The most recommended books about the Amazon rainforest

Who picked these books? Meet our 18 experts.

18 authors created a book list connected to the Amazon rainforest, and here are their favorite Amazon rainforest books.
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What type of Amazon rainforest book?


Poo! Is that You?

By Clare Helen Welsh, Nicola O'Byrne (illustrator),

Book cover of Poo! Is that You?

Alice Hemming Author Of The Leaf Thief

From the list on great fun and happen to be educational.

Who am I?

I write books for children of all ages but I began with picture books, and they will always have a special place in my heart. I like all different types of picture books. Sometimes we read for pure entertainment, and sometimes to find out about the world, but the books on this list hit the sweet spot between the two. They are all books that will inspire further conversation and might even lead to related projects at school or home.

Alice's book list on great fun and happen to be educational

Why did Alice love this book?

"Poo! Is that you?" It’s a funny question, and a funny title for a book, which always has little ones holding their noses and flapping their hands in front of their faces—great for interaction. But, as well as being a fun story, this book also has an educational side, as Lenny the lemur learns everything there is to know about smells. I, for one, had never heard of the Stinkbird before I read this book. There are some Super Stinky Facts at the end and there are more books in the series to keep you entertained/educated…

By Clare Helen Welsh, Nicola O'Byrne (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Poo! Is that You? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lenny the Lemur is on holiday in the Amazon rainforest. He's just settling down for a nice snooze, when a very yucky smell wafts past . . .Poo-ie! What or who could it be?

Lenny sets off to track down the source of the nasty niff . . . Along the way, he meets lots of stinky creatures, finding out about the different smells they make and why.

Learn about sloths, skunks, stinkbugs and more in the whiff-tastic Poo! Is That You? written by Clare Helen Welsh and illustrated by Nicola O'Byrne. Cleverly interweaving facts throughout, it also contains an…

Rain Forest Relay

By Kristin Earhart,

Book cover of Rain Forest Relay

Kim Long Author Of Lexi Magill and the Teleportation Tournament

From the list on competition/game aspects at the heart of the story.

Who am I?

Kim Long loves to write stories with a sense of adventure, a dash of magic, and a hint of science. Her debut, Lexi Magill and the Teleportation Tournament, was a 2021-2022 Texas Bluebonnet Master List Selection. She loves board games, scavenger hunts, and puzzles, so books with aspects of those elements have always appealed to her. Every book recommended below has at least one of those elements, and the great news is that it's also the first in its series, so if you fall in love with the first book, there’s a good chance you’ll love the others, too!

Kim's book list on competition/game aspects at the heart of the story

Why did Kim love this book?

This is a great chapter book series for younger readers with competition at its heart. This first book takes place in the Amazon rainforest, and teams have to navigate survival challenges and brain puzzles to win. The main character also has to deal with changing friendships as he worries his friends (who are on a different team) may be cheating. Overall a fun, fast-paced adventure!

By Kristin Earhart,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Russell entered the race, he knew it was going to be a wild ride. Especially the first race course! He'd been studying up on the Amazon's animals and culture forever. But nothing could prepare him or his teammates for what they'd find in the rain forest: raging rapids, poisonous venom, and sneaky competitors who'd do anything to win.

Can the red team work together to make it to the finish line in one piece?

Each chapter in this action-packed adventure series is bursting with totally true facts about wild and wonderful creatures, dangerous habitats, maps, and more!

The Falling Sky

By Davi Kopenawa, Bruce Albert, Nicholas Elliott (illustrator), Alison Dundy (illustrator)

Book cover of The Falling Sky: Words of a Yanomami Shaman

Miguel Farias Author Of The Oxford Handbook of Meditation

From the list on religious experience.

Who am I?

From about the age of 14, I have been exploring how unusual ideas and experiences might change a person’s life. This led me to become an author and experimental psychologist studying the effects of religious beliefs, rituals, and meditation exercises on our minds and bodies. I have spent a good part of the last 4 years putting together a book which tries to answer many of my questions on the varieties of meditation practices around the world.   

Miguel's book list on religious experience

Why did Miguel love this book?

Imagine a Martian landing on planet Earth, meeting with people in Europe and the USA, and writing about it. Part of this book is filled with such freshness of vision and its cuts through the problems and vices of our civilization; the other part is no less of an extraordinary tale of a religious leader brought up in the Amazon who seems to move effortlessly between the natural and supernatural realms.

By Davi Kopenawa, Bruce Albert, Nicholas Elliott (illustrator), Alison Dundy (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Falling Sky is a remarkable first-person account of the life story and cosmo-ecological thought of Davi Kopenawa, shaman and spokesman for the Yanomami of the Brazilian Amazon. Representing a people whose very existence is in jeopardy, Davi Kopenawa paints an unforgettable picture of Yanomami culture, past and present, in the heart of the rainforest--a world where ancient indigenous knowledge and shamanic traditions cope with the global geopolitics of an insatiable natural resources extraction industry.

In richly evocative language, Kopenawa recounts his initiation and experience as a shaman, as well as his first encounters with outsiders: government officials, missionaries, road…

Tree of Rivers

By John Hemming,

Book cover of Tree of Rivers: The Story of the Amazon

Chris Naunton Author Of Egyptologists' Notebooks: The Golden Age of Nile Exploration in Words, Pictures, Plans, and Letters

From the list on history, archaeology, people, and places.

Who am I?

I’ve always been fascinated by history and the sense of place. That has led to a career in Egyptology, but I’ve come to realise that that fascination has been a part of my other interests whether it be Arsenal Football Club, rock music, or cycle touring. I’ve had the opportunity to travel a lot in recent years. My horizons have broadened, and I’ve come to appreciate the natural environment and man’s place in it more and more. None of the books on my list were chosen because of this – I read them because I thought I would enjoy them, but there’s a common theme linking them all – places, people, interactions.

Chris' book list on history, archaeology, people, and places

Why did Chris love this book?

I first came across this book in a communal library at a guest house I was staying at on Easter Island. The island is one of the most profoundly affecting places I have ever visited: even today the sense of remoteness is palpable: it’s four hours’ flight from the nearest airport, the island and its population are small, essential supplies such as mineral water and toilet paper come only once a month. And yet centuries ago a small group of would-be settlers from elsewhere in the Pacific landed and established a remarkable community, famous for its mo’ai (statues). They survived, and thrived, for a time, but it was always a precarious existence, and the natural environment has been altered forever as a result. The question of the extent to which the community is sustainable seems, to me, still to be there. It led me to think deeply about human beings…

By John Hemming,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This enthralling book brilliantly describes the passionate struggles that have taken place in order to utilize, protect and understand the wonder that is the Amazon. Hemming's riveting account recalls the adventures and misadventures down the centuries of the explorers, missionaries, indigenous Indians, naturalists, rubber barons, scientists, anthropologists, archaeologists, political extremists, prospectors and many more, who have been in thrall to the Amazon, the largest river in the world, with the greatest expanse of tropical rain forest and most luxuriant biological diversity on earth.

The Emerald Forest

By Robert Holdstock,

Book cover of The Emerald Forest

R. Chapman Wesley Author Of The Well

From the list on uspenseful spiritual transformation.

Who am I?

I grew up in rural central Virginia the namesake of my African-American, family physician father, Dr. Robert C. Wesley and my educator mother, Anne Louise Reynolds. Becoming a physician seemed to be my destiny, which explains attending Yale Medical School. The Well was inspired by my lifelong concern over global health threats, originally regarding the threat of nuclear weapons, and propelled me toward pandemic inquiry. It was also a way to explore fundamental questions I struggled with: At the current state of mankind’s moral and ethical development, would a miraculous discovery controlled by very few lead to universal well-being or universal tyranny? I'm honored to submit my recommendations of books that combine suspense and spirituality.

R.'s book list on uspenseful spiritual transformation

Why did R. love this book?

This is a fictional narrative based on true events immortalized in the stunning film directed by John Boorman from the adapted screenplay by Rospo Pallenberg. 

It recounts the spiritual transformation of a father seeking to find his lost young son and the son’s embracing of a spiritual destination that neither could have foreseen.

Bill Markham, an engineer, with his family, including his 7-year-old son, Tommie, ventures to the Brazilian rainforest to destroy it for the construction of an electrical dam. This incursion creates the forced migration of indigenous tribes.

One tribe happens upon Tommie at the edge of the rainforest during a picnic with Bill’s family. The tribe kidnaps Tommie, not with malevolence, but rather to rescue him from an upside-down worldview by which the rainforest could be destroyed. They can do so by camouflaging themselves with the foliage of the rainforest, thus appearing invisible.

Bill sets off on a…

By Robert Holdstock,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Deep in the sounds, scents and shifting rhythms of the Amazon forest, a family have lost their seven-year-old child, stolen by the mysterious 'Invisible People', the tribe which has never been seen.
Through ten years their agonised search for him takes them beyond the world's last great natural frontier into the cruel beauty of the Brazilian jungle.
When at last father and son do meet - in a dramatic and terrifying encounter - it is in the emerald forest, a place where the mythical and magical powers of primal existence must clash with the cold-hearted greed of modern man.


By James Rollins,

Book cover of Amazonia

E.A. Field Author Of IRL

From the list on fantasy and sci-fi to take you on an adventure.

Who am I?

I grew up on fantasy stories, with Tolkien being the first author I can really remember loving. I have read widely in the genre and love to explore the subgenres of fantasy as well. I have a great group of writing partners and readers who discuss the fantasy and sci-fi genres with me at length. I think all great fantasy stories have some element of what it is to love or be loved and find a place in the world. I am an avid traveler as well and often dream up stories in far away places. 

E.A.'s book list on fantasy and sci-fi to take you on an adventure

Why did E.A. love this book?

I love Amazonia because it brings together the jungle setting that I feel adds a lot of danger and stress to the characters as well as a scientific puzzle.

I love survival stories when the protagonists are “tough” and these US Rangers meet their match. It also features a furry sidekick and who doesn’t love that? 

By James Rollins,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the author of ALTAR OF EDEN and MAP OF BONES comes another fantastic mystery adventure, this time set deep in the Amazon jungle.

Out of the inhospitable Amazon rainforest a man stumbles into a missionary village. Soon the CIA operative and former Special Forces soldier, his eyes wide with terror, is dead. The photograph of Agent Clark's corpse in the Brazilian morgue shows two intact upper limbs, yet Agent Clark had only one arm, the other lost to a sniper's bullet.

Nathan Rand's father led a scientific mission into the rainforest and never returned - the same expedition that…

Mother of God

By Paul Rosolie,

Book cover of Mother of God: An Extraordinary Journey Into the Uncharted Tributaries of the Western Amazon

Kim MacQuarrie Author Of The Last Days of the Incas

From the list on the amazing country of Peru.

Who am I?

I lived in Peru for five years, working as a writer, filmmaker, and anthropologist. For part of that time, I lived with a recently-contacted tribe in the Upper Amazon, visited Maoist Shining Path “liberated zones” and later made a number of documentaries on the Amazon as well as have written a number of books, most of which are on some aspect of Peru. Peru remains one of the most fascinating countries on Earth--a kind of dense amalgamation of ancient civilizations, archaeology, immense biodiversity, incredible beauty, and lots and lots of adventure. Although there’s no substitute for visiting Peru yourself--reading about it is a great way to begin your adventure!

Kim's book list on the amazing country of Peru

Why did Kim love this book?

No one should make a trip to Peru--whether physically or via literature--without visiting the Amazon Jungle, which makes up 60% of Peru’s territory and is a whole world unto itself. The Upper Amazon is the Earth’s final frontier, where uncontacted Amerindians still roam, and that contains some of the richest biodiversity on Earth. This book will take you right into the thick of it.

By Paul Rosolie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For fans of The Lost City of Z, Walking the Amazon, and Turn Right at Machu Picchu comes naturalist and explorer Paul Rosolie’s extraordinary adventure in the uncharted tributaries of the Western Amazon—a tale of discovery that vividly captures the awe, beauty, and isolation of this endangered land and presents an impassioned call to save it.

In the Madre de Dios—Mother of God—region of Peru, where the Amazon River begins its massive flow, the Andean Mountain cloud forests fall into lowland Amazon Rainforest, creating the most biodiversity-rich place on the planet. In January 2006, when he was just a restless…

Vegan Travel Handbook 1

By Lonely Planet Food,

Book cover of Vegan Travel Handbook 1

Wendy Werneth Author Of Veggie Planet: Uncover the Vegan Treasures Hiding in Your Favorite World Cuisines

From the list on vegan travel.

Who am I?

I’ve been living a semi-nomadic lifestyle and traveling the globe for all my adult life, and travel has truly shaped who I am. In 2014, when I learned about the many advantages of a vegan lifestyle for my health, the planet, and the animals, I felt compelled to make the change. There was one thing holding me back, though, which was the fear that being vegan would ruin travel. Fortunately, I gave it a trial run anyway during a three-week trip to Greece and discovered that being vegan actually made traveling even more fun! Ever since, I’ve been sharing my global vegan discoveries on my website, the Nomadic Vegan.

Wendy's book list on vegan travel

Why did Wendy love this book?

Since there are not that many vegan travel books on the market (yet), this title sneaks onto this list, but with a caveat. This book is a collaboration by multiple authors, and some parts are definitely better than others.

The general travel information was clearly written by a vegan and is right on point. However, some of the destination-specific sections seem to be lifted from Lonely Planet’s other titles and weren’t written from a vegan perspective.

While the information about vegan food options in various countries is accurate, a vegan lifestyle is not just about food. Rather, it’s about avoiding causing harm to animals as far as possible through the choices we make in all aspects of our daily life.

Some of the activities mentioned in the Vegan Travel Handbook do not fit within this worldview, which may be off-putting for vegan readers. Nevertheless, for new vegans or vegan-curious travelers…

By Lonely Planet Food,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Whether you've been vegan for years or are travelling as one for the first time, The Vegan Travel Handbook will help you discover, plan and book a huge range of vegan-friendly adventures around the globe.

Get essential advice and expert tips on everything from where to go when and the best vegan restaurants, accommodation and cities, to how to stay healthy on the road and order food with confidence. We also reveal unmissable vegan tours, festivals and food trucks.

From cooking classes in India to wildlife watching tours in New Zealand, Lonely Planet shows you how to explore the world…

Into the Jungle

By Erica Ferencik,

Book cover of Into the Jungle

Brenda Smith Author Of Becoming Fearless: Finding Courage in the African Wilderness

From the list on surviving and finding courage in the wilderness.

Who am I?

As the daughter of a prim and proper New England family, expectations were that I would follow societal norms: attend college, get married, and raise a family. I knew practically nothing about the world outside the United States, nor had I any curiosity about it. Everything changed in 1980 when I took a job as an accountant working for one of the world’s greatest adventurers, Richard Bangs. He literally dragged me, kicking and screaming, into the remotest heart of Africa, where I became infected by wanderlust. Ever since, as a single woman, I have embraced a life of adventure traveling around our amazing planet.

Brenda's book list on surviving and finding courage in the wilderness

Why did Brenda love this book?

I lived in Bolivia in the late 1980s, and with three friends set off on a long wooden riverboat journey on the Rio Beni deep into the Amazon rainforest to the tiny jungle village of Rurrenebaque, a village strikingly similar to Ayachero where Ferencik set her story. I can verify that Ferencik’s detailed descriptions of the environment and its indigenous people perfectly capture the wilderness setting for this story.

The protagonist, Lily Bushwold, endures unimaginable challenges as she follows her new Bolivian love from La Paz back to his village. It is a world full of wonders and terrors, where she must use her wits to survive.   

By Erica Ferencik,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Featured in the New York Times Book Review Summer Reading Guide * A Crime by the Book "Most Anticipated" Novel * Featured in the New York Post Summer Round Up * Starred Publishers Weekly Review * A Publishers Weekly "Big Summer Books" * A Kirkus Reviews "Creepy Thrillers" Pick

In this pulse-pounding thriller from the author of the "haunting, twisting thrill ride" (Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author) The River at Night, a young woman leaves behind everything she knows to take on the Bolivian jungle, but her excursion abroad quickly turns into a fight for her life.


Book cover of How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon

Cheryl Kaye Tardif Author Of How I Made Over $42,000 in 1 Month Selling My Kindle eBooks

From the list on for authors who want to increase book sales.

Who am I?

I grew up reading my dad’s hardcore sci-fi and my mother’s romance, horror, and thrillers. This led to my desire to become a published author. Prior to 2012, I was a bestselling Canadian author with a handful of titles published. After hitting #4 on Amazon’s Bestsellers list, I was approached by agents and publishers. Within weeks I signed multiple contracts. Trident Media Group asked to represent me. Yes! I signed two audio deals with Audible, and multiple deals with foreign publishers. One of my mottos has always been to help other writers when I can, so I share my marketing expertise and experiences.

Cheryl's book list on for authors who want to increase book sales

Why did Cheryl love this book?

When I was a fledgling author, I had no experience selling books, but I had sold Pampered Chef, Amway, cosmetics, and other companies’ products. Penny’s marketing books helped me to look outside of the box, especially outside the bookstore or Amazon. Many of her strategies helped me get to the highlight of my career, when one of my thrillers was #4 after The Hunger Games trilogy on’s overall bestseller list, out of millions of books.

By Penny C. Sansevieri,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Learn How to Turn Amazon into your 24/7 Book Sales Machine!

Are you ready to take your Amazon sales to the next level?

How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon (2021 edition) teaches you exactly how to do it – but smarter and with more success.

Named as one of the top influencers of 2019 by New York Metropolitan Magazine, Penny Sansevieri has also taught Amazon-centric classes and webinars to thousands of authors leading up to the release of this ultimate guide to mastering the Amazon marketing system.

The 2021 edition also introduces a brand new Powerhouse Amazon…

Martin Rattler

By R.M. Ballantyne,

Book cover of Martin Rattler

Elizabeth Flann Author Of Beware of Dogs

From the list on humans fighting for survival in dangerous situations.

Who am I?

Elizabeth Flann is a history and literature major who worked for over twenty years in the publishing industry in England and Australia before moving into teaching literature, scriptwriting and editing to postgraduate students at Deakin University, Melbourne. She is a co-author of The Australian Editing Handbook and was awarded a PhD in 2001 for her thesis entitled Celluloid Dreaming: Cultural Myths and Landscape in Australian Film. Now retired, she is able to give full rein to her true love—writing fiction. Her first novel, Beware of Dogs, was awarded the Harper Collins Banjo Prize for a Fiction Manuscript. She now lives in a peaceful rural setting in Victoria, Australia, close to extended family and nature.

Elizabeth's book list on humans fighting for survival in dangerous situations

Why did Elizabeth love this book?

I was a lonely child and when I discovered my uncle’s childhood adventure books at my grandmother’s house I found a world of excitement, adventure, and bravery that thrilled me to the marrow. Although all the active characters in these books were male, I managed to insert my imaginary self into the tales of shipwrecks, daredevil flights, and chases through Amazon jungles as the protagonists bravely and indefatigably fought for survival. Martin Rattler was the first of these books I read and it’s still a breathtaking read, with plenty of moments when your heart is in your mouth and you are almost too scared to read on. I recommend it as a true heart-stopper. 

You may be shocked by some of the racist and sexist attitudes in Martin Rattler. It was written in the colonialist and intolerant England of the times, and I find it heartening that no one…

By R.M. Ballantyne,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

City of the Beasts

By Isabel Allende,

Book cover of City of the Beasts

Oliver Eade Author Of Eyes of Fire

From the list on thinking more deeply about real-life issues.

Who am I?

A retired doctor and bookaholic since childhood, for me reading has always been more than just an escape into other lives. Rather, as with all art forms, I find it helps me better understand our topsy-turvy world. The Alice books were my introduction to the use of fantasy in storytelling that embraces a deeper meaning. Reading such imaginative fiction can be like stepping back from reality only to return with a better insight into what it means to be human in the real world. For me, as a doctor, this has always been so important. Each of the books I have recommended achieves this in the author’s own, unique way.

Oliver's book list on thinking more deeply about real-life issues

Why did Oliver love this book?

In a tale involving entrepreneurial ruffians who exploit native Amazonian tribes, and corrupt officials, Alex and Nadia discover the ‘People of the Mist’ and the mystical sloth-like beasts of the title who are trying to protect their forest. The first, and for me the best book of this supremely gifted writer’s explorative trilogy, it deals, compellingly, with the self-seeking greed behind White Man’s destruction of the lungs of our planet, the Amazon. If we lose the Amazon Rainforest, we lose our planet. As simple as that. Mr. Bolsonaro, please read this book!

By Isabel Allende,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An ecological romance with a pulsing heart, equal parts Rider Haggard and Chico Buarque - one of the world's greatest and most beloved storytellers broadens her style and reach with a Amazonian adventure story that will appeal to all ages.

Fifteen-year-old Alexander Cold has the chance to take the trip of a lifetime.

With his mother in hospital, too ill to look after him, Alex is sent out to his grandmother Kate - a fearless reporter with blue eyes 'as sharp as daggers' points'. Kate is about to embark on an expedition to the dangerous, remote world of the Amazon…

The End of Ice

By Dahr Jamail,

Book cover of The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption

Jorge Daniel Taillant Author Of Meltdown: The Earth Without Glaciers

From the list on science from a cryo activist.

Who am I?

Jorge Daniel Taillant is a cryoactivist, a term he coined to describe someone that works to protect the cryosphere, ie. the Earth’s frozen environment. Founder of a globally prized non-profit protecting human rights and promoting environmental justice he helped get the world’s first glacier law passed in South America. He now devotes 100% of his time to tackling climate change in an emergency effort to slow global warming … and to protect glaciers.

Jorge's book list on science from a cryo activist

Why did Jorge love this book?

Dahr Jamail’s End of Ice threads his life experiences as a prized reporter, mountaineer, and climate activist, sharing personal human stories and experiences that reveal the difficult, cold, and hard evidence showing us that our cryosphere is irreversibly changing before our eyes. His easy-to-read prose, supported by well-researched and irrefutable science, gives us a unique introspection into the Anthropocene, chronicling the profound changes we are witnessing to Mother Nature and the demise of our frozen resources. I was enthralled by Jamail’s reflections on the end of ice.

By Dahr Jamail,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

After nearly a decade overseas as a war reporter, the acclaimed journalist Dahr Jamail returned to America to renew his passion for mountaineering, only to find that the slopes he had once climbed have been irrevocably changed by climate disruption. In response, Jamail embarks on a journey to the geographical front lines of this crisis - from Alaska to Australia's Great Barrier Reef, via the Amazon rainforest - in order to discover the consequences to nature and to humans of the loss of ice.

Book cover of With Broadax and Firebrand: The Destruction of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest

John Robert McNeill Author Of Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth-Century World

From the list on environmental history.

Who am I?

I’ve been reading and writing environmental history since I was trapped indoors on a rainy afternoon nearly 40 years ago and by chance pulled Alfred Crosby’s The Columbian Exchange off a bookshelf. I read it in one gulp (it’s a short book and the rain lingered) and I’ve never been the same since. I regard the environmental as the most fundamental sort of history, because it places humankind and our history in its full context. I love to learn about how humans and their environments affect one another and to read histories that treat both together—because in reality they have always been, and always will be, intertwined.  

John's book list on environmental history

Why did John love this book?

Sometimes environmental history is written with passion and outrage, and this is one such case. Brazil’s Atlantic forest is 90% gone now, and Dean explains how, why, and when that happened. He regards it as a tragedy, and his sorrow and anger enliven his writing. You probably know the ongoing story of the shrinking Amazon rainforest. Forest history is a major category within environmental history, and this is one of the best. The impact of Brazil’s leaf-cutter ants, which Dean explains, defies belief.

By Warren Dean,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Warren Dean chronicles the chaotic path to what could be one of the greatest natural disasters of modern times: the disappearance of the Atlantic Forest. A quarter the size of the Amazon Forest, and the most densely populated region in Brazil, the Atlantic Forest is now the most endangered in the world. It contains a great diversity of life forms, some of them found nowhere else, as well as the country's largest cities, plantations, mines, and industries. Continual clearing is ravaging most of the forested remnants. Dean opens his story with the hunter-gatherers of twelve thousand years ago and takes…

Mad White Giant

By Benedict Allen,

Book cover of Mad White Giant

Charlie Walker Author Of Through Sand & Snow: a man, a bicycle, and a 43,000-mile journey to adulthood via the ends of the Earth

From the list on solo adventure.

Who am I?

I started solo travelling as soon as I left school, and since then I’ve spent many years doing so. I came of age while cycling, kayaking, hiking and skiing across distant lands. The bittersweetness of being alone on the road has become a source of constant fascination for me. The on-again-off-again loneliness creates a state of mind where you’re that much more willing to throw yourself in at the deep end, to meet strangers, and to look, listen and learn. At its very best, solo travel writing seamlessly encompasses two journeys: the physical journey in a foreign land, and the psychological journey within the author.

Charlie's book list on solo adventure

Why did Charlie love this book?

This journey is simultaneously a descent into fear and chaos and an ascent into manhood. An excitable young man on his first solo journey deliberately throwing himself way out of his depth in the Orinoco basin. Allen’s aim to learn how to survive in the jungle from the indigenous peoples who’ve thrived there for centuries is a pattern he came to repeat throughout his career and one that many explorers should learn from. Things take a turn when he overhears a plot on his life and he makes a solo one-month escape from the jungle with only the clothes on his back.

By Benedict Allen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is Benedict Allen's first book - a tale of triumphs, mishaps, dangers and sheer bloody-minded endurance but, at another level, an exploration of the Amazon's dark themes of allurement and exploitation. At the age of 22, inspired by a youthful aspiration to be an explorer, Allen set out to travel from the mouth of the Orinoco to the mouth of the Amazon. But as he stumbled through the Amazonian jungle, he was soon confronted by the harsh reality of his isolation in the midst of potentially perilous territory. Mercifully, the experience of living in the rainforest among indigenous Indians…


By Jayme Bean,

Book cover of Untouched

Rory Michaelson Author Of Lesser Known Monsters

From the list on LGBTQ+ stories to take your heart on a journey.

Who am I?

Being LGBTQIA+ can bring with it a sense of otherness that many of us struggle with from early on in life, particularly when it intersects with other aspects of our identities. Even now, there remains a sense that queer characters and stories are sometimes tolerated rather than celebrated. We all deserve the chance to write, see, and be main characters in our own adventures, and for this to be embraced by others. I love stories about inner-strength, resilience, and joy, with self-actualisation and found-family (you may already know this if you’ve read mine!). I hope that my books, and those on this list take your heart on an incredible journey.

Rory's book list on LGBTQ+ stories to take your heart on a journey

Why did Rory love this book?

Ever felt like the plants and trees around you are more alive than you’d originally thought? This story follows a couple of grad students trapped in the Amazon rainforest, who are starting to realise just that. This book features an unconventional modern hero in the form of anxiety-riddled disaster bi, David, and headstrong pragmatic voice in the chaos Marisol. Creepy, smart, fascinating, and brilliantly crafted adventure thriller about overcoming the odds. Imagine if Michael Crichton wrote Jumanji, then make it queer. 

By Jayme Bean,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Dr. Julia Morrow and her graduate students, David and Marisol, embark on a research trip to explore a remote section of the Amazon rainforest. When their trails seem to change direction at will and they find themselves lost and without communication, the trio worry they may be in for more than just the latest scientific discovery.

After strange circumstances divide the group, they're left deciding which is more important - finding out why the rainforest seems like it’s alive or getting back home in one piece. The deeper they travel into the jungle in search of answers, the more they…

The Great Kapok Tree

By Lynne Cherry,

Book cover of The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest

Darren Lebeuf Author Of My Forest Is Green

From the list on young nature lovers.

Who am I?

I’m the kind of person who can stare at a leaf and be mesmerized by its colours and textures. As an author, illustrator, and photographer I am constantly inspired by nature, and through my work I hope that I can inspire others to find beauty in the outdoors. As a father, my favourite moments with my kids are when we are outside looking under rocks, following a ladybug, climbing trees, or trying to find the best stick. I love seeing how other authors share their passion, and this list shows some of the many ways that we can appreciate nature and all that’s in it.

Darren's book list on young nature lovers

Why did Darren love this book?

My kids and I always enjoy reading this book together. We get to meet a variety of rainforest animals, and along the way, we also learn a lot about the rainforest and the important role they play in the environment. I also love reading books like this where I get make up voices for different characters. 

By Lynne Cherry,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A modern fable with an urgent message for young environmentalists. "Spectacular." (School Library Journal)

Lynne Cherry journeyed deep into the rain forests of Brazil to write and illustrate this gorgeous picture book about a man who exhausts himself trying to chop down a giant kapok tree. While he sleeps, the forest’s residents, including a child from the Yanomamo tribe, whisper in his ear about the importance of trees and how "all living things depend on one another" . . . and it works.

Cherry’s lovingly rendered colored pencil and watercolor drawings of all the "wondrous and rare animals" evoke the…