The most recommended nature books

Who picked these books? Meet our 179 experts.

179 authors created a book list connected to nature, and here are their favorite nature books.
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What type of nature book?


Earth's Echo

By Robert M. Hamma,

Book cover of Earth's Echo

Leah D. Schade Author Of Rooted and Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis

From the list on connecting religion and nature.

Who am I?

The Rev. Dr. Leah D. Schade is the Associate Professor of Preaching and Worship at Lexington Theological Seminary in Kentucky.  An ordained Lutheran minister since 2000, Leah has written five books, including three focusing on environment and faith. She has served as an anti-fracking and climate activist, community organizer, and advocate for environmental justice issues, She’s also the “EcoPreacher” blogger for She has recently launched a partnership with the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development to create a monthly resource called EcoPreacher 1-2-3 for busy pastors wanting to address environmental issues in their sermons.

Leah's book list on connecting religion and nature

Why did Leah love this book?

This is a perfect book to take on a hike in the woods, a walk along the beach, or a stroll down a country lane. The author combines his own poetic reflections with those of sages from many different religious traditions across the millennia. There are six sections and a set of readings for each day of the week. This book would be ideal for church camp devotionals, a Lenten devotional, or for your summer reading to get you centered and attentive to God’s Creation.

By Robert M. Hamma,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Earth's Echo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"My profession is always to be alert, to find God in nature," Henry David Thoreau wrote. Or as the Buddha once said, "If you wish to know the divine, feel the wind on your face and the warm sun on your hand." Earth's Echo is a book for people who love nature and find spiritual meaning in it. Using brief excerpts from the work of nature writers as touchstones for meditation, the book leads the reader to reflect on the sacred reality of nature as found in different settings: the seashore, the river, the forest, the desert, and the mountain.…


By Silver Ravenwolf,

Book cover of Hedgewitch: Spells, Crafts & Rituals for Natural Magick

Heather Dakota Author Of Mama Bear Says Pocket Wisdom

From the list on for witches reconnecting with mother earth.

Who am I?

As a practicing Hedge Witch, I’m fascinated by the marriage of science and the mystical. Now, I’m alchemizing confidence, coherence, and clarity for soulful writers to pursue the books of their dreams. I am the author, illustrator, and designer of Mama Bear Says™ and the Book Witch of planners and journals for your sacred words. I live at the edge of the wild woods and love to graze on wild berries, sit by a cozy hearth, and watch the magic of the animals who meander through these lands. The magic of the natural world and the healing power of Mother Earth sits as a priority in my life. These are the books on my magickal bookshelf.

Heather's book list on for witches reconnecting with mother earth

Why did Heather love this book?

This book put me on the quest to discover my inner magick, the power within, the Witch locked in my DNA. Silver Ravenwolf helps us create a magickal practice and write our spells and rituals in harmony with Mother Earth's energy and the natural world. Hedgewitch allows you to go deeper into your brand of magick and create traditions and celebrations that align with your world.

By Silver Ravenwolf,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Get a fast and fun jump-start on the "Hedge Witch" path with a little help from the immensely popular Silver RavenWolf. This nifty guidebook has everything a new Hedge Witch needs, arranged in an easy-to-follow format. At the core of the book is a fourteen-lesson, hands-on guide that readers complete at their own pace, interacting with different aspects of nature in simple yet powerful ways, i.e., performing the Night of the Starry Sky ritual. The lessons, which can be done alone or with a group, culminate in an inspiring dedication ceremony.A handy reference section offers tips, formulas, recipes, and helpful…

Southwest Sunrise

By Nikki Grimes, Wendell Minor (illustrator),

Book cover of Southwest Sunrise

Carol Fisher Saller Author Of The Bridge Dancers

From the list on nature providing strength and healing.

Who am I?

I’m not an expert in gardening, forestry, or herbal medicine. But like everyone else, I have a growing awareness that our planet Earth is entirely dependent on thriving forests and insects and even weeds. We owe it to our children and future generations to learn about and protect our precious resources. Although I live in the big city of Chicago and have a tiny backyard, last year I turned my little grass lawn into prairie! I have creeping charlie, dandelions, creeping phlox, sedge grass, wild violets, white clover, and who knows what else. (Luckily, my neighbors are on board.) I’ve already seen honeybees and hummingbirds. It’s not much, but it’s something I can do.

Carol's book list on nature providing strength and healing

Why did Carol love this book?

Everyone feels lost like Jayden at one time or another: His family has moved from the excitement and color of New York City to the vast, empty desert of New Mexico, where at first all Jayden sees and hears are shadows and silence. How can this ever be home?

But very quickly the desert reveals its glorious sounds and colors. Nikki Grimes’s spare, quiet text does a beautiful job of reminding us that nature is everywhere if we only take the time to look, and that finding comfort and joy in the beauty around us can help make any place a home.

By Nikki Grimes, Wendell Minor (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From Children's Literature Legacy Award winner Nikki Grimes and highly-acclaimed illustrator Wendell Minor comes a stunning picture book about the beauty of the natural world and finding a new place to call home.

The beauty of the natural world is just waiting to be discovered . . .

When Jayden touches down in New Mexico, he's uncertain how this place could ever be home. But if he takes a walk outside, he just might find something glorious.

Flowers in bright shades . . .
Birds and lizards and turtles, all with a story to tell . . .
Red rock…

A First Book of Nature

By Nicola Davies, Mark Hearld (illustrator),

Book cover of A First Book of Nature

Julia Rawlinson Author Of Fletcher and the Falling Leaves

From the list on nature and the seasons.

Who am I?

I grew up in London, close to Richmond Park, where I got to know many of the characters who have since popped up in my stories. I bird-watched, caterpillar-collected, and pond-dipped, and my bedroom had a floating population of minibeasts. My first picture book, Fred and the Little Egg, was about a bear cub trying to hatch an acorn, and my stories have continued to reflect my love of nature. My Fletcher’s Four Seasons series follows a kind-hearted fox cub as he explores his wood through the changing seasons. I hope my books will inspire children to explore and care for the natural world too.

Julia's book list on nature and the seasons

Why did Julia love this book?

A gloriously illustrated mixture of nature facts, poetry, and things to do, this book is like my childhood squished between covers, taking in pond-dipping, caterpillar-hatching, rock-pooling, worm-watching and so much more as it guides you through the seasons. I would have loved this book as a child, and still love it now. 

By Nicola Davies, Mark Hearld (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A First Book of Nature as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An exquisite book that evokes a child's first experience of nature.

From beachcombing to stargazing, from watching squirrels, ducks and worms to making berry crumble or a winter bird feast, this is a remarkable book - part poetry, part scrapbook of recipes, facts and fragments - and a glorious reminder that the natural world is on our doorstep waiting to be discovered. Mark Hearld's pictures beautifully reproduce the colours of the seasons on woodfree paper, and Nicola Davies' lyrical words capture the simple loveliness that is everywhere, if only we can look.

Queer Nature

By Michael Walsh (editor),

Book cover of Queer Nature: A Poetry Anthology

Jane Clarke Author Of A Change in the Air

From the list on making you fall in love with nature poetry.

Who am I?

Ever since my childhood on a farm poetry has helped me pay attention to the world around me. Like a naturalist’s field guide, nature poems name, depict, and explore what might otherwise pass unnoticed. Now in the midst of environmental crisis I believe poets have a role alongside ecologists, farmers, and foresters to protect and restore our threatened habitats and species. Writing nature poetry helps me face and express loss while celebrating what still survives. I value poetry that connects us to what we love and gives us courage to imagine different ways of living.

Jane's book list on making you fall in love with nature poetry

Why did Jane love this book?

By showcasing the rich tradition of queer poets whose writing is inspired by nature, Queer Nature opens up the nature poetry genre.

It is the book I needed twenty years ago when I began writing poetry. In my search for queer role models I was happy to find Mary Oliver, Kay Ryan, and Elizabeth Bishop but little did I know how many others were hiding in plain sight. This expansive anthology presents up to 200 more poets from 150 years ago to the present day, with a moving introduction by editor Michael Walsh.

Funny, sad, complex, and direct; the poems explore exclusion and alienation as well as love and belonging. Above all else this anthology confirms that poetry is as boundless as nature and that together they belong to everyone.

By Michael Walsh (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An anthology of queer nature poetry spanning three centuries.

This anthology amplifies and centers LGBTQIA+ voices and perspectives in a collection of contemporary nature poetry. Showcasing over two hundred queer writers from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century, Queer Nature offers a new context for and expands upon the canon of nature poetry while also offering new lenses through which to view queerness and the natural world.

In the introduction, editor Michael Walsh writes that the anthology is "concerned with poems that speak to and about nature as the term is applied in everyday language to queer and trans bodies…

Earth System Governance

By Frank Biermann,

Book cover of Earth System Governance: World Politics in the Anthropocene

Oran R. Young Author Of Governing Complex Systems: Social Capital for the Anthropocene

From the list on global environmental governance.

Who am I?

I have spent my professional life exploring the roles social institutions play in guiding interactions between humans and the natural environment in a variety of settings. Along the way, I pioneered research on what is now known as global environmental governance, devoting particular attention to issues relating to the atmosphere, the oceans, and the polar regions. Although I come from the world of scholarship, I have played an active role in promoting productive interactions between science and policy regarding matters relating to the Arctic and global environmental change.

Oran's book list on global environmental governance

Why did Oran love this book?

The dramatic growth in human populations and the extraordinary increase in human capacities to affect the environment has led to a transformation of the setting in which issues of environmental governance arise.

The result is the onset of a new era commonly described as the Anthropocene and the rise of the idea of Earth system governance. The biophysical conditions that control the Earth’s climate system or the diversity of life on the planet play critical roles as determinants of human well-being.

But human actions also are now critical forces in determining the character of the climate system and the future of biological diversity on the planet. There is still a need for regimes dealing with specific environmental concerns, such as transboundary air pollution, persistent organic pollutants, or the spread of plastic debris.

At the same time, there is a critical need to focus on arrangements designed to sustain key planetary…

By Frank Biermann,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A new model for effective global environmental governance in an era of human-caused planetary transformation and disruption.

Humans are no longer spectators who need to adapt to their natural environment. Our impact on the earth has caused changes that are outside the range of natural variability and are equivalent to such major geological disruptions as ice ages. Some scientists argue that we have entered a new epoch in planetary history: the Anthropocene. In such an era of planet-wide transformation, we need a new model for planet-wide environmental politics. In this book, Frank Biermann proposes “earth system” governance as just such…


By Hannah Bourne-Taylor,

Book cover of Fledgling

Tessa Boase Author Of Etta Lemon: The Woman Who Saved the Birds

From the list on women, birds, and nature.

Who am I?

I’m an investigative journalist and social historian who’s obsessed with ‘invisible’ women of the 19th and early 20th century, bringing their stories to life in highly readable narrative non-fiction. I love the detective work involved in resurrecting ordinary women’s lives: shop girls, milliners, campaigning housewives, servants. . . The stories I’ve uncovered are gripping, often shocking and frequently poignant – but also celebrate women’s determination, solidarity and capacity for reinvention. Each of my two books took me on a long research journey deep into the archives: The Housekeeper’s Tale – the Women Who Really Ran the English Country House, and Etta Lemon – The Woman Who Saved the Birds.

Tessa's book list on women, birds, and nature

Why did Tessa love this book?

Here’s how an intense, almost obsessive focus on wildlife can bring solace from chaos and alienation. Young bird-lover Hannah Bourne-Taylor moves to Ghana as a ‘trailing spouse,’ and it’s the fauna that keeps her going as she struggles to rebuild her identity. Two stray dogs leap into her life; a pangolin needs saving from someone’s dinner table. But it’s the act of saving a swift and a mannikin finch, nurturing and releasing the birds back into the wild, that provides the key to this closely observed, touching story. At first, the finch doesn’t want to re-wild – and Hannah realizes with a shock that she’s humanized it. Explores interesting dilemmas about intervening on nature’s behalf, and whether one act of compassion can really make a difference. A book full of hope.

By Hannah Bourne-Taylor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Read the powerful account of one woman's fight to reshape her identity through connection with nature when all normality has fallen away.

When lifelong bird-lover Hannah Bourne-Taylor moved with her husband to Ghana seven years ago she couldn't have anticipated how her life would be forever changed by her unexpected encounters with nature and the subsequent bonds she formed.

Plucked from the comfort and predictability of her life before, Hannah struggled to establish herself in her new environment, striving to belong in the rural grasslands far away from home.

In this challenging situation, she was forced to turn inwards and…

Reflections from the North Country

By Sigurd F. Olson, Leslie Kouba (illustrator),

Book cover of Reflections from the North Country

Timothy Goodwin Author Of Within These Woods

From the list on to begin understanding interconnectedness.

Who am I?

I’ve spent a career as an educator and writer exploring how it is that we humans are a part of the natural world in which we live. We are all interconnected with each other and with the ecosystem in which we live, be it a “pristine” wilderness or a concreted-over metropolis. This is wisdom that of course has been long known by many peoples throughout history, though something that seems easily forgotten as we bustle our way through life. Through these books, maybe we can begin to remember that interconnectedness. 

Timothy's book list on to begin understanding interconnectedness

Why did Timothy love this book?

I began reading Sig Olson books when I was in high school, prompted by a biology teacher. Olson uses eloquent prose and emotional description to describe the wilderness lake country of Northern Minnesota and Southern Ontario. Over a career of decades he wrote about his experiences in the wilderness and easily brings the reader into his world, allowing them to see it through his eyes and experiences. Reflections is his last book, and is truly just that, reflections of a life lived on the edge of wilderness and the struggles of balancing desires for preservation of wilderness with encroachment of the modern world.

By Sigurd F. Olson, Leslie Kouba (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Originally published: 1st ed. New York: Knopf, 1976.

Book cover of The Practice of the Wild: Essays

Belden C. Lane Author Of The Solace of Fierce Landscapes: Exploring Desert and Mountain Spirituality

From the list on spirituality and wilderness.

Who am I?

Belden Lane is a wilderness backpacker and storyteller who has written extensively on the connections between human spiritual experience and the power of place. As Professor Emeritus of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University he taught theology and spirituality for thirty-five years with the Jesuits. Drawing on backpacking trips in the canyonlands of Utah, the Wind River Range of Wyoming, and the Australian outback, his books include Landscapes of the Sacred, Backpacking with the Saints: Wilderness Hiking as Spiritual Practice, and The Great Conversation: Nature and the Care of the Soul

Belden's book list on spirituality and wilderness

Why did Belden love this book?

A Buddhist activist and Pulitzer Prize-winning beat generation poet, Snyder celebrates “wildness” as a moral principle. It gives value to the living world and invites us to the wild places within, the inner wilderness that carries us beyond the comforting assurances of the mind. He cautions against looking for metaphorical and spiritual meanings “beyond and through” the natural world. This risks our not “seeing what is before our very eyes: plain thusness” … which in itself is more than enough to astound!

By Gary Snyder,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"This is an important book for anyone interested in the ethical interrelationships of things, places, and people, and it is a book that is not just read but taken in." ―Library Journal

Featuring a new introduction by Robert Hass, the nine captivatingly meditative essays in The Practice of the Wild display the deep understanding and wide erudition of Gary Snyder in the ways of Buddhist belief, wildness, wildlife, and the world. These essays, first published in 1990, stand as the mature centerpiece of Snyder’s work and thought, and this profound collection is widely accepted as one of the central texts…


By Ann Oakley,

Book cover of Housewife

Tim Newburn Author Of Orderly Britain: How Britain has resolved everyday problems, from dog fouling to double parking

From the list on the changing nature of our everyday lives.

Who am I?

I’m a criminologist who is increasingly at least as interested in social order as I am in crime. In part I think this can be expressed as a concern with what glues us together rather than what pulls us apart. What particularly makes me smile, and draws me in, is the ability that some writers and researchers have to find the fascinating and the remarkable in the everyday. Whether it be what we wear, how we speak, or when we sleep, there is just as much to learn about our contemporary society from such matters as there is from who’s in parliament or how our financial institutions are behaving. 

Tim's book list on the changing nature of our everyday lives

Why did Tim love this book?

I read this book as a student in my teenage years. To say it was an eye-opener is both to underestimate its impact on me and to reveal just how little I understood, or simply took for granted, about women’s lives (including my mother’s). Oakley’s book, published in 1974, explores the role of the ‘housewife’ and the nature of ‘housework’ and places both in their historical and social context. At heart, it helped puncture such male-oriented myths as the idea that there was something intrinsic to such activity that made it “women’s work” and that it wasn’t the equivalent of real work. In short, using in-depth interviews with young mothers (four of which are used as case studies here) it made housework visible as something to be considered alongside, and in some respects in the same way, as we might think about other forms of labour.  

By Ann Oakley,

Why should I read it?

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

A Stone Sat Still

By Brendan Wenzel (illustrator),

Book cover of A Stone Sat Still

Carli Valentine Author Of The Fun Thieves

From the list on that teach how perspective is everything.

Who am I?

I've always believed in the power behind positive thinking, but it’s easy to get caught up in feelings of worry or disappointment. I picked this topic because I feel that perspective is the tool that can help us change a negative attitude into a positive one. We don’t always have control of various things happening in the world around us. However, we do have the power to try to change our perspective and look at things in a more positive way. I believe this skill is essential to find gratitude and happiness in life, and I love how each of these books approach the topic of the importance of perspective in different ways.

Carli's book list on that teach how perspective is everything

Why did Carli love this book?

I absolutely adore this book by Brendan Wenzel. It’s all about a stone and how various animals see it and describe it in completely different ways. It contains a powerful message about how we all have different perspectives. Many different factors play into our perspectives such as life experiences, our upbringing, our personality, and our attitude. It was a wonderful conversation starter with my children so we could talk about how we can change our attitudes and shape our perspectives to achieve a more happy life. 

By Brendan Wenzel (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Stone Sat Still as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The brilliant follow-up to the Caldecott Honor-winning and New York Times bestselling picture book They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel!

A Stone Sat Still tells the story of a seemingly ordinary rock-but to the animals that use it, it is a resting place, a kitchen, a safe haven...even an entire world.

This is a gorgeous exploration of perspective, perception, and the passage of time, with an underlying environmental message that is timely and poignant.

* Filled with stunning illustrations in cut paper, pencil, collage, and paint
* Soothing rhythms invite reading aloud and bedtime snuggles
* Introduces concepts…

The Word for World Is Forest

By Ursula K. Le Guin,

Book cover of The Word for World Is Forest

Gary Gibson Author Of Echogenesis

From the list on cynical takes on space colonisation.

Who am I?

Growing up, I was exposed to the same influences as most other SF writers of my generation – Clarke, Heinlein, and Asimov. But I was also exposed to the more nuanced, more psychologically realistic work of writers like Harlan Ellison, Norman Spinrad, Ursula K. LeGuin, and J.G. Ballard, none of whom shared the unquestioning techno-utopianism of an earlier generation of writers. They taught me not to automatically respect power or authority, and to always question ideas that might otherwise be taken for granted. It’s an approach that’s carried over into my own writing ever since.

Gary's book list on cynical takes on space colonisation

Why did Gary love this book?

LeGuin wrote Word for World… as a visceral reaction to the atrocities of the Vietnam War. Here, a human logging expedition to the world of Athshe has enslaved the entirely peaceful and non-violent natives in order to further its aims, and when the natives rise up against their conquerors, the human occupiers send out military expeditions to eradicate them. Even though the natives in the end win their freedom, it’s not without having to abandon their innately non-aggressive nature.

By Ursula K. Le Guin,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Word for World Is Forest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When the inhabitants of a peaceful world are conquered by the bloodthirsty yumens, their existence is irrevocably altered. Forced into servitude, the Athsheans find themselves at the mercy of their brutal masters.

Desperation causes the Athsheans, led by Selver, to retaliate against their captors, abandoning their strictures against violence. But in defending their lives, they have endangered the very foundations of their society. For every blow against the invaders is a blow to the humanity of the Athsheans. And once the killing starts, there is no turning back.

Green Deen

By Ibrahim Abdul-Matin,

Book cover of Green Deen: What Islam Teaches about Protecting the Planet

Matthew D. LaPlante Author Of Superlative: The Biology of Extremes

From the list on for feeling awestruck about the world.

Who am I?

I spent the first decade of my journalistic career focused on calamity, malevolence, and suffering. By my early thirties, I wasn’t just struggling to feel happy about the world — I was struggling to feel anything at all. It was an encounter with awe — a visit to an aspen colony in central Utah that is the world’s largest known singular organism — that jarred me from this increasingly colorless world. As an author, teacher, researcher, and radio host, I strive to connect others with a sense of wonder — and I feel very fortunate that so many other science communicators continually leave me feeling awestruck for this amazing world.  

Matthew's book list on for feeling awestruck about the world

Why did Matthew love this book?

It would be easy to pass off this work as a book about the environment for Muslims. And I suppose it is that—an Islamic analog for the growing list of books that implore Christians to view environmental stewardship as an essential tenet of their faith, from authors like Sandra Richter and Fletcher Harper. 

Abdul-Matin's work struck me in another way: As an expanding aperture into the faith of billions of people across this planet. Reading it was reminiscent of my first experience with Benjamin Hoff's The Tao of Pooh, which similarly offered me an accessible entryway to a religion I'd previously known very little about, and which permitted me to then dive deeper through other, more challenging works. I read Hoff's book for the first time as a teen-aged sailor onboard an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf, and I have read it several times since. I am certain that…

By Ibrahim Abdul-Matin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Muslim environmentalist explores the fascinating intersection of environmentalism and Islam.
Muslims are compelled by their religion to praise the Creator and to care for their community. But what is not widely known is that there are deep and long-standing connections between Islamic teachings and environmentalism. In this groundbreaking book, Ibrahim Abdul-Matin draws on research, scripture, and interviews with Muslim Americans to trace Islam’s preoccupation with humankind’s collective role as stewards of the Earth. 
Abdul-Matin points out that the Prophet Muhammad declared “the Earth is a mosque.” Using the concept of Deen, which means “path” or “way” in Arabic, Abdul-Matin…

The Last Wilderness

By Neil Ansell,

Book cover of The Last Wilderness: A Journey into Silence

Jen Barclay Author Of Wild Abandon: A Journey to the Deserted Places of the Dodecanese

From the list on wild and abandoned island places.

Who am I?

A British writer and editor who developed a love of Greece from childhood holidays and Ancient Greek classes at school, and a passion for hidden and little-known places, I felt myself called back and moved ten years ago to the Dodecanese, a remote and rugged group of islands at the southeast edge of Europe. Wandering on foot around islands whose populations emigrated in their thousands over the last hundred years leaving refuges of wild and quiet, I began to be fascinated by things left behind on the landscape and differences from one island to the next. I explored in this way for five years and wrote the stories in my third book set in Greece, Wild Abandon: A Journey to the Deserted Places of the Dodecanese.

Jen's book list on wild and abandoned island places

Why did Jen love this book?

There’s a deep poignancy to this book about Ansell’s wanderings in the Rough Bounds where the highlands of Scotland meet the Atlantic in a series of rugged peninsulas, a ‘place apart’ thanks to its remoteness and inaccessibility; not only because it originally inspired his love of nature and being solitary in nature, but also because he’s now losing his hearing, and with it his relationship with the joys of birdsong, which became particularly important to him when he lived alone in a cottage in mid-Wales. The Rough Bounds have been called Britain’s last great wilderness, and yet the area has a long history of settlement, and in some of his walking he explores the gradual depopulation of the Western Highlands, inhabited from ancient prehistory through generations and thriving communities until only a couple of hundred years ago. Instead of being a scientific exploration, it’s meditative and meandering; ‘sometimes a little…

By Neil Ansell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Neil Ansell's THE LAST WILDERNESS is a mesmerising book on nature and solitude by a writer who has spent his lifetime taking solitary ventures into the wild. For any readers of the author's previous book, DEEP COUNTRY, Robert Macfarlane's THE OLD WAYS or William Atkins THE MOOR.

'A gem of a book, an extraordinary tale. Ansell's rich prose will transport you to a real life Narnian world that C.S.Lewis would have envied. Find your deepest, most comfortable armchair and get away from it all' Countryfile

The experience of being in nature alone is here set within the context of a…

The Lost Spells

By Robert Macfarlane, Jackie Morris (illustrator),

Book cover of The Lost Spells

Day Schildkret Author Of Hello, Goodbye: 75 Rituals for Times of Loss, Celebration, and Change

From the list on nature, art, and ritual.

Who am I?

I came to discover the healing power of art, nature, and ritual while I was grieving the loss of my father a decade ago. I would go to the park and make impermanent and symmetrical art from found twigs, flowers, pine cones, berries, and leaves as a way to ground, heal my broken heart, and make sense of a chaotic time. Since then, I‘ve made over a thousand nature altars, written a book about it (Morning Altars), and have taught tens of thousands of people around the world to make meaning in their lives through a creative collaboration with the natural world. It still amazes me that something so simple and impermanent can bring such wonder and resilience.

Day's book list on nature, art, and ritual

Why did Day love this book?

A wise man once said to me, “if you can say it, you can see it." This magical book of art, poetry, and nature is a response to the removal of nature words such as “acorn,” “wren,” and “dandelion,” from a children’s dictionary. His gorgeous writing encourages us to wonder at the forgotten and to behold the ordinary by uttering nature words as a conjuring thing. During a time of environmental loss, grief, and forgetting, McFarlane lets us fall in love again with the greater-than-human world through language and therefore, to renew our capacity to marvel at the living landscape and our own inner landscape. 

By Robert Macfarlane, Jackie Morris (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Beautiful books make unforgettable gifts. This pocket-sized treasure is the perfect gift for fans of nature, language and rich artwork, adult and child alike!

Kindred in spirit to The Lost Words but fresh in its form, The Lost Spells introduces a beautiful new set of natural spell-poems and artwork by beloved creative duo Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris.

Each "spell" conjures an animal, bird, tree or flower -- from Barn Owl to Red Fox, Grey Seal to Silver Birch, Jay to Jackdaw -- with which we share our lives and landscapes. Moving, joyful and funny, The Lost Spells above all…

The Serpents of Paradise

By Edward Abbey, John Macrae (editor),

Book cover of The Serpents of Paradise: A Reader

Guy McPherson Author Of Killing the Natives: A Retrospective Analysis

From Guy's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Professor Teacher Adventurer Traveler Researcher

Guy's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Guy love this book?

Edward Abbey is among my favorite writers. The Serpents of Paradise represents an editorial masterpiece by John MacRae that is clearly different from any other book by Abbey.

An editorial masterpiece, it includes essays, travel pieces, and extracts from Abbey’s fiction and non-fiction books. Although I read this book when it was first published more than 25 years ago, it was worth re-reading. In this book, MacRae arranges incidents in Abbey’s life chronologically, rather than by date of publication.

A short note introduces each of the four parts of the book to explain the lifelong journey of Cactus Ed from his childhood as “Ned” in Pennsylvania until his death in Tucson, Arizona at the age of 62 years.

By Edward Abbey, John Macrae (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This book is different from any other Edward Abbey book. It includes essays, travel pieces and fictions to reveal Ed's life directly, in his own words.

The selections gathered here are arranged chronologically by incident, not by date of publication, to offer Edward Abbey's life from the time he was the boy called Ned in Home, Pennsylvania, until his death in Tucson at age 62. A short note introduces each of the four parts of the book and attempts to identify what's happening in the author's life at the time. When relevant, some details of publishing history are provided.


By Mary Oliver,

Book cover of Swan: Poems and Prose Poems

Jennifer Read Hawthorne Author Of Life As a Prayer: Poems

From the list on poems about love, nature, and God.

Who am I?

I love words! As a child, I learned the power of stories from my father, a master storyteller and creator of 480 original Brer Rabbit stories. I began writing myself at the age of seven, majored in journalism, and enjoyed a career that included everything from technical writing to several of the best-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul books. But only through poetry did I discover the beauty of getting to the essence of experience. I love how poetry takes both the writer and the reader to a deeper place, creating intimacy, giving us “ah-ha” moments, and touching heart and spirit.

Jennifer's book list on poems about love, nature, and God

Why did Jennifer love this book?

I would own this book for Mary Oliver’s poem “How I Go to the Woods” alone! Oliver’s love of nature, the way she notices the details of her surroundings, and the language she uses to describe her experiences are breathtaking. It’s easy to see why Mary Oliver won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.

By Mary Oliver,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Joy is not made to be a crumb,” writes Mary Oliver, and certainly joy abounds in her new book of poetry and prose poems. Swan, her twentieth volume, shows us that, though we may be “made out of the dust of stars,” we are of the world she captures here so vividly. Swan is Oliver’s tribute to “the mortal way” of desiring and living in the world, to which the poet is renowned for having always been “totally loyal.”

The Tree in Me

By Corinna Luyken,

Book cover of The Tree in Me

Uma Krishnaswami Author Of Out of the Way! Out of the Way!

From the list on picture books about trees.

Who am I?

I was born and grew up in India. As a child, I once planted a mango seed and watched it sprout and grow into a sapling. We moved away after that but I always wondered what might have become of that little tree. I remembered that long-ago experience when I was writing my picture book, Out of the Way! Out of the Way! in which a boy, a tree, and a road all grow together. The tree is central to that book, so I picked five picture book titles that also center trees. 

Uma's book list on picture books about trees

Why did Uma love this book?

Trees and us. We’re bound together from breath to shelter and beyond, bound together in every way. That’s the truth of this poem in words and pictures from author-illustrator Corinna Luyken.

The words are as delicate as the rustle of leaves but they’re also completely centered on the child reader. Even the punctuation is placed with care, adding pause and breath, mediating the transition from shade to light, as if the words and their accessories were meant to float off the page as the text is read out loud.

By Corinna Luyken,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Through poetic text and exquisite illustrations of children reveling in nature, this picture book explores the various ways we as human beings are strong, creative, and connected to others. Each of us is like a tree, with roots and fruit, and an enduring link to everything else in nature. "The tree in me is strong. It bends in the wind, and has roots that go deep... to where other roots reach up toward their own trunk-branch-crown and sky."

As Corinna Luyken did in her award-winning My Heart, she again provides an invigorating conversation-starter that contains a world of truths -…

Thank You, Grandpa

By Lynn Plourde, Jason Cockroft (illustrator),

Book cover of Thank You, Grandpa

Karen Toothaker Author Of The Rag Doll Gift

From the list on children dealing with death, grief, and loss.

Who am I?

As an early childhood educator, I have firsthand experience with the effectiveness of picture books to stimulate the mind, open conversation, offer emotional support, and provide us all with the fundamentals of understanding ourselves and others. I have supported children and families suffering a loved one’s death by sharing picture books with them. My book, The Rag Doll Gift is based on the true story of my mother who died before giving my youngest her doll. This story was born when my daughter received her doll and said, in all her six-year-old wisdom, “Grammie is still saying” I love you” even when we can’t hear her anymore”

Karen's book list on children dealing with death, grief, and loss

Why did Karen love this book?

When I read this book with children, we are all drawn into the secure loving relationship between the granddaughter and her grandfather. Because the text is action-based, we feel like we are on each of their adventures with them.

Through the beautifully illustrated pages we walk alongside them discovering life as we witness each of them changing and growing older until the day the granddaughter walks alone. She is sad, but Grandpa has walked with her in life. He has taught her in a very naturally occurring, organic way so that now she knows what to do. This book evokes a wide range of feelings including empowerment from within. 

By Lynn Plourde, Jason Cockroft (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This glowing picture book, by turns playful and poignant, portrays the tender relationship between a grandfather and granddaughter as they appreciate nature together over the years. They take their first walk in the woods when the little girl is barely old enough to toddle; their last when Grandfather can only shuffle along. Each walk brings a new discovery-a sneaky snake, flashing fireflies, teardrops on a spiderweb-and sometimes a lesson about saying good-bye. One day the girl walks alone, stronger because she learned from her grandfather how to be grateful for life's fleeting gifts.

Illustrated by Jason Cockcroft.

In Praise of Paths

By Torbjorn Ekelund, Becky L. Crook (translator),

Book cover of In Praise of Paths: Walking through Time and Nature

Irfan Shah Author Of Where Lay My Homeward Path: Selected Short Stories by Edward Thomas

From the list on nature-writing with humans at the center.

Who am I?

I am a writer and researcher from North Yorkshire, England. Although I’ve written extensively on pre-cinema history (for example, I co-wrote the BAFTA long-listed documentary, The First Film) I have also researched little-known stories connected with the natural world, particularly the beautiful Yorkshire Moors, where I live. My upcoming travelogue The Witches’ Way will combine nature-writing with original historical research, and will be published by Open Space Books in the Autumn. I have long been an admirer of the poetry of Edward Thomas – bringing his long-forgotten fiction to a new audience has been a real passion project of mine.

Irfan's book list on nature-writing with humans at the center

Why did Irfan love this book?

I have chosen this book because of the idea behind it.

After recovering from a blackout, author Torbjørn Ekelund was told he had developed epilepsy and would not be allowed to drive. As a consequence, Ekelund decided not to be held back by this and instead began to walk everywhere – through urban areas and countryside – looking for any path however obvious or hidden.

In the book that resulted from this new approach to life, Ekelund has not only written about his own experiences but tied them in to a wider meditation on pathways, from the physical to the metaphorical to the spiritual. 

A mix of history, philosophy and travelogue, what I liked about all this is the author’s choice to turn the trauma of an epileptic fit into an opportunity to walk, think, observe and feel more than ever.

By Torbjorn Ekelund, Becky L. Crook (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"What [Ekelund is] addressing is the intention to walk one's way to meaning: the walk as spiritual exercise, a kind of vision quest... A key strategy for finding ourselves, then, is to first get lost."-The New York Times Book Review

An ode to paths and the journeys we take through nature, as told by a gifted writer who stopped driving and rediscovered the joys of traveling by foot.

Torbjorn Ekelund started to walk-everywhere-after an epilepsy diagnosis affected his ability to drive. The more he ventured out, the more he came to love the act of walking, and an interest in…