67 books like More Than Birds

By Val Shushkewich,

Here are 67 books that More Than Birds fans have personally recommended if you like More Than Birds. 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 Heyday of Natural History, 1820-1870

Michael Layland Author Of In Nature's Realm: Early Naturalists Explore Vancouver Island

From my list on the history of natural history.

Why am I passionate about this?

In Nature’s Realm is my third book on the theme of exploration of Vancouver Island, my home for the past thirty years, and my first focussed on the history of natural history. In it, I call upon decades of experience in mapping hitherto scarcely known parts of the world, combined with a keen fascination with the fauna and flora of the many places where I have lived and worked. I have marvelled at the work of the exploring naturalists and am fascinated with their personal histories. I find it enthralling how they each added to the sum of human knowledge of the wonders of the natural world, now so sadly threatened.

Michael's book list on the history of natural history

Michael Layland Why did Michael love this book?

I found this delightful, well-written account of great interest and reference. It covers the widespread passion for all aspects of natural history during the Victorian era, how the collectors of ferns, seashells, birds’ eggs, and skins, butterflies, beetles, orchids, and all manner of curiosities from the natural world, pursued their hobbies. This general acceptance by society led to the formation of clubs, articles, and even specialist journals and popular lectures by amateurs and scientists.

Beautifully illustrated, this book, even though constrained in its timeframe, provides a wonderful introduction to the topic. Since I cover many of the people and motives included here, I much enjoyed another writer’s perspective on them.

By Lynn Barber,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Heyday of Natural History, 1820-1870 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First American Edition. "Generously illustrated and impeccably researched, "The Heyday of Natural History" is a highly informative look at a fascinating slice of Victorian culture and scientific history, and the scholars of the Victorian period will find it illuminating. . .Lynn Barber writes primarily for the general reader, and no one can fail to enjoy her witty style, and the rich gallery of eccentrics she describes."


Book cover of Darwin and the Beagle

Michael Layland Author Of In Nature's Realm: Early Naturalists Explore Vancouver Island

From my list on the history of natural history.

Why am I passionate about this?

In Nature’s Realm is my third book on the theme of exploration of Vancouver Island, my home for the past thirty years, and my first focussed on the history of natural history. In it, I call upon decades of experience in mapping hitherto scarcely known parts of the world, combined with a keen fascination with the fauna and flora of the many places where I have lived and worked. I have marvelled at the work of the exploring naturalists and am fascinated with their personal histories. I find it enthralling how they each added to the sum of human knowledge of the wonders of the natural world, now so sadly threatened.

Michael's book list on the history of natural history

Michael Layland Why did Michael love this book?

A superbly written account of, perhaps, the most famous British naturalist-explorer, Charles Darwin, on his great voyage aboard HMS Beagle to Patagonia and the Galápagos in 1831-6. The author also covers the furious aftermath, the debate resulting from Darwin’s (and Wallace’s) findings and contentious, to some seemingly blasphemous, theory on the origin of species. Profusely illustrated in colour with contemporary material. I have read and long admired several of Moorhead’s books and particularly enjoyed this one as it deals with a personal hero of mine.

By Alan Moorehead,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An account of Darwin's five-year expedition, as a naturalist on board HMS Beagle, illustrated from contemporary sources.


Book cover of Flower Hunters

Michael Layland Author Of In Nature's Realm: Early Naturalists Explore Vancouver Island

From my list on the history of natural history.

Why am I passionate about this?

In Nature’s Realm is my third book on the theme of exploration of Vancouver Island, my home for the past thirty years, and my first focussed on the history of natural history. In it, I call upon decades of experience in mapping hitherto scarcely known parts of the world, combined with a keen fascination with the fauna and flora of the many places where I have lived and worked. I have marvelled at the work of the exploring naturalists and am fascinated with their personal histories. I find it enthralling how they each added to the sum of human knowledge of the wonders of the natural world, now so sadly threatened.

Michael's book list on the history of natural history

Michael Layland Why did Michael love this book?

This fine book was another discovery of mine as I studied the literature on aspects of the history of natural history for my own book in this genre. Although written by two academics, this book is easy to read by a generally educated public. It covers what is to me, the engrossing topic of the early botanical collectors and illustrators, both men and women. The authors recount the lives of eleven subjects from Linnaeus through Banks, Douglas, Spruce, and Hooker, and how they, together, founded the science of botany by roaming the world in search of new species. There are 32 well-chosen illustrations, in colour and monochrome.

By Mary Gribbin, John Gribbin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The flower hunters were intrepid explorers - remarkable, eccentric men and women who scoured the world in search of extraordinary plants from the middle of the seventeenth to the end of the nineteenth century, and helped establish the new science of botany. For these adventurers, the search for new, undiscovered plant specimens was something worth risking - and often losing - their lives for. From the Douglas-fir and the monkey puzzle tree, to exotic orchids and azaleas, many of the plants that are now so familiar to us were found in distant regions of the globe, often in wild and…


Book cover of Humboldt and the Cosmos

Michael Layland Author Of In Nature's Realm: Early Naturalists Explore Vancouver Island

From my list on the history of natural history.

Why am I passionate about this?

In Nature’s Realm is my third book on the theme of exploration of Vancouver Island, my home for the past thirty years, and my first focussed on the history of natural history. In it, I call upon decades of experience in mapping hitherto scarcely known parts of the world, combined with a keen fascination with the fauna and flora of the many places where I have lived and worked. I have marvelled at the work of the exploring naturalists and am fascinated with their personal histories. I find it enthralling how they each added to the sum of human knowledge of the wonders of the natural world, now so sadly threatened.

Michael's book list on the history of natural history

Michael Layland Why did Michael love this book?

Between 1799 and 1804 the Prussian polymath, Baron Alexander von Humboldt, explored South America and Mexico, studying and collecting from the natural world. He devoted the next 30 years to writing and publishing scientific treatises on his discoveries in physical geography and natural history. He established the concept of plant geography. In the final years of his long life, he worked to publish Cosmos, a work of enormous scope and depth—his vision of the nature of the world—and fundamental to the study of the history of natural history. I treasure in my library several of von Humboldt’s works and so found this summation of the travels and work of one of the world’s greatest natural scientists especially helpful. It is profusely illustrated.  

By Douglas Botting,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Incredible account of Humbolt's journeys through South America.


Book cover of One Midsummer's Day: Swifts and the Story of Life on Earth

Tom Mustill Author Of How to Speak Whale: The Power and Wonder of Listening to Animals

From my list on escaping into worlds of animal wonder.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was first a biologist, working with endangered species. Then I switched and spent fifteen years making nature documentaries with people like Greta Thunberg and David Attenborough. Then a humpback whale breached onto me when I was kayaking, this led to a life-changing adventure culminating in my becoming involved in efforts to use AI to translate the communications of whales! I wrote about this for my first book. My great passion was always reading and in becoming a writer I get to go deeper and more playfully into my favorite parts of filmmaking – following heroic and fascinating people on their adventures, reading hundreds of complicated scientific papers, and finding ways to connect these.

Tom's book list on escaping into worlds of animal wonder

Tom Mustill Why did Tom love this book?

I read this book thinking I'd learn about a speedy little 40g bird that never stops flying and that people used to think flew to the moon in winter.

But the book is a non-fiction love song to all life on earth that spins outward weaving together everything it has taken to make a world that could have swifts in it. It is literally wonder-ful and a masterpiece.

By Mark Cocker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked One Midsummer's Day as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It takes a whole universe to make one small black bird

The bestselling author of Crow Country and writer of The Guardian's Country Diary tells the story of all life on Earth through a single day spent in the company of swifts.

'A jewel of a book' Caroline Lucas MP

Swifts are among the most extraordinary of all birds. Their migrations span continents and their twelve-week stopover, when they pause to breed in European rooftops, is the very definition of summer. They may nest in our homes but much about their lives passes over our heads. No birds are more…


Book cover of Possessing Nature: Museums, Collecting, and Scientific Culture in Early Modern Italy

Celeste McNamara Author Of The Bishop's Burden: Reforming the Catholic Church in Early Modern Italy

From my list on Renaissance Italy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I teach medieval and early modern European history at Dublin City University, with a particular interest in 16th-18th century Italian history. My own research focuses on the religious, legal, and popular culture of northern Italy, particularly Venice and the Veneto region. I became fascinated with Renaissance Italian history as an undergraduate at the College of William and Mary, and then went on to do a masters and a PhD at Northwestern University. I have taught at Northwestern, the College of William and Mary, the University of Warwick/Warwick in Venice, and the State University of New York at Cortland.

Celeste's book list on Renaissance Italy

Celeste McNamara Why did Celeste love this book?

This is an excellent and fascinating book on the scientific culture of Renaissance Italy, where intellectuals and the wealthy elite began collecting and cataloging curiosities long before their northern European counterparts. Findlen demonstrates a key way in which Renaissance intellectuals could look back to an idealized ancient past while also creating new knowledge and institutions – namely the museum. This book is beautifully written, full of engaging stories, and shows a side of early modern science often ignored.

By Paula Findlen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 1500 few Europeans regarded nature as a subject worthy of inquiry. Yet fifty years later the first museums of natural history had appeared in Italy, dedicated to the marvels of nature. Italian patricians, their curiosity fueled by new voyages of exploration and the humanist rediscovery of nature, created vast collections as a means of knowing the world and used this knowledge to their greater glory. Drawing on extensive archives of visitors' books, letters, travel journals, memoirs, and pleas for patronage, Paula Findlen reconstructs the lost social world of Renaissance and Baroque museums. She follows the new study of natural…


Book cover of A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

Eyal Halfon Author Of They Were Here Before Us: Stories from Our First Million Years

From my list on traveling the world from your armchair.

Why am I passionate about this?

Long before I became a filmmaker and many years before I knew what pre-history meant, I was a restless traveler. I was an adventurer and a hiker, fascinated by maps and mountain peaks and constantly searching for the best place for a coffee break. In my list, I have tried to combine my passion for traveling with what is really important in life: people, friends, and travel companions.

Eyal's book list on traveling the world from your armchair

Eyal Halfon Why did Eyal love this book?

Bryson inspired me while writing a book about my walk along the 600 miles of the Israel Trail.

He hiked the famous Appalachian Trail, but it was his traveling companion–an amusing type who has difficulty walking, who stands at the center of the book. I had more than one friend like this with me, and I learned that trees and landscapes are just the background in a travel book.

By Bill Bryson,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked A Walk in the Woods as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of "Notes from a Small Island" and "The Lost Continent" comes this humorous report on his walk along the Appalachian Trail. The Trail covers 14 states and over 2000 miles, and stretches along the east coast of America from Maine in the north to Georgia in the south. It is famous for being the longest continuous footpath in the world. It snakes through some of the wildest and most specactular landscapes in America, as well as through some of its most poverty-stricken and primitive backwoods areas.


Book cover of The Snow Leopard

Sharon Pincott Author Of Elephant Dawn: The Inspirational Story of Thirteen Years Living With Elephants in the African Wilderness

From my list on consider taking more risks and do something completely different with your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I found myself giving up a high-flying life and successful IT career at age 38 to live my dream in the African bush, getting to know wild elephant families intimately and ultimately helping to save them from the actions of corrupt officials, unethical sport-hunters, poachers, and land claimants. It took plenty of tenacity and endurance to make a difference. Books have long been an important influence in my life, as they are for so many. I want to share a different insight and inspire you to ponder which books changed you. Here are five books that helped shape my life, and the thought-provoking reasons why.

Sharon's book list on consider taking more risks and do something completely different with your life

Sharon Pincott Why did Sharon love this book?

Peter wrote about his long trek into the Himalayas in the company of a biologist who went in search of the elusive snow leopard. I was awed by this concept, but more so, for Peter, it was a spiritual journey that memorably reflects on his own life and the recent death of his wife.

There’s such vivid beauty and inspirational honesty in his words. It evoked in me a longing for wild places with no expectations attached. 

By Peter Matthiessen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A beautiful book, and worthy of the mountains he is among' Paul Theroux

'A delight' i Paper

This is the account of a journey to the dazzling Tibetan plateau of Dolpo in the high Himalayas. In 1973 Matthiessen made the 250-mile trek to Dolpo, as part of an expedition to study wild blue sheep. It was an arduous, sometimes dangerous, physical endeavour: exertion, blisters, blizzards, endless negotiations with sherpas, quaking cold. But it was also a 'journey of the heart' - amongst the beauty and indifference of the mountains Matthiessen was searching for solace. He was also searching for a…


Book cover of Going Back To Bisbee

Tom Zoellner Author Of Rim to River: Looking into the Heart of Arizona

From my list on books about Southern Arizona.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a fifth-generation Arizonan, a former staff writer for the Arizona Republic, and a lifelong student of the Grand Canyon State. One of my very favorite things to do is travel the backroads of this amazing state and talk with the astonishing people who live there. Along the way, I wrote eight nonfiction books, including Island on Fire, which won the 2020 National Book Critics Circle Award. My day job is at Chapman University, where I am an English professor. 

Tom's book list on books about Southern Arizona

Tom Zoellner Why did Tom love this book?

I loved this road memoir by one of our most gentle and graceful writers, the poet Richard Shelton, who mentored hundreds of incarcerated writers in Arizona prisons.

He writes of a return to the “delightful maze” of the town of Bisbee, where he first worked as a teacher in 1956, a place where the old copper miner's shacks cling to the hillsides of the Mule Mountains as precariously as the villas on a Mediterranean island, and where the people have shrugged off life's hard punches as insouciantly as a prizefighter.

Resplendent with nature writing, you can practically smell the creosote on the sentences. I think this is one of the most tonally accurate volumes ever written about this region.

By Richard Shelton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Going Back To Bisbee as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Sharing Nature with Children

Jacob Rodenburg Author Of The Book of Nature Connection: 70 Sensory Activities for All Ages

From my list on rekindling our connection to nature.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an educator and author with more than 35 years of experience in outdoor education, I’ve come to realize that children need nature more than ever.  I wonder if children are more lonely today because they feel disconnected from the very life systems that nourish us all. There are rising levels of anxiety, depression, and mental health concerns. At the same time, more studies are showing the tremendous health benefits of time spent outside. I hope that all of us take the time to connect to our “neighbourwood,” and that we come to recognize that our community is more than the buildings, houses, and streets and also consists of plants, animals, insects, birds, water, and air. Let us create spaces where both people and nature can thrive so we can create a greener, healthier tomorrow.

Jacob's book list on rekindling our connection to nature

Jacob Rodenburg Why did Jacob love this book?

Although written a few decades ago, this book is full of creative games, activities, and ideas that incorporate drama, natural history, and hands-on learning to rekindle a child’s love for nature. The book is written in a clear and easy-to-follow format and is, well, joyful in the way it is presented, and the activities offered.

This book sparked a worldwide revolution that drew the attention of children, adults, and educators to the importance of nature connection.  

By Joseph Cornell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sharing Nature with Children as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As Joseph Cornell’s classic book reached its 20th anniversary, Cornell drew upon a wealth of experience in nature education to significantly revise and expand his book. New nature games—favorites from the field—and Cornell's typically insightful commentary makes the second edition of this special classic even more valuable to nature lovers world-wide. The Sharing Nature movement that Cornell pioneered has now expanded to countries all over the globe. Recommended by Boy Scouts of America, American Camping Association, National Audubon Society and many others.


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