US national parks from science to thrillers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up hiking and camping with my family in the national parks of Washington. Isn’t that what everyone did in summer? Later, I learned how wrong I was. That most people had never seen a glacier, stood on a mountaintop, walked through a rainforest, gazed at the size of a grizzly, skied past erupting geysers, or rafted a rushing river. These experiences have shaped who I am. I return to the haunts of national parks, from deserts to mountains and remote islands, because they wow me and feed my soul. 

Becky's book list on US national parks from science to thrillers

Becky Lomax Why did Becky love this book?

When I visited Theodore Roosevelt National Park, I only gleaned a few tidbits about Teddy Roosevelt’s presence there and, of course, poked my head into his log cabin. Gessner’s book filled in the gaps for me. He uses a road trip through several national parks that Roosevelt visited, including Badlands and Yosemite, to paint a picture of the president who established 228 public lands, including five national parks. But Gessner also balances praise with some of Roosevelt’s flaws, including viewing the land as unpeopled when Indigenous people lived, hunted, and thrived there long before parkhood. Gessner is savvy in his storytelling as he seamlessly leads readers through gorgeous parks, meetings with tribes striving to retain preservation, loads of Roosevelt research, and a personal road trip adventure.

By David Gessner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Leave It As It Is as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bestselling author David Gessner’s wilderness road trip inspired by America’s greatest conservationist, Theodore Roosevelt, is “a rallying cry in the age of climate change” (Robert Redford).

“Leave it as it is,” Theodore Roosevelt announced while viewing the Grand Canyon for the first time. “The ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it.” Roosevelt’s pronouncement signaled the beginning of an environmental fight that still wages today. To reconnect with the American wilderness and with the president who courageously protected it, acclaimed nature writer and New York Times bestselling author David Gessner embarks on a great American…


Book cover of America's National Parks: A Pop-Up Book

Becky Lomax Author Of Moon USA National Parks: The Complete Guide to All 63 Parks

From my list on US national parks from science to thrillers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up hiking and camping with my family in the national parks of Washington. Isn’t that what everyone did in summer? Later, I learned how wrong I was. That most people had never seen a glacier, stood on a mountaintop, walked through a rainforest, gazed at the size of a grizzly, skied past erupting geysers, or rafted a rushing river. These experiences have shaped who I am. I return to the haunts of national parks, from deserts to mountains and remote islands, because they wow me and feed my soul. 

Becky's book list on US national parks from science to thrillers

Becky Lomax Why did Becky love this book?

Every national park bookstore has coffee table books full of stunning photos, and I certainly own my share of them—mostly gathering dust. But this book, a gift from my mom, is one of the most perused and interactive books in my collection. The pop-up art captivates all ages with attention to small details of each national park. The accompanying text seeks to educate while being inventive in its delivery. While the book doesn’t cover every national park, the biggies appear in two-page pop-up glory, including Great Smoky Mountains, Everglades, and Glacier, to name a few. Everyone who visits our house ends up perusing this book. It’s just downright fun.

By Don Compton, Dave Ember (illustrator), Bruce Foster (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked America's National Parks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

America's National Parks: A Pop-Up Book is a coast to coast journey featuring 18 of our most visited national parks, with six as stunning, double-page pop-ups: Everglades, Great Smoky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Glacier, and Yosemite national parks. See two bear cubs scrambling up a tree to safety, an alligator charging its prey, a dory boat crashing through the rapids of the Colorado River, a Red Jammer tour bus coming out of a mountain tunnel, Old Faithful Geyser erupting 13 inches above the page, and a mother Grizzly rising up to defend her cubs. Fascinating park action springs to life…


Book cover of A Superior Death

Pamela Beason Author Of Endangered

From my list on women sleuths in wild places.

Why am I passionate about this?

Nature is my passion. As an avid hiker, kayaker, snowshoer, and occasional scuba diver, nothing thrills me more than observing wild species in their native environments. Freedom from the constant noise of civilization helps maintain my sanity. I want to share my passion for the endless fascination and solace of nature with my readers, and I also enjoy using my ten years of experience as a private investigator to craft each mystery. And last but never least, I relish strong characters who must rely on their own ingenuity to solve problems, so using a setting where 911 cannot immediately deliver help is a key element in many of my stories. 

Pamela's book list on women sleuths in wild places

Pamela Beason Why did Pamela love this book?

Nevada Barr worked as a ranger in the National Park Service, and if you yearn to explore more national parks as much as I do, she’s definitely the mystery author to read, with 19 mysteries set in a variety of national parks. It’s difficult for me to choose a favorite, but this novel, the second in the Anna Pigeon series, features Isle Royale National Park, a little-visited treasure in the Great Lakes that I hope to explore one day. I’m also a scuba diver, so I especially appreciate the tense underwater scenes, as well as all the eccentric NPS characters that Barr portrays so well. You’ll enjoy this book even if you’re not a diver, as well as all the other national park settings in the series. Nevada Barr has a true gift for describing natural places and interesting people. 

By Nevada Barr,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Park ranger Anna Pigeon returns, in a mystery that unfolds in and around Lake Superior, in whose chilling depths sunken treasure comes with a deadly price. In her latest mystery, Nevada Barr sends Ranger Pigeon to a new post amid the cold, deserted, and isolated beauty of Isle Royale National Park, a remote island off the coast of Michigan known for fantastic deep-water dives of wrecked sailing vessels. Leaving behind memories of the Texas high desert and the environmental scam she helped uncover, Anna is adjusting to the cool damp of Lake Superior and the spirits and lore of the…


Book cover of Deep South

Catyana Skory Falsetti Author Of Facing Death: A Julia Rawson Mystery

From my list on solve mysteries & learn something at the same time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always wanted to be a detective. I remember writing stories on my mom's old typewriter and playing pretend investigator with my childhood friend. I have had an appetite for stories and mysteries for as long as I remember. I was intrigued by human behavior and had the desire to find justice. This led me to study forensics and use my fine art ability and critical mind to get answers for victims and their families. I have a Master's Degree in Forensic Science and years of government and experience as a forensic artist and investigator, making my writing as authentic as possible. My story and personal struggles, and life's discoveries are highlighted by my stories.

Catyana's book list on solve mysteries & learn something at the same time

Catyana Skory Falsetti Why did Catyana love this book?

I enjoy murder mystery series where you can get to know the protagonist and be exposed to things I would never imagine. Nevada Barr does this in a fun way through the eyes of Anna Pigeon, a National Parks Ranger. The details about the job ring true because Barr herself worked as a ranger in National Parks. Through Deep South, we learn about sexism in the workplace. She highlights society's and nature's complexity and how it feels to be an outsider and hold onto your own worth.

By Nevada Barr,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Nevada Barr's ever-popular Anna Pigeon series is consistently praised as "exceptional" (Denver Post), "stunning" (Seattle Times), and "superb" (New York Times Book Review). In Deep South, Park Ranger Anna Pigeon heads to Mississippi, only to encounter terrible secrets in the heart of the south...

Anna Pigeon finally gives in to her bureaucratic clock-and signs on for a promotion. Next thing she knows, she's knee-deep in mud and Mississippi. Not exactly what she had in mind. Almost immediately, as the new district ranger on the Natchez Trace, Anna discovers the body of a young prom queen near a country cemetery, a…


Book cover of Ill Wind

GG Collins Author Of Anasazi Medium

From my list on the American Southwest respecting the culture & land.

Why am I passionate about this?

The American Southwest never gets old. Exploring any of the Ancestral Pueblo sites is like walking back in time. Anasazi Medium takes the reader there. I love the land and the culture that has brought us to the present. My character, Santa Fe reporter Rachel Blackstone, reflects this. She is sarcastic at times, can be funny, and has her poignant moments as she copes with a “talent” she never wanted. In Anasazi Medium, I concocted a mixture of mystery, Hopi traditions and a journalist’s eye to entertain and inform. What resulted is a climate mystery in the most water-challenged state in the U.S. and a high adventure read. 

GG's book list on the American Southwest respecting the culture & land

GG Collins Why did GG love this book?

Nevada Barr’s mysteries are so colorful I feel like I’m there with Anna Pigeon, solving the mystery and hiking the Anasazi ruins. Barr’s love of the land, wherever her stories take me, creates a real sense of place. In Barr’s Ill Wind, Anna has transferred to Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. Barr brings authenticity to this series because she had a career as a park ranger. In a new park, Anna is missing her cat and lamenting the party life of her younger co-workers when a colleague is killed. One of the things I like about Anna is that she is so well written. Because of this, I feel I know her.

By Nevada Barr,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Lately, visitors to Mesa Verde have been bringing home more than photos--they're also carrying a strange, deadly disease. And once it strikes, park ranger Anna Pigeon must find the very human source of the evil wind.


Book cover of Firestorm

Alice Henderson Author Of A Solitude of Wolverines

From my list on gripping books set in the wild.

Why am I passionate about this?

In addition to being a writer, I’m also a wildlife researcher and therefore spend a lot of time in wild, remote areas. Using a variety of methods including bioacoustic studies, I undertake wildlife surveys to determine what species are present on lands that have been set aside for conservation. I ensure there are no signs of poaching and devise of ways to improve habitat. I have surveyed for the presence of grizzlies, wolves, spotted owls, wolverines, jaguars, endangered bats, and more. These remote settings inspired me to write my current thriller series about a wildlife biologist who encounters dangerous situations while working to protect endangered species.

Alice's book list on gripping books set in the wild

Alice Henderson Why did Alice love this book?

I tore through this gripping mystery, set in the world of wildlands firefighting, in one sitting. I felt like I was on the fire line with the characters, could feel the heat of the blaze. With the terrible fires that have been raging lately in the west, if readers want to get a feel for the obstacles, sheer bravery, and fear firefighters face battling a wildlands blaze, this book is a must-read. The mystery plot, clever and twisting, kept me guessing, while the main character, national park ranger Anna Pigeon, is a stalwart, strong character I could truly get behind.

By Nevada Barr,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the author of TRACK OF THE CAT, A SUPERIOR DEATH and MOUNTAIN OF BONES, a fourth environmental thriller featuring the sleuthing park ranger Anna Pigeon who investigates the murder of a firefighter during a firestorm.


Book cover of Track of the Cat

Tina O’Hailey Author Of Dark Drink

From my list on unconventional, stubborn, loyal characters with explorer’s hearts.

Why am I passionate about this?

I chose my favorite books, and through careful psyche analysis, I see a theme in them: stubborn characters who persevere through miserable elements. I cave, hike, kayak, motorcycle, etc. A lot of it is not comfortable. It starts with having an explorer’s heart. It isn’t glamorous. It is 90% talking yourself into the fact that you can do something you at first don’t believe you can do. The similar-minded friends that one finds along the way are lifelong, and there’s a bond that forms from crazy people like this. That comes through in my writing – companionship against a backdrop of stubborn exploration in an indifferent environment.

Tina's book list on unconventional, stubborn, loyal characters with explorer’s hearts

Tina O’Hailey Why did Tina love this book?

It’s the love and respect of nature that gets me. First, the main character is a park ranger who is often out in the field alone. I wish I had known that was a career option as a kid. Second, she is courageous, headstrong, and dangerously stubborn—all my favorite traits.

I love a thriller that keeps the pace moving and ends each chapter with a sharp stab to the soul.

By Nevada Barr,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Track of the Cat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE FIRST ANNA PIGEON NOVEL-WINNER OF THE AGATHA AWARD.

The fascinating hero of Nevada Barr's award-winning series-park ranger Anna Pigeon-has brought an unyielding love of nature and sense of fair play to the mystery genre. Track of the Cat is the acclaimed novel that first introduced readers to Anna, as a woman looking for peace in the wilderness-and finding murder instead...

Patrolling the remote West Texas backcountry, Anna's first job as a national park ranger is marred by violence she thought she had left behind: the brutal death of a fellow ranger. When the cause of death is chalked up…


Book cover of Confessions of a Barbarian: Selections from the Journals of Edward Abbey, 1951-1989

Sean Prentiss Author Of Finding Abbey: The Search for Edward Abbey and His Hidden Desert Grave

From my list on reads by or about to Edward Abbey.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been passionate about Edward Abbey since I read Desert Solitaire in 1994. By 2010, I decided to write a biography on Abbey, Finding Abbey: The Search for Edward Abbey and His Hidden Desert Grave, which allowed me to research and explore Abbey. I interviewed his great friends, including Jack Loeffler, Doug Peacock, Ken Sleight, and David Petersen. I visited Abbey’s special collections library and read his master’s thesis on anarchism and an unpublished novel. I visited his first home in Pennsylvania and many of his Desert Southwest homes. Along the way, I found the spirit of Abbey and the American Southwest. Finding Abbey won the National Outdoor Book Award.

Sean's book list on reads by or about to Edward Abbey

Sean Prentiss Why did Sean love this book?

Confessions of a Barbarian is an edited collection of Abbey’s private journals.

Across these pages, we get so many of the stories that never made it into an Ed Abbey novel or memoir. Instead, we see Abbey in all his glory and failures. We see Abbey at his emotional best and at his neediest. We see Abbey wrestling over anarchism, philosophy, and environmentalism. We see the complexity of a great writer and thinker.

Abbey’s “scribblings” offer some of the most complex and beautiful writing by Abbey and act, more or less, as his autobiography. 

By Edward Abbey, David Petersen (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A collection of excerpts from the private journals of an eccentric environmentalist features his notes, philosophies, and character sketches, chronicling his lifelong struggle to preserve the Southwestern wilderness. 20,000 first printing.


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