Nature Literature discussion

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Greatest Nature Literature of All Time ! Needed

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message 1: by Sher (new)

Sher (sheranne) | 1106 comments Mod
Hello Everyone-- each three months I will be moderating a discussion highlighting a book on nature that is deemed essential reading for all people! Could you please post any titles you would consider great works of Nature Literature that should be shared as essential reading for people who perhaps are not as familiar with the genre. The important works or biographies.

1. important works of nature writing -- naturalists, scientists, explorers, travel

2. Biographies of naturalists, scientists, explorers, travelers, poets....others.

I am looking for the 100 great works in this genre that all relatively educated people should read.

Classics will be important, but I can imagine a work like The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time would also have a place.


message 2: by Story (new)

Story (storyheart) I'm not sure if this merits an "of all time" list but I found Rebecca Stott's Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution to be a fascinating history of natural science.


message 3: by Navi (last edited Jun 25, 2018 09:35AM) (new)

Navi (nvsahota) This is a wonderful idea, Sher! As a newbie to Nature Literature, I'm excited to see what everyone deems as required reading :)


message 4: by Sher (new)

Sher (sheranne) | 1106 comments Mod
Michael wrote: ""Desert Solitaire" by Edward Abbey
"Sand County Almanac" by Aldo Leopold
"West of the Rocky Mountains" by John Muir
"The Land of Little Rain" by Mary Austin
"Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson
"The Co..."



Oh Yes! Fantastic Michael!


message 5: by Sher (new)

Sher (sheranne) | 1106 comments Mod
Storyheart wrote: "I'm not sure if this merits an "of all time" list but I found Rebecca Stott's Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution to be a fascinating history of natural science."

Thank you Storyheart! I'll be looking at everything folks list as a possibility.

I realized -- best of all times -- means the book probably has been around a while to survive the test of time -- so to speak. Michael has posted some terrific titles- some of which I had forgotten about. How could I do that ? Thanks everyone- it is helpful.


message 6: by Becky (new)

Becky Norman | 805 comments Mod
Walden (Thoreau)
Never Cry Wolf (Mowat)
The Call of the Wild (London)
My Antonia (Cather)
The Journals of Lewis & Clark
Ring of Bright Water (Maxwell)
The Old Man and the Sea (Hemingway)


message 7: by Cara (new)

Cara (cara16) | 39 comments Essentials:
Wildlife in America - Peter Matthiessen
Encounters with the Archdruid - John McPhee

Other favorites, but a bit more niche geographically:
Wintergreen: Rambles in a Ravaged Land - Robert Michael Pyle
The Klamath Knot: Explorations of Myth and Evolution - David Rains Wallace


message 8: by Ray (new)

Ray Zimmerman | 669 comments I just received an advance copy of Peter Wohlleben's third book. It promises to be every bit as good as The Secret Life of Trees.


message 9: by Carol (new)

Carol | 2 comments I love this! Thank you everyone for sharing. 👍


message 10: by Sher (new)

Sher (sheranne) | 1106 comments Mod
Ray wrote: "I just received an advance copy of Peter Wohlleben's third book. It promises to be every bit as good as The Secret Life of Trees."

That's great Ray; I saw that it had been published.


message 11: by Ray (new)

Ray Zimmerman | 669 comments I like several of those already listed, but would add these.
Desert Notes - Barry Lopez
River Notes - Barry Lopez
Of Wolves and Men - Barry Lopez
The Everglades: River of Grass - Marjorie Stoneman Douglas
North with the Spring - Edwin Way Teale


message 12: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Booth (boothacus) | 112 comments “How to be a good creature” by Sunday Montgomery is on sale today only on Audible.com daily deal for $1.95.


message 13: by John (new)

John (jdourg) | 68 comments I’m new here, but would like to offer my suggestions.

Cape Cod by Thoreau. Wonderful essay collection that has something unique in Thoreau: humor.

The Longest Silence by Thomas McGuane. Fishing and nature and the world.

Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez. The polar bear sections are enchanting.

Blues by John Hersey. Fishing for blues. Beautiful writing.

The Control of Nature by John McPhee. Man versus nature, but surely evocative about the power of nature and man’s relationship to it.


message 14: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Booth (boothacus) | 112 comments Sher, you mentioned biographies or poets, explorers and adventurers. I would say one that encompasses all three of these would be Antoine de St. Exupery’s book Wind, Sand and Stars. Nature plays such a huge part of his experience as a pilot. It might be a bit too far out of parameters for readers focused on Naturalism, but it might be a crossover book for those with a wide scope.

John, you should suggest Cape Cod for one of the monthly reads. I know I’d be interested in it especially since you said Thoreau is actually humorous.


message 15: by Iris (new)

Iris | 32 comments The Outermost House by Henry Beston would definitely be near the top of my list. It’s his account of a full year spent alone at a house near the tip of Cape Cod.

Ecology of a Cracker Childhood by Janisse Ray focuses on the longleaf yellow pine eco-region. It’s on my top ten list.

And, yes, The Beak of the Finch: a Story of Evolution in Our Time deserves attention.

Thanks for this thread. I look forward to reading some of books suggested by others.


message 16: by John (new)

John R Nelson | 13 comments If you like birds of prey, Helen MacDonald's "H Is for Hawk" and J. A. Baker's "The Peregrine" are two exceptional books.


message 17: by John (new)

John (jdourg) | 68 comments The Outermost House sounds like a very interesting read.


message 18: by Pamk (new)

Pamk | 28 comments Oh, I loved "H is for Hawk" and based on your recommendation John, have just purchased "The Peregrine" - it sounds fantastic. I've just started reading Pigeons: The Fascinating Saga of the World's Most Revered and Reviled Bird and am enjoying it so far.
Some of my favorite nature reads are Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, Eating Stone: Imagination and the Loss of the Wild and The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness.


message 19: by John (new)

John R Nelson | 13 comments Thanks, PamK, for the list of your favorite reads--I'm especially interested in animal cognition. Also, I'd second those who recommended Thoreau's "Cape Cod" and Beston's "The Outermost House." In my just published book "Flight Calls: Exploring Massachusetts through Birds," I rely on both books, as well as John Hay's book about terns, in a chapter on Cape Cod. For those interested in Cape Cod, I'd highly recommend the anthology "A Place Apart: A Cape Cod Reader," edited by Robert Finch.


message 20: by John (new)

John (jdourg) | 68 comments I thoroughly enjoyed Bill Bryson's A Walk in The Woods, a captivating and fun read about hiking the Appalachian Trail.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9...


message 21: by Ray (new)

Ray Zimmerman | 669 comments Terry Tempest Williams has a new book with potential.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4...

I would include three of her previous books:
The Open Space of Democracy
Refuge: An Unnatural History
The Hour of Land


message 22: by Ray (new)

Ray Zimmerman | 669 comments The Snow Leopard
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7...
Others by Peter Matthiessen
End of the Earth: Voyaging to Antarctica
Tigers in the Snow
The Birds of Heaven


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