Best Nature Books
5 Books | by Bonnie Summers
A Sand County Almanac
Approaches the prevalent issues in ecology from an aesthetic viewpoint, stressing the beauty and balance of nature.
A Walk in the Woods
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The classic chronicle of a “terribly misguided and terribly funny” (The Washington Post) hike of the Appalachian Trail, from the author ofA Short History of Nearly Everything and The Body “The best way of escaping into nature.”—The New York Times Back in America after twenty years in Britain, Bill Bryson decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. The AT offers an astonishing landscape of silent forests and sparkling lakes—and to a writer with the comic genius of Bill Bryson, it also provides endless opportunities to witness the majestic silliness of his fellow human beings. For a start there’s the gloriously out-of-shape Stephen Katz, a buddy from Iowa along for the walk. But A Walk in the Woods is more than just a laugh-out-loud hike. Bryson’s acute eye is a wise witness to this beautiful but fragile trail, and as he tells its fascinating history, he makes a moving plea for the conservation of America’s last great wilderness. An adventure, a comedy, and a celebration, A Walk in the Woods is a modern classic of travel literature. NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
"A passionately felt, deeply poetic book. It has philosophy. It has humor. It has its share of nerve-tingling adventures...set down in a lean, racing prose, in a close-knit style of power and beauty."THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOKREVIEWEdward Abbey lived for three seasons in the desert at Moab, Utah, and what he discovered about the land before him, the world around him, and the heart that beat within, is a fascinating, sometimes raucous, always personal account of a place that has already disappeared, but is worth remembering and living through again and again.
This is one of the most important works by the most important American philosopher: Henry David Thoreau, vital figure in the Transcendentalist movement, hero to environmentalists and ecologists, profound thinker on humanity's happiness. First published in 1854, Walden collects the penetrating reflections from the two years Thoreau lived in solitude on the shores of Massachusetts' Walden Pond. In lucid, poetic prose, Thoreau ponders the beauty of living simply and in communion with nature. It is a work of pastoral magnificence and wisdom that has moved generations of readers. Writer and philosopher HENRY DAVID THOREAU (1817-1862) was born in Concord, Massachusetts, and educated at Harvard University. His writings on human nature, materialism, and the natural world rank him among the most influential thinkers of American literature.
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize“The book is a form of meditation, written with headlong urgency, about seeing. . . . There is an ambition about her book that I like. . . . It is the ambition to feel.” — Eudora Welty, New York Times Book ReviewPilgrim at Tinker Creek is the story of a dramatic year in Virginia's Roanoke Valley. Annie Dillard sets out to see what she can see. What she sees are astonishing incidents of "beauty tangled in a rapture with violence."Dillard's personal narrative highlights one year's exploration on foot in the Virginia region through which Tinker Creek runs. In the summer, she stalks muskrats in the creek and contemplates wave mechanics; in the fall, she watches a monarch butterfly migration and dreams of Arctic caribou. She tries to con a coot; she collects pond water and examines it under a microscope. She unties a snake skin, witnesses a flood, and plays King of the Meadow with a field of grasshoppers. The result is an exhilarating tale of nature and its seasons.