Top 10 Best Books to Read in Nature Writing & Essays - August 2021

Here are our top ten recommendations if you are looking for the best books to read in Nature Writing & Essays. We have made sure our list is diverse to cater to the interests of different types of readers.

1. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Nature Writing & Essays - August 2021

A New York Times Bestseller A Washington Post Bestseller Named a "Best Essay Collection of the Decade" by Literary Hub As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass , Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on “a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise” (Elizabeth Gilbert). Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings―asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass―offer us gifts and lessons, even if we've forgotten how to hear their voices. In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.

  • Author: Robin Wall Kimmerer
  • Publisher: Milkweed Editions; First Paperback edition (August 11, 2015)
  • Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Social Sciences
  • ISBN: 978-1571313560
  • Dimensions: 5.4 x 1 x 8.3 inches

                 

2. The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate―Discoveries from A Secret World (The Mysteries of Nature, 1)


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Nature Writing & Essays - August 2021

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER With more than 2 million copies sold worldwide, this beautifully-written book journeys deep into the forest to uncover the fascinating—and surprisingly moving—hidden life of trees. “At once romantic and scientific, Wohlleben's view of the forest calls on us all to reevaluate our relationships with the plant world.”―Daniel Chamovitz, PhD, author of What a Plant Knows Are trees social beings? In The Hidden Life of Trees forester and author Peter Wohlleben convincingly makes the case that, yes, the forest is a social network. He draws on groundbreaking scientific discoveries to describe how trees are like human families: tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, support them as they grow, share nutrients with those who are sick or struggling, and even warn each other of impending dangers. Wohlleben also shares his deep love of woods and forests, explaining the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in his woodland. After learning about the complex life of trees, a walk in the woods will never be the same again. Includes a Note From a Forest Scientist, by Dr.Suzanne Simard Published in Partnership with the David Suzuki Institute

  • Author: Peter Wohlleben
  • Publisher: Greystone Books; First English Language Edition, 8th Printing (September 13, 2016)
  • Genre: Arts & Photography, Photography & Video
  • ISBN: 978-1771642484
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8 inches

                 

3. World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Nature Writing & Essays - August 2021

A New York Times Best Seller Barnes & Noble 2020 Book of the Year A Kirkus Prize Finalist for Nonfiction A Southern Book Prize Finalist An NPR Best Book of 2020 An Esquire Best Book of 2020 A BookPage Best Book of 2020 A New York Public Library Best Book of 2020 A Wall Street Journal Holiday Gift Pick for 2020 An Indie Next Pick, September 2019 A Publishers Weekly "Big Indie Book of Fall 2020" A BuzzFeed Best Book of Fall 2020 A Literary Hub "Most Anticipated Book of 2020 A Ralph Lauren Summer Reading Recommendation A Garden & Gun Summer Reading Recommendation A Bustle "Best Book of Fall 2020 Named a "Most Anticipated Book of 2020" by The Millions An Alma "Favorite Book for Fall 2020" A Literary Hub "Recommended Climate Read for September 2020" A Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Reading Recommendation for Fall 2020 From beloved, award-winning poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil comes a debut work of nonfiction―a collection of essays about the natural world, and the way its inhabitants can teach, support, and inspire us. As a child, Nezhukumatathil called many places home: the grounds of a Kansas mental institution, where her Filipina mother was a doctor; the open skies and tall mountains of Arizona, where she hiked with her Indian father; and the chillier climes of western New York and Ohio. But no matter where she was transplanted―no matter how awkward the fit or forbidding the landscape―she was able to turn to our world’s fierce and funny creatures for guidance. “What the peacock can do,” she tells us, “is remind you of a home you will run away from and run back to all your life.” The axolotl teaches us to smile, even in the face of unkindness; the touch-me-not plant shows us how to shake off unwanted advances; the narwhal demonstrates how to survive in hostile environments. Even in the strange and the unlovely, Nezhukumatathil finds beauty and kinship. For it is this way with wonder: it requires that we are curious enough to look past the distractions in order to fully appreciate the world’s gifts. Warm, lyrical, and gorgeously illustrated by Fumi Nakamura, World of Wonders is a book of sustenance and joy.

  • Author: Aimee Nezhukumatathil
  • Publisher: Milkweed Editions; 1st edition (September 8, 2020)
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs, Community & Culture
  • ISBN: 978-1571313652

                 

4. A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Nature Writing & Essays - August 2021

The Appalachian Trail trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America - majestic mountains, silent forests, sparking lakes. If you’re going to take a hike, it’s probably the place to go. And Bill Bryson is surely the most entertaing guide you’ll find. He introduces us to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy (or just foolhardy) folks he meets along the way - and a couple of bears. Already a classic, A Walk in the Woods will make you long for the great outdoors (or at least a comfortable chair to sit and read in).

  • Author: Bill Bryson
  • Genre: Reference, Writing, Research & Publishing Guides, Writing, Travel

                 

5. Home Waters: A Chronicle of Family and a River


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Nature Writing & Essays - August 2021

“BEAUTIFUL. ... A lyrical companion to his father’s classic, A River Runs through It , chronicling their family’s history and bond with Montana’s Blackfoot River. ... Spectacularly vivid.” — Washington Post A New York Times "New & Noteworthy" Selection A "poetic" and "captivating" ( Publishers Weekly ) memoir about the power of place to shape generations, Home Water s is John N. Maclean's remarkable memoir of his family's century-long love affair with Montana's majestic Blackfoot River, the setting for his father's classic novella, A River Runs through It . Maclean returns annually to the simple family cabin that his grandfather built by hand, still in search of the trout of a lifetime. When he hooks it at last, decades of longing promise to be fulfilled, inspiring John, reporter and author, to finally write the story he was born to tell.  A book that will resonate with everyone who feels deeply rooted to a landscape,  Home Waters  is chronicle of a family who claimed a river, from one generation to the next, of how this family came of age in the 20th century and later as they scattered across the country, faced tragedy and success, yet were always drawn back to the waters that bound them together. Here are the true stories behind the beloved characters fictionalized in  A River Runs through It,  including the Reverend Maclean, the patriarch who introduced the family to fishing; Norman, who balanced a life divided between literature and the tug of the rugged West; and tragic yet luminous Paul (played by Brad Pitt in Robert Redford’s film adaptation), whose mysterious death has haunted the family and led John to investigate his uncle’s murder and reveal new details in these pages. A universal story about nature, family, and the art of fly fishing, Maclean’s memoir beautifully portrays the inextricable ways our personal histories are linked to the places we come from—our home waters.  Featuring twelve wood engravings by Wesley W. Bates and a map of the Blackfoot River region.

  • Author: John N Maclean
  • Publisher: Custom House (June 1, 2021)
  • Genre: Reference, Writing, Research & Publishing Guides
  • ISBN: 978-0062944597
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.88 x 8.25 inches

                 



6. Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Nature Writing & Essays - August 2021

When Desert Solitaire was first published in 1968, it became the focus of a nationwide cult. Rude and sensitive. Thought-provoking and mystical. Angry and loving. Both Abbey and this book are all of these and more. Here, the legendary author of The Monkey Wrench Gang , Abbey's Road and many other critically acclaimed books vividly captures the essence of his life during three seasons as a park ranger in southeastern Utah. This is a rare view of a quest to experience nature in its purest form -- the silence, the struggle, the overwhelming beauty. But this is also the gripping, anguished cry of a man of character who challenges the growing exploitation of the wilderness by oil and mining interests, as well as by the tourist industry. Abbey's observations and challenges remain as relevant now as the day he wrote them. Today, Desert Solitaire asks if any of our incalculable natural treasures can be saved before the bulldozers strike again.

  • Author: Edward Abbey
  • Genre: Science & Math, Nature & Ecology, Ecosystems, Deserts

                 

7. Walden and Civil Disobedience


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Nature Writing & Essays - August 2021

Henry David Thoreau reflects on life, politics, and society in these two inspiring masterworks: Walden and Civil Disobedience . In 1845, Thoreau moved to a cabin that he built with his own hands along the shores of Walden Pond in Massachusetts. Shedding the trivial ties that he felt bound much of humanity, Thoreau reaped from the land both physically and mentally, and pursued truth in the quiet of nature. In Walden , he explains how separating oneself from the world of men can truly awaken the sleeping self. Thoreau holds fast to the notion that you have not truly existed until you adopt such a lifestyle—and only then can you reenter society, as an enlightened being.   These simple but profound musings—as well as “Civil Disobedience,” his protest against the government’s interference with civil liberty—have inspired many to embrace his philosophy of individualism and love of nature. More than a century and a half later, his message is more timely than ever.   With an Introduction by W.S. Merwin and an Afterword by Will Howarth

  • Author: Henry David Thoreau
  • Publisher: Signet; Reissue edition (July 3, 2012)
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction, History & Criticism
  • ISBN: 978-0451532169
  • Dimensions: 4.19 x 0.87 x 6.81 inches

                 

8. The Backyard Homestead Seasonal Planner: What to Do & When to Do It in the Garden, Orchard, Barn, Pasture & Equipment Shed


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Nature Writing & Essays - August 2021

This hardworking addition to the best-selling Backyard Homestead series offers expert advice on what tasks to do around your farm and when to do them — no matter where on the planet you call home. Author Ann Larkin Hansen sets the priorities for each area of the farm, including the barn, garden, orchard, field, pasture, and woodlot. For every critical turn of the year (12 in all), Hansen provides an at-a-glance to-do list along with tips and a more in-depth discussion of key topics for the season. Easy-reference charts, checklists, and record-keeping sections help you keep track of it all. Also available in this series: The Backyard Homestead, The Backyard Homestead Book of Building Projects, The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals, and The Backyard Homestead Book of Kitchen Know-How.

  • Author: Ann Larkin Hansen
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC; Csm Spi edition (October 3, 2017)
  • Genre: Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Home Improvement & Design
  • ISBN: 978-1612126975
  • Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches

                 

9. The Heartbeat of Trees: Embracing Our Ancient Bond with Forests and Nature


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Nature Writing & Essays - August 2021

FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES A powerful return to the forest, where trees have heartbeats and roots are like brains that extend underground. Where the color green calms us, and the forest sharpens our senses. In The Heartbeat of Trees, renowned forester Peter Wohlleben draws on new scientific discoveries to show how humans are deeply connected to the natural world. In an era of climate change, many of us fear we’ve lost our connection to nature—but Peter Wohlleben is convinced that age-old ties linking humans to the forest remain alive and intact. We just have to know where to look. Drawing on science and cutting-edge research, The Heartbeat of Trees reveals the profound interactions humans can have with nature, exploring: the language of the forest the consciousness of plants and the eroding boundary between flora and fauna.  A perfect book to take with you into the woods, The Heartbeat of Trees shares how to see, feel, smell, hear, and even taste the forest. Peter Wohlleben, renowned for his ability to write about trees in an engaging and moving way, reveals a wondrous cosmos where humans are a part of nature, and where conservation and environmental activism is not just about saving trees—it’s about saving ourselves, too. Praise for The Heartbeat of Trees “As human beings, we’re desperate to feel that we’re not alone in the universe. And yet we are surrounded by an ongoing conversation that we can sense if, as Peter Wohlleben so movingly prescribes, we listen to the heartbeat of all life.” —Richard Louv, author of Our Wild Calling a nd Last Child in the Woods “Astonishment after astonishment—that is the great gift of The Heartbeat of Trees . It is both a celebration of the wonders of trees, and a howl of outrage at how recklessly we profane them.” —Kathleen Dean Moore, author of Earth’s Wild Music “As Peter Wohlleben reminds us in The Heartbeat of Trees , trees are the vocabulary of nature as forests are the brainbank of a living planet. This was the codex of the ancient world, and it must be the fine focus of our future.” —Dr. Diana Beresford-Kroeger, author of To Speak for the Trees and The Global Forest “Peter Wohlleben knows the battle that lies before us: forging a closer relationship with nature before we destroy it. In The Heartbeat of Trees he takes us deep into the global forest to show us how.” —Jim Robbins, author of The Man Who Planted Trees

  • Author: Peter Wohlleben
  • Publisher: Greystone Books (June 1, 2021)
  • Genre: Science & Math, Biological Sciences
  • ISBN: 978-1771646895
  • Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.1 x 8.6 inches

                 

10. Nature's Silent Message


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Nature Writing & Essays - August 2021

The Earth is trying to teach us to live better. To lead richer, happier lives. Will we continue down the limited path of the mechanical mind? Or will we tune into ultimate intelligence? The same intelligence that allows blood to flow through our veins, bees to pollinate flowers, birds to fly south, salmon to spawn, whales to migrate, caterpillars to become butterflies, the Earth to rotate, the moon to orbit, and the rest of nature to function perfectly of its own accord? We have access to nature’s silent message—if we take the time to listen. In this spellbinding collection, Stillman guides us from the lush forests of the North Cascades, through the sandstone slot canyons of Utah, and into the border country of extreme southern Arizona. In this classroom, we learn not from books, nor words, nor lectures. Wilderness is the school of life, where we learn not from that which thinks—but that which knows. Nature’s Silent Message suggests the existence of something far greater than what we see on the surface. It’s about breaking through old patterns so that new ones may emerge. The message is simple and pure, but when you try to define it, it vanishes into thin air. And in that vanishing, you find it again. Like a beautiful butterfly that can never be caught. Try and catch her and she’ll drive you mad, eluding you forever. But learn to fly with her, and all the wonders of the world will be shown, and all the answers to your questions be known. Get it now.

  • Author: Scott Stillman
  • Publisher: Wild Soul Press (March 20, 2020)
  • Genre: Reference, Writing, Research & Publishing Guides
  • ISBN: 978-1732352223
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.42 x 8.5 inches