The most recommended ecosystem books

Who picked these books? Meet our 25 experts.

25 authors created a book list connected to the ecosystem, and here are their favorite ecosystem books.
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Book cover of The Regenerative Garden: 80 Practical Projects for Creating a Self-Sustaining Garden Ecosystem

Maria Colletti Author Of Terrariums - Gardens Under Glass: Designing, Creating, and Planting Modern Indoor Gardens

From my list on indoor gardening houseplant.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent 25 years working at the New York Botanical Garden! My life’s pursuit of the green has been my greatest achievement. I'm a self-made terrarium designer. I developed my style and skills at NYBG and knew that I had to share this with the world. My books have sold over 14,000 copies worldwide. This is amazing to me and has taught me that my though-ness and step-by-step lessons were worth every word! Horticulture is a subject that comes naturally to me. I happily know the names of dozens and dozens of trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, tropical, desert, you name plants from all over the world and I’m learning new ones every season. 

Maria's book list on indoor gardening houseplant

Maria Colletti Why did Maria love this book?

Stephanie has taught me so much about gardening that I didn't even know I needed to know. Her beautiful lessons about permaculture, a word that I didn't understand what it meant until Stephanie took the time to teach me! This is a must-need book in your gardening library.

She has created a beautiful garden of her own where she time-tests all her teachings. The climate in Vancouver Canada makes this a great environment. Stephanie and I became friends years ago when she started her blog and she has promoted my work on several occasions.

I trust her judgment and know she knows her subject and then some!

By Stephanie Rose,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Discover how to work with nature, instead of against it, by employing permaculture techniques to create a garden that is not just more beautiful and productive, but also more resilient.

While the word permaculture might sound intimidating, the principals behind it are not. The main goal of permaculture is to turn your space into a functioning ecosystem that’s less reliant on external resources and better able to sustain itself through many seasons of growth and change as it resists pests, diseases, and climate extremes. Whatever the size of your space, from a tiny patio garden to a big backyard, and…


Book cover of The Wolves Are Back

Meeg Pincus Author Of Make Way for Animals! A World of Wildlife Crossings

From my list on nonfiction on helping wildlife.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a lover of wildlife and have written several nonfiction picture books on the topic, including Winged Wonders: Solving the Monarch Migration Mystery, Cougar Crossing: How Hollywood’s Celebrity Cougar Built a Bridge for City Wildlife, and Ocean Soup: a Recipe for You, Me, and A Cleaner Sea. I’m also a humane educator, which inspires the focus of all my nonfiction picture books on “solutionaries” helping people, animals, and the planet. At heart, my books—which have won Golden Kite Nonfiction and Eureka! Nonfiction Honors and more—aim to inspire compassion, inclusivity, and positive action. 

Meeg's book list on nonfiction on helping wildlife

Meeg Pincus Why did Meeg love this book?

This book is a classic and a favorite of mine; I loved reading it to kids as a humane educator and seeing their eyes widen. I still marvel at how this book illustrates so simply and powerfully what happened to the entire ecosystem of Yellowstone National Park when wolves were reintroduced after being eliminated by humans years earlier. It’s a hugely impactful story about how any one species in an ecosystem affects all the others—and kids love it! 

By Jean Craighead George, Wendell Minor (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Wolves Are Back as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 6, 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?

Two renowned children’s book creators teamed up to make this stirring picture book that tells the story of how, over a century, wolves were persecuted in the United States and nearly became extinct. Gradually reintroduced, they are thriving again in the West, much to the benefit of the ecosystem. This book will teach a new generation to appreciate the grace, dignity, and value of wolves as it promotes awareness of the environment’s delicate balance. Paired with gorgeous paintings by landscape artist Wendell Minor, Jean Craighead George’s engaging text will inspire people of all ages to care about the protection of…


Book cover of A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings

Meredith May Author Of The Honey Bus: A Memoir of Loss, Courage and a Girl Saved by Bees

From Meredith's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Beekeeper Scuba diver Knitter Dog mom

Meredith's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Meredith May Why did Meredith love this book?

I loved this book because it brought me back to the time I started beekeeping on the roof of the San Francisco Chronicle. Like Jukes, I was enthralled, enchanted, and curious. And 100 percent totally freaked out. Could I keep these creatures alive? What if they swarmed to a nearby office building or restaurant?

Jukes does her homework before being gifted a colony of honey bees. Through many trips to the library, she shares the ancient history, weird science, and mythological admiration humankind has always had for Beekind. Jukes is going through a difficult time in her life when she gets her bees, and her new hive ends up helping her find purpose and recenter herself.

I love how her memoir delves into the intelligence and wonder of bees yet also respects their wildness and how, as beekeepers, we need to support the honey bees’ natural instincts rather than force…

By Helen Jukes,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'This book has found a special place in my heart. It's as strange, beautiful and unexpected, as precise and exquisite in its movings, as bees in a hive. I loved it' Helen Macdonald, author of H IS FOR HAWK
'Everyone should own A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings, which moved and delighted me more than a book about insects had any right to ... Jukes is a gloriously gifted writer and her book ought to become a key text of this bright moment in our history of nature writing' Alex Preston, Observer
'Finely written and insightful' Melissa Harrison, Guardian

A…


Book cover of Under the Sea-Wind

William Stolzenburg Author Of Where the Wild Things Were: Life, Death, and Ecological Wreckage in a Land of Vanishing Predators

From my list on nature by naturalists.

Why am I passionate about this?

Will Stolzenburg writes about wild things, with particular focus on great predators and the vanishing places they inhabit. A wildlife biologist and magazine editor in former lives, he has since written three non-fiction books concerning those irreplaceable predators, plus a children’s story about a dog with a magically happy tail that's pretty close to true.

William's book list on nature by naturalists

William Stolzenburg Why did William love this book?

Rachel Carson will forever be known for Silent Spring, her courageous, farsighted warning of our pesticidal poisoning of the world. But it was her three ocean-oriented books preceding Silent Spring that best showcase her artistic melding of meticulous research with her wide-eyed sense of wonder. And none more so than Under The Sea Wind, her first and most intimate work, tracing the seasonal travails of fish and shorebirds—living, heroic creatures we come to know by name—through their inspiring, interlocking circles of life.

By Rachel Carson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Under the Sea-Wind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Under the Sea-Wind" presents a naturalist's picture of ocean life. This book is her breathtaking canvas of the fierce, competitive struggle for life takes place along the shore, in the open sea, and along the sea bottom.


Book cover of The Great Barrier Reef: A Journey Through the World's Greatest Natural Wonder

Lee Mylne Author Of Frommer's Australia

From my list on discovering Australia, specifically guide books..

Why am I passionate about this?

As a full-time travel writer for 30 years, I’ve travelled all over Australia and am still constantly surprised and thrilled by new places. Ask me what my favourite place is, and it’s impossible to choose! From the grandeur of Western Australia’s Kimberley and the red ochre colours of the Outback to the deep blue of the oceans and lush rainforests...I love it all and I love sharing my discoveries – both in cities and on the long and winding roads – with readers. When I’m not travelling or writing about it, I’m usually planning the next trip!

Lee's book list on discovering Australia, specifically guide books.

Lee Mylne Why did Lee love this book?

The Great Barrier Reef is known as one of the world’s greatest natural wonders -and is a major drawcard for visitors to Australia. This book, written by renowned Australian marine biologist Len Zell is not a guide in the usual sense of the word but contains all you’ll ever need to know about what Australians call simply “the Reef” and more. Produced in partnership with the BBC’s The Great Barrier Reef television series, the book takes you on a journey along 2,300km of Australia’s north-eastern coastline. Not one to shy away from reality, Zell also looks at the environmental challenges facing the Great Barrier Reef and what the future may hold. There are practical hints and tips too – but if you just want to buy it for the fabulous photography throughout, that’s fine too!

By Len Zell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Great Barrier Reef really is like nowhere else on earth. For many of us, the thought of it conjures up images of beautiful azure waters teeming with colourful fish against a background of coral of every shape, colour and form imaginable. Yet there is so much more to the Great Barrier Reef than this. It is a massive, complex ecosystem, and one that has gone through enormous changes throughout the history and evolution of our planet. Produced in partnership with the BBC's The Great Barrier Reef television series, the book takes you on a journey along 2,300km of Australia's…


Book cover of Wolf Willow: A History, a Story, and a Memory of the Last Plains Frontier

D'Arcy Jenish Author Of Epic Wanderer: David Thompson and the Mapping of the Canadian West

From my list on the exploraton of the West.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a journalist, the author of 10 works of popular history, and, latterly, a playwright. For nearly 25 years, I have earned a living on the strength of my own writing. I have written one full-length play that was produced at an outdoor summer theatre in July 2023, and I have written three short plays for the Port Hope, Ontario Arts Festival. I now live in Peterborough, Ontario, about 90 miles northeast of Toronto, but have had a lifelong interest in the history of western North America by dint of having grown up in southeastern Saskatchewan and having worked as a journalist in Alberta in the early 1980s.  

D'Arcy's book list on the exploraton of the West

D'Arcy Jenish Why did D'Arcy love this book?

There are many reasons to love this book, and the subtitle says it all. This book is A History, A Story, And A Memory Of The Last Plains Frontier.

That last frontier was an arid, desolate corner of southwestern Saskatchewan where his American parents tried homesteading between 1914 and 1920 when Stegner was a child. The family returned to the U.S., but Stegner re-visited this land of his youth in the early 1950s and wrote one of the best accounts of the last frontier in the North American West.   

By Wallace Stegner,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Wolf Willow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Enchanting, heartrending and eminently enviable' Vladimir Nabokov

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Wallace Stegner's boyhood was spent on the beautiful and remote frontier of the Cypress Hills in southern Saskatchewan, where his family homesteaded fro 1914 to 1920. In a recollection of his years there, Stegner applies childhood remembrances and adult reflection to the history of the region to create this wise and enduring portrait of pioneer community existing in the verge of a modern world.

'Stegner has summarized the frontier story and interpreted it as only one who was part of it could' The New York Times Book Review


Book cover of Unnatural Selection: A Memoir of Adoption and Wilderness

Vanessa McGrady Author Of Rock Needs River: A Memoir About a Very Open Adoption

From my list on adoption and what it means to be a family.

Why am I passionate about this?

I don’t just write stories, I study them. I’ve noticed that nearly every major hero/ine’s journey and epic tale has an adoption component. From Bible stories and Greek myths (adoption worked out well for Moses, not so much for Oedipus) to Star Wars through This Is Us, we humans are obsessed with origin stories. And it’s no wonder: “Where do I come from?” and “Where do I belong?” are questions that confound and comfort us from the time we are tiny until we take our final breath. As an adoptive mother and advocate for continuing contact with birth families, I love stories about adoption, because no two are alike. They give us light and insight into how families are created and what it means to be a family—by blood, by love, and sometimes, the combination of the two.

Vanessa's book list on adoption and what it means to be a family

Vanessa McGrady Why did Vanessa love this book?

This beautifully told tale of an adoptee searching for her original family is set against her ongoing relationship to the Southwest’s most awe-inspiring terrain, and the people who bring her there. I loved this book because it showed her evolution as a wilderness lover, romantic partner, and mother as she navigated fitting into various incarnations of family, which felt just as perilous, frustrating, and rewarding as finding the right footholds in the natural world. While we are all from Mother Earth, our earthly parents can be critical to a deeper understanding of who we are as people.

By Andrea Ross,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Adopted at birth, Andrea Ross grew up inhabiting two ecosystems: one was her tangible, adoptive family, the other her birth family, whose mysterious landscape was hidden from her. In this coming-of-age memoir, Ross narrates how in her early twenties, while working as a ranger in Grand Canyon National Park, she embarked on a journey to discover where she came from and, ultimately, who she was. After many missteps and dead ends, Ross uncovered her heartbreaking and inspiring origin story and began navigating the complicated turns of reuniting with her birth parents and their new families. Through backcountry travel in the…


Book cover of Kafka: The Definitive Guide: Real-Time Data and Stream Processing at Scale

Tomasz Lelek Author Of Software Mistakes and Tradeoffs: How to make good programming decisions

From my list on big data processing ecosystem.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am motivated by working on products that many people use. I've been a part of companies that deliver products impacting millions of people. To achieve it, I am working in the Big Data ecosystem and striving to simplify it by contributing to Dremio's Data LakeHouse solution. I worked on projects using Spark, HDFS, Cassandra, and Kafka technologies. I have been working in the software engineering industry for ten years now, and I've tried to share my experience and lessons learned in the Software Mistakes and Tradeoffs book, hoping that it will allow current and the next generation of engineers to create better software, leading to more happy users.

Tomasz's book list on big data processing ecosystem

Tomasz Lelek Why did Tomasz love this book?

Apache Kafka is the backbone of almost every streaming-based system today.

The solutions created and implemented in Kafka are the key concepts in every streaming system that you will work with.

This book will allow you to fully understand the Kafka architecture, its internals, and APIs and allow you to become an expert in this technology.

By Neha Narkhede, Gwen Shapira, Todd Palino

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Every enterprise application creates data, whether it's log messages, metrics, user activity, outgoing messages, or something else. And how to move all of this data becomes nearly as important as the data itself. If you're an application architect, developer, or production engineer new to Apache Kafka, this practical guide shows you how to use this open source streaming platform to handle real-time data feeds.

Engineers from Confluent and LinkedIn who are responsible for developing Kafka explain how to deploy production Kafka clusters, write reliable event-driven microservices, and build scalable stream-processing applications with this platform. Through detailed examples, you'll learn Kafka's…


Book cover of Seashells: More Than a Home

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?

The seashore is a place to explore nature close to home for many children on coasts around the world, and seashells are a place to start that exploration, even for children who are land bound. This book uses lyrical and expository language to explore the ways creatures create and use shells, as well as the structure and function of shells. Use this book to begin an exploration of the ocean and seashore ecosystems.

By Melissa Stewart, Sarah S. Brannen (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Award-winning nonfiction author Melissa Stewart reveals the surprising ways seashells provide more than shelter to the mollusks that inhabit them.

Young naturalists discover thirteen seashells in this elegant introduction to the remarkable versatility of shells. Dual-layered text highlights how shells provide more than a protective home in this expository nonfiction exploration. The informative secondary text underscores characteristics specific to each shell. Elegant watercolor illustrations create a scrapbook feel, depicting children from around the world observing and sketching seashells across shores.


Book cover of Blessed Disillusionment: Letting Go of What Cannot Save Us, Turning to What Can

Molly Young Brown Author Of Growing Whole: Self-Realization for the Great Turning

From my list on building resilience in hard times.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a teacher, counselor, and author, I aspire to support people’s personal and spiritual unfolding for the benefit of all life. I studied psychosynthesis with its founder, Roberto Assagioli, and explored peace psychology and eco-psychology. During my Masters of Divinity studies in the 1990’s, I began working with Joanna Macy, which led to our co-authoring Coming Back to Life and focused my professional life on the Work That Reconnects. The challenges of climate disruption, systemic racism, and economic inequity and instability require us all to act from our most mature, creative, and loving dimensions, which I believe these books can help engender.

Molly's book list on building resilience in hard times

Molly Young Brown Why did Molly love this book?

This highly readable exploration of our global predicament and its underlying causes and dynamics is at once alarming and enlightening. Goldstein offers a way to radically change our economic and political systems for the benefit of everyone—including the ecosystems that support life. Local groups could use the book as a manual to study what needs to change and how to take effective and loving action in their communities as part of a larger movement of radical transformation.

By Michael Goldstein,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Are you tired of hoping that those beholden to the wrong people will do the right thing?

Decades of electoral work and activism have failed to bring us sustainability, peace, or a just society. Blessed Disillusionmentshows that there is a reason: the political system operates to absorb discontent while averting the fundamental change we urgently need.

This short book (140 pages before appendices) explains why the crises and upheaval we see in the U.S. will inevitably increase. The question is whether our country will fall to neofascism or ascend to true democracy and, in time, the beloved community.

Finally, the…