The most recommended rainforest books

Who picked these books? Meet our 17 experts.

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


Book cover of Warpworld

Paul L. Arvidson Author Of Dark

From my list on character driven science fiction you can't put down.

Who am I?

I’ve always read Sci-Fi and Fantasy. It’s my comfort place and haven’t we all needed that in the roaring '20s? It took a long while to clock that the books that stuck with me longest were all in that odd space where fantasy and sci-fi collide, (like Helliconia or Fire Upon the Deep or Dune) When I started writing, the ideas just poured out of me but after I realised I’d written a book like those I loved to read.

Paul's book list on character driven science fiction you can't put down

Paul L. Arvidson Why did Paul love this book?

This book is so squarely in my wheelhouse, it could have been written for me. It’s a world-jumping, rip-roaring adventure that is literally breathtaking in its scope and its tempo. The protagonists have a real feel to them (very human failings) but it never feels forced, you’re just scooped up and flown along at a breakneck pace. The action scenes are heart-stopping (Kristine used to be a stunt woman!) but that’s never at the expense of the characters. Stunning, action-packed, sci-fi book.

By Kristene Perron, Joshua Simpson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An ambitious explorer. A rebellious captain. Together, they’ll change the course of history…

Seg Eraranat is desperate to prove his worth. The cultural theorist’s interdimensional expedition to restore his dying world could be just the chance he's looking for. While the rest of his group scours the beaten path, Seg sneaks off to explore the alien terrain. But the path to the biggest payload in history could be more treacherous than he ever thought possible…

Ama Kalder faces an impossible choice: hand over her beloved boat to her cruel overlords or betray her people. When a mysterious foreigner offers a…

Book cover of The Whispering

Bronwyn Hall Author Of The Chasm

From my list on thrillers that weaponise the environment.

Who am I?

I’m a thriller writer with civilian protagonists who find themselves caught in situations way outside their comfort zones. They’re not people to whom guns or regular weapons are accessible or familiar. Consequently, I need my characters to have access to other weapons, and I find these in the environments in which I set my stories – elements that offer both defensive and offensive potential. Whether it be a dangerous natural feature (like a chasm), or a deadly creature, (I love a crocodile or snake), there needs to be something on offer. This is also what I admire in other authors – that harnessing of environmental weaponry that can make stories so exciting.

Bronwyn's book list on thrillers that weaponise the environment

Bronwyn Hall Why did Bronwyn love this book?

The Whispering is set in the far northern Queensland tropical rainforest, a thick, densely-foliaged environment that is in turn pulsing with humidity and whispering with the strong winds of an approaching cyclone.

There are enough natural features (boulders, creeks, thorny vines) to make this a dangerous place on its own, but throw a deadly character or two in there, and it gets beyond creepy. Lando harnesses the edginess incredibly well, and readers know from the get go that the place is like a weapon only leashed by a safety catch. Always just one click away from lethal.

By Veronica Lando,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The whispering wild will take your child if you dare to look away ...

The stunning Aussie crime debut from the winner of the 2021 Banjo Prize for Fiction.

Shortlisted for the 2023 Courier-Mail People's Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award.

Callum Haffenden swore he'd never return to Granite Creek. But, thirty years after a life-shattering accident, he's thrust back into the clutches of Far North Queensland and a local legend he worked hard to forget.

When a man goes missing in the rainforest, the past begins to resurface, breathing new life into memories of previous tragedies - two…

Book cover of Atlantis: Inspiration for Greatness

Hal Johnson Author Of Impossible Histories: The Soviet Republic of Alaska, the United States of Hudsonia, President Charlemagne, and Other Pivotal Moments of History That Never Happened

From my list on irresponsible history.

Who am I?

I’m probably too dishonest to write a real non-fiction book, but the sort of non-fiction book that has some wiggle room for me to “improve” on reality when I think it needs tightening up, or a little more schmaltz—that’s the strange twilight area the books I write live in, and all irresponsible history books dwell in this neighborhood. Remember, kids, as long as you make it clear when you’re lying, it still counts as non-fiction! 

Hal's book list on irresponsible history

Hal Johnson Why did Hal love this book?

There have been many descriptions of Atlantis published before, but very few have been written by someone who has actually been there, via psychic time travel, or at least via a series of dreams inspired by Atlantean stone furniture in Bolivia.

Fortunately, Walter F. Laredo has left us just such a book, and if he sometimes plays coy (maybe it was all just a dream???), he wonderfully includes an appendix of technical schematics of Atlantean inventions (bionic eyes, “chemical laser” beams) alongside full-color paintings of Atlantean architecture and the occasional nude Atlantean woman.

By Walter F. Laredo,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A teenager, hiking in an uncharted territory among mountains, valleys, and rainforests, encounters wise prophets and the light of God in a dream while sleeping in a mountain cave. On his way home he stops to rest on a rock and uncovers an ancient, concealed time machine. He is taken on a whirlwind adventure to the land of Atlantis and the ancient wonders that its people hold.

Book cover of Book of Great Jungles

Arefa Tehsin Author Of Iora and the Quest of Five

From my list on nature and forests that leave you bewitched.

Who am I?

I come from a family of some of the earliest big-game hunters turned conservationists of India and grew up treading jungles with my naturalist father. As a child, I was often found trying to catch a snake or spin a yarn or reading from the collection of wildlife and natural history books at home. Jungles were as much a part of growing up as was going to school, and I learnt precious life lessons from them. To pursue the cause of conservation, I’ve written several fiction and non-fiction books, as well as articles in national dailies/magazines on wildlife and nature, and I was appointed the Honorary Wildlife Warden of Udaipur, India.

Arefa's book list on nature and forests that leave you bewitched

Arefa Tehsin Why did Arefa love this book?

"When you step into a jungle, unless you have been conditioned against it, you start to breathe, perhaps for the first time in your life.” This classic 1965 book will make you see the jungles as you never have.

When I started writing my adventure series, the setting came naturally to me. It had to be about forests and wildlife. What I needed though, other than my own experience of the wild and imagination, was a lot of information about the actual characteristics of the rainforests. This book bubbled up in my memory from my father’s excellent collection of books on wildlife and natural history. As I reveled in the accounts of the explorer and naturalist Ivan T. Sanderson, it helped me greatly to shape Iora’s enchanting rainforest, which is an amalgamation of all the rainforests of the world.

By Ivan T. Sanderson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

1965 Ivan Sanderson's Book of Great Jungles.

Book cover of Wild: An Elemental Journey

Jules Pretty Author Of Sea Sagas of the North

From my list on stories and place since writing began.

Who am I?

Alienation from nature has contributed to environmental problems in today’s world. Until recently in human history, our daily lives were intertwined with living things. I've always been keenly interested in the intersection between people and nature, between ecology and society. How should we live, what have we done lately? Observation today can bring much-needed respect, and if we are lucky, we will find that animals, birds, and places intercept us in our wanderings, helping to bring forth distinctive and personal stories. There is danger, the seas are mighty, many monsters lurk in the dark. But can be silence too. Pull up a chair by the blazing fire, come listen to those voices.

Jules' book list on stories and place since writing began

Jules Pretty Why did Jules love this book?

This is the most intense nature-writing and storytelling, as if written by bear or tiger, by the rainforest tree or tropical sea itself. Jay Griffiths becomes Joseph Campbell’s hero with a thousand faces, as we travel out in life, across the threshold and leaving behind ordinary world. Myth is story, and it is also how we live, battling against personal and historical limitations. Jay finds the secret openings and weaves an Odyssey to the wildness of earth and sea, water and fire. On the heroic journey, we are repeatedly tested, and come back with an elixir. Story itself becomes currency and guide. The monk and mystic, Meister Eckhart of Thuringia, wrote in the early 1300s, “There are many ways, Some are crowded, others less travelled, But every way, is the right one.”

By Jay Griffiths,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


Part travelogue, part manifesto for wildness as an essential character of life, Wild is a one-of-a-kind book from a one-of-a-kind author

'Undefinable, untameable, profound and extraordinary' Observer

'I took seven years over this work, spent all I had, my time, money and energy. Part of the journey was a green riot and part a deathly bleakness. I got ill, I got well. I went to the freedom fighters of West Papua and sang my head off in their highlands. I met cannibals infinitely kinder and more trustworthy than the murderous missionaries who evangelize…

Book cover of The Emerald Forest

R. Chapman Wesley Author Of The Well

From my 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

R. Chapman Wesley 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.

Book cover of Fighting for the Rain Forest: War, Youth and Resources in Sierra Leone

James A. Robinson Author Of Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty

From my list on Africa.

Who am I?

I am a social scientist who has been doing fieldwork and research in Africa since 1999. For me, there’s no more fascinating part of the planet – Africa is the cradle of civilization, more diverse than anywhere else and culturally and institutionally vibrant and creative. I have worked in Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Zimbabwe investigating the determinants of political institutions and economic prosperity. I have taught courses on Africa at Harvard University, the University of Chicago, the University of Ghana at Legon and this summer the University of Nigeria in Nsukka.

James' book list on Africa

James A. Robinson Why did James love this book?

African civil wars are not about ethnicity, diamonds, or foreign aid. They are genuine political conflicts about how society is to be organized, created by grievances and political marginalization and also deeply embedded in local cultures. As such, they stem from the same roots as the English Civil War of the 1640s or the American Revolutionary War of the 1770s-1780s. This is all revealed in this brilliant book on the Sierra Leone civil war.

By Paul Richards,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Do small wars in Africa manifest a 'new barbarism'?
What appears as random, anarchic violence is no such thing. The terrifying military methods of of Sierra Leone's soldiers may not fir conventional western models of warfare,but they are rational and effective nonetheless. The war must be understood partly as a 'performance', in which techniques of terror compensate for lack of equipment.

PAUL RICHARDS is Professor of Technology and Agrarian Development, Wageningen University

Published in association with the International African Institute

Book cover of City of the Beasts

Oliver Eade Author Of Eyes of Fire

From my 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

Oliver Eade 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. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

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…

Book cover of Comfort & Joy

Kristen James Author Of More Than Memories

From my list on romantic dramas with unique storylines.

Who am I?

I really enjoy coming up with fresh, unique storylines. I have to applaud books that have a new approach and surprise us—it’s not easy for authors to do! The perfect story, to me, is romantic drama and family life all entwined. Family is everything, whether it’s the family we’re born into, one created by marriage, or one by random circumstances. I enjoy reading and writing romance in the context of family drama because it’s the core of who we are. The best stories have romance and also tell about a family coming together. 

Kristen's book list on romantic dramas with unique storylines

Kristen James Why did Kristen love this book?

I spotted this novel in the supermarket and bought it for the pretty cover some years ago, and it introduced me to Kristin Hannah. I like getting into a story without really knowing the plot, and this was surprised the heck out of me! This sweet Christmas story is about rebuilding family and finding happiness and joy again. Joy leaves her life behind and finds herself deep in the rain forest in Washington, where she meets a sad little boy who lost his mother. The dad doesn’t know what to do. All three of them are hurting, and it’s magical when they start to heal together. It’s such a good, sweet story, and it’s still on my bookshelf.

By Kristin Hannah,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Kristin Hannah is beloved by readers around the world for her unique blend of powerful emotion and exquisite storytelling. In Comfort & Joy, she offers a modern-day fairy tale—the story of a woman who gets a miraculous chance at happiness.

Joy Candellaro once loved Christmas more than any other time of the year. Now, as the holiday approaches, she is at a crossroads in her life; recently divorced and alone, she can’t summon the old enthusiasm for celebrating. So without telling anyone, she buys a ticket and boards a plane bound for the beautiful Pacific…

Book cover of The Lost Rainforests of Britain

Rebecca Beattie Author Of The Wheel of the Year: Your Rejuvenating Guide to Connecting with Nature's Seasons and Cycles

From my list on to reconnect you to nature.

Who am I?

As a practicing pagan, and nature writer, I write books about how to reconnect to nature, how to rediscover and connect to your inner self, and your sense of spirituality. I grew up in the wilds of a large national park (Dartmoor) and have found that this colours and shapes everything I do. I spent thirty years living and working in London, and missed Dartmoor every day I was away. Whilst living in the city I had to learn ways to connect to nature, which is how I discovered my spiritual path. I was lucky enough to stage an escape and return home at forty-seven, and have been writing about it ever since.

Rebecca's book list on to reconnect you to nature

Rebecca Beattie Why did Rebecca love this book?

I loved this book as I live near one of the ‘lost’ rainforests Guy Shrubsole talks about, and I was able to learn more about it, and understand why the wood is such a special place, not just to me personally, but on an ecological level too.

I had heard a rumour that my local woodland is a temperate rainforest, but I had no idea what the basis was for that idea.

In the book Guy Shrubsole explains how to spot a temperate rainforest (a place where there are epiphytes present – plants growing on plants growing on plants) as well as exploring some of the mythology we humans create to explain the presence of these places in nature. It goes a lovely balance between scientific fact and storytelling.

By Guy Shrubsole,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE FOR CONSERVATION 2023 The Sunday Times Science Book of the Year As seen on Countryfile

'If anyone was born to save Britain's rainforests, it was Guy Shrubsole' Sunday Times

Shortlisted for the Richard Jefferies Society Literary Prize

Temperate rainforest may once have covered up to one-fifth of Britain, inspiring Celtic druids, Welsh wizards, Romantic poets, and Arthur Conan Doyle's most loved creations. Though only fragments now remain, they are home to a dazzling variety of luminous life-forms.

In this awe-inspiring investigation, Guy Shrubsole travels through the Western Highlands and the Lake District, down to the…