One of the things I love about living in Seattle is our proximity to the ocean and mountains and old-growth forests. Hey, occasionally you can even see the mountains (when it’s not overcast). Alas, I don’t seem to get out into the great outdoors as often as I would like, but the next best thing to being there is reading about it.
For finding good Nature reads, one place to start is the National Outdoor Book Awards (“Honoring the best in outdoor writing and publishing”).
Following are some other books about the natural world that I’ve enjoyed:
A Sand Country Almanac, and Sketches Here and There by Leopold Aldo
First published in 1949, this book by one of our country’s foremost conservationists was hailed by the New York Times as “full of beauty and vigor and bite.”
If you enjoy nature writing and personal accounts of extreme outdoor adventure, you can’t go wrong with the classic writings of John Muir. In lyrical prose he recounts many remarkable adventures in the wilderness.
Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs: Living and Writing in the West by Wallace Stegner.
In these 16 graceful essays, Stegner explores his enchantment with the West, describing the land’s harsh beauty, its destruction by man, and lessons we can learn.
Chasing Monarchs: Migrating with the Butterflies of Passage by Michael Robert Pyle
Ecologist Pyle tracked monarch butterflies for 9,000 miles across their migratory route from Canada to Mexico. He chronicles the wonders of the monarchs as well as the land, plants, animals and people that capture his imagination along the way.
The Northern Lights by Lucy Jago
Norwegian physicist Kristian Birkeland spent his life uncovering the cause of the aurora borealis, risking his life to establish an obvservatory on the summit of Norway’s Mt. Haldde in 1899. Journalist Lucy Jago presents his discoveries in a style that is both exciting and understandable to the nonscientist reader.