Green Party: The Recent Rise of Nature Books

Posted by Sharon on May 12, 2021


Nature, in Her infinite awesomeness, can provide solace even when you’re stuck in the house.

As a matter of fact, the numbers suggest that there has been something of a surge in the sale of nature books over the last year or so. Clearly, we’ve all gained a renewed appreciation for the pleasure of being out and about. The range of subjects is kind of astonishing, and it appears that birds, trees, and fish are major recent themes. Curious. Discuss!  

This collection of nature-themed books draws from titles published since the beginning of 2020, with an eye toward the most highly rated books in the current publishing ecosystem. Ecologist Suzanne Simard’s Finding the Mother Tree is a fascinating exploration of how forests adapt, perceive, communicate and even think. Scott Weidensaul’s A World on the Wing tracks the pretty-much-impossible annual journeys of migratory birds. And fans of the excellent radio show/podcast Radiolab will want to check out Why Fish Don't Exist, the debut from NPR investigative reporter Lulu Miller. (Spoiler: They do exist, but there's a catch.)

Scroll over the covers below to learn more about each book, and be sure to add the books that pique your interest to your Want to Read shelf!
 
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Which nature books do you love? Tell your fellow readers about your favorites in the comments below!

Check out more recent articles:
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Pieces of Mind: 30 Great New Essay Collections
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Comments Showing 1-19 of 19 (19 new)

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message 1: by Violet (new)

Violet I've read quite a few nature books the past year (lockdown made me crave greenery) but have not read any of the ones on the list! I will save it and get them when I manage to reduce my TBR. They all look fantastic.


message 2: by Hazel Bee (new)

Hazel Bee I have read so many nature books since lockdown. I'm reading one by David Attenborough next.


message 3: by Muromets (new)

Muromets The The Book of Eels: Our Enduring Fascination with the Most Mysterious Creature in the Natural World (pictured in the banner) is as much about nature as it is about our humanity. Incredible book!


message 4: by Violet (new)

Violet Muromets wrote: "The The Book of Eels: Our Enduring Fascination with the Most Mysterious Creature in the Natural World (pictured in the banner) is as much about nature as it is about our humanity. I..."

It has amazing reviews, can't wait to read it.


Littlebookterror Octavia Cade fits in perfectly if you are looking for climate fiction
The Stone Wētā by Octavia Cade The Impossible Resurrection of Grief by Octavia Cade


message 6: by ElMatroso (new)

ElMatroso Violet wrote: "I've read quite a few nature books the past year (lockdown made me crave greenery) but have not read any of the ones on the list! I will save it and get them when I manage to reduce my TBR. They al..."

Hi! what would you recommend from what you've read beyond this list? as the greenest or most interesting may be )


Living Like Lindsey ~Librarian in Training~ I’ll recommend “The Story of Stuff”


message 8: by Claudia (new)

Claudia Already read 3 and see about 8 more I'd like to add to my future reading pleasure


message 9: by Paul (new)

Paul Any that Kathleen Jamie has written


message 10: by mirabilos (new)

mirabilos Add some of the books by Peter Wohlleben! He’s a forester who regularily denounces the commercial interests many of his kind, as well as hunters, seem to have and clears up false truths about forests.


message 11: by Mike (new)

Mike Why Fish Don't Exist was really good!


message 12: by Ashes (last edited May 14, 2021 04:04PM) (new)

Ashes I'll just leave a few more or less new releases that are great but perhaps not that popular:

The Rise of Wolf 8 Witnessing the Triumph of Yellowstone's Underdog by Rick McIntyre The Last Lions of Africa Stories from the Frontline in the Battle to Save a Species by Anthony Ham Ice Walker A Polar Bear's Journey through the Fragile Arctic by James Raffan Endangered Orcas The Story of the Southern Residents by Monika Wieland Shields


message 13: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Robinson Extraordinary Insects by Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson is an amazing book that I would highly recommend!


message 15: by Mrs. Danvers (new)

Mrs. Danvers ElMatroso wrote: "Violet wrote: "I've read quite a few nature books the past year (lockdown made me crave greenery) but have not read any of the ones on the list! I will save it and get them when I manage to reduce ..."
Underland: A Deep Time Journey
was magnificent.

If you like fiction, The Overstory is beautiful and engrossing, as well as edifying.


message 16: by Violet (new)

Violet Mrs. Danvers wrote: "ElMatroso wrote: "Violet wrote: "I've read quite a few nature books the past year (lockdown made me crave greenery) but have not read any of the ones on the list! I will save it and get them when I..."

Anything by MacFarlane, I agree!!
I loved Losing Eden: Why Our Minds Need the Wild which is about mental health and nature; and also The Secret Life of Fungi: Discoveries From A Hidden World which was really good and fascinating on a topic I knew nothing about.


message 17: by TK (new)

TK I'm currently reading one of the books on this list: 'Entangled Life'. I'm halfway through, but would already recommend it! It's a very interesting read that simultaneously touches on some of the fascinating features of fungi and the important roles they play in our ecosystems, and a recollection of the author's personal journey in the field of mycology. It also had an interesting chapter on lichens, where I picked up a lot of information I never knew about them. It inspired me to do some further reading into lichens.

'What a Fish Knows' by Jonathan Balcombe is one I'd highly recommend. It's a lovely work that discusses intelligence, sentience and behavior in fish.

Anything by Stefano Mancuso is a great choice as well, if you're interested in botany and plant intelligence. His works are very eye-opening and make you realize just how many fascinating things plants are able to do. I already had a great appreciation for plants, but it made me appreciate them so much more.


message 18: by Ellie (new)

Ellie Equizi Jessica wrote: "Extraordinary Insects by Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson is an amazing book that I would highly recommend!"

Seconded!


message 19: by Ellie (new)

Ellie Equizi Peter Godfrey-Smith - Other Minds (on octopuses and the origins of human consciousness)
Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson - Extraordinary Insects (on why insects are cool and why we should be nicer to them)
Richard Powers - The Overstory (fiction, but will make you want to marry a tree)


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