A Book About Nature: Read Harder 2018

Posted on Monday, June 11, 2018 by Reading Addict

"Le Cannet, Madame Lebasque Reading in the Garden," oil on canvas, by the French artist Henri Lebasque

There has already been a list made for this Read Harder Challenge task but I couldn’t help myself. I had to make ANOTHER list! This is one of my favorite categories, and there’s just so much out there! The category is so broad, too.

Grace from the Garden book cover

Do you want a book about nature but maybe just the nature in your own backyard? How about “Grace From the Garden” by Debra Landwehr Engle? There is something about being elbow deep in dirt — it’s very grounding. Or maybe it’s not grace you’re looking for, but something else from the garden. How about “The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World’s Drinks” by Amy Stewart?  Amy will lead you on a world tour of plants, flowers and fruits with plenty of history and fun facts about the things we love to drink. But I must warn you, you might end up a little thirsty.

“Drunken botanists? Given the role they play in creating the world’s great drinks, it’s a wonder there are any sober botanists at all.”

“The Drunken Botanist” by Amy Stewart

Meaning of Birds book coverMaybe you would like a book about animals. How about animals of the land? You could try “Coyote America” by Dan Flores or “The Animal Dialogues: Uncommon Encounters in the Wild” by Craig Childs. Or maybe you would like animals of the sea, in which case you might like “War of the Whales” by Joshua Horwitz or “The Soul of an Octopus” by Sy Montgomery. Would you rather have a book about animals of the air? “The Meaning of Birds” by Simon Barnes and “A Sting in the Tale” by Dave Goulson are both excellent choices. Or perhaps you want ancient animals in which case “Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms: The Story of the Animals and Plants That Time Has Left Behind” by Richard Fortey is the one for you.

“Just about every animal,” Scott says—not just mammals and birds—“can learn, recognize individuals, and respond to empathy.”
― Sy Montgomery, The Soul of an Octopus

Perfect Storm book coverBut perhaps that’s just not enough. Perhaps you need a book on the GRAND scheme of nature. Do you want something on the raw power of nature? How about “The Perfect Storm” by Sebastian Junger? Or you might want a book taking the LONG view of nature – “A Short History of Nearly Everything” by Bill Bryson is one of my absolute favorites. Is that view not long enough? How about “An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth” by Chris Hadfield or “A Pale Blue Dot” by the wonderful and much-missed Carl Sagan?

“The universe is not only queerer than we suppose; it is queerer than we can suppose”
― Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything

Pale Blue Dot book cover

Obviously, for me this task is not so much about reading harder but simply  reading on.  But if you are new to this category I hope I have given you some ideas and the assurance that there is PLENTY available. Enjoy!