10 books like Grand Canyon

By Jason Chin,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Grand Canyon. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt

By Kate Messner, Christopher Silas Neal (illustrator),

Book cover of Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt

Carol Fisher Saller Author Of The Bridge Dancers

From the list on nature providing strength and healing.

Who am I?

I’m not an expert in gardening, forestry, or herbal medicine. But like everyone else, I have a growing awareness that our planet Earth is entirely dependent on thriving forests and insects and even weeds. We owe it to our children and future generations to learn about and protect our precious resources. Although I live in the big city of Chicago and have a tiny backyard, last year I turned my little grass lawn into prairie! I have creeping charlie, dandelions, creeping phlox, sedge grass, wild violets, white clover, and who knows what else. (Luckily, my neighbors are on board.) I’ve already seen honeybees and hummingbirds. It’s not much, but it’s something I can do.

Carol's book list on nature providing strength and healing

Discover why each book is one of Carol's favorite books.

Why did Carol love this book?

Many of us tend to view gardens only from the surface up.

This book dives underground to show how many living things in the dirt are working hard to help us garden. Worms and insects that we might find “gross” are actually essential for airing the soil and warding off invaders.

Plenty of things grow just fine without human help because they have all the helpers they need under the earth. This book shows how nature goes about its business, plants and insects and animals all working together to green the earth.

Bonus: Neal’s illustrations are anatomical wonders, showing worms and bugs with legs and feelers in a friendly light. Squeamish children (and their parents) might make a few buggy friends as they read.

By Kate Messner, Christopher Silas Neal (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A companion to the new Over and Under the Pond and Over and Under the Snow, this sweet book explores the hidden world and many lives of a garden through the course of a year.

Up in the garden, the world is full of green-leaves and sprouts, growing vegetables, ripening fruit. But down in the dirt there is a busy world of earthworms digging, snakes hunting, skunks burrowing and all the other animals that make a garden their home. In this exuberant and lyrical book, discover the wonders that lie hidden between stalks, under the shade of leaves... and down…


The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

By William Kamkwamba, Bryan Mealer, Elizabeth Zunon (illustrator)

Book cover of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Christine Ieronimo Author Of A Thirst for Home: A Story of Water across the World

From the list on stories from Africa with strong protagonists.

Who am I?

I am passionate about writing books for children that create windows to the world, teaching empathy. Children that are empathic grow up to be kind and compassionate adults. I write because I long for a world that is more accepting and compassionate.  

Christine's book list on stories from Africa with strong protagonists

Discover why each book is one of Christine's favorite books.

Why did Christine love this book?

Drought has hit a Malawi village and everyone’s crops are failing. Fourteen-year-old William Kamkwamba figures out how to bring electricity to the village by building a windmill out of scraps from a junkyard. I love this story because it highlights the importance of education, and along with determination, William was able to build this windmill bringing electricity which helped lift this community up and bring hope. Education is the best way to lift communities up from poverty. Elizabeth Zunon provides gorgeous illustrations that enhance the text.  

By William Kamkwamba, Bryan Mealer, Elizabeth Zunon (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When a terrible drought struck William Kamkwamba's tiny village in Malawi, his family lost all of the season's crops, leaving them with nothing to eat and nothing to sell. William began to explore science books in his village library, looking for a solution. There, he came up with the idea that would change his family's life forever: he could build a windmill. Made out of scrap metal and old bicycle parts, William's windmill brought electricity to his home and helped his family pump the water they needed to farm the land. Retold for a younger audience, this exciting memoir shows…


Grandmother Fish

By Jonathan Tweet, Karen Lewis (illustrator),

Book cover of Grandmother Fish: A Child's First Book of Evolution

Brenda Z. Guiberson Author Of Yours 'Til Niagara Falls

From the list on the fascinating and connected layers of world.

Who am I?

As a writer of dozens of books for children, I always learn much more that can go into each effort. A “wow” moment gets me started. It could be a giant cactus that grows so slowly, frogs that don’t ribbet, maybe a moment with a sea turtle, or thoughts on geology and natural wonders. Each book comes into a hazy focus after tons of research but much gets left out. What goes in? The best “wow” details get woven into an incredible story full of surprise, joy, and admiration for this world of constant change and those struggling to survive.

Brenda's book list on the fascinating and connected layers of world

Discover why each book is one of Brenda's favorite books.

Why did Brenda love this book?

This is the best book to take a first look at evolution and creatures from long, long, long, long ago. Can you chomp? Grandmother Fish could. Can you crawl? Grandmother Reptile could. Who had a jaw, who could squeak, who cuddled with babies, who could climb? Wow! Can you do those things and talk too?  With beautiful illustrations and simple wording, wonderful connections are made to show how all life is related. Thoughtful back material helps to explain natural selection and other concepts for those readers who will ask more questions.  

By Jonathan Tweet, Karen Lewis (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It's a simple question, but not so simple an answer to explain especially to young children. Charles Darwin's theory of common descent no longer needs to be a scientific mystery to inquisitive young readers. Meet Grandmother Fish. Told in an engaging call and response text where a child can wiggle like a fish or hoot like an ape and brought to life by vibrant artwork, Grandmother Fish takes children and adults through the history of life on our planet and explains how we are all connected. The book also includes comprehensive backmatter, including: An elaborate illustration of the evolutionary tree…


Earthshake

By Lisa Westberg Peters, Cathie Felstead (illustrator),

Book cover of Earthshake: Poems from the Ground Up

Brenda Z. Guiberson Author Of Yours 'Til Niagara Falls

From the list on the fascinating and connected layers of world.

Who am I?

As a writer of dozens of books for children, I always learn much more that can go into each effort. A “wow” moment gets me started. It could be a giant cactus that grows so slowly, frogs that don’t ribbet, maybe a moment with a sea turtle, or thoughts on geology and natural wonders. Each book comes into a hazy focus after tons of research but much gets left out. What goes in? The best “wow” details get woven into an incredible story full of surprise, joy, and admiration for this world of constant change and those struggling to survive.

Brenda's book list on the fascinating and connected layers of world

Discover why each book is one of Brenda's favorite books.

Why did Brenda love this book?

Humor and poetry brought to the natural wonders of earth? Wow! This book has twenty-two poems such as “Recipe for Granite,” “Obituary for a Clam” and “Instructions for the Earth’s Dishwasher.” A favorite is a plea for a glacier, so sluggish and slow. “Just once, when no one is looking, peel out!” The illustrations are bright and fun and the endnotes provide extra information.

By Lisa Westberg Peters, Cathie Felstead (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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


Rocks and Minerals - A Guide to Minerals, Gems, and Rocks

By Herbert S. Zim, Paul R. Shaffer, Raymond Perlman (illustrator)

Book cover of Rocks and Minerals - A Guide to Minerals, Gems, and Rocks

Robert R. Coenraads Author Of Rocks and Fossils: A Visual Guide

From the list on our planet’s geological wonders.

Who am I?

I‘m a Sydney-based exploration geologist and science writer, travelling the world in search of gold, exotic metals, gemstones, and the stories they have to tell — writing is my tool to bring alive ideas and concepts important to me, and my popular books include Rocks, Fossils and Dinosaurs; Natural Disasters; and Geologica. Working in the world's poorest regions has also sparked a strong humanitarian interest. I'm the founding president of FreeSchools World Literacy – Australia, a charity dedicated to education of underprivileged children, and towards which earnings from my writing go. It is my belief that education for all, not just a privileged few, is key to solving the world's problems. 

Robert's book list on our planet’s geological wonders

Discover why each book is one of Robert's favorite books.

Why did Robert love this book?

I can’t go past recommending this tiny book! Way back when I was a kid, my geologist cousin, Rene Schellekens, gave me a cardboard box full of carefully wrapped crystal specimens he’d collected on his travels plus a copy of Zim’s Guide to Minerals, Gems, and Rocks, and that fabulous little guidebook became my bible. I knew, by heart, every word and beautiful hand-drawn and coloured image adorning its pages—each mineral’s crystal system, colour, hardness, and other physical and chemical properties. I have to say, that gift of Zim’s Guidebook led me into a lifelong career of geological exploration into the world’s distant corners, and even into the authoring of my own books on the natural sciences.

By Herbert S. Zim, Paul R. Shaffer, Raymond Perlman (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rocks and Minerals - A Guide to Minerals, Gems, and Rocks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This 160 page book is an identification guide to only the most common kinds of rocks and minerals. This guide describes and illustrates their physical and chemical properties, their origin and the geological structures associated with them, their geologic and economic significance, and where and how to collect them. A handy pocket guide with accurate full-color illustrations.


Geology Underfoot in Yosemite National Park

By Allen F. Glazner, Greg M. Stock,

Book cover of Geology Underfoot in Yosemite National Park

Elizabeth Wenk Author Of John Muir Trail: The Essential Guide to Hiking America's Most Famous Trail

From the list on the High Sierra.

Who am I?

Hiking in the Sierra has been equal parts recreation and profession since I’ve been an adult. I’ve worked for the concessionaire in Yosemite Valley, surveyed lakes for rare amphibians, completed a PhD on alpine plants, and, over the past 15 years, written nine books on the Sierra Nevada. I continue to spend every summer obsessively exploring its trails, peaks, and remote lake basins, always excited to see a new view, find a rare flower, or simply see a favorite place in a new light. The rest of the year is spent writing—and reading what others have written, broadening my knowledge about my favorite place on Earth before I set out on the next summer’s adventures.

Elizabeth's book list on the High Sierra

Discover why each book is one of Elizabeth's favorite books.

Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Every step in the Sierra leads you across landscapes shaped by a succession of geologic eventsoverwhelming to comprehend at times. I’ve read and reread this book because it describes not just what you see, but explains, in approachable language, the processes that led to the rocks you see. The book is comprised of as series of vignettes, each focused on a different rock outcrop, formed through a unique process at a particular moment in the Sierra’s geologic history. 

By Allen F. Glazner, Greg M. Stock,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Geology Underfoot in Yosemite National Park as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Few places in the nation rival Yosemite National Park for vertigo-inducing cliffs, plunging waterfalls, and stunning panoramic views of granite peaks. Many of the features that visitors find most tantalizing about Yosemite have unique and compelling geologic stories�tales that continue to unfold today in vivid, often destructive ways. While visiting more than twenty-seven amazing sites, you�ll discover why many of Yosemite�s domes shed rock shells like onion layers, what happens when a volcano erupts under a glacial lake, and why rocks seem to be almost continually tumbling from the region�s cliffs. With a multitude of colorful photos and illustrations, and…


Hiking the Grand Canyon's Geology

By Lon Abbott, Terri Cook,

Book cover of Hiking the Grand Canyon's Geology

Who am I?

Since my earliest memories, I have been fascinated with rocks, landscapes, and the movement of time. It was perhaps only fitting then, that I should have landed in the bottom of the Grand Canyon in the 1970s working as a backcountry ranger where I discovered GEOLOGY! Since then, my world view has been shaped by the record of earth history that is held in sedimentary rocks, mountain belts, and the colorful and varied landscapes of the Desert Southwest and Colorado Plateau. I am in love with these landscapes and know them well. This love affair causes me to visit other landscapes around the world and ponder their development. 


Wayne's book list on the geology and magic of the landscapes of the American Southwest and Colorado Plateau

Discover why each book is one of Wayne's favorite books.

Why did Wayne love this book?

Okay, not everyone can hike the steep trails in Grand Canyon. However, you can do the next best thing and learn geology too by reading this wonderfully crafted book. Crisp and engaging writing makes the blisters fade away. The geologic descriptions reflect the most current theories. Nearly all Grand Canyon trails are covered allowing the authors to cover all aspects of the canyon’s geology.

By Lon Abbott, Terri Cook,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hiking the Grand Canyon's Geology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


* Part of the popular Hiking Geology series
* Appendices cover additional geologic information for the non-geologist
* Everything needed to plan the trip, including information about permits, lodging and camping, mule rides, and recommended day trips

Etched on the Grand Canyon's steep walls are stories of how this majestic landscape came to be: volcanic islands, stark deserts, and tranquil seas come and gone, and histories of plants and animals that have made this place their home. You'll see this story up close on the trail with the help of Hiking the Grand Canyon's Geology. In eighteen excursions, there's something…


Principles of Geology

By Sir Charles Lyell,

Book cover of Principles of Geology

Robert M. Hazen Author Of The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet

From the list on planet Earth.

Who am I?

Robert M. Hazen, Senior Staff Scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington’s Earth and Planets Laboratory and the Clarence Robinson Professor of Earth Science at George Mason University, received the B.S. and S.M. in geology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Ph.D. at Harvard University in Earth science. His most recent book is The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years from Stardust to Living Planet, which explores the intricate coevolution of the geosphere and biosphere.

Robert's book list on planet Earth

Discover why each book is one of Robert's favorite books.

Why did Robert love this book?

Lyell’s Principles, though published almost 190 years ago, is a masterful argument for the veracity of deep time. Drawing on his skills as a lawyer as much as his scientific perceptions, Lyell lays out the case for the power of gradual processes operating over vast expanses of time to change the face of our planet. His lucid, compelling case that “the present is key to the past” greatly influenced many subsequent discoveries, including Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. And, happily, various editions are freely available in facsimile on the web.

By Sir Charles Lyell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of the key works in the nineteenth-century battle between science and Scripture, Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology (1830-33) sought to explain the geological state of the modern Earth by considering the long-term effects of observable natural phenomena. Written with clarity and a dazzling intellectual passion, it is both a seminal work of modern geology and a compelling precursor to Darwinism, exploring the evidence for radical changes in climate and geography across the ages and speculating on the progressive development of life. A profound influence on Darwin, Principles of Geology also captured the imagination of contemporaries such as Melville, Emerson,…


The Hidden Landscape

By Richard Fortey,

Book cover of The Hidden Landscape: A Journey into the Geological Past

Hettie Judah Author Of Lapidarium: The Secret Lives of Stones

From the list on making you fall in love with stones.

Who am I?

In my day job I write about art for British newspapers and magazines. I’m lucky enough to spend a lot of time talking to artists. As a group they’re always one step ahead in identifying important issues and ideas. So Lapidarium has been fuelled by years of conversations with artists exploring geology as a way to think about things like migration, ecology, diaspora, empire, and the human body. The book is also embedded in personal experience. stone artefacts from cities I’ve lived in, from Washington D.C. to Istanbul. I’m never happier than when walking with my dog, so many of the stories in Lapidarium are also rooted in the British landscape.

Hettie's book list on making you fall in love with stones

Discover why each book is one of Hettie's favorite books.

Why did Hettie love this book?

Fortey is a literary, opinionated, and very engaging science writer.

One of the foundational books for my book was a geological walk across the Great Britain called The Hidden Landscape which was a revelation when I first read it (I can’t believe it’s now 30 years old!).

I’m a keen walker and know many of the landscapes he described in the book – learning about the rocks far beneath my feet, the forces that had formed them and the impact they had on the history of each region really transformed my relationship to the landscape.

For anyone looking for a global perspective, his more recent book Earth: An Intimate History is also an excellent and illuminating read.

By Richard Fortey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A very well written book about geology and geological history' Sir David Attenborough, The Times

'I travelled to Haverfordwest to get to the past. From Paddington Station a Great Western locomotive took me on a journey westwards from London further and further back into geological time, from the age of mammals to the age of trilobites...'

So begins this enthralling exploration of time and place in which Richard Fortey peels away the top layer of the land to reveal the hidden landscape - the rocks which contain the story of distant events, which dictate not only the personality of the…


Rough-Hewn Land

By Keith Heyer Meldahl,

Book cover of Rough-Hewn Land: A Geologic Journey from California to the Rocky Mountains

Sam L. Pfiester Author Of Solomon's Temple: Musjid-i-Suleiman

From the list on earth history.

Who am I?

For most of my career as an oil explorationist I have worked with geologists, an exceptional group of men and women who, from observing earth’s surface as it is configured today, can decipher earth’s history. By understanding how rocks were originally formed and how in subsequent millennia rocks have been buried, transported warped, eroded, re-deposited, and altered by high pressures, high temperatures, hot water, and all the tectonic forces of nature that have formed the surface as we see it today, they believe, really believe, that they can visualize the subsurface.  It’s a fascinating four-dimensional detective story. 

Sam's book list on earth history

Discover why each book is one of Sam's favorite books.

Why did Sam love this book?

Meldahl’s book describes more than 100 million years of North America’s history. For laymen, it is the best geologic field guide to understanding the tectonic forces and subsequent erosion which formed the western United States. The photos, maps, and illustrations depict how the rivers, mountains, and plains are where they are and why. Anyone who drives from California to the Great Plains, or in reverse, should carry this book in your car. Even though millions of people love history, few understand earth’s history, which stares in the face of all of us and, for those who are curious, reveals “the hidden poetry of our mutable earth” (Richard Fortey).

By Keith Heyer Meldahl,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Unfold a map of North America," Keith Heyer Meldahl writes, "and the first thing to grab your eye is the bold shift between the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains." In this absorbing book, Meldahl takes readers on a 1000-mile-long field trip back through more than 100 million years of deep time to explore America's most spectacular and scientifically intriguing landscapes. He places us on the outcrops, rock hammer in hand, to examine the evidence for how these rough-hewn lands came to be. We see California and its gold assembled from pieces of old ocean floor and the relentless movements…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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