69 books like Thinking on My Feet

By Kate Humble,

Here are 69 books that Thinking on My Feet fans have personally recommended if you like Thinking on My Feet. 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 Otter Country: In Search of the Wild Otter

Leif Bersweden Author Of The Orchid Hunter: A Young Botanist's Search for Happiness

From my list on nature in Britain.

Who am I?

I'm a writer and a botanist with a lifelong interest in nature. I grew up in southern England where I spent my time running around the fields and woods searching for birds, insects and wild plants (as one does). As well as writing about nature, I run plant identification training courses and have a genetics PhD.

Leif's book list on nature in Britain

Leif Bersweden Why did Leif love this book?

Miriam Darlington is my favourite author and Otter Country is one of the most thumbed, tatty-cornered, precious books that I own. I love it: for its voice, its humour and its beautiful prose. Darlington takes you on a gentle meander through the world of the otter in the most relatable of writing styles. She doesn’t start out as an otter expert; she learns as she goes, and so do you. Everything about this book is wonderful, and I would say the same about her other book, Owl Sense, which I have only left off this list because I wanted to cover five different authors!

By Miriam Darlington,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Over the course of a year, Miriam Darlington travelled around Britain in search of wild otters; from her home in Devon to the wilds of Scotland; to Cumbria, Wales, Northumberland, Cornwall, Somerset and the River Lea; to her childhood home near the Ouse, the source of her watery obsession.
Otter Country follows Darlington's search through different landscapes, seasons, weather and light, as she tracks one of Britain's most elusive animals. During her journey, she meets otter experts, representatives of the Environment Agency, conservationists, ecologists, walkers, Henry Williamson's family, Gavin Maxwell's heir; zoo keepers, fishermen, scientists, hunters and poets. Above all…

Book cover of Butterfly Isles: A Summer in Search of Our Emperors and Admirals

Leif Bersweden Author Of The Orchid Hunter: A Young Botanist's Search for Happiness

From my list on nature in Britain.

Who am I?

I'm a writer and a botanist with a lifelong interest in nature. I grew up in southern England where I spent my time running around the fields and woods searching for birds, insects and wild plants (as one does). As well as writing about nature, I run plant identification training courses and have a genetics PhD.

Leif's book list on nature in Britain

Leif Bersweden Why did Leif love this book?

This book is a classic natural history quest: Patrick Barkham tries to find all the butterfly species in Britain and Ireland in one summer. It explores our age-old relationship with these fantastic insects, the eccentricities of the butterfly watcher's world, and the author’s adventures along the way, all tied together by the challenge he’s set himself. This is a really entertaining book and brilliantly captures the butterfly obsession, offering an excellent portrayal of what makes butterfly watchers tick.

By Patrick Barkham,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Butterflies animate our summers but the 59 butterfly species of the British Isles can be surprisingly elusive. Some bask unseen at the top of trees in London parks; others lurk at the bottom of damp bogs in Scotland. A few survive for months while other ephemeral creatures only fly for three days. Several are virtually extinct. This bewitching book charts Patrick Barkham's quest to find all 59 - from the Adonis Blue to the Dingy Skipper - in one unforgettable summer. Barkham brings alive the extraordinary physical beauty and amusingly diverse character of our butterflies. He witnesses a swarming invasion…

Book cover of The Peregrine

Brett Bourbon Author Of Everyday Poetics: Logic, Love, and Ethics

From my list on the ethics and art of getting lost and being found.

Who am I?

Poems irritated me as a child. They seemed parodies of counting, chants of rhythm, and repetition. I included them in my moratorium against reading fiction. On the other hand, I respected the alphabet, a kind of poem of pure form. It was orderly for no good reason and didn't mean anything. So I concluded that poems were meaningless forms that had their uses, but were not serious. I changed my mind, but it took a while—studying math and science, theology, and then philosophy and literature. I'm now a professor who studies and teaches modern literature and philosophy. I got my Ph.D. from Harvard, became a professor at Stanford, and teach at the University of Dallas.

Brett's book list on the ethics and art of getting lost and being found

Brett Bourbon Why did Brett love this book?

A photograph gives me the form of the bird, but it remains up to me to see the bird as a bird. And that can be difficult. What do we see when we see a bird? 

The Peregrine, J. A. Baker’s masterpiece of descriptive prose, provides an answer, an answer that is as much about how we see as it is about what we see when we see birds. Sometimes we pull ourselves into the sight of others and the world emerges as more than its light. We see by being seen.

Baker achieves this kind of seeing both in his efforts to see a pair of peregrines and in his description of this achievement. 

By J.A. Baker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

David Attenborough reads J. A. Baker's extraordinary classic of British nature writing.

The nation's greatest voice, David Attenborough, reads J. A. Baker's extraordinary classic of British nature writing, The Peregrine.

J. A. Baker's classic of British nature writing was first published in 1967. Greeted with acclaim, it went on to win the Duff Cooper Prize, the pre-eminent literary prize of the time. Luminaries such as Ted Hughes, Barry Lopez and Andrew Motion have cited it as one of the most important books in twentieth-century nature writing.

Despite the association of peregrines with the wild, outer reaches of the British Isles,…

Book cover of Wilding: Returning Nature to Our Farm

Mark Avery Author Of Reflections: What Wildlife Needs and How to Provide it

From my list on UK nature conservation.

Who am I?

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?

Wilding is already a classic book on the subject of rewilding – it’s a successful conservation project and it’s a superbly written book.

It tells the story of the wilding of the Knepp Castle Farm, in Sussex, by its owners Sir Charles Burrell and his wife, the author of this book. So this is an insider account of what happened at Knepp, and why, and how, which adds lots of delightful and juicy colour to the bare bones of the story. But the bare bones are exciting enough – there has been a rapid and massive resurgence of nature in the last 20 years.

By Isabella Tree,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A poignant, practical and moving story of how to fix our broken land, this should be conservation's salvation; this should be its future; this is a new hope' - Chris Packham

In Wilding, Isabella Tree tells the story of the 'Knepp experiment', a pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex, using free-roaming grazing animals to create new habitats for wildlife. Part gripping memoir, part fascinating account of the ecology of our countryside, Wilding is, above all, an inspiring story of hope.

Winner of the Richard Jefferies Society and White Horse Book Shop Literary Prize.

Forced to accept that intensive farming on…

Book cover of Walk On! A Guide for Babies of All Ages

Mary Cay Ricci Author Of Nothing You Can't Do!: The Secret Power of Growth Mindsets

From my list on help kids develop stick-to-itiveness.

Who am I?

I am a mom and life-long educator who has often scratched my head and wondered why kids give up so easily when things become a little challenging. I learned about fixed and growth mindset principles and decided to apply them to an education setting. What I realized during this time is that both adults and kids give up too easily and demonstrate fixed mindset thinking way too often! As a result, I wrote a few books for teachers, parents, and kids about ways to develop a growth mindset! I am sharing some of my favorite books that can be a catalyst for discussing resiliency and perseverance with the kids in our life!

Mary's book list on help kids develop stick-to-itiveness

Mary Cay Ricci Why did Mary love this book?

At first glance, this appears to be a picture book about a baby learning to walk...but oh no...it is much more than that! It is a book about learning how to do anything - and a great book for adult learners (an excellent graduation gift as well). In this book, the baby has to face the following as they are learning to walk: support (sometimes what you think will support you, won’t), looking out for things that are fragile, pulling yourself up, and being ok if your knees buckle. Grip and pull yourself up, then find your balance. Remember to breathe, feel the sway, and let go. It’s common to fall down, are your socks bunching up? Shoes too tight? Diaper weighing you down? (Fix things before you start.) Make sure your path is clear of obstacles and expect some rough patches. Look toward where you want to…

By Marla Frazee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Walk On! A Guide for Babies of All Ages as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Trying something new is never easy.Like walking, for instance.But aren't you sick of sitting on your bottom day in and day out? Hasn't lying around all the time become a little bit boring? This handy guide, both practical and inspirational, is here to help.With useful tips, common pitfalls, and Marla Frazee's adorable illustrations, this book is perfect for anyone--from a baby to a graduate to a grown-up--who's about to take a scary first step.

Book cover of London Overground: A Day's Walk Around the Ginger Line

Julie Anderson Author Of Plague

From my list on secret subterranean London.

Who am I?

I've lived and worked in London for most of my adult life and am perpetually astonished, amazed, and fascinated by the city around me. It's histories, small and large, are a constant delight and surprise for me, and its hidden places of enchantment fire my imagination. So, when I came to write my first novel, for Claret Press, there was no other place where it could possibly be set and I chose central London which I knew very well and had layer upon physical layer of history. Given that it was a crime thriller, it had to use those hidden places, which mirrored the surface world, as part of the plot. Walk with me along one of London's lost rivers on my website

Julie's book list on secret subterranean London

Julie Anderson Why did Julie love this book?

OK, this isn't focused on the subterranean, but it does touch frequently upon underpasses and tunnels and is a personal journey, passing through the parts of London where the 'Ginger Line' - the London Overground railway -  runs. Sinclair uses his experiences to illuminate the changing city, a jumping-off point for explorations of places, their past, and present. His journey is bound up with writers and artists of all kinds. He, like Ackroyd, has an eye for the bizarre, but Sinclair has a sense of danger, real and modern, while Ackroyd summons the haunting past.

By Iain Sinclair,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Iain Sinclair explores modern London through a day's hike around the London Overground route.

Echoing his journey in London Orbital over a decade ago, Iain Sinclair narrates his second circular walk around the capital. Shortly after rush-hour and accompanied by a rambling companion, Sinclair begins walking along London's Overground network, or, 'Ginger Line'. With characteristic playfulness, detours into folk history, withering assessments of the political classes and a joyful allegiance to the ordinary oddball, Sinclair guides us on a tour of London's trendiest new transport network - and shows the shifting, changing city from new and surprising angles.

'He is…

Book cover of Joss Naylor's Lakes, Meres and Waters of the Lake District: Loweswater to Over Water: 105 miles in the footsteps of a legend

Stuart Fisher Author Of Canals of Britain: A Comprehensive Guide

From my list on our canals, rivers, and coast.

Who am I?

I was fortunate enough to take up white water kayaks as a student in Scotland, eventually becoming a member of the British wild water racing team. The portable nature of these craft makes it easy to move from one stretch of water to another. I subsequently became the editor of Canoeist (by accident) and have travelled all the major British canals, the larger lochs, the entire mainland coast, and many other waters, producing guides that have been found useful for those on the water, on foot, on bikes or in armchairs.

Stuart's book list on our canals, rivers, and coast

Stuart Fisher Why did Stuart love this book?

In 1983 the 47-year-old fell runner Joss Naylor set a record of 19 hours 14 minutes for touching all 27 relevant lakes in the Lake District.

His astonishing time for this 169km run still stands. This was not on the flat, of course, but often over rough country, involving over 6km of vertical height gain.

He had to prepare his support team, find his own route and have witnesses at each lake in the days before mobile phones or satnav. The author walked the route in 2020 with a photographer and Joss in 10 days, still not hanging about for a man in his 80s.

Joss chose to donate his royalties for this inspirational book to the Brathay Trust, which helps the disadvantaged, match funded by publishers Cicerone.

By Vivienne Crow,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Joss Naylor's Lakes, Meres and Waters of the Lake District as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

King of the Fells. Iron man. Lake District fell running legend. Joss Naylor is all of these things and more. His achievements are astounding, his records stand the test of time. In 1983 he completed the 105-mile Lakes, Meres and Waters (LMW) route in a staggering 19hr 14min and to this day, describes it as one of the best routes he ever ran. High praise indeed and yet, so few know of it.

Part guidebook, part inspirational regaling, this book interweaves tales of past and present as Naylor reflects on his 1983 epic on a re-walk 37 years later. In…

Book cover of Wanderlust: A History of Walking

Jim Miller Author Of Drift

From my list on urban wandering and subterranean history.

Who am I?

I teach literature, Labor Studies, and writing at San Diego City College and have written three San Diego-based novels: Drift, Flash, and Last Days in Ocean Beach, along with Under the Perfect Sun: The San Diego Tourists Never See, a radical history of San Diego that I co-wrote with Mike Davis and Kelly Mayhew. Both as a writer and as a daily wanderer on the streets of San Diego, I have a passion for the psychogeography of the city space and a deep curiosity for and love of the people I encounter there.

Jim's book list on urban wandering and subterranean history

Jim Miller Why did Jim love this book?

This book really got to me because it offers a rich and quixotic history of walking that encompasses the Romantics, the French flaneurs, and a host of other wanderers. In her chapter on San Francisco, Solnit re-maps the space of her home city in a way that outlines her own rediscovery and gave me new eyes to see a place that I love.

By Rebecca Solnit,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A passionate, thought provoking exploration of walking as a political and cultural activity, from the author of the memoir Recollections of My Nonexistence

Drawing together many histories--of anatomical evolution and city design, of treadmills and labyrinths, of walking clubs and sexual mores--Rebecca Solnit creates a fascinating portrait of the range of possibilities presented by walking. Arguing that the history of walking includes walking for pleasure as well as for political, aesthetic, and social meaning, Solnit focuses on the walkers whose everyday and extreme acts have shaped our culture, from philosophers to poets to mountaineers. She profiles some of the most…

Book cover of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Vered Neta Author Of Things We Do For Love

From my list on the light side of Alzheimer’s.

Who am I?

Like the Bach sisters in my novel Things We Do For Love, my sisters and I have cared for our mother, who battles Alzheimer's. Witnessing her transformation from a vibrant powerhouse to someone resembling the Walking Dead has been heart-wrenching. Despite the emotional rollercoaster, this journey has deeply connected us with our mother. Delving into the depths of her being has been a privilege, offering profound insights into her true essence. This challenging experience has unfolded as a disguised blessing. In this journey, we've discovered the beauty of unconditional love that binds our family together. It reflects the central question of my novel: What truly makes a happy family?

Vered's book list on the light side of Alzheimer’s

Vered Neta Why did Vered love this book?

As a latecomer to long-distance hiking, this book is now one of my all-time favourites. It explores regrets and life's lessons, going beyond Alzheimer's.

One morning, Harold receives a letter from a long-lost woman, informing him of her impending death and wanting to bid farewell. Believing that walking the entire 600-mile journey and answering her in person could save her life, he embarks on this quest wearing only the clothes on his back.

With each step, Harold's past is peeled back, revealing deep wounds and losses that shaped his life and bringing him closer to healing. Along the way, he opens himself to the world, embracing not only others' vulnerabilities but also coming to terms with his own.

Driven by regret and the search for redemption, Harold's journey, both physically and emotionally, turns out to be a heartening one, narrated with a perfect blend of humour and pathos.

By Rachel Joyce,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Impossible to put down' TIMES
'Life-affirming delight. A comic pleasure' WOMAN AND HOME
'Profoundly moving' RICHARD MADELEY


When Harold Fry nips out one morning to post a letter, leaving his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other.

He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof or mobile phone. All he knows is that he must keep walking. To save someone else's life.


Book cover of The Electricity of Every Living Thing: A Woman's Walk In The Wild To Find Her Way Home

Kate Sweeney Author Of This One's for You

From my list on Hero’s Journey for introverts who love adventure.

Who am I?

I'm a deeply introverted person who has always loved epic stories. The hero’s journey is one of my favorite kinds of books, because it gives the reader a chance to put themselves into someone else’s shoes and experience the full spectrum of life, a complete transformation that can only be found in a journey away from home. I’ve wanted to take on the Hero’s Journey in my own writing for a long time, and got to do this in my most recent book, This One’s for You. The protagonist of this book is an introvert like me. He's one of the many characters that have inspired me to try some adventures of my own. 

Kate's book list on Hero’s Journey for introverts who love adventure

Kate Sweeney Why did Kate love this book?

This is another book that changed my life.

It’s the true story of author Katherine May’s journey to hike a 680-mile path in England, while simultaneously processing an adult diagnosis of Autism. My therapist recommended this book while I was dealing with my own adult diagnosis, of OCD and ADD.

So many moments in this book sparked tiny insights for me that made my own journey more bearable. And I’m currently dreaming up my own real-life epic adventure, inspired by May’s bravery. 

By Katherine May,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Electricity of Every Living Thing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestselling author of Wintering writes a life-affirming exploration of wild landscapes, what it means to be different and, above all, how we can all learn to make peace with our own unquiet minds . . .
In anticipation of her 38th birthday, Katherine May set out to walk the 630-mile South West Coast Path. She wanted time alone, in nature, to understand why she had stopped coping with everyday life; why motherhood had been so overwhelming and isolating; and why the world felt full of expectations she couldn't meet.  She was also reeling from a chance…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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