70 books like Crimes Against Nature

By Karl Jacoby,

Here are 70 books that Crimes Against Nature fans have personally recommended if you like Crimes Against Nature. 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 Our National Parks

Thomas Bailey & Katherine Joslin Author Of Theodore Roosevelt: A Literary Life

From my list on Theodore Roosevelt read in the White House.

Why are we passionate about this?

We live in the countryside of southwest Michigan in a farmhouse dating back to the 1830s on land once owned by James Fenimore Cooper. The land itself has stories to tell that intrigue us as readers and writers ourselves. Katherine’s passion for the writings of Jane Addams and Edith Wharton led her to Theodore Roosevelt, a kindred male voice in American literature at the turn of the twentieth century. Tom’s passion for environmental writers and activism led him to the books and essays of the 26th President, who believed that good writing sometimes leads to good laws! As professors and writing partners, we are delighted every time we can introduce readers to the literary Theodore Roosevelt.

Thomas' book list on Theodore Roosevelt read in the White House

Thomas Bailey & Katherine Joslin Why did Thomas love this book?

We love this book for its breadth and its moral and environmental urgency. Muir writes eloquently [in an admittedly heightened and romantic prose] about the beauties of Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Sequoia National Parks, the only ones in existence at the time. Muir is of interest to Roosevelt because of his understanding of how important it is for wilderness to be preserved for all time not by state governments—as was the case in his time—but by the federal government. This of course was one of TR’s central personal beliefs and was to be, especially after his two-night camping trip in Yosemite with Muir in 1903, a central and guiding policy of his Presidency. For an elegant essay, readers might want to spend time with Muir’s chapter, “The Wild Gardens of Yosemite Park.”

By John Muir,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For every person who has experienced the beauty of the mountains and felt humbled by comparison.


John Muir’s Our National Parks—reissued to encourage, and inspire travelers, campers, and contemporary naturalists—is as profound for readers today as it was in 1901.


Take in John Muir’s detailed observations of the sights, scents, sounds, and textures of Yosemite, Yellowstone, and forest reservations of the West. Be reminded (as Muir sagely puts), “Wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”


John Muir’s warmth, humor, and passionate…


Book cover of Preserving Nature in the National Parks: A History

Megan Kate Nelson Author Of Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Reconstruction America

From my list on America’s National Parks.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Colorado and visited national parks all over the country on summer vacations with my family. Now I write about U.S. Western history while living outside Boston, Massachusetts. My most recent book, The Three-Cornered War: The Union, the Confederacy, and Native Peoples in the Fight for the West (Scribner 2020) was a finalist for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in History. I have written about the Civil War and the U.S. West for The New York TimesWashington PostThe Atlantic, Smithsonian Magazine, and Civil War Monitor. Scribner will publish my next book, Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Reconstruction America, on March 1, 2022. 

Megan's book list on America’s National Parks

Megan Kate Nelson Why did Megan love this book?

Sellars’ book is a detailed history of national park management, which you might think would be dry and boring. But this fast-paced account of the evolving tension between aesthetic/touristic development and ecological preservation in the park system is fascinating. Along the way, Preserving Nature in the National Parks makes a ground-breaking argument about how declining interest in biological science shaped the Park Service’s long-term approach to administration. This book, like Muir’s, had an impact on the park system itself. Since its publication, the Park Service has been reevaluating its attention to science and ecological preservation and working to change its conservation policies. 

By Richard West Sellars,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Preserving Nature in the National Parks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book traces the epic clash of values between traditional scenery-and-tourism management and emerging ecological concepts in the national parks, America's most treasured landscapes. It spans the period from the creation of Yellowstone National Park in 1872 to near the present, analyzing the management of fires, predators, elk, bear, and other natural phenomena in parks such as Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and Great Smoky Mountains.

Based largely on original documents never before researched, this is the most thorough history of the national parks ever written. Focusing on the decades after the National Park Service was established in 1916, the author…


Book cover of Dispossessing the Wilderness: Indian Removal and the Making of the National Parks

Megan Kate Nelson Author Of Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Reconstruction America

From my list on America’s National Parks.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Colorado and visited national parks all over the country on summer vacations with my family. Now I write about U.S. Western history while living outside Boston, Massachusetts. My most recent book, The Three-Cornered War: The Union, the Confederacy, and Native Peoples in the Fight for the West (Scribner 2020) was a finalist for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in History. I have written about the Civil War and the U.S. West for The New York TimesWashington PostThe Atlantic, Smithsonian Magazine, and Civil War Monitor. Scribner will publish my next book, Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Reconstruction America, on March 1, 2022. 

Megan's book list on America’s National Parks

Megan Kate Nelson Why did Megan love this book?

Neither Muir nor Sellars pay much attention to Indigenous communities living in or near national parks—Dispossessing the Wilderness puts the lie to the claim that Native peoples were afraid of or have vanished from these places. Spence examines the Indigenous histories of Yellowstone, Glacier, and Yosemite, and concludes that while white federal officials expended a tremendous amount of energy promoting the myth that the nation’s national parks are “uninhabited wildernesses,” Indigenous communities have continued to claim them in various ways. Compelling and wide-ranging in its analysis, this is a must-read for fans of the national park system.

By Mark David Spence,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This book examines the ideal of wilderness preservation in the United States from the antebellum era to the first half of the twentieth century, showing how the early conception of the wilderness as the place where Indians lived (or should live) gave way to the idealization of uninhabited wilderness. It focuses on specific policies of Indian removal developed at Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Glacier national parks from the early 1870s to the 1930s.


Book cover of Leave Only Footprints: My Acadia-To-Zion Journey Through Every National Park

Megan Kate Nelson Author Of Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Reconstruction America

From my list on America’s National Parks.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Colorado and visited national parks all over the country on summer vacations with my family. Now I write about U.S. Western history while living outside Boston, Massachusetts. My most recent book, The Three-Cornered War: The Union, the Confederacy, and Native Peoples in the Fight for the West (Scribner 2020) was a finalist for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in History. I have written about the Civil War and the U.S. West for The New York TimesWashington PostThe Atlantic, Smithsonian Magazine, and Civil War Monitor. Scribner will publish my next book, Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Reconstruction America, on March 1, 2022. 

Megan's book list on America’s National Parks

Megan Kate Nelson Why did Megan love this book?

I’m not usually a fan of memoir, but Knighton’s book about his visits to each of the nation’s 63 national parks in the wake of a cancelled wedding has it all: history, environmental science, and witty takes. In each chapter, he brings several parks together in a consideration of a single theme: “Water” (Arkansas Hot Springs, Biscayne), for example, and “Mystery” (Crater Lake, Congaree). It’s an effective structure that highlights how national parks can surprise you with the meanings they embody, and the connections they have to one another. This is a book for readers who want to get a look at all of America’s national parks, through a modern lens. 

By Conor Knighton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A delightful sampler plate of our national parks, written with charisma and erudition.”—Nick Offerman, author of Paddle Your Own Canoe

From CBS Sunday Morning correspondent Conor Knighton, a behind-the-scenery look at his year traveling to each of America's National Parks, discovering the most beautiful places and most interesting people our country has to offer

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY OUTSIDE

When Conor Knighton set off to explore America's "best idea," he worried the whole thing could end up being his worst idea. A broken engagement and a broken heart had…


Book cover of Imposing Wilderness

Jonathan S. Adams Author Of Nature's Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature

From my list on nature, culture, and the modern world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been writing about nature and nature conservation for nearly 35 years. I have seen it from all angles—government, non-government, private, local—in the US, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. I have written five books about how we can do better at both saving wild places and wild creatures, while also understanding how those efforts must also account for the human communities that depend on those places for their lives and livelihoods. Over the decades I have seen enormous and promising shifts in conservation practices, and although we are in the midst of a biodiversity crisis that is entirely of our own making, we are not doomed to repeat the mistakes of our past. 

Jonathan's book list on nature, culture, and the modern world

Jonathan S. Adams Why did Jonathan love this book?

National parks have long been the bedrock of nature conservation efforts. For most Westerners, their vision of Africa is built on images from iconic parks like Tanzania’s Serengeti or Kenya’s Masai Mara. Those parks, however, were imposed on the African landscape with lasting and often devastating consequences, among them the pernicious notion that Africans themselves are little more than part of the fauna and are an impediment to conservation efforts that can be swept aside. Roderick Neuman reveals that far from a simple means to protect nature, parks are a complicated intersection of ecological, economic, political, and cultural issues. His analysis of Arusha National Park in Tanzania, not far from Mount Kilimanjaro, melds careful scholarship with passionate and vivid writing and is an essential text for understanding the promise and limitations of long-established conservation practices. 

By Roderick P. Neumann,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Arusha National Park in northern Tanzania embodies all the political-ecological dilemmas facing protected areas throughout Africa. This book presents an analysis of the problems, arguing that the roots of the ongoing struggle between the park and the neighbouring Meru peasant communities go much deeper than the issues of poverty, population growth and ignorance usually cited. The author claims the conflict reflects differences that go back to the beginning of colonial rule. By imposing a European ideal of pristine wilderness, the establishment of national parks and protected areas displaced African meanings as well as material access to the land. The book…


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 Green and Prosperous Land: A Blueprint for Rescuing the British Countryside

Mark Avery Author Of Reflections: What Wildlife Needs and How to Provide it

From my list on UK nature conservation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by wildlife since the age of 5, and 60 years later I’m still addicted. I worked as a research scientist on bats and birds and then morphed into a nature conservationist. I worked for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for 25 years – 13 years as the Conservation Director. I’ve written books about wildlife and its conservation and regularly review such books on my blog.  I hope that my work has made a difference and that my books, and other authors’ books, can move things on a bit quicker too.

Mark's book list on UK nature conservation

Mark Avery Why did Mark love this book?

Helm is an Oxford University economist, a wildlife enthusiast, and former chair of the UK’s Natural Capital Committee. He is an outsider inside the system.

Should we put an economic value on nature? If you worry about this then you must read this book.

If you know a bit more than Helm does about wildlife, as I think I do, then he trips now and again (but never falls flat on his face) whereas if you know less about economics than Helm does (as I certainly do) it is difficult to detect whether or not he gallops sure-footedly across the terrain.

This book, though, is a very good read - I agreed with much of it and was interested by all of it.

By Dieter Helm,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'One of the most important books of the decade' Country Life

Finally, a practical, realistic plan to rescue, preserve and enhance nature.

News about Britain's wildlife and ecosystems tends to be grim. In Green and Prosperous Land, Oxford economist and Natural Capital Committee chair Dieter Helm shares his radical but tangible plan for positive change.

This pragmatic approach to environmentalism includes a summary of Britain's green assets, a look towards possible futures and an achievable 25-year plan for a green and prosperous country. The bold generational plan assesses the environment as a whole, explains the necessity of protecting and enhancing…


Book cover of English Pastoral: An Inheritance

Alexander F. Robertson Author Of Mieres Reborn: The Reinvention of a Catalan Community

From my list on village lives as keys to history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Working as a social anthropologist in Uganda, Ghana, Malaysia, and Catalonia, I became fascinated by villages as microcosms of broader social change, places where history can be observed in the making through the lives and histories of families and of their members. Villages are anything but ‘natural’ communities or social backwaters. They survive (or perish) because people, beliefs, and goods are continually moving in and out. Village lives are certainly shaped by state and society, but the impact goes both ways. Each of my selected books tells a gripping and distinctive story of villagers grappling with social and cultural tension, the forces of change, and the challenges of survival.

Alexander's book list on village lives as keys to history

Alexander F. Robertson Why did Alexander love this book?

This too is a tale of three village generations grappling with historical change.

Here the story is about changing ideas of stewardship of the land, an enthralling account of farming ways in flux and of the intricate, back-breaking, and unpredictable work of restoring degraded farmland to health.

The Rebanks family run a hill-farm in a Lake District village. Rebanks’ grandfather started with horse-ploughs. A tractor replaced the horses, yet he still knew the individual ways of every ewe and cow and farmed lightly on the land. But Rebanks’ father, caught in market pressures, industrialized his farming methods.

Progress became the mantra of all the village farmers, including the young Rebanks himself.

Today, although they recognize the precarity of their livelihood and the damage to the land, most see no alternative to intensifying production. When Rebanks decides to switch to regenerative farming to preserve the land for future generations, his fellow…

By James Rebanks,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE SUNDAY TIMES NATURE BOOK OF THE YEAR

The new bestseller from the author of The Shepherd's Life

'A beautifully written story of a family, a home and a changing landscape' Nigel Slater

As a boy, James Rebanks's grandfather taught him to work the land the old way. Their family farm in the Lake District hills was part of an ancient agricultural landscape: a patchwork of crops and meadows, of pastures grazed with livestock, and hedgerows teeming with wildlife. And yet, by the time James inherited the farm, it was barely recognisable. The men and women had vanished from the…


Book cover of Cottongrass Summer

Mark Avery Author Of Reflections: What Wildlife Needs and How to Provide it

From my list on UK nature conservation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by wildlife since the age of 5, and 60 years later I’m still addicted. I worked as a research scientist on bats and birds and then morphed into a nature conservationist. I worked for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for 25 years – 13 years as the Conservation Director. I’ve written books about wildlife and its conservation and regularly review such books on my blog.  I hope that my work has made a difference and that my books, and other authors’ books, can move things on a bit quicker too.

Mark's book list on UK nature conservation

Mark Avery Why did Mark love this book?

This reminds me strongly of Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac - a classic of the ecological literature, and I can think of no better comparison to give you an idea of this book’s content, quality, and worth. It is set largely in Highland Scotland and comprises 52 short essays on wildlife and land use.

Many of the essays start with an observation of a species or place, then the author fills in the background, muses on the wider picture, and how the world could be better. It’s a simple and effective way to tell a story.

Roy Dennis is an elder statesman of the UK conservation movement, one of its doers, and one of its thinkers. This book is well worth a read.

By Roy Dennis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A collection of vibrant essays to inform, stimulate and inspire every nature lover. Through unparallelled expertise as a field naturalist, Roy Dennis is able to write about the natural world in a way that considers both the problems and the progress in ecology and conservation. Beginning with cottongrass, whose snow-white blooms blow gently in the wind across the wetter moors and bogs, this is a year-round trove of insight and knowledge for anyone who cares about the natural world - from birdsong and biodiversity to sphagnum and species reintroduction. Written by one of our most prominent advocates for rewilding, the…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in nature conservation, National Parks, and the Grand Canyon?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about nature conservation, National Parks, and the Grand Canyon.

Nature Conservation Explore 35 books about nature conservation
National Parks Explore 25 books about National Parks
The Grand Canyon Explore 16 books about the Grand Canyon