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The Amateur Naturalist

4.36  ·  Rating Details ·  335 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Now available in paperback, a practical guide to the natural world which offers advice on observing, monitoring, recording, studying and helping to conserve nature. First published in 1982.
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 12th 1983 by Knopf (first published 1982)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Pieter Verwey
Dec 02, 2012 Pieter Verwey rated it it was amazing
Don is an idiot. Possibly one of the best books ever produced for people who are interested in nature. Loved it as a child. Love it still.
May 21, 2012 Elise rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science
" Earthworms are incredibly numerous. In a meadow there might be over 500 in each square yard, which means that the worms in a pasture may weight more than the livestock grazing on it."

How can you not love a book that includes that quote? Really, that quote encapsulates everything wonderful in the book: interesting facts, an obvious enthusiasm for the subject and a brightly narrative tone. Loved it and so did my daughter. Looks like our summer just got booked!
Apr 14, 2008 Aleks marked it as to-read
I covet this to an absurd degree.
Oct 23, 2007 James rated it it was amazing
I read this over and over and over as a kid. I highly recommend it for outdoor-minded children. Out of print.
Jan 18, 2017 Simchah added it
Shelves: nature, owned-books
This book was very influential in making me an amateur naturalist and forager.
Feb 26, 2009 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: nature geeks
Shelves: science-nerd
I was obsessed with a book very similar to this as a child, and I could spend hours poring over the photographs and diagrams. Gerald Durrell takes the reader through a brief overview of natural history before outlining basic principles of stewardship, warning the reader with cases of mistakenly assumed inexhaustible sources, now extinct.

Each chapter covers a different type of habitat, from the house and backyard to the tropical forests, and brilliant color photographs and detailed illustrations
Scott Cox
Dec 12, 2015 Scott Cox rated it it was amazing
I read the "Amateur Naturalist" over 30 years ago and dreamed of someday designing a natural history laboratory in the way of Gerald and Lee Durrell. Alas, the years slipped by, and my dream remained unfulfilled. And then, surprisingly, I recently embarked upon a new teaching career in math and science. This has provided the wonderful opportunity to turn my classroom into the type of naturalist sanctuary envisioned by the Durrell's. I experience much joy when student's stay after class to explor ...more
Jan 28, 2008 Gennadyi rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: hikers, nature lovers, naturalists, kids, teachers, parents, biology fans
yet another of my top 10.
an extremely useful book that will take you through preparing for a discovery hike, materials and tools you need for many different nature explorations, give ideas for experiments and coach and guide your attitude towards the world around you.
great for biologically or "naturalistically" inclined children, parents and educators.
does a great job of taking you through the different environments one might encounter close to home, what to expect, what to bring, what to take
Jan 04, 2015 Sebastianne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Didn't want to return it to the library. Aleks said he covets this "to an absurd degree" -- and I too feel that it is so inspiring to have as companion before, during, and after nature exploration. Seeing it waiting for me upon waking makes me impatient to put it to use. Seeing it nearby when I go to bed makes me feel snug and content. Obviously I will get a copy of my own.
James Violand
May 21, 2011 James Violand rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: own
Excellent way to become immersed in the wonder of nature.
Meredith Henning
Jun 16, 2009 Meredith Henning rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nature-study
This is such a great book, truly a must have, I keep re-checking it at the library, it's so good!
Richard Craig
Dec 24, 2010 Richard Craig rated it it was amazing
Shelves: natural-history
Deborah Schuler
Dec 30, 2012 Deborah Schuler rated it it was amazing
A great reference for the chronically curious
Mar 24, 2012 Exina rated it it was amazing
The Amateur Naturalist is a great guide: very informative written in an engaging style. Highly recommended!
May 11, 2010 Janh55 rated it it was amazing
My hero.
Juli Anna
May 21, 2013 Juli Anna rated it it was amazing
This should be on every nature-lover's reference shelf. It's a pity that it's out of print, but cheap copies can still be found.
Mar 05, 2015 Zia added it
Absolutely a Must for all interested in Nature. Gerald Durrell is a hero of mine....captured my heart with his books on animals and plants and adventures.
Don Gubler
Nov 05, 2012 Don Gubler rated it it was ok
Only for those who can't figure out what to look at or want a coffee table book to keep up appearances.
Betsy rated it really liked it
May 10, 2016
Kermit19 rated it it was amazing
Mar 18, 2012
Fernando Romão
Fernando Romão rated it it was amazing
Nov 17, 2014
Kris rated it really liked it
Aug 25, 2008
Adrienne rated it really liked it
Oct 14, 2007
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Apr 24, 2013
Tim rated it liked it
Jan 27, 2013
JJ Maley
JJ Maley rated it really liked it
Nov 13, 2011
Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Dec 01, 2009
Mallory Clark
Mallory Clark rated it it was amazing
Feb 22, 2014
Bookbirdie rated it really liked it
Jun 02, 2010
Fran rated it it was amazing
Feb 19, 2010
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Gerald "Gerry" Malcolm Durrell was born in India in 1925. His family settled on Corfu when Durrell was a boy and he spent his time studying its wildlife. He relates these experiences in the trilogy beginning with My Family and Other Animals, and continuing with Birds, Beasts and Relatives and The Garden of the Gods. In his books he writes with wry humour and great perception about both the humans ...more
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