• Natasha Hart

15 More of Our Favourite Nature Books

It’s finally summer. The sun is shining (in theory), the birds are singing (at 5am), and the kids are home. Again. What better time than now to get outside and appreciate nature? Sure, we’ve had almost 3 months of lockdown, where we could experience nature whenever we wanted (on our 1 walk a day, that is), but this is different. We can now lounge in our outside spaces with the knowledge that things are on the mend – slowly but surely. We can now go on multiple walks a day, we can see friends and family in outside spaces, we can even go on holiday. Getting outside and enjoying what nature has to offer is the perfect way to spend your summer. Or, you could do the other thing, and read one, or more, of our favourite nature books.

We wrote a post on our favourite nature books way back at the beginning of lockdown. It was a short one, with only 4 books on. 4 GREAT books, but that’s besides the point. We thought with summer now upon us and nature in its abundance and wonderfulness, what better time to expand on this original post with way more of our favourite books about nature. We’ve added to our list of 4. Here, we have 15. Now that’s some summer reading material for you there.

We want you to enjoy nature, even if getting outside or travelling to your favourite holiday destination isn’t possible this year. Here are our 15 more favourite nature books for helping you to get outside more, whilst inside.

1. Slow Down by Rachel Williams

We mentioned this book on our other most recent blog post, 20 Books Your Pre-Teen Will Love This Summer, but it’s definitely worth another mention here. It’s a collection of 50 (yes, 50) stories about nature than you can read, and watch, unfold in your own garden, or from a window. It’s the perfect book for little garden explorers and nature-lovers, and a great introduction to appreciating the world outside.

2. The Wild Silence by Raynor Winn

Now, this book isn’t technically out yet, or won’t be until the very end of this summer, but we couldn’t help but put it on the list. It would be the perfect finale to your summer reading list, you can be sure about that. We loved Raynor Winn’s first book, The Salt Path, so we have very high expectations for this sequel. The Wild Silence is about how Raynor Winn and her husband, Moth, deal with re-integrating back into society after attempting to walk the South West Coast Path, after being made suddenly homeless. A surely unstoppable reading experience awaits. (Pre-order yours now from The Book Nook).

3. The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd

Very similarly to The Salt Path, this is a non-fiction documentation of Nan Shepherd’s journey through the Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland. Is a beautifully poetic look at nature through the eyes of a lone traveller. It’s a traveller’s account not solely focused on reaching the summit, but rather focused on the journey to get there. It’s a truly remarkable journey, and one you shouldn’t miss out on.

4. The Bird Way by Jennifer Ackerman

This is the perfect book for the bird-lovers in your life. Ackerman has travel far in her study of birds and has made some startling discoveries that’ll wow even the most seasoned of twitchers. Birds are remarkable creatures, even the ones that visit your garden. Read this, and you’ll see what I mean.

5. Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty

This has to be on your reading list this summer! Dara McAnulty is a 15-year old naturalist currently living in Northern Ireland, who is also autistic and has asperges. This is his diary depicting his relationship with wildlife through the year, and it’s a lovely, thought-provoking read on how we all interact with nature. See the world through this young man’s eyes: its full of glorious birds.

6. The Book of Trespass: Crossing the Lines That Divide Us by Nick Hayes

This is a book that sure to change your opinion on the English countryside. It’s a serious look at the history of the law of trespass, where astonishingly 92% of land and 97% of waterways are blocked from public access. This is a powerfully political book that tells the unjust history of the exploitation of public rights. A heavy, but important, read.

7. Vesper Flights by Helen Macdonald

In our previous nature book blogpost, you would have see that Helen Macdonald’s first book H is for Hawk was on the list – and now we’re happy to announce that her second book Vesper Flights is coming out at the end of August! Another one to add to the September summer read pile, this is surely going to be a fantastic read. Vesper Flights has a different structure compared to H is for Hawk, where it’s a collection of essays all about the connection between humans and nature. From foraging for mushrooms to wild pigs, these essays are sure to inspire and entice a new profound love of the natural world. (Pre-order yours now from The Book Nook).

8. The Lost Spells by Robert Macfarlane & Illustrated by Jackie Morris

Okay, so this book also isn’t out yet, and it’s also not out in summer, as its scheduled publishing date is the 1st October 2020. However, we thought we would still include it on the list as Robert Macfarlane is an amazing nature writer and this will surely keep the summer vibes of appreciating nature way into the autumn months. Written to be read aloud, these beautiful lyrical poems bring to life the unsung heroes of the natural world. (Pre-order yours now from The Book Nook).

9. Dark, Salt, Clear: Life in a Cornish Fishing Town by Lamorna Ash

A new voice in the nature writing circle, Lamorna Ash captures the poetic wonder of the remote fishing village of Newlyn, near Land’s End. It’s about her personal journey from feeling disconnected in London to finding herself out in the ocean on a fishing trawler, with friendly, burly fishermen. Behind the story of Ash’s growth into a historic community, there’s the threat of globalisation that isn’t shied away from, that needs to be spoken about. If you love Cornwall, the real Cornwall, then you need to read this book.

10. Rewild Yourself by Simon Barnes

If you’re feeling disconnected from the natural world, this is the book for you. We’ve become adapt at ignoring the nature around us, and we need to reconnect with it. We need to admire and love it once again, even if we live in cities and towns. Barnes invites us to un-blinker our eyes and notice what’s been around us all along.

11. The Forager’s Calendar: A Seasonal Guide to Nature’s Wild Harvests by John Wright

This is a more practical book than others on our list, with a hands-on approach for your love of the outside world. From the forager for the River Cottage, this is the comprehensive guide to what you can, and can’t, eat wild from outside your door. With conservation advice too, no forager’s bookshelf would be complete without this book. Ever wondered what a dandelion tasted like? What about a grasshopper? With this book, you’ll wonder no more.

12. Fingers in the Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham

This is the startling raw, eye-opening memoir of one of Britain’s most-loved nature lovers. Chris Packham embarks on his emotional tale of how nature came to be a part of his life, how he was a loner at school, and how he stole a kestrel from its nest. It’s a powerful memoir for why nature should be a part of everyone’s lives. But please don’t go around stealing birds from their nests.

13. Every Day Nature: How Noticing Nature Can Quietly Change Your Life by Andy Beer

This book will teach you to appreciate even the smallest pieces of nature, that can be found just outside your door. With 365 examples of the glorious natural world, from moths to meteors, to mushrooms and more, you’ll soon look at the world outside your door very differently.

14. The Nature of Summer by Jim Crumley

This is the perfect book for your nature writing summer reading list. Crumley takes you on a journey through the delights of summer in Scotland, and then through the fears of what we’ll lose if climate change gets any further out-of-control. A fearful look at what’s at stake, this is a thought-provoking book that’ll inspire you to act, before it’s too late.

15. Meadowland: The Private Life of an English Field by John Lewis-Stempel

Follow the tale of one field’s life from January to December. Follow the badgers, the family of foxes, even the skylarks as they fly overhead. Follow the births, lives, and deaths of this amazing cast of wild creatures. It’ll redefine how you look at a field forever.

There there are,15 more of our favourite nature books. Which one’s your favourite? Or do you have any you’d like to add? Let us know in the comments below! We hope you get the time, just 5 minutes if that’s all you can spare in your busy life, to step outside and take a breath of fresh-air; to smell the flowers and appreciate the everyday nature around you. It’ll surely lift your spirits and make you feel more refreshed than any cup of coffee. Here’s to summer 2020!

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