100 books like The Treeline

By Ben Rawlence,

Here are 100 books that The Treeline fans have personally recommended if you like The Treeline. 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 Arctic Dreams: Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape

Bill Murray Author Of Out in the Cold: Travels North: Adventures in Svalbard, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland and Canada

From my list on to understand the high north.

Why am I passionate about this?

There’s nothing like personal experience. You have to read the literature, it’s true. That’s how we’ve all met here at Shepherd. But you have to roll up your sleeves and get down to visiting, too, if you want to write about travel. I first approached the Arctic in 1991 and I return above sixty degrees north every year, although I must confess to a secret advantage; I married a Finn. We spend summers at a little cabin north of Helsinki. I know the region personally, I keep coming back, and I invite you, whenever you can, to come up and join us!

Bill's book list on to understand the high north

Bill Murray Why did Bill love this book?

Barry Lopez was a nature writer and environmentalist.

He died on Christmas day 2020, and although we are fortunate to have his valedictory book Horizon, published when his traveling days were pretty well behind him, Arctic Dreams is the real deal, with Lopez as raconteur, but practitioner too, thoroughly in his element.

Lopez writes about exploration and the aurora, animals and the weather, ice and myth and survival and joy. He’s effortless. You’ll learn more than you knew there was to know about the high north, and the pleasure is in the learning.

If you must cut to the chase with these five books, Arctic Dreams is the book, because Barry Lopez got things right.

By Barry Lopez,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Arctic Dreams as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**AS HEARD ON BBC RADIO 4**

'A master nature writer' (New York Times) provides the ultimate natural, social and cultural history of the Arctic landscape.

The author of Horizon's classic work explores the Arctic landscape and the hold it continues to exert on our imagination.

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY ROBERT MACFARLANE

Lopez's journey across our frozen planet is a celebration of the Arctic in all its guises. A hostile landscape of ice, freezing oceans and dazzling skyscapes. Home to millions of diverse animals and people. The stage to massive migrations by land, sea and air. The setting of epic exploratory…


Book cover of The Consolations of the Forest: Alone in a Cabin on the Siberian Taiga

Bill Murray Author Of Out in the Cold: Travels North: Adventures in Svalbard, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland and Canada

From my list on to understand the high north.

Why am I passionate about this?

There’s nothing like personal experience. You have to read the literature, it’s true. That’s how we’ve all met here at Shepherd. But you have to roll up your sleeves and get down to visiting, too, if you want to write about travel. I first approached the Arctic in 1991 and I return above sixty degrees north every year, although I must confess to a secret advantage; I married a Finn. We spend summers at a little cabin north of Helsinki. I know the region personally, I keep coming back, and I invite you, whenever you can, to come up and join us!

Bill's book list on to understand the high north

Bill Murray Why did Bill love this book?

This is through and through simply a gorgeous little book.

I enjoyed rereading it for this article. The largest body of fresh water on earth is Lake Baikal, not far east of Irkutsk in Siberia.

(If you’ve never heard of Baikal, that’s a measure of the variety of wonders to be found in the high north. Baikal holds so much water because it’s so deep: the world’s deepest at more than 5300 feet). If you ever have the opportunity you must visit.

My wife and I have traveled together a good bit, and I don’t feel we’re cloistered in any way, but to turn up in the ramshackle town of Listvyanka, Russia, at the beginning of this century, and then to charter a small boat to cross Baikal made me feel, I don’t know, maybe like Dorothy in the Emerald City.

I was just a total alien in a place…

By Sylvain Tesson, Linda Coverdale (translator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Consolations of the Forest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sylvain Tesson, found a radical solution to his need for freedom, one as ancient as the experiences of the hermits of old Russia: he decided to lock himself alone in a cabin in the middle taiga, on the shores of Baikal, for six months. Noting carefully his impressions of the silence, Sylvain Tesson shares with us an extraordinary experience.


Book cover of Independent People

Bill Murray Author Of Out in the Cold: Travels North: Adventures in Svalbard, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland and Canada

From my list on to understand the high north.

Why am I passionate about this?

There’s nothing like personal experience. You have to read the literature, it’s true. That’s how we’ve all met here at Shepherd. But you have to roll up your sleeves and get down to visiting, too, if you want to write about travel. I first approached the Arctic in 1991 and I return above sixty degrees north every year, although I must confess to a secret advantage; I married a Finn. We spend summers at a little cabin north of Helsinki. I know the region personally, I keep coming back, and I invite you, whenever you can, to come up and join us!

Bill's book list on to understand the high north

Bill Murray Why did Bill love this book?

Iceland is one of the first off-the-beaten-track places I visited as an aspiring young travel writer and I arrived with the onset of the first Gulf War - the one against Saddam Hussein.

I visited with three other people. We immediately met a man in Reykjavik who introduced us to his diplomat friend, and before it was all said and done we spent most of that trip with the Icelander and the Frenchman in front of a much more rudimentary CNN, watching the war.

While I’ve been back to Iceland a number of times since, that first trip, the instant friendships, and the very odd experience of watching war in the desert from up at the Arctic Circle, sealed the deal for me about visiting the far north, and indirectly led to my own later book.

Halldor Laxness is the greatest of Icelandic authors and Independent People is very nearly…

By Halldor Laxness,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Independent People as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Set in Iceland, this story is imbued with the lyrical force of medieval ballads and Nordic myth.


Book cover of A Frozen Hell: The Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939-1940

Bill Murray Author Of Out in the Cold: Travels North: Adventures in Svalbard, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland and Canada

From my list on to understand the high north.

Why am I passionate about this?

There’s nothing like personal experience. You have to read the literature, it’s true. That’s how we’ve all met here at Shepherd. But you have to roll up your sleeves and get down to visiting, too, if you want to write about travel. I first approached the Arctic in 1991 and I return above sixty degrees north every year, although I must confess to a secret advantage; I married a Finn. We spend summers at a little cabin north of Helsinki. I know the region personally, I keep coming back, and I invite you, whenever you can, to come up and join us!

Bill's book list on to understand the high north

Bill Murray Why did Bill love this book?

“Helsinki, 10:30 a.m., November 30, 1939. Soviet bombers drop from a cloud bank to unload their bombs on the capital city of Finland.

In the weeks to come the world will watch admiringly as the tiny army of a small Baltic republic wages the kind of war that inspires legends against the invading military might of the Soviet Union.”  

The Winter War between Finland and Russia flies under the radar of most general readers mainly because Finland, alone up in a cold, dark corner of Europe, got almost no help, so that its five million people had to face the mighty Red Army on its own.

It was a different kind of war, with undermanned Finnish soldiers on skis using unorthodox guerrilla tactics on in unimaginably difficult Arctic fighting conditions.

Trotter overlays a  thorough understanding of the conflict on the hard realities of the far north for a description that takes the reader…

By William Trotter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Masterfully recreates all the heroism, tragedy and drama of a campaign whose lessons deserve far more attention." —General James R. Galvin, former Supreme Allied Commander, Europe

In 1939, tiny Finland waged war-the kind of war that spawns legends-against the mighty Soviet Union, and yet their epic struggle has been largely ignored. Guerrillas on skis, heroic single-handed attacks on tanks, unfathomable endurance, and the charismatic leadership of one of this century's true military geniuses-these are the elements of both the Finnish victory and a gripping tale of war.


Book cover of The New Sylva: A Discourse of Forest and Orchard Trees for the Twenty-First Century

Paul Kidby Author Of Terry Pratchett's Discworld Imaginarium

From my list on beautiful draughtmanship.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a self-taught artist and sometimes a sculptor. I'm best known for illustrating the Discworld novels of Sir Terry Pratchett which I have been working on for almost 30 years. Not having had formal training, looking at the work of other artists was an important part of my learning. I have a large collection of art books and have been inspired by all sorts of creatives ranging from Leonardo Da Vinci to Jamie Hewlett. I'm often drawn to draughts-people who have a scientific approach to their work and limited use of colour. If I can’t escape to a gallery for inspiration I can always turn to the pages of a book.

Paul's book list on beautiful draughtmanship

Paul Kidby Why did Paul love this book?

This book contains exquisite pencil and ink drawings by Dr. Sarah Simblet who teaches at The Ruskin and Christ Church, at Oxford University. Her observational work is second to none and through it, she explores the relationship between science, history, and art. She is dedicated to sharing visual intelligence and promoting understanding through art.  This is complemented perfectly with the text by Gabriel Hemery who gives an in-depth insight into the value of one of our most treasured assets – the trees of our land.

By Gabriel Hemery, Sarah Simblet,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Beautiful, useful, inspirational" BBC Wildlife Book of the Month

"A delight on every page" Evening Standard

In 1664, the horticulturist and diarist John Evelyn wrote Sylva, the first comprehensive study of British trees. It was also the world's earliest forestry book, and the first book ever published by the Royal Society. Evelyn's elegant prose has a lot to tell us today, but the world has changed dramatically since his day. Now authors Gabriel Hemery and Sarah Simblet, taking inspiration from the original work, have masterfully created a contemporary version - The New Sylva. The result is a fabulous resource that…


Book cover of Trees Make Perfect Pets

Christine Ieronimo Author Of The Purple Pail

From my list on bringing children together in acceptance and kindness.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm passionate about a world of kindness and inclusiveness. Growing up, I loved to write stories, but reading was hard. My eyes would go over the words but the meaning wouldn’t get to my brain. So I stopped writing. We must start with little children, making sure they believe in themselves, presenting issues of acceptance, diversity, and social justice. I've published two books on this theme and am working on two more. I talk to school classes and the media, and travel to Ethiopia, where I'm involved with their clean water project. I 'm involved in sustainable projects that improve health and education for children and young women. Please visit my website to learn more.

Christine's book list on bringing children together in acceptance and kindness

Christine Ieronimo Why did Christine love this book?

This story, with wonderful illustrations, is a different way to believe in yourself. A girl wants a pet for her birthday—a tree! Her parents reluctantly give in. She finds a little tree, names it Fido, puts it in a pot and takes it everywhere in her wagon. A neighbor kid says his cat is a real pet. When the tree is too big for her wagon, her dad helps her plant it in her yard. Now she has a tree she can climb, sit in and read books, surrounded by birds! She says, “A tree is everyone’s friend.” 

Like me, when he was a kid, Paul was told he couldn’t write. He got an F, with the note: “Get a tutor.”

By Paul Czajak, Cathy Gendron (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Trees Make Perfect Pets 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?

"Takes tree-hugging-and standing up for yourself-to a new level." -Kirkus Reviews
An endearing and environmentally friendly story about a girl's unlikely best friend...a tree!
Abigail is determined to get the perfect pet.
So she chooses Fido. He keeps her cool from the sun, stays where she tells him, and even gives her air to breathe. That's because Fido is a tree!
But not everyone thinks having a tree as a pet is a good idea, though, especially when Fido starts to grow. Will Abigail be able to keep her perfect pet?
Trees Make Perfect Pets is a heartwarming story, perfect…


Book cover of Can You Hear the Trees Talking? Discovering the Hidden Life of the Forest

C.C. Harrington Author Of Wildoak

From my list on inspiring young readers to engage with the natural world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell in love with reading as a child and have carried that sense of magic and possibility with me ever since. As an adult and a writer, I believe passionately in the power of story to foster empathy, understanding, and greater human connection – and I still turn to children’s literature whenever I need reminding of all that we are capable of becoming and doing as human beings. This list has a strong environmental bent to it – partly because Wildoak is a book about caring for the natural world, and partly because I believe that stories shape our sense of purpose. 

C.C.'s book list on inspiring young readers to engage with the natural world

C.C. Harrington Why did C.C. love this book?

This is a young readers’ version of Peter Wollebhen’s book The Hidden Life of Trees and it’s packed full of pictures and short blocks of text that are quick and easy to read. It’s non-fiction and yes… there is still much about trees and how they interrelate with one another that we don’t yet fully understand and not everyone agrees on the science, but fostering curiosity to learn more is just what we need to do. Also, The Hidden Life of Trees was a source of deep inspiration for me when writing my book and I absolutely loved it. This is a great one for adults or teachers to share with younger readers too and inspire conversation as well as shared activities.

By Peter Wohlleben,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Can You Hear the Trees Talking? Discovering the Hidden Life of the Forest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE AAAS/SUBARU PRIZE FOR EXCELLENCE IN SCIENCE BOOKS

BASED ON THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES

This interactive book for kids aged 8-10 introduces the wonderful science of the forest through outdoor activities, quizzes, fun facts, photographs, and more!

Discover the secret life of trees with this nature and science book for kids: Can You Hear the Trees Talking? shares the mysteries and magic of the forest with young readers, revealing what trees feel, how they communicate, and the ways trees take care of their families. The author of The Hidden Life of Trees,…


Book cover of A Natural History of Trees of Eastern and Central North America

Thomas Leo Ogren Author Of The Allergy-Fighting Garden: Stop Asthma and Allergies with Smart Landscaping

From my list on allergy-friendly landscapes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am now considered by many as the expert on creating allergy-free and allergy-friendly gardens and landscapes. I have lectured on the subject all across the US and Canada, and also in Israel, Ireland, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia. For 30+ years now I’ve been researching the connections between urban landscaping and allergies and asthma. My articles have appeared in dozens of fine publications, including The New York Times, The London Times, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, Atlas Obscura, Scientific American, Der Spiegel, and The New Scientist. I have owned two nurseries and taught horticulture for twenty years. 

Thomas' book list on allergy-friendly landscapes

Thomas Leo Ogren Why did Thomas love this book?

A Natural History of Trees of Eastern and Central North America by author and naturalist Donald Culross Peattie is probably the very best book on trees that I have ever read. I used this book (and also his book on Western trees) as a marvelous resource when I was working on my books. 

I learned many a new thing from this book, things I could not find in books written by botanists or horticulturists. This in large part is because Peattie was first and foremost, a naturalist. He tells the reader things that others didn’t bother to mention (for example, that with Honeylocust trees, each branch is of only one sex). The author also has a wonderful way of writing that makes the text come alive…always interesting.  As a naturalist, Peattie looks at the whole picture; one of the few writers about trees who was also a dedicated ecologist. A…

By Donald Culross Peattie, Paul Landacre (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Natural History of Trees of Eastern and Central North America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gives the economic facts regarding the trees of northeastern North America and identifies a wide variety of species


Book cover of The Hidden Life of Trees

Tina Muir Author Of Becoming a Sustainable Runner: A Guide to Running for Life, Community, and Planet

From my list on helping you process emotions around climate.

Why am I passionate about this?

FernGully was one of my favorite movies as a kid, and it made me really think about the natural world and how humans interact with it. Now, aged 35 with kids of my own (who also love FernGully), I consider myself a climate activist for the work I do in helping everyday people to believe they can be a part of the solution to climate change. As an author, podcast host, and community builder, I've connected with other humans with fascinating passions, perspectives, and values. I want to show my audience that we can all view the world differently, but there is one important thing we need to all believe, that we matter.

Tina's book list on helping you process emotions around climate

Tina Muir Why did Tina love this book?

As humans, we sometimes find ourselves thinking that we are at the top of the intelligence chain, that we have it all figured out and everything else in the world is lesser.

The Hidden Life of Trees made me totally rethink that, and not simply for trees, but the interconnectedness of our world and how everything works together perfectly in harmony…until humans came along and began to hack the system, of course.

This book gave me a deeper understanding and appreciation for trees and made me think about how much we could be learning from our distant relatives, rather than thinking everything else needs to learn from us. 

By Peter Wohlleben, Jane Billinghurst (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"A paradigm-smashing chronicle of joyous entanglement that will make you acknowledge your own entanglement in the ancient and ever-new web of being."--Charles Foster, author of Being a Beast Are trees social beings? In this international bestseller, forester and author Peter Wohlleben convincingly makes the case that, yes, the forest is a social network. He draws on groundbreaking scientific discoveries to describe how trees are like human families: tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, support them as they grow, share nutrients with those who are sick or struggling, and even warn each other of impending dangers. Wohlleben…


Book cover of Trees of Georgia and Adjacent States

Mark Warren Author Of Wild Plants and Survival Lore

From my list on nature education and survival skills.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child I was drawn to the forest by its aesthetics. I felt as if I were wandering through a masterpiece painting. As I grew older, I wanted to know more about the many working parts of nature. I quickly learned this: If I wanted to know nature intimately, I needed to know what the Native Americans knew. After years of study and honing skills, I undertook seasonal, self-imposed “survival trips” in remote areas of the National Forest. As an adult I served as a naturalist for the Georgia Conservancy, wilderness director for High Meadows Camp, and as director of my own wilderness school – Medicine Bow – in the Appalachian Mountains.


Mark's book list on nature education and survival skills

Mark Warren Why did Mark love this book?

Because Mr. Newcomb’s book (above) covers only herbs, shrubs, and vines, the survival student needs a good tree identifier (field guide) to cover “the standing people.” (The Cherokee name for “trees.”) Because I live in Georgia, this book serves me well. If you live outside of the Southeast, you’ll want to find a book germane to your area. Trees of Georgia contains good photographs of leaves, bark, flowers, buds, and fruits of over 200 species.

By Claud L. Brown, L. Katherine Kirkman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This field guide identifies 205 species and varieties, with plant descriptions that highlight differences between similar taxa. It also includes range maps and botanical keys for summer and winter.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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