Here is my ultimate list of 10 must read nature books. The natural world is all around us and these books do an amazing job of reminding us we are connected to it.
I enjoy reading and have read a lot of books in my life. In college I studied environmental studies and was exposed to a lot of different books. Some books are more powerful and leave a deeper impression than others. Here is my list of must read nature books that left a strong impression on me. I think that taking the time to read these will give anyone with an interest in the natural world a better understanding of how the environmental movement got to where it is today.
Ultimate List Of 10 Must Read Nature Books
Silent Spring by Rachel Carson – This book is an important book in history as it was the first to point out the threats caused by all of the chemicals we use in our daily lives on the natural world.
On The Origin Of Species by Charles Darwin – This is not exactly a fun, easy read, but it is an incredibly important one. The ideas and theories that Darwin writes about in this book are valuable and still resonate to this day.
The Song Of The Dodo by David Quammen – This is a mostly entertaining book that discusses island biogeography. I enjoy islands and think Quammen does a great job explaining the history of islands and their impacts on species and evolution.
My Life With The Chimpanzees by Jane Goodall – Yet again, this is an important historical work.
The Third Chimpanzee by Jared Diamond – Diamond has written several books that I find fascinating, including this one. In this book Diamond talks about how humans changed from just a big mammal to the modern human over a short period of time.
The End Of Nature by Bill McKibben – This book is another iconic book in the environmental field. In it, McKibben outlines the environmental crisis facing us in the modern world and he makes an impassioned plea for change. His hope is to move forward by chaining the way that we relate to the natural world.
Walden Pond by Thoreau – This is a classic in which Thoreau builds a cabin by Walden pond and lives in it alone, away from society. Set back in the late 1850s, he observes and records the natural world around him.
Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey – This is a truly wonderful, iconic book that describes Abbey’s love for the deserts of the southwest US. He gives numerous stories of his time living there, including issues with people, and the natural world of the desert.
A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold – Yet again, one more iconic book that is a study of certain place of the country as told by a naturalist. As one reviewer stated, ‘it redefined the way we think about the natural world.’
Pilgrim At Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard – This is a more modern story that is written in the same manner as Desert Solitaire, and Walden Pond. Dillard does a fantastic job telling the story of the natural world in this one particular area of Virginia over the course of a year.