100 books like Leave It As It Is

By David Gessner,

Here are 100 books that Leave It As It Is fans have personally recommended if you like Leave It As It Is. 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 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 Blind Descent

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?

Last month, descending on the tour again of Lehman Caves at Great Basin National Park, I immediately felt the terror in Blind Descent creep into my head. Then, the park naturalist turned off the lights so we could experience utter black darkness—and my own dread grew larger. Barr’s mystery-thriller digs into the real fear in the cave depths, not like controlled spookiness on a tour. A fun read, Barr’s book captures what caving is all about…and the hidden dangers. If you plan on visiting Carlsbad Caverns, where this story is set, it’s a must-read. But it’s also equally good if you plan on touring caves at Mammoth, Great Basin, Sequoia, or Wind Cave National Parks. Once you’ve read it, the story will haunt you on every underground exploration.

By Nevada Barr,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Park ranger Anna Pigeon is enjoying the open spaces of Colorado when she receives an urgent call. A young woman has been injured while exploring a cave in New Mexico's Carlsbad Cavern Park. Before she can be pulled to safety, she sends for her friend Anna. Only one problem: a crushing fear of confined spaces has kept Anna out in the open her whole life.



Book cover of Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest

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?

Dr. Suzanne Simard is also a professor of Forest Ecology, but like Robin Wall Kimmerer (above), she has created a readable and personal book about her subject. Her research, undertaken over decades, set out to prove that trees communicate and cooperate and that they help each other, both within a species and between different species.

Her gripping story includes how she overcame a Male Chauvinist work environment and proved that a weed-killed monoculture was far from the most optimal way to manage forests. Her book is a reminder of how little we know of the incredibly complex biosphere we are privileged to be part of.

By Suzanne Simard,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked Finding the Mother Tree as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • From the world's leading forest ecologist who forever changed how people view trees and their connections to one another and to other living things in the forest—a moving, deeply personal journey of discovery

“Finding the Mother Tree reminds us that the world is a web of stories, connecting us to one another. [The book] carries the stories of trees, fungi, soil and bears--and of a human being listening in on the conversation. The interplay of personal narrative, scientific insights and the amazing revelations about the life of the forest make a compelling story.”—Robin Wall…


Book cover of Hike

Miri Leshem-Pelly Author Of A Feather, a Pebble, a Shell

From my list on picture books about hiking in nature.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a family of nature lovers and went with my parents and my brother on numerous nature hikes. These are my most precious childhood memories. I learned as a child to appreciate nature, I was fascinated by wild animals and inspired by the beauty of the natural world. As I grew up, I became more and more aware of how fragile the natural world is today and how important it is to protect it. This is one of the main motivators for me to create books for kids that will inspire them to love and respect nature.

Miri's book list on picture books about hiking in nature

Miri Leshem-Pelly Why did Miri love this book?

I really like wordless books, and I find this one of the most beautiful and enjoyable in this genre. The topic of a day trip in nature is suitable for the concept of a wordless book because it conveys the silent yet powerful experience of exploring nature.

I loved the range of emotions that the book sparked in me, which are very familiar to me from my own hikes–the excitement of discovering a wild animal, the sense of wonder in front of a breathtaking view, the fear of a challenging moment like crossing a stream over a log, the satisfaction of success when conquering the fear, and the pleasure of sharing the trip with someone you love.

The illustrations are charming and full of hidden details to discover.

By Pete Oswald,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hike as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Take to the trails for a celebration of nature - and a day spent with Dad.

In the cool and quiet early light of morning, a father and child wake up. Today they're going on a hike. Follow the duo into the mountains as they witness the magic of the wilderness, overcome challenges, and play a small role in the survival of the forest. By the time they return home, they feel alive - and closer than ever - as they document their hike and take their place in family history.

In detail-rich panels and textured panoramas, Pete Oswald perfectly…


Book cover of The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring

Anthony D. Fredericks Author Of In Search of the Old Ones: An Odyssey among Ancient Trees

From my list on trees and forests.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, my father and I would take two weeks every summer to camp in the High Sierra Mountains of California. In between fishing excursions and rafting trips, I would take time to hike among tall pines or resplendent forests. I was always amazed at what I would discover. In later years, I would often find myself in the company of forests on business ventures or family vacations. Now in my eighth decade, I still embrace the magnificence of tall timbers. I have lived among them, danced beneath their branches, and reposed in their shade. They are an integral part of my life; they are both inspiration and friends.

Anthony's book list on trees and forests

Anthony D. Fredericks Why did Anthony love this book?

Fasten your seat belts, for Preston will take you on a wild and crazy journey up into the canopies of redwood trees.

You’ll join a brave and fearless troop of young explorers as they ascend ever higher into these magnificent trees to discover a world previously unseen. Strange critters, unusual plants, and an ecosystem unlike any on the forest floor come into view.

I have always believed that good nonfiction writing is also good storytelling. Preston is a master at weaving tales that capture readers’ imaginations and inform at the same time. His narrative bristles with mystery, intrigue, and rich human personalities.

After reading this tome, I journeyed to the redwood forests to discover for myself. So, will you!

By Richard Preston,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Wild Trees as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hidden in unseen valleys of dense rainforest on the coast of California are the world's tallest and largest things - trees up to forty stories tall and as old as the Parthenon: the coastal redwoods. Mysterious and unexplored, few people know how to find them, and fewer still have climbed them to study their upper reaches and discover the wonders there. "The Wild Trees" is the astonishing story of the handful of wild tree climbers and amateur naturalists who are now working in the redwood canopy, exploring this enchanted and terrifically dangerous new world. The canopy is a mysterious place…


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 Ecotopia

Ronnie D. Lipschutz Author Of Political Economy, Capitalism, and Popular Culture

From my list on explaining how capitalism works.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a product of Sputnik and the threat of nuclear war. Both turned me into a long-time reader of science fiction and a perpetual student in trying to understand how the world works and why? If we have free will, why do so many things seem to be predetermined? If we are rational beings, why do so many of our choices seem so absurd? And if a new world is possible, why can’t we bring it into existence? I was a professor of politics for 30 years (and I was respected! See “Soylent Green.”) and most of my research and writing try to answer these questions.

Ronnie's book list on explaining how capitalism works

Ronnie D. Lipschutz Why did Ronnie love this book?

Callenbach’s tale of ecological secession by Washington, Oregon, and Northern California remains an inspiration to those who believe another world is possible.

Callenbach imagined cheap solar electricity and newspapers being delivered through what was, essentially, street corner fax machines. Right on the first, wrong on the second. Unfortunately, Callenbach’s novel is sexist and even a little racist in places, and its utopian vision is unlikely to ever materialize. 

By Ernest Callenbach,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Twenty years have passed since Northern California, Oregon, and Washington seceded from the United States to create a new nation, Ecotopia. Rumors abound of barbaric war games, tree worship, revolutionary politics, sexual extravagance. Now, this mysterious country admits its first American visitor: investigative reporter Will Weston, whose dispatches alternate between shock and admiration. But Ecotopia gradually unravels everything Weston knows to be true about government and human nature itself, forcing him to choose between two competing views of civilization.Since it was first published in 1975, Ecotopia has inspired readers throughout the world with its vision of an ecologically and socially…


Book cover of Recovering a Lost River: Removing Dams, Rewilding Salmon, Revitalizing Communities

Tim Palmer Author Of America's Great River Journeys: 50 Canoe, Kayak, and Raft Adventures

From my list on rivers and the life they create.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been passionate about and engaged with rivers ever since growing up along streams in the Appalachian foothills of Pennsylvania. Now living in Oregon, I'm the author and photographer of 30 books about rivers, the environment, and adventure travel. My books include a history of river conservation, a primer on modern-day river issues, profiles of great rivers from the Youghiogheny in the East to the Snake and Columbia in the West, guidebooks, and photo essays. I've received the Ansel Adams Photography Award from the Sierra Club, the Communicator of the Year Award from the National Wildlife Federation, the Lifetime Achievement Award from American Rivers, a "paddler of the century" recognition from Paddler magazine, and numerous book honors.

Tim's book list on rivers and the life they create

Tim Palmer Why did Tim love this book?

This compelling profile of the Snake and Columbia Rivers of the Northwest and Northern Rockies makes a motivating case for removing unnecessary dams and restoring some of the most magnificent runs of fish ever to grace the North American continent. Hawley manages to find humor amid the outrage and chaos, and plants in readers' minds the vision for a better future that's within grasp, if only we had the political will to make the necessary changes. 

By Steven Hawley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the Pacific Northwest, the Snake River and its wilderness tributaries were—as recently as a half century ago—some of the world’s greatest salmon rivers. Now, due to four federal dams, the salmon population has dropped close to extinction. Steven Hawley, journalist and self-proclaimed “river rat,” argues that the best hope for the Snake River lies in dam removal, a solution that pits the power companies and federal authorities against a collection of Indian tribes, farmers, fishermen, and river recreationists. The river’s health, as he demonstrates, is closely connected to local economies, freshwater rights, and energy independence. Challenging the notion of…


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