100 books like The Ecological Eye

By Andrew Patrizio,

Here are 100 books that The Ecological Eye fans have personally recommended if you like The Ecological Eye. 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 Silent Spring

Elizabeth Randall Author Of An Ocklawaha River Odyssey: Paddling Through Natural History

From my list on saving Florida from becoming an arid dump of toxic waste.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lived in Florida since 1969, attended public school here, and received my Master’s degree from a state college. My husband, Bob Randall, a photographer and an entrepreneur, and I have written six nonfiction books about Florida. An Ocklawaha River Odyssey is our favorite. Kayaking the 56 miles of winding waterways became less of a research expedition and more of a spiritual journey as the ancient river cast its spell on us. From wildlife, including manatees and monkeys, to wild orchids and pickerelweed, the Ocklawaha provides more than exercise and recreation; it also touches your soul. I hope my writing and Bob’s photography provide that experience for our readers.

Elizabeth's book list on saving Florida from becoming an arid dump of toxic waste

Elizabeth Randall Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Carson’s Silent Spring is full of unsettling environmental details, including the poisoning of species of birds by insecticides and politicians' proposals to use a nuclear bomb to form a dam. Although it was published in 1962, the book is even more relevant today, and I love that it is easy to read and gives environmentalists the facts they need to counter those who would poison and destroy wildlife and, ultimately, the environment.

By Rachel Carson,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Silent Spring as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First published by Houghton Mifflin in 1962, Silent Spring alerted a large audience to the environmental and human dangers of indiscriminate use of pesticides, spurring revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water. "Silent Spring became a runaway bestseller, with international reverberations . . . [It is] well crafted, fearless and succinct . . . Even if she had not inspired a generation of activists, Carson would prevail as one of the greatest nature writers in American letters" (Peter Matthiessen, for Time"s 100 Most Influential People of the Century). This fortieth anniversary edition celebrates Rachel Carson"s watershed…

Book cover of Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth

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 presents a fascinating theory that life created an atmosphere favorable to life. The sun is much hotter than when life began. Life kept the temperature beneficial to life by removing greenhouse gasses from the air. Organisms created an atmosphere high in oxygen.

The book is exciting and educates the reader on the interaction of life and the geophysical environment. This book is relevant to and influenced my theory that all species increase biodiversity, the theory about which I wrote the two books I am featuring here.

By James Lovelock,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this classic work that continues to inspire many readers, Jim Lovelock puts forward his idea that the Earth functions as a single organism. Written for non-scientists, Gaia is a journey through time and space in search of evidence in support of a radically different model of our planet. In contrast to conventional belief that life is passive in the face of threats to its existence, the book explores the hypothesis that the Earth's living matter influences
air, ocean, and rock to form a complex, self-regulating system that has the capacity to keep the Earth a fit place for life.…

Book cover of The Tree

Scott Chaskey Author Of Soil and Spirit: Cultivation and Kinship in the Web of Life

From my list on our human relationship with the natural world.

Why am I passionate about this?

For decades, I have been identified as a poet-farmer—I have a friendship with the earth forged through many seasons of cultivation, husbandry, and harvest. Enrolled in an MFA program abroad in creative writing, I found my way to Ireland, Oxford, and eventually to Cornwall, England, where I learned the art of cliff meadow farming. Returning to America, I became part of an agricultural revival called Community Supported Agriculture. I continued to write and teach poetry, enlivened by literature and the silt-loam soil of the Long Island peninsula. The language of the garden and the language of poetry and prose in sympathy with the earth, for me, are inseparable.

Scott's book list on our human relationship with the natural world

Scott Chaskey Why did Scott love this book?

I feel the same about this book as Barry Lopez—who wrote a most wonderful introduction—when he notes that throughout his reading of the text, he often had to take a break to walk outside; the writing was just so stimulating.

Appealing to me as a poet, this is a slim book—about 90 pages—really a meditative essay that I return to again and again. I am fascinated by the originality of the author’s thought process, his supple prose, and his discussion of the polarities that exist between cultivated nature and wildness.

One singular sentence in this book (“The wood waits…”) has such resonance for me that I chose it as an epigraph for a book of my own.

By John Fowles,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

John Fowles' writing life was dominated by trees. From the orchards of his childhood in suburban Essex,to the woodlands of wartime Devon, to his later life on the Dorset coast, trees filled his imagination and enriched his many acclaimed and best-selling novels.Told through his lifelong relationship with trees, blending autobiography, literary criticism, philosophy and nature writing, The Tree is a masterly, powerful work that laid the literary foundations for nature-as-memoir, a genre which has seen recent flourishings in Roger Deakin's Wildwood, Richard Mabey's Nature Cure, Robert Macfarlane's The Old Ways and Helen Macdonald's H is for Hawk.As lyrical and precise…

Book cover of Woodlands

Leopoldine Prosperetti Author Of Woodland Imagery in Northern Art, c. 1500 - 1800: Poetry and Ecology

From my list on the woodlands before the Industrial Revolution.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am not a naturalist but consider myself a practitioner of ”lyrical naturalism.” My interest is in the descriptions of nature by poets and artists in previous centuries. The dream is to inspire people to look at the natural environment through the lens of art and poetry rather than the somewhat dry frameworks of botany. My great hero is John Ruskin, a British writer whose lyrical prose has never stopped enchanting its readers. I was very happy to publish a book of essays titled Woodland Imagery in Northern Art, c. 1500-1800: Poetry and Ecology. I hope that its richly illustrated essays will inspire readers to look at the environment with renewed wonder. 

Leopoldine's book list on the woodlands before the Industrial Revolution

Leopoldine Prosperetti Why did Leopoldine love this book?

This book has given me more delight than just about any other book dealing with the woodlands. It is not a herbarium or any other dry enumeration of plants. The Oxford Don takes us by the hand and shows us enchanted spinneys, lovely copses, ancient savannas, woodland pastures, and so much more that were once enchanting. In the everyday environment, the inspiration of poets, the meeting place of lovers, and the haunt of human beings seeking solitude. 

"A state-of-the-art survey of Britain’s woods by the acknowledged expert in the field… He seems to know woods like old friends, each with its unique past, its cranky or capricious personality, and its hoard of secrets. And he writes like an angel.” - The Times 

By Oliver Rackham,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Trees are wildlife just as deer or primroses are wildlife. Each species has its own agenda and its own interactions with human activities ..., Written by one of Britain,s best-known naturalists, Woodlands offers a fascinating new insight into the trees of the British landscape that have filled us with awe and inspiration throughout the centuries. Looking at such diverse evidence as the woods used in buildings and ships, and how woodland has been portrayed in pictures and photographs, Rackham traces British woodland through the ages, from the evolution of wildwood, through man,s effect on the landscape, modern forestry and its…

Book cover of Art Is Everything

Jen Silverman Author Of We Play Ourselves

From my list on to take with you when you’ve blown up your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a playwright and novelist born in the US and raised in a grab-bag of other countries. I grew up moving between cities and languages, and now, as an adult, I move between different modes of artistic practice. My first book, The Island Dwellers, is an interlinked story collection set partially in the US and partially in Japan and my second book begins with someone fleeing NY for LA; perhaps one of the impulses I understand most is to abandon ship and start over. I’m compelled by stories in which people seek to transform themselves or to refashion their lives. I think it takes a great daring (and a great desperation) to do either. 

Jen's book list on to take with you when you’ve blown up your life

Jen Silverman Why did Jen love this book?

Art Is Everything is a book about obsession, about love, about artistry, about the limits of aesthetics within an industry in which the marketplace is an unspoken but all-powerful factor. When I began reading it, I was amazed and exhilarated by how clearly it is in conversation with the preoccupations of my own novel, although from a different standpoint. Also: this book is hilarious. The humor is sharp, wry, sometimes skewering, but never inhumane. I laughed so hard reading it – and this was in 2020, so I wasn’t doing much laughing otherwise. I would walk up and down the floors of my apartment and read entire sections out loud to my partner. I do believe in the bold declaration of its title, and by the time I finished reading, I felt sure the author did too. 

By Yxta Maya Murray,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In her funny, idiosyncratic, and propulsive new novel, Art Is Everything, Yxta Maya Murray offers us a portrait of a Chicana artist as a woman on the margins. L.A. native Amanda Ruiz is a successful performance artist who is madly in love with her girlfriend, a wealthy and pragmatic actuary named Xochitl. Everything seems under control: Amanda's grumpy father is living peacefully in Koreatown; Amanda is about to enjoy a residency at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and, once she gets her NEA, she's going to film a groundbreaking auto-critical documentary in Mexico.

But then everything starts to fall…

Book cover of Seven Days in the Art World

Gareth Southwell Author Of Pale Kings

From my list on understanding the crazy world of contemporary art.

Why am I passionate about this?

From the moment I could pick up a pencil, I’ve loved to draw. Since then, my art career has developed alongside my writing, and I’m now a professional illustrator. Despite this background, I still feel alienated from the “art world”. Contemporary art seems like a scam. Its pieces leave me cold, there’s rarely any skill to be appreciated, and their “meaning” is often obscure or trivial – at the end of the day, a pickled sheep is a pickled sheep, right? Pale Kings is a satire of all this, where a group of chancers set out to scam the scammers at their own game. But would anyone really buy a hole?

Gareth's book list on understanding the crazy world of contemporary art

Gareth Southwell Why did Gareth love this book?

Where Thompson concentrates on the economic aspects of the art market, Thornton takes a sociological perspective.

She is like an anthropologist exploring a strange culture, and in the best participative tradition, takes pains to understand it non-judgementally, on its own terms.

The seven days refer to seven distinct events that make up the ecosystem of the contemporary art world: the auction house where pieces are sold, the university where artists learn their craft, the fair where collectors find new talent, the prize that spotlights tomorrow’s stars, the magazine that critiques and identifies the latest trends, the studio where the artist works, and the exhibition where the triumphant art is displayed and celebrated.

If Thompson’s book is about the finance of art, this is about people.

By Sarah Thornton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Seven Days in the Art World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sarah Thornton's vivid ethnography-an international hit, now available in twenty translations-reveals the inner workings of the sophisticated subcultures that make up the contemporary art world. In a series of day-in-the-life narratives set in New York, Los Angeles, London, Basel, Venice, and Tokyo, Seven Days in the Art World explores the dynamics of creativity, taste, status, money, and the search for meaning in life.

Book cover of After the End of Art: Contemporary Art and the Pale of History

Noël Carroll Author Of Philosophy of Art: A Contemporary Introduction

From my list on philosophy that surveys the arts.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of philosophy, specializing in the philosophy of art at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. When I was a practicing critic, notably of cinema, I backed into philosophy insofar as being a practitioner forced me to ask abstract questions about what I was doing. I have written over fifteen books as well as five documentaries. I am also a former Guggenheim fellow. 

Noël's book list on philosophy that surveys the arts

Noël Carroll Why did Noël love this book?

This book is an amazing combination of the philosophy of art, the philosophy of art history, and art criticism. The late Arthur Danto was not only a distinguished philosopher but also an award-winning art critic. In this book, Danto tracks the decline and fall of Modernism (which he describes as “the end of art”) and the advent of our present artistic moment which can be critically characterized as an era of post-historical pluralism. Danto, following GFW Hegel, proposes a partial definition of the artwork as an embodied meaning – thereby addressing the challenge to say what art is -- as it was posed by Clive Bell.

By Arthur C Danto,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Originally delivered as the prestigious Mellon Lectures on the Fine Arts in 1995, After the End of Art remains a classic of art criticism and philosophy, and continues to generate heated debate for contending that art ended in the 1960s. Arthur Danto, one of the best-known art critics of his time, presents radical insights into art's irrevocable deviation from its previous course and the decline of traditional aesthetics. He demonstrates the necessity for a new type of criticism in the face of contemporary art's wide-open possibilities. This Princeton Classics edition includes a new foreword by philosopher Lydia Goehr.

Book cover of Distant Early Warning: Marshall McLuhan and the Transformation of the Avant-Garde

William J. Buxton Author Of Harold Innis on Peter Pond: Biography, Cultural Memory, and the Continental Fur Trade

From my list on By or about the Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan (.

Why am I passionate about this?

William J. Buxton is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies and Senior Fellow, Centre for Sensory Studies, at Concordia University Montreal, Qc, Canada. He is also professeur associé au Département d’information et de communication de l’Université Laval, Québec City, Québec, Canada. He has edited and co-edited five books related to the life and works of the Canadian political economist and media theorist, Harold Adams Innis.

William's book list on By or about the Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan (

William J. Buxton Why did William love this book?

This book explores McLuhan’s relationship with avant-garde art. While McLuhan’s engagement with artistic endeavours, has received some attention, Kitnick examines in detail not only how McLuhan’s work on art developed over an extended period, but how his views on artistic practice came to inform the work of others. He builds on McLuhan’s contention that art was not primarily a means of self-expression, but rather the basis for cultural exploration and environmental change. Drawing inspiration from figures such as James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, and Wyndham Lewis. McLuhan, according to Kitnick, saw members of the avant-garde as artists who work within conventional structures in order to disrupt them, thereby throwing them into relief. 

By Alex Kitnick,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980) is best known as a media theorist-many consider him the founder of media studies-but he was also an important theorist of art. Though a near-household name for decades due to magazine interviews and TV specials, McLuhan remains an underappreciated yet fascinating figure in art history. His connections with the art of his own time were largely unexplored, until now. In Distant Early Warning, art historian Alex Kitnick delves into these rich connections and argues both that McLuhan was influenced by art and artists and, more surprisingly, that McLuhan's work directly influenced the art and artists of his…

Book cover of I Love Dick

Laura Catherine Brown Author Of Made by Mary

From my list on smart, sarcastic, funny-sad-angry women.

Why am I passionate about this?

My favorite books are funny/sad. In my own writing, I aspire for balance between satire and sympathy, going to dark places and shining a light of hilarity on them. I’m compelled by the psychological complexities of desire, particularly in female characters—flawed, average women, struggling for empowerment. For me, desire is inextricably bound with loss. I’m inspired by loss both superficial and profound, from misplaced keys to dying fathers. Many voices clamor in my head, vying for my attention. I’m interested in ambitious misfits, enraged neurotics, pagans, shamans, healers, dealers, grifters, and spiritual seekers who are forced to adapt, construct, reinvent and contort themselves as reality shifts around them.

Laura's book list on smart, sarcastic, funny-sad-angry women

Laura Catherine Brown Why did Laura love this book?

I love I Love Dick! This is a hilarious, shocking, keenly intelligent interrogative adventure into the art world and ideas about stalking a muse and being female. The book was published in 1997 but I didn’t discover it until a decade later, so I was late to the game. In her forward, Eileen Myles describes Chris Kraus as “marching boldly into self-abasement and self-advertisement,” which is a perfect way of putting it. Shredding the veil between reality and fiction, in her relentless pursuit of Dick (a real person), Chris Kraus embraces the world, no holds barred. If you’re curious about being female, being an artist, being a failure (whatever that means), chasing your desires, and fighting your way out of limitations both within and without, this riveting, lacerating, revealing, surprising book is for you.

By Chris Kraus,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Chris Kraus, an unsuccessful artist pushing 40, spends an evening with a rogue academic named Dick, she falls madly and inexplicably in love, enlisting her husband in her haunted pursuit. Dick proposes a kind of game between them, but when he fails to answer their letters Chris continues alone, transforming an adolescent infatuation into a new form of philosophy.

Blurring the lines of fiction, essay and memoir, Chris Kraus's novel was a literary sensation when it was first published in 1997. Widely considered to be the most important feminist novel of the past two decades, I Love Dick is…

Book cover of The Lost Spells

Day Schildkret Author Of Hello, Goodbye: 75 Rituals for Times of Loss, Celebration, and Change

From my list on nature, art, and ritual.

Why am I passionate about this?

I came to discover the healing power of art, nature, and ritual while I was grieving the loss of my father a decade ago. I would go to the park and make impermanent and symmetrical art from found twigs, flowers, pine cones, berries, and leaves as a way to ground, heal my broken heart, and make sense of a chaotic time. Since then, I‘ve made over a thousand nature altars, written a book about it (Morning Altars), and have taught tens of thousands of people around the world to make meaning in their lives through a creative collaboration with the natural world. It still amazes me that something so simple and impermanent can bring such wonder and resilience.

Day's book list on nature, art, and ritual

Day Schildkret Why did Day love this book?

A wise man once said to me, “if you can say it, you can see it." This magical book of art, poetry, and nature is a response to the removal of nature words such as “acorn,” “wren,” and “dandelion,” from a children’s dictionary. His gorgeous writing encourages us to wonder at the forgotten and to behold the ordinary by uttering nature words as a conjuring thing. During a time of environmental loss, grief, and forgetting, McFarlane lets us fall in love again with the greater-than-human world through language and therefore, to renew our capacity to marvel at the living landscape and our own inner landscape. 

By Robert Macfarlane, Jackie Morris (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Lost Spells as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

Beautiful books make unforgettable gifts. This pocket-sized treasure is the perfect gift for fans of nature, language and rich artwork, adult and child alike!

Kindred in spirit to The Lost Words but fresh in its form, The Lost Spells introduces a beautiful new set of natural spell-poems and artwork by beloved creative duo Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris.

Each "spell" conjures an animal, bird, tree or flower -- from Barn Owl to Red Fox, Grey Seal to Silver Birch, Jay to Jackdaw -- with which we share our lives and landscapes. Moving, joyful and funny, The Lost Spells above all…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in art, the Industrial Revolution, and Europe?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about art, the Industrial Revolution, and Europe.

Art Explore 862 books about art
The Industrial Revolution Explore 71 books about the Industrial Revolution
Europe Explore 900 books about Europe