63 books like E. O. Wilson

By Edward O. Wilson,

Here are 63 books that E. O. Wilson fans have personally recommended if you like E. O. Wilson. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Desert Solitaire

Maya Silver Author Of Moon Zion & Bryce: With Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Grand Staircase-Escalante & Moab

From my list on featuring the American Southwest desert.

Why am I passionate about this?

Even though I’m from humid DC, I’ve been drawn to the desert since I first set foot there as a kid on a family road trip. Now, I’m lucky enough to live in Utah, home to some of the world’s most legendary desert landscapes. One reason I love the desert is the otherworldly scenery: uncanny arches, bizarre hoodoos, and sand dunes you could disappear into. Before your eyes, layers of geologic time unfold in epochs. The desert is a great place for contemplating the past and future—and for great adventures, with endless sandstone walls to climb, slick rock to bike, and sagebrush-lined trails to hike.

Maya's book list on featuring the American Southwest desert

Maya Silver Why did Maya love this book?

The late Edward Abbey might be a controversial figure, but you can’t write about desert literature without mentioning this iconic book.

In this book, Abbey captures his experience as a winter caretaker of Arches National Park (before it was a national park and before the road in was paved). In 18 chapters that read like short stories, he chronicles long days on horseback, jaw-dropping tales of flash floods, journeys up remote canyons, and more adventures that do an uncanny job of conveying the spirit of the desert and what it was like to explore it mid-century.

Abbey’s writing is blunt, colorful, and engaging, and this book is a romp of a read. 

By Edward Abbey,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Desert Solitaire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'My favourite book about the wilderness' Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild

In this shimmering masterpiece of American nature writing, Edward Abbey ventures alone into the canyonlands of Moab, Utah, to work as a seasonal ranger for the United States National Park Service.

Living out of a trailer, Abbey captures in rapt, poetic prose the landscape of the desert; a world of terracotta earth, empty skies, arching rock formations, cliffrose, juniper, pinyon pine and sand sage. His summers become spirit quests, taking him in search of wild horses and Ancient Puebloan petroglyphs, up mountains and across tribal lands, and down the…

Book cover of Arctic Dreams: Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape

Bill Murray Author Of Out in the Cold: Travels North: Adventures in Svalbard, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland and Canada

From my list on to understand the high north.

Why am I passionate about this?

There’s nothing like personal experience. You have to read the literature, it’s true. That’s how we’ve all met here at Shepherd. But you have to roll up your sleeves and get down to visiting, too, if you want to write about travel. I first approached the Arctic in 1991 and I return above sixty degrees north every year, although I must confess to a secret advantage; I married a Finn. We spend summers at a little cabin north of Helsinki. I know the region personally, I keep coming back, and I invite you, whenever you can, to come up and join us!

Bill's book list on to understand the high north

Bill Murray Why did Bill love this book?

Barry Lopez was a nature writer and environmentalist.

He died on Christmas day 2020, and although we are fortunate to have his valedictory book Horizon, published when his traveling days were pretty well behind him, Arctic Dreams is the real deal, with Lopez as raconteur, but practitioner too, thoroughly in his element.

Lopez writes about exploration and the aurora, animals and the weather, ice and myth and survival and joy. He’s effortless. You’ll learn more than you knew there was to know about the high north, and the pleasure is in the learning.

If you must cut to the chase with these five books, Arctic Dreams is the book, because Barry Lopez got things right.

By Barry Lopez,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Arctic Dreams as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'A master nature writer' (New York Times) provides the ultimate natural, social and cultural history of the Arctic landscape.

The author of Horizon's classic work explores the Arctic landscape and the hold it continues to exert on our imagination.


Lopez's journey across our frozen planet is a celebration of the Arctic in all its guises. A hostile landscape of ice, freezing oceans and dazzling skyscapes. Home to millions of diverse animals and people. The stage to massive migrations by land, sea and air. The setting of epic exploratory…

Book cover of Landmarks

Edward Struzik Author Of Swamplands: Tundra Beavers, Quaking Bogs, and the Improbable World of Peat

From my list on nature and the environment.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've spent a good part of my life exploring the outdoor world for the national parks service, for books, newspapers, and magazines. Each trip down a river, across a lake, up a mountain, or through a desert or swampland reminds me, as Wallace Stegner once suggested, that wilderness is as much a state of mind as it is a complex set of ecosystems. Wilderness is the geography of hope. Without the hope that comes with the wilderness experience, we would be lost. In my explorations, I've come to appreciate how much we still do not know about the natural world and how much hope there is that we can get through the challenges that climate change brings.

Edward's book list on nature and the environment

Edward Struzik Why did Edward love this book?

This is a book about language and how we have lost so many words that clarify our understanding of the natural world. For my book Swamplands, I borrowed from MacFarlane’s glossary of words describing peat. Yarpha, for example, is an Orkney word for peat that is full of fibers and roots, Water-sick is a Cumbrian word for peatlands that are saturated with water. The book reminds us that we need to be more explicit in describing nature in all of its manifestations. It is also addictive. You can start from the middle and read to the beginning or to the end, It never fails

By Robert Macfarlane,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?



From the bestselling author of UNDERLAND, THE OLD WAYS and THE LOST WORDS

'Few books give such a sense of enchantment; it is a book to give to many, and to return to repeatedly' Independent

Words are grained into our landscapes, and landscapes are grained into our words. Landmarks is about the power of language to shape our sense of place. It is a field guide to the literature of nature, and a glossary containing thousands of remarkable words used in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales to describe land,…

Book cover of Wolf Willow: A History, a Story, and a Memory of the Last Plains Frontier

D'Arcy Jenish Author Of Epic Wanderer: David Thompson and the Mapping of the Canadian West

From my list on the exploraton of the West.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a journalist, the author of 10 works of popular history, and, latterly, a playwright. For nearly 25 years, I have earned a living on the strength of my own writing. I have written one full-length play that was produced at an outdoor summer theatre in July 2023, and I have written three short plays for the Port Hope, Ontario Arts Festival. I now live in Peterborough, Ontario, about 90 miles northeast of Toronto, but have had a lifelong interest in the history of western North America by dint of having grown up in southeastern Saskatchewan and having worked as a journalist in Alberta in the early 1980s.  

D'Arcy's book list on the exploraton of the West

D'Arcy Jenish Why did D'Arcy love this book?

There are many reasons to love this book, and the subtitle says it all. This book is A History, A Story, And A Memory Of The Last Plains Frontier.

That last frontier was an arid, desolate corner of southwestern Saskatchewan where his American parents tried homesteading between 1914 and 1920 when Stegner was a child. The family returned to the U.S., but Stegner re-visited this land of his youth in the early 1950s and wrote one of the best accounts of the last frontier in the North American West.   

By Wallace Stegner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Enchanting, heartrending and eminently enviable' Vladimir Nabokov

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Wallace Stegner's boyhood was spent on the beautiful and remote frontier of the Cypress Hills in southern Saskatchewan, where his family homesteaded fro 1914 to 1920. In a recollection of his years there, Stegner applies childhood remembrances and adult reflection to the history of the region to create this wise and enduring portrait of pioneer community existing in the verge of a modern world.

'Stegner has summarized the frontier story and interpreted it as only one who was part of it could' The New York Times Book Review

Book cover of Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea, and Human Life

Adam Hart Author Of The Deadly Balance: Predators and People in a Crowded World

From my list on books that capture our place in nature.

Why am I passionate about this?

I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t captured by nature. Growing up in coastal Devon, UK, I loved immersing myself, sometimes literally, in the landscapes and nature of my surroundings. It was inevitable I would become a biologist, and I think also inevitable that I would be drawn to the field of ecology, the study of the relationships that exist within nature. I have expanded my horizons over the past decade or so, developing a deep love for the landscapes and nature of southern Africa, but the rockpools and lanes of Devon are never far away.

Adam's book list on books that capture our place in nature

Adam Hart Why did Adam love this book?

I am a biologist and I have a passion, a deep love indeed, of the natural world. I always have. It boosts me and nurtures me–body, mind and spirit. But at the moment, with everything that is happening to the world, I think it is easy to lose hope.

Feral is everything you would expect from Monbiot–elegant prose and well thought out ideas building on solid knowledge. But it is more than that. It is a book that brings hope and makes me feel that, even if Monbiot’s vision isn’t the way, there most certainly is a way through the mess we are creating.

Positivity, action, hope–these are things we need more of right now.

By George Monbiot,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

To be an environmentalist early in the twenty-first century is always to be defending, arguing, acknowledging the hurdles we face in our efforts to protect wild places and fight climate change. But let’s be honest: hedging has never inspired anyone.
So what if we stopped hedging? What if we grounded our efforts to solve environmental problems in hope instead, and let nature make our case for us? That’s what George Monbiot does in Feral, a lyrical, unabashedly romantic vision of how, by inviting nature back into our lives, we can simultaneously cure our “ecological boredom” and begin repairing centuries of…

Book cover of Rebugging the Planet: The Remarkable Things That Insects (and Other Invertebrates) Do - And Why We Need to Love Them More

Dave Goulson Author Of The Garden Jungle

From my list on rewilding and the biodiversity crisis.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved insects and other wildlife for all of my life. I am now a professor of Biology at the University of Sussex, UK, specializing in bee ecology. I have published more than 400 scientific articles on the ecology and conservation of bumblebees and other insects, plus seven books, including the Sunday Times bestsellers A Sting in the Tale (2013), The Garden Jungle (2019), and Silent Earth (2021). They’ve been translated into 20 languages and sold over half a million copies. I also founded the Bumblebee Conservation Trust in 2006, a charity that has grown to 12,000 members. 

Dave's book list on rewilding and the biodiversity crisis

Dave Goulson Why did Dave love this book?

Vicki is a fellow insect enthusiast, so perhaps it is inevitable that I would love her new book on the wonders of the ‘bug’ world. Insects are vital, pollinating crops and wildflowers, keeping soils healthy, recycling leaves, dung and dead bodies, and controlling crop pests. Love them or loathe them, we all need them. This book gives lots of practical tips as to what you can do to encourage bugs in your space. 

By Vicki Hird,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Foreword by Gillian Burke

This is a lovely little book that could and should have a big impact....Let's all get rebugging right away! Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Meet the intelligent insects, marvellous minibeasts and inspirational invertebrates that bring life to our planet. Discover how we can 'rebug' our attitudes and embrace these brilliant, essential insects, so that we can avoid an 'insectageddon' and help each other thrive.

In Rebugging the Planet, Vicki Hird shows us that bugs are beautiful, inventive

and economically invaluable. They are also responsible for pollinating plants,

feeding birds, defending crops and cleaning water systems. But with 40% of…

Book cover of Brief Eulogies for Lost Animals

Mike Shanahan Author Of Gods, Wasps and Stranglers: The Secret History and Redemptive Future of Fig Trees

From my list on biodiversity, ecology, and extinction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a tropical ecologist turned writer and editor focused on biodiversity, climate change, forests, and the people who depend on them. I did my doctoral research in rainforests in Borneo and Papua New Guinea and have since worked for media organizations and research institutes, and as a mentor to journalists around the world who report on environmental issues. Ecology taught me that everything is connected. Rainforests taught me that nature can leave a person awe-struck with its beauty, complexity, or sheer magnificence. I try to share my passion for these subjects through my writing.

Mike's book list on biodiversity, ecology, and extinction

Mike Shanahan Why did Mike love this book?

I happened to be at a conference of scientists trying to conserve endangered species when I first heard about Daniel Hudon’s book. It struck a chord. It is a beautiful little collection of one hundred eulogies for lost animal species. Some are brief—just a few lines long. Others are more expansive, taking in literature and reportage. But all are poignant reminders of the permanence of extinction. Hudon’s aim is simply to acknowledge that these species existed, to recognize them and make them better known. It is a beautiful and unique collection, stunning in the cumulative force of his poetic words. A perfect gift, Hudon’s tales are both tragic and inspirational. 

By Daniel Hudon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Brief Eulogies for Lost Animals as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this collection of one hundred brief eulogies, science writer and poet Daniel Hudon gives a literary voice to the losses stacking up in our present-day age of extinction. Natural history, poetic prose, reportage, and eulogy blend to form a tally of degraded habitats, and empty burrows, and of the songs of birds never to be heard again.

Book cover of The Swarm

Benjamin von Brackel Author Of Nowhere Left to Go: How Climate Change Is Driving Species to the Ends of the Earth

From my list on that help you understand the biodiversity crisis.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a science journalist I have concentrated on the consequences of climate change. It´s the most frightening as fascinating experiment, we conduct with our planet. In 2018 I wrote a book on extreme weather together with climate scientist Freddy Otto from the University of Oxford (Angry Weather). After this I got immersed in a different climate consequence: How it is affecting biodiversity and with it the foundation of our societies. But what I also love is good storytelling. I quickly get bored with texts that have no dramaturgy or that don't give the reader any pleasure—unlike the fantastic and highly relevant books on this list.

Benjamin's book list on that help you understand the biodiversity crisis

Benjamin von Brackel Why did Benjamin love this book?

From one day to another nature seems to have gone mad. Even more: The species on the Earth seem to have conspired against humanity—after being decimated and clobbered by us humans. Like a last-ditch counterattack to ensure survival.

I read this thriller while starting to write my book. And it was exciting—not only because Frank Schätzing—a German fiction author—is a master of suspense. But because what he describes is not so far away from what I describe in my nonfiction (!) book: The epic journey of species toward the poles and up the mountains—with all its consequences for the civilized world as well as our irrational handling of it. Schätzing's fictional story is based on a solid ground of facts. But there is another reason, why The Swarm does not seem too absurd: It´s because climate change is altering life on earth in a way that itself seems like a…

By Frank Schatzing,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Frank Schatzing's amazing novel is a publishing phenomenon with translation rights sold around the world, drawing rave reviews for both pulsating suspense and great scientific knowledge.

The world begins to suffer an escalating and sensational series of natural disasters, and two marine biologists begin to develop a theory that the cause lies in the oceans, where an entity know as the Yrr has developed a massive network of single-cell organisms. It is wreaking havoc in order to prevent humankind from destroying the earth's ecological balance forever.

The Americans, under the ruthless General Judith Lee, take a more pragmatic approach than…

Book cover of We Are the ARK: Returning Our Gardens to Their True Nature Through Acts of Restorative Kindness

Caro Feely Author Of Cultivating Change: Regenerating Land and Love in the Age of Climate Crisis

From my list on biodiversity, plants and natural magic.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a published author specializing in nature, travel, and wine writing, and I have been an organic farmer for nearly two decades on an award-winning estate in France. I’ve written four books about the transformation of our organic farm. In my latest, Cultivating Change, I explore how biodiversity helps us address climate change and how important it is to the health of the land. It is also a human story; like the books below, stories are key to bringing these subjects to life. My list is women authors, not because I set out to do that, but because these books are beautiful, intuitive, and deep, like the women who wrote them.

Caro's book list on biodiversity, plants and natural magic

Caro Feely Why did Caro love this book?

This beautifully illustrated book is a biodiversity manifesto. Mary Reynolds is an Irish garden designer who became the youngest woman ever to win a gold medal at the Chelsea Flower Show. Her biggest contribution to gardening is her new initiative to bring biodiversity to gardens through this book and her organization, We Are The Ark.

Her mission is to move people from being gardeners to being guardians. Echoing a message in my latest book, Mary says we can’t wait for politicians to change things; we can start right away, in a back garden or a window box for apartment dwellers. This is an uplifting book that offers magical prose and illustrations. It guides the reader through how to rewild your patch (or your community patch/ school/ shared space), no matter the size, and why transforming from gardener to guardian is so crucial to us all. The book’s title, ‘ARK,’ stands…

By Mary Reynolds, Ruth Evans (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Reynolds gives us a much-needed reason for hope. The gardener, the conservationist, the city planner,and the nature lover will all be inspired for this wonderful book shows how thousands of even small wildlife friendly gardens can provide habitat for embattled wildlife around the world.” —Jane Goodall, Phd, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace 

Individuals can’t save the world alone. But if millions of us work together to save our own patch of earth—then we really have a shot. How do we do it?  With Acts of Restorative Kindness (ARK). An ARK is a restored,…

Book cover of The Diversity of Life

David Seaborg Author Of How Life Increases Biodiversity: An Autocatalytic Hypothesis

From my list on evolution, ecology, and biodiversity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an evolutionary biologist who wrote two books on my theory that all species increase the biodiversity of their ecosystem in a natural environment (humans are an exception to this). I am a dedicated conservationist and founder and president of the World Rainforest Fund (worldrainforest.org), a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving the Earth’s rainforests. I collected reptiles and fossils when I was a child, and never out-grew my passion and love for science, biology, biodiversity, the natural world, animals, plants, ecology, and evolution. I love reading about these topics, hearing lectures on them, and learning about them. I love being in nature, traveling to natural ecosystems, and seeing wildlife. 

David's book list on evolution, ecology, and biodiversity

David Seaborg Why did David love this book?

This book is well-written and exciting. It is educational. It explains evolution and ecology, as well as conservation issues. I love the author’s enthusiasm and ability to explain biology clearly without talking down to the reader.

He makes biology exciting. The photographs and illustrations are terrific. The chart on the history of biodiversity of the Earth through geologic time is thought-provoking.

By Edward O. Wilson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"A superb blend of lyrical description, sweeping historical writing, lucid scientific explanation, and dire warnings. . . . The most important scientific book of the year." ― Boston Globe

In this book a master scientist tells the story of how life on earth evolved. Edward O. Wilson eloquently describes how the species of the world became diverse and why that diversity is threatened today as never before. A great spasm of extinction ― the disappearance of whole species ― is occurring now, caused this time entirely by humans. Unlike the deterioration of the physical environment, which can be halted, the…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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