In the wake of fierce debates about the legitimacy of global warming, there is no time like the present to observe, appreciate, and protect the natural world. Here are 12 books that encourage us to, not only fight for our earth, but show us how to fully love it:
1. How to Read Water: Clues and Patterns from Puddles to the Sea by Tristan Gooley
Return to your roots with this book that offers guidance on using water as a navigator. Puddles, ponds, and waves in the ocean can serve as a GPS if you know how to look for the clues.
2. The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs: Use Outdoor Clues to Find Your Way, Predict the Weather, Locate Water, Track Animals―and Other Forgotten Skills by Tristan Gooley
For those of us who weren’t in the Boy Scouts, this book will reveal over 850 tips for finding your way and surviving outside.
3. Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
Jahren has loved being immersed in the natural world all her life, and in these pages she shows readers the joy of observing and protecting our environment.
4. The Running Hare: The Secret Life of Farmland by John Lewis-Stempel
British farmer John Lewis-Stempel wanted to see what would happen if he farmed using only old-fashioned methods. Would his experiment help restore wildlife?
5. The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben
This book offers a unique proposition that trees are social beings living in a social network, the forest. Wohlleben will convince you with his research how alike trees are with human beings.
Take a walk through the history of the British Isles by examining its lush and beautiful countryside.
7. The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks by Terry Tempest Williams
Williams delivers a personal, historical, and political argument about why the wild lands of National Parks have an important and necessary place in America.
8. The Dragon Behind the Glass: A True Story of Power, Obsession, and the World’s Most Coveted Fish by Emily Voigt
The story of this fish almost reads like fiction because it hardly seems real how people have gone to such great and sometimes devastating lengths to obtain the world’s most expensive aquarium fish, the “dragon fish.”
9. America’s Snake: The Rise and Fall of the Timber Rattlesnake by Ted Levin
Indulge your curiosity about snakes, at a distance, with this book that examines the truth about America’s Timber Rattlesnake, which is contradictory to what most people believe. The truth brings to mind the “Incredibly Deadly Viper” of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.
10. One Wild Bird at a Time: Portraits of Individual Lives by Bernd Heinrich
Heinrich’s blend of memoir and science create an engaging book that will make a lovely companion for any backyard birdwatcher.
11. Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer by Peter P. Marra and Chris Santella
Cute and cuddly, yes, but killers? Yes. Marra and Santella explore the environmental as well as public health hazards that free-roaming cats pose, and the authors detail possible solutions to a world invulnerable to the harmful effects of wandering cats.
12. Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History by Dan Flores
Coyotes have withstood incredible measures of eradication, and Flores explores that epic five-million-year saga of the fierce and indestructible animal.
If you were to write a book about the natural world, what would you pick as your subject?
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