10 books like Butterfly Isles

By Patrick Barkham,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Butterfly Isles. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Otter Country

By Miriam Darlington,

Book cover of Otter Country: In Search of the Wild Otter

Miriam Darlington is my favourite author and Otter Country is one of the most thumbed, tatty-cornered, precious books that I own. I love it: for its voice, its humour and its beautiful prose. Darlington takes you on a gentle meander through the world of the otter in the most relatable of writing styles. She doesn’t start out as an otter expert; she learns as she goes, and so do you. Everything about this book is wonderful, and I would say the same about her other book, Owl Sense, which I have only left off this list because I wanted to cover five different authors!

Otter Country

By Miriam Darlington,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Over the course of a year, Miriam Darlington travelled around Britain in search of wild otters; from her home in Devon to the wilds of Scotland; to Cumbria, Wales, Northumberland, Cornwall, Somerset and the River Lea; to her childhood home near the Ouse, the source of her watery obsession.
Otter Country follows Darlington's search through different landscapes, seasons, weather and light, as she tracks one of Britain's most elusive animals. During her journey, she meets otter experts, representatives of the Environment Agency, conservationists, ecologists, walkers, Henry Williamson's family, Gavin Maxwell's heir; zoo keepers, fishermen, scientists, hunters and poets. Above all…


The Peregrine

By J.A. Baker,

Book cover of The Peregrine

Werner Herzog demands that his film students read this book, and it's easy to see why: it's an act of pure seeing that makes a humdrum English landscape blaze with vivid life. Baker, who seems diffident about humanity at best ("we reek of death," he grumbles) embarks on a quest to know the peregrine falcons who live in—and pass through—the place where he lives, and in describing their lives he finds a luminous and heroic world hidden in the muddy fields and clouded skies of Essex. Ours "is a dying world, like Mars," he writes, "but glowing still."  

The Peregrine

By J.A. Baker,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Peregrine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

David Attenborough reads J. A. Baker's extraordinary classic of British nature writing.

The nation's greatest voice, David Attenborough, reads J. A. Baker's extraordinary classic of British nature writing, The Peregrine.

J. A. Baker's classic of British nature writing was first published in 1967. Greeted with acclaim, it went on to win the Duff Cooper Prize, the pre-eminent literary prize of the time. Luminaries such as Ted Hughes, Barry Lopez and Andrew Motion have cited it as one of the most important books in twentieth-century nature writing.

Despite the association of peregrines with the wild, outer reaches of the British Isles,…


Wilding

By Isabella Tree,

Book cover of Wilding: Returning Nature to Our Farm

This book is an eye-opener. Isabella Tree and her husband Charlie were farming a 3.500-acre farm in West Sussex, England in the nowadays common intensive way. This drove them close to bankruptcy and in a desperate leap of faith they decided to give the entire farm back to nature. This book is their account of this journey, of transforming a vast area of farmland into a haven for nature while still making a living from it. 

“Rewilding” has become a bit of a dirty word and one many are scared of. This book shows that “(Re-)Wilding” doesn’t mean humans have to give up land completely or are threatened by wild predators, it shows that we can successfully live with nature if we let nature take the helm and respect and work with natural processes instead against them.

Wilding

By Isabella Tree,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Wilding as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A poignant, practical and moving story of how to fix our broken land, this should be conservation's salvation; this should be its future; this is a new hope' - Chris Packham

In Wilding, Isabella Tree tells the story of the 'Knepp experiment', a pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex, using free-roaming grazing animals to create new habitats for wildlife. Part gripping memoir, part fascinating account of the ecology of our countryside, Wilding is, above all, an inspiring story of hope.

Winner of the Richard Jefferies Society and White Horse Book Shop Literary Prize.

Forced to accept that intensive farming on…


Thinking on My Feet

By Kate Humble,

Book cover of Thinking on My Feet: The Small Joy of Putting One Foot in Front of Another

This is a book for people who like to come home to a steaming mug of tea after a long walk in the countryside – rain or shine. Kate Humble takes us with her on her walks through the year, both at home and abroad. Her descriptions of the Wye Valley make you want to put on your wellies and walk out the door, dogs in tow, ready to splash through puddles, hop styles, and walk beneath the trees and the clouds. It is a lovely reminder that it is so often the little things in life that can bring us the most happiness: muddy walks in the woods, chatting to friends over a pot of coffee, watching the sky change as the sun rises. I love this book so much: it’s a lesson in the benefits of learning to live in the moment and to not take the simple…

Thinking on My Feet

By Kate Humble,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Thinking on My Feet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'I've discovered that going for a daily walk has become as essential to me feeling good for the rest of the day as that first cup of tea. But I would argue that all I am doing is responding to a natural need we all have. Humans have always been migrants, the physiological urge to be nomadic is deep-rooted in all of us and perhaps because of that our brains are stimulated by walking. I solve all sorts of problems, formulate ideas, work things out to that gentle rhythm of self-propelled movement.' - Kate Humble

THINKING ON MY FEET tells…


The Very Hungry Caterpillar

By Eric Carle,

Book cover of The Very Hungry Caterpillar

A beloved classic picture book about a very hungry caterpillar who (spoiler alert) nourishes his way to becoming a beautiful butterfly. It’s a simple but compelling story of transformation, told with elegance and humour  - and a total joy for very young children. The very specific list of food (apple, pears, plums, strawberries, oranges, chocolate cake, cherry pie) makes it an immersive close-up experience. From the very start ("In the light of the moon, a little egg sat on a leaf.") its words and pictures are vivid and enchanting. A read-aloud delight full of texture, variety, and colour. 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

By Eric Carle,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Very Hungry Caterpillar as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There are so many ways to spend a sunny summer day. Join The Very Hungry Caterpillar and explore everything the season has to offer!

Celebrate summer with The Very Hungry Caterpillar and his friends in this exploration of the season. Young readers can learn all about seasonal sensory experiences, like listening to noisy bugs, feeling the warm sunshine, smelling the yummy scents of a cookout, and so much more!


The Butterfly Garden

By Dot Hutchison,

Book cover of The Butterfly Garden

The Butterfly Garden was creepy, and I questioned whether the main character was a victim or if perhaps she was involved in the garden. The author did a great job describing the Butterfly Garden's details. It came alive. This book may be too much for some people as it does involve torture from the captor. But I enjoyed the story. It was twisted and fascinating. 

The Butterfly Garden

By Dot Hutchison,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An Amazon Charts bestseller.

Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees...and a collection of precious "butterflies"-young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle…


Butterfly House

By Eve Bunting, Greg Shed (illustrator),

Book cover of Butterfly House

This is a gentle, lyrical story. This book inspires love. If you read it, you’ll feel the loving relationship the girl has with her grandfather...and with butterflies. You’ll wonder why the butterflies visit the girl once she’s grown up. What do the butterflies who visit her seem to know or sense? Why aren’t the butterflies visiting her neighbors?

Butterfly House

By Eve Bunting, Greg Shed (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With the help of her grandfather, a little girl makes a house for a larva and watches it develop before setting it free, and every summer after that butterflies come to visit her. By the author of Smoky Night.


The Civil Wars in Britain and Ireland

By Martyn Bennett,

Book cover of The Civil Wars in Britain and Ireland: 1638-1651

Still the best introductory text for students covering all major events in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms in a concise and accessible manner.  This book steps away from the more Anglo-centric analyses of the conflict, looking at events in Ireland, Scotland and Wales in some detail.  In contrast with the books above, Bennett also steps away from the experience of political elites and examines the experiences of ordinary soldiers and civilians during the conflict.  

The Civil Wars in Britain and Ireland

By Martyn Bennett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Civil Wars in Britain and Ireland as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book provides a fresh perspective on one of the most complex and turbulent periods in the history of the British Isles. Setting the experience of Wales, Scotland and Ireland alongside England, the author examines the interplay of politics, societies and culture both within and between each of the four nations involved in the political struggles of the mid--seventeenth century.


Butterflies Belong Here

By Deborah Hopkinson, Meilo So (illustrator),

Book cover of Butterflies Belong Here: A Story of One Idea, Thirty Kids, and a World of Butterflies

This past year, I have been fascinated by butterflies, and especially the monarchs and their utterly magnificent flights of migration. But there are other books about monarch butterflies, so why this one? It is a story, fictitious admittedly, about how a group of children with passion and love for nature and butterflies face a growing problem using grassroots activism. It is based on what children and communities are doing to help butterflies all over the country and on the real issue of the decline of the monarch butterfly. It is sure to inspire the budding environmental activist.

Butterflies Belong Here

By Deborah Hopkinson, Meilo So (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Butterflies Belong Here is a powerful story of everyday activism and hope.

In this moving story of community conservation, a girl finds a home in a new place and a way to help other small travelers.

This book is about the real change children can make in conservation and advocacy-in this case, focusing on beautiful monarch butterflies.

* From Deborah Hopkinson and Meilo So, the acclaimed team behind Follow the Moon Home
* An empowering, classroom-ready read
* The protagonist is a girl whose family has recently immigrated to the United States.

I know what to look for: large black-and-orange…


Chronicles

By Bob Dylan,

Book cover of Chronicles: Volume One

A tender meditation on all the disparate threads, sounds, loves, conversations, and lessons that meld together to create an artist. Watching Bob trying to throw off the accolades and labels that want to pin him down like butterfly and explore whatever takes his fancy is my favorite part of this trip, weaving through all the stolen records and ghosts and signposts and colored lights beckoning. 

Chronicles

By Bob Dylan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Building on the success of Bob Dylan in His Own Words, an autobiographical portrait of the acclaimed musical performer recounts personal and professional experiences and features black-and-white photography. 250,000 first printing.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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