10 books like The New Wilderness

By Diane Cook,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The New Wilderness. Shepherd is a community of 6,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Darwin Comes to Town

By Menno Schilthuizen,

Book cover of Darwin Comes to Town: How the Urban Jungle Drives Evolution

An evolutionary biologist and an excellent storyteller, Menno Schilthuizen gives a lively, upbeat survey of the myriad ways in which nonhuman life adapts to urban environments. Schilthuizen frames the city as one of nature’s many engineered environments: just as beetles evolved to live in anthills and whole-food webs rely on beaver-constructed wetlands, human cities provide homes for plant and animal life all over the world. This story goes far beyond peppered moths adapting to smog-stained trees. Schilthuizen delves into concepts like preadaptation and fragmentation to provide a nuanced and varied picture, allowing a more precise understanding of what is new in the Anthropocene and drawing connections between cities from Singapore to Paris.

Darwin Comes to Town

By Menno Schilthuizen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

We are marching towards a future in which three-quarters of humans live in cities, more than half of the landmass of the planet is urbanized, and the rest is covered by farms,pasture, and plantations. Increasingly, as we become ever more city-centric, species and ecosystems crafted by millions of years of evolution teeter on the brink of extinction - or have already disappeared.

A growing band of 'urban ecologists' is beginning to realize that natural selection is not so easily stopped. They are finding that more and more plants and animals are adopting new ways of living in the seemingly hostile…


Seeing Trees

By Sonja Dümpelmann,

Book cover of Seeing Trees: A History of Street Trees in New York City and Berlin

Maples, magnolias, oaks, and ailanthus: from the native to the exotic, from the carefully cultivated to the weedy and unwanted, Dümpelmann tells the history of the trees that line our city streets in two complementary case studies. Beginning in the late nineteenth century, trees became yet another technology of urban planning, bent to human designs by tree surgeons, dendroscopes, and all manner of other fantastic inventions. Dümpelmann avoids the pathos of the solitary tree sandwiched between asphalt and concrete. Instead, her story is one of flourishing mutualism: as trees became urbanized, cities became naturalized. Urban trees tell very human stories of war and politics and peace, but also resist our control, and make the city a little bit wild. 

Seeing Trees

By Sonja Dümpelmann,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A fascinating and beautifully illustrated volume that explains what street trees tell us about humanity's changing relationship with nature and the city

"A deep . . . dive into urban society's need for-and relationship with-trees that sought to return the natural world to the concrete jungle."-Adrian Higgins, Washington Post

Winner of the Foundation for Landscape Studies' 2019 John Brinckerhoff Jackson Prize

Today, cities around the globe are planting street trees to mitigate the effects of climate change. However, as landscape historian Sonja Dumpelmann explains, the planting of street trees in cities to serve specific functions is not a new phenomenon.…

Nature Obscura

By Kelly Brenner,

Book cover of Nature Obscura: A City's Hidden Natural World

From microscopic tardigrades in the moss on her roof to a cacophony of crows in an Ikea parking lot, Brenner finds teeming nonhuman life in the most overlooked urban spaces of her Seattle hometown. Her pocket-sized safaris combine personal discovery and well-researched investigations into history, science, and policy. Most importantly, by shifting our vision to see all the non-human life that is already here, Brenner gives her readers an accessible, everyday antidote to the supposed “nature deficit” of cities.

Nature Obscura

By Kelly Brenner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

2021 PNBA Book Awards finalist
2021 Washington State Book Awards finalist
With wonder and a sense of humor, Nature Obscura author Kelly Brenner aims to help us rediscover our connection to the natural world that is just outside our front door--we just need to know where to look.

Through explorations of a rich and varied urban landscape, Brenner reveals the complex micro-habitats and surprising nature found in the middle of a city. In her hometown of Seattle, which has plowed down hills, cut through the land to connect fresh- and saltwater, and paved over much of the rest, she exposes…

Motor City Green

By Joseph Stanhope Cialdella,

Book cover of Motor City Green: A Century of Landscapes and Environmentalism in Detroit

Nature takes on different meanings in the landscape of the post-industrial city. On a city block in the middle of a shrinking city, the return of green space can signify abandonment, disinvestment, and decay instead of healing, flourishing, or balance. Cialdella brings much needed nuance and historical context to the place of nature in postindustrial Detroit, providing a wider range of stories about the ways in which gardens and green, from the wide expanse of Belle Isle to urban potato patches and backyard sunflowers, have helped connect communities to the city and each other. Nature in the city doesn’t replace people; it helps them flourish.

Motor City Green

By Joseph Stanhope Cialdella,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Motor City Green is a history of green spaces in metropolitan Detroit from the late nineteenth- to early twenty-first century. The book focuses primarily on the history of gardens and parks in the city of Detroit and its suburbs in southeast Michigan. Cialdella argues Detroit residents used green space to address problems created by the city's industrial rise and decline, and racial segregation and economic inequality. As the city's social landscape became increasingly uncontrollable, Detroiters turned to parks, gardens, yards, and other outdoor spaces to relieve the negative social and environmental consequences of industrial capitalism. Motor City Green looks to…

American Dirt

By Jeanine Cummins,

Book cover of American Dirt

This book rocked my world.

Lydia and her young son begin a harrowing journey from Mexico to the United States after being targeted for death by a drug cartel. American Dirt has everything I relish in a story: a riveting plot, top-notch writing, believable characters, and spot-on dialogue. What’s more, it drives home the plight of migrants in a way that news stories can’t. I didn’t just read this book; I lived it. I became that desperate mother. And I too would trek across deserts and leap onto moving trains to save my child.

American Dirt

By Jeanine Cummins,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

*NOW A BBC RADIO 4 BOOK AT BEDTIME*
'Breathtaking... I haven't been so entirely consumed by a book for years' Telegraph
'I'll never stop thinking about it' Ann Patchett

FEAR KEEPS THEM RUNNING. HOPE KEEPS THEM ALIVE.

Vivid, visceral, utterly compelling, AMERICAN DIRT is an unforgettable story of a mother and son's attempt to cross the US-Mexico border. Described as 'impossible to put down' (Saturday Review) and 'essential reading' (Tracy Chevalier), it is a story that will leave you utterly changed.

Yesterday, Lydia had a bookshop.
Yesterday, Lydia was married to a journalist.
Yesterday, she was with everyone she loved…


The Chain

By Adrian McKinty,

Book cover of The Chain

This book made me wonder.

Rachel’s daughter has been kidnapped, and to get her back, Rachel must pay a ransom and abduct another child. The kidnapper is another mother whose child has been kidnapped—by someone else whose child has been kidnapped, by someone else whose... Well. You get the idea. As I tore through this novel, I couldn’t help wondering what I would do in that situation. Could I actually kidnap somebody else’s child? I still don’t have an answer, but watching this ingenious plot unfold was a rollercoaster ride I’ll never forget.

The Chain

By Adrian McKinty,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


When a mother is targeted by a dangerous group of masterminds, she must commit a crime to save her kidnapped daughter—or risk losing her forever—in this "propulsive and original" award-winning thriller (Stephen King).

It's something parents do every morning: Rachel Klein drops her daughter at the bus stop and heads into her day. But a cell phone call from an unknown number changes everything: it's a woman on the line, informing her that she has Kylie bound and gagged in her back seat, and the only way Rachel will see her again is to follow her instructions exactly: pay a…

The Darkest Secret

By Alex Marwood,

Book cover of The Darkest Secret

This book kept me guessing. 

A three-year-old disappears during her wealthy father’s fiftieth birthday celebration. Is it a case of stranger abduction, or something more complicated? Don’t ask the police; they’re clueless—literally. The mystery hooked me from the start, and the characters (absolute jerks, most of them) were so real, I could almost smell their boozy breath. I never did guess the shocking “darkest secret,” but that’s for the best. Correctly predicting a plot twist might be satisfying in the moment, but I’m more impressed when an author surprises me.  

The Darkest Secret

By Alex Marwood,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"If there has been a better mystery-suspense story written in this decade, I can't think of it . . . transcend[s] the genre." -Stephen King

"A cruel and cunning mystery . . . Plot-twisting, mind-altering and monstrously funny." -The New York Times Book Review

The latest gripping psychological thriller from Edgar Award winner Alex Marwood

When a child goes missing at an opulent house party, it makes international news. But what really happened behind those closed doors?

Twelve years ago, Mila Jackson's three-year-old half-sister Coco disappeared during their father's fiftieth birthday celebration, leaving behind her identical twin Ruby as the…

Do Not Become Alarmed

By Maile Meloy,

Book cover of Do Not Become Alarmed: A Novel

This book made me shudder. 

Three families on a cruise go ashore in Central America. Then the unthinkable happens: their children vanish. Thankfully, I’ve never experienced that particular nightmare, but years ago my four-year-old son went AWOL for about five minutes while we were at the airport. I was a quivering blob of panic until kiddo turned up safe and sound. Of course, for the parents in this story, the terror stretches on for much longer than five minutes—and, believe me, you wouldn’t want it any other way. The unrelenting tension is just one of the elements that make this novel such a compelling read.

Do Not Become Alarmed

By Maile Meloy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Do Not Become Alarmed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Liv and Nora decide to take their husbands and children on a holiday cruise, everyone is thrilled. The ship's comforts and possibilities seem infinite. But when they all go ashore in beautiful Central America, a series of minor mishaps lead the families further from the ship's safety.

One minute the children are there, and the next they're gone.

What follows is a heart-racing story told from the perspectives of the adults and the children, as the distraught parents - now turning on one another and blaming themselves - try to recover their children and their shattered lives.


Enclave

By Ann Aguirre,

Book cover of Enclave

This book has a unique take on the apocalyptic genre and the interest the story and characters offered.

In old New York, living in the tunnels of the ancient subway system, the book documents what might happen to those left to fend for themselves in a city whose social and political construct collapsed due to a violent strain of some virus. (Sound familiar?)

The way the female lead, Deuce, discovers this new world where the sun is a threat and the wide-open spaces, claustrophobic, is a testament to the way the author captured the character’s innocence. Aguirre expertly relates Deuce’s apprehension when discovering anything could be different from the darkness she’d grown up in.

Enclave

By Ann Aguirre,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ann Aguirre's thrilling young adult novel Enclave is the story of two young people in an apocalyptic world--facing dangers, and feelings, unlike any they've ever known.

New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20's. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters--or Freaks--who seem…


Autumn

By David Moody,

Book cover of Autumn

Autumn is a two-stage apocalypse story that spills out the horror of the world ending from a mysterious infection, followed up by a second, species-crushing wave of terror as the dead return to life to finish the job the infection began. Autumn is dark, and brutal, and is an older book in the genre, but a refreshing take on the trope of zombies. It’s filled with beautiful imagery and characters with depth and runs into a six-book series.

Autumn

By David Moody,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In less than twenty-four hours a vicious and virulent viral epidemic destroys virtually all of the population. Billions are killed, within minutes. There are no symptoms and no warnings; within moments of infection each victim suffers a violent and agonising death. At the end of ten minutes, only a handful of survivors remain. By the end of the first day those survivors wish they were dead. By the end of the first week, as the dead get up and walk, they know they are in hell. AUTUMN, the classic free underground novel finally bursts into the mainstream. It is cold,…

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