100 books like Thirteen Ways to Smell a Tree

By David George Haskell,

Here are 100 books that Thirteen Ways to Smell a Tree fans have personally recommended if you like Thirteen Ways to Smell a Tree. 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 Garden Jungle

Gerit Quealy Author Of Botanical Shakespeare: An Illustrated Compendium of All the Flowers, Fruits, Herbs, Trees, Seeds, and Grasses Cited by the World's Greatest Playwright

From my list on Shakespeare's shelf to grow your mind and garden.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve had myriad careers in my life but the through-line has always been Shakespeare. I became smitten with the “words, words, words” seeing a production of Twelfth Night in 3rd grade and it’s been a passion ever since. Acting led to being a “Journalist, Editor, Speaker, Spy” but everything I’ve done was to fund my secret joy of being in a dusty old archive, transcribing manuscripts. Even though my first favorite book was Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden (that was already taken here!), I wasn’t that ‘outdoorsy’, but when the wonderful Japanese artist Sumié Hasegawa showed me her Botanical Shakespeare drawings, I got excited about approaching Shakespeare in a totally new way.

Gerit's book list on Shakespeare's shelf to grow your mind and garden

Gerit Quealy Why did Gerit love this book?

I fell in love from the first line of the Prologue: “This book is about the wildlife that lives right under our noses, in our gardens and parks, between the gaps in the pavement and the soil beneath our feet.” Why do we miss the beauty that is right in front of us, not to mention the opportunity to heal? Nature & Shakespeare share being taken for granted because they are always there for us. Yet they are the two things that took center stage during the darkest days of the pandemic, and for the same reason. They are here to heal and anchor us in our shared humanity. We do worry about losing Shakespeare’s plants though, a number of them are now on the endangered species list. But something like plantain (not a banana) really does grow in the cracks of cement, and has amazing healing properties, as Shakespeare…

By Dave Goulson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

**SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER**

'Exquisite...should be read by every gardener in the country' Observer

The Garden Jungle is a wonderful introduction to the hundreds of small creatures with whom we live cheek-by-jowl and of the myriad ways that we can encourage them to thrive.

The Garden Jungle is about the wildlife that lives right under our noses, in our gardens and parks, between the gaps in the pavement, and in the soil beneath our feet. Dave Goulson gives us an insight into the fascinating and sometimes weird lives of these creatures, taking us burrowing into the compost heap, digging under the…


Book cover of The Lost Words

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 book is by one of my favourite nature writers of all time, Robert Macfarlane. It’s a picture book that is for humans of all ages, truly. His poetry makes for a beautiful read aloud, the illustrations by Jackie Morris are stunning and the size of it makes for an immersive experience. I absolutely loved reading it with my kids when they were a little younger and we all piled into my bed. I also believe that it works… the poems are ‘spells’ designed to bring certain words back into use since they were cut from the Junior Oxford English Dictionary. Words like acornkingfisher, and otter…. Please read and share this book!

By Robert Macfarlane, Jackie Morris (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Lost Words as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

Penguin presents the CD edition of The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane, read by Edith Bowman, Guy Garvey, Cerys Matthews and Benjamin Zephaniah.

All over the country, there are words disappearing from children's lives. Words like Dandelion, Otter, Bramble, Acorn and Lark represent the natural world of childhood, a rich landscape of discovery and imagination that is fading from children's minds.

The Lost Words stands against the disappearance of wild childhood. It is a joyful celebration of the poetry of nature words and the living glory of our distinctive, British countryside. With acrostic spell-poems by peerless wordsmith Robert Macfarlane this…


Book cover of Queen Elizabeth in the Garden: A Story of Love, Rivalry, and Spectacular Gardens

Gerit Quealy Author Of Botanical Shakespeare: An Illustrated Compendium of All the Flowers, Fruits, Herbs, Trees, Seeds, and Grasses Cited by the World's Greatest Playwright

From my list on Shakespeare's shelf to grow your mind and garden.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve had myriad careers in my life but the through-line has always been Shakespeare. I became smitten with the “words, words, words” seeing a production of Twelfth Night in 3rd grade and it’s been a passion ever since. Acting led to being a “Journalist, Editor, Speaker, Spy” but everything I’ve done was to fund my secret joy of being in a dusty old archive, transcribing manuscripts. Even though my first favorite book was Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden (that was already taken here!), I wasn’t that ‘outdoorsy’, but when the wonderful Japanese artist Sumié Hasegawa showed me her Botanical Shakespeare drawings, I got excited about approaching Shakespeare in a totally new way.

Gerit's book list on Shakespeare's shelf to grow your mind and garden

Gerit Quealy Why did Gerit love this book?

A sizzling tale of competition, grandeur, and royal romance—and it’s true! Shakespeare loved writing about court intrigue and this story of Queen Elizabeth and the courtiers & ministers who created spectacular gardens for her has loads of it. People always focus on what was going on behind palace walls & inside castle corridors, but it turns out the real drama is down in the garden. Imagine gilding rosemary bushes so they glitter in the sun. I certainly think the theatricality of the landscape inspired Shakespeare’s work. In addition to being intricate and fascinating, this book impelled me to further investigate Queen Elizabeth’s effect on the green space of the country and seeding the prospect of garden competition. For me, it uncovered an amazing origin story of green desire and the intricate facets of female leadership.

By Trea Martyn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Queen Elizabeth in the Garden as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Taking a fresh and original approach to the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth I, this book tells the incredible story of her great passion for gardens, and how the two most powerful men in England during her reign fought a decade-long duel for their queen's affections by creating lavish gardens for her. It chronicles how, in their quest to woo the queen and outdo each other, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and William Cecil, Baron of Burghley, competed for Elizabeth’s favor by laying out innovative and extravagant pleasure grounds at their palaces for when she came to visit. As…


Book cover of How to Think Like Shakespeare: Lessons from a Renaissance Education

Gerit Quealy Author Of Botanical Shakespeare: An Illustrated Compendium of All the Flowers, Fruits, Herbs, Trees, Seeds, and Grasses Cited by the World's Greatest Playwright

From my list on Shakespeare's shelf to grow your mind and garden.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve had myriad careers in my life but the through-line has always been Shakespeare. I became smitten with the “words, words, words” seeing a production of Twelfth Night in 3rd grade and it’s been a passion ever since. Acting led to being a “Journalist, Editor, Speaker, Spy” but everything I’ve done was to fund my secret joy of being in a dusty old archive, transcribing manuscripts. Even though my first favorite book was Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden (that was already taken here!), I wasn’t that ‘outdoorsy’, but when the wonderful Japanese artist Sumié Hasegawa showed me her Botanical Shakespeare drawings, I got excited about approaching Shakespeare in a totally new way.

Gerit's book list on Shakespeare's shelf to grow your mind and garden

Gerit Quealy Why did Gerit love this book?

I can’t seem to recommend one book without recommending two but a teacher once told me, Shakespeare never said one thing when he could say two, and never two things when he could say three. I admit I’m a Shakespeare ‘pusher’ because I believe the works instill wisdom, humanity, and critical thinking skills—attributes that are disappearing as much as some of the natural world mentioned above. Having these tools are essential to saving ourselves and the world around us. We seem to forget how to be human in the same way exercise instructors tell us: Don’t forget to breathe. Newstok serves up a rich menu to digest the delicious process of thinking, so that ‘smarting up’ is as easy as breathing. But I also loved How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare, by Ken Ludwig for similar reasons (and it works well for adults too!).

By Scott Newstok,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Think Like Shakespeare as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A lively and engaging guide to vital habits of mind that can help you think more deeply, write more effectively, and learn more joyfully

How to Think like Shakespeare is a brilliantly fun exploration of the craft of thought-one that demonstrates what we've lost in education today, and how we might begin to recover it. In fourteen brief chapters that draw from Shakespeare's world and works, and from other writers past and present, Scott Newstok distills enduring practices that can make learning more creative and pleasurable.

Challenging a host of today's questionable notions about education, Newstok shows how mental play…


Book cover of If I Were a Tree

Cindy Jenson-Elliott Author Of Weeds Find a Way

From my list on to get kids outside and exploring nature.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been getting kids out into nature as an environmental education professional for over 30 years, in the garden, in the mountains, at the seashore, and in nearby nature. My life’s work, whether I am writing or teaching, is to help people experience the wonder of the natural world. I believe that children and adults need access to nature to grow and thrive, to find peace in a busy world, and to connect with each other. I know that, just like weeds, we can find a way to navigate the challenges in our lives when we connect with nature’s sustaining goodness wherever we find it.

Cindy's book list on to get kids outside and exploring nature

Cindy Jenson-Elliott Why did Cindy love this book?

Behind weeds, trees are perhaps the most common plant many kids will encounter in their day to day lives, and another way children can access nature near home and school. And while trees are complex living things at the apex of the plant kingdom, they often are unnoticed and underappreciated. This beautiful lyrical picture book gives children a context to explore what a tree can do through kid-sized comparisons to what children can also do. Use it to help children explore one of the most common features of both urban and rural landscapes: trees.

By Andrea Zimmerman, Jing Jing Tsong (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked If I Were a Tree 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?

Two siblings imagine life as a tree, and envision what they would hear, feel, and see.

If I were a tree, I know how I'd be.
My trunk strong and wide, my limbs side to side,
I'd stand towering tall, high above all,
My leaves growing big, and buds on each twig.
If I were a tree, that's how I'd be.

The sister has camped in the forest many times before. The brother is nervous for his first overnight trip. As the illustrations in this multifaceted picture book show the siblings discovering the woods, the text celebrates the strength and…


Book cover of Greenwood

Eva Silverfine Author Of How to Bury Your Dog

From my list on our connections with the natural environment.

Why am I passionate about this?

Although I grew up in New York City, from a young age I was drawn to the natural world, particularly through gardening and camping trips. Eventually I studied biology in college and earned a Master’s researching stream ecology. I also always imagined myself a writer. For years my writing was solely in letters and journals, but during my Master’s I started a novel featuring an immature mayfly in the stream (it was somewhat autobiographical). Ecology is all about the connection of organisms to their environment and to one another, and I think this perspective of connectedness has embedded itself deeply in my writing and my life.

Eva's book list on our connections with the natural environment

Eva Silverfine Why did Eva love this book?

I particularly love books that combine the trifecta of engaging story; interesting, complex characters; and good writing with real substance (as in, I stop to think about the content). Greenwood has all of these.

The writing is particularly lyrical—I could fill this space with beautiful quotes. The author takes the reader through four generations of a family, with each generation intimately connected to trees in different ways—from lumbermen to environmental activist to woodcraftsman to botanist.

And as the author “takes a core” through a family tree, the story captures both the characters’ relationships to one another as well as to the world in which they live. I cannot recommend this book enough!

By Michael Christie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'The truth is that all family lines, from the highest to the lowest, originate somewhere, on some particular day. Even the grandest trees must've once been seeds spun helpless on the wind, and then just meek saplings nosing up from the soil.'

2038. On a remote island off the Pacific coast of British Columbia stands the Greenwood Arboreal Cathedral, one of the world's last forests. Wealthy tourists flock from all corners of the dust-choked globe to see the spectacle and remember what once was. But even as they breathe in the fresh air and pose for photographs amidst the greenery,…


Book cover of The Story of Trees: And How They Changed the World

Artur Cisar-Erlach Author Of The Flavor of Wood: In Search of the Wild Taste of Trees from Smoke and SAP to Root and Bark

From my list on the amazing world of trees.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up between the “wood district” in northern Austria and the woodland-rich province of Nova Scotia in Canada many of my favorite childhood memories took place in forests of all shapes and sizes. It must have been this constant exposure that ignited my passion for everything trees and forests and ultimately inspired me to train as a cabinet maker, study woodland ecology and even travel around the world exploring the multitude of fantastic flavor trees have to offer. Along the way, it was the books on this list that kept on fueling my passion and taught me to love trees even more deeply. 

Artur's book list on the amazing world of trees

Artur Cisar-Erlach Why did Artur love this book?

A gorgeously illustrated book detailing how trees changed our world. It is a book exactly to my liking as it perfectly blends scientific information with fascinating stories and insights, making it highly interesting for both the laymen and the professional. It takes pride in being placed on my coffee table where I keep on randomly opening it several times a week, discovering something new every time. This way I am still joyfully reading it, although I have already acquired it months ago. 

By Kevin Hobbs, David West,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Wonderful stories and in-depth information you will normally never find in books about trees." - Piet Oudolf, Landscape Designer and creator of the planting design for New York's High Line

"Entwining fascinating facts about 100 trees with inspiring stories of their importance to ancient civilizations, trade, religious and pagan beliefs, wellbeing and medicinal uses over the ages, this delightful and well-researched book provokes curiosity on every page." - Dr. Alexandra Wagstaffe, Eden Project Learning

The Story of Trees takes the reader on a visual journey from some of the earliest known tree species on our planet to the latest fruit…


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 Britain and Northern Europe

James Aldred Author Of The Man Who Climbs Trees: The Lofty Adventures of a Wildlife Cameraman

From my list on trees and the landscape around us.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always wanted to travel and have always been obsessed with exploring the natural world with my camera. Over the past 30 years I’ve been lucky to film in 120+ countries and meet thousands of inspiring people in the most unlikely of places. Experience has taught me that there are certain core positive traits that unify us all and help bind us to the natural world within which we live. The books I’ve chosen remind me of how complicated, beautiful, and precious; and how full of wonder and mystery our planet is. They have helped inspire me to pack my bags and get out there to explore it for myself. 

James' book list on trees and the landscape around us

James Aldred Why did James love this book?

Mitchell is the grandfather of all things tree in Britain and this book is a unique gem that lists most of the nation’s most noteworthy, old, and impressive specimens.

It lit a childhood passion in me for big tree hunting. Growing up in Britain where there are few truly wild forests remaining, it showed me where to look to find the best trees and how to appreciate their size, age, beauty, and importance to all life on earth. 

By Alan Mitchell, John Wilkinson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This work illustrates in colour every tree regularly found in Britain and northern Europe. The text complements the paintings, stressing the important identification features of each tree. The keys are easy-to-use, designed to help even the beginner identify any tree they see in any season. A special section gives the locations in Britain of the finest specimens of each species.


Book cover of Into the Forest: The Secret Language of Trees

Anthony D. Fredericks Author Of In Search of the Old Ones: An Odyssey among Ancient Trees

From my list on trees and forests.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, my father and I would take two weeks every summer to camp in the High Sierra Mountains of California. In between fishing excursions and rafting trips, I would take time to hike among tall pines or resplendent forests. I was always amazed at what I would discover. In later years, I would often find myself in the company of forests on business ventures or family vacations. Now in my eighth decade, I still embrace the magnificence of tall timbers. I have lived among them, danced beneath their branches, and reposed in their shade. They are an integral part of my life; they are both inspiration and friends.

Anthony's book list on trees and forests

Anthony D. Fredericks Why did Anthony love this book?

I discovered this book by accident…and what a great accident it was!

This book is a complete and thorough examination of all the elements of forest life. Chapters include Tree, Earth, Water, Air, Fire, and Forest. Throughout, it is brimming with information, full of insights, and loaded with perspectives found in no other book.

It is a most masterful examination of every element of forest life - told with intensity and passion.

As a National Geographic publication, you know it is both scientifically accurate and packed with dynamic photographs. This is a book that was crafted with love and intent.

Like me, you will find yourself turning to this book again and again. It is a most necessary addition to any personal library.

By Susan Tyler Hitchcock,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For millennia, trees have offered renewal and inspiration.

They have provided for humanity on every level, from spiritual sanctuary to the raw material for our homes, books, and food. In this beautiful and revealing book, National Geographic combines legendary photography with cutting-edge science to illuminate exactly how trees influence the life of planet Earth-from our personal lives to the weather cycle. Beautifully illustrated essays tell the stories of the world's most remarkable trees, from Tane Mahura in New Zealand, the ancient Maori "lord of the forest," to Pando, a single aspen spreading over 100 acres: Earth's largest living thing. You'll…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in trees, William Shakespeare, and the Himalayas?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about trees, William Shakespeare, and the Himalayas.

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