Nature Literature

47 thoughts on “Nature Literature”

  1. I’ve read seven on your non-fiction list, and all the poets on your list. Now, I’ve copied the non-fiction list so I can read the others. I think I know now why your blog seems so appealing to me.

  2. Thanks for finding my blog, so I could find you. Your photos are simply breathe taking. Like you I enjoy Jack London. You might like To a God Unkown by John Steinbeck.

  3. Greetings Mr Gable, or Thomas: thanks for following my blog, as it seems you did a couple of months ago. I am glad to see your sensitivity to nature. I have become increasingly appreciative of Thoreau in recent years, though it can be difficult to read him and not think of what has been lost since his time. Go back to the Iliad, and humans are as destructive as ever; they just haven’t got so much power to affect much beyond themselves. And they know nature and are a part of it, as I think Homer shows, when he likens this or that human being to a beast or even a tree. A modern novel that seems to have Homer’s awareness of nature is Yashar Kemal’s Undying Grass (last in the Wind From the Plain trilogy), whose characters are Turkish peasants.

  4. Great lists, Tom. Here are a couple to bolster your fiction titles. Hemingway’s short stories are quite often tied to nature, especially his earlier ones. And many are set in the Great Lakes region. “Big Two-Hearted River” is a great place to start. If you wish to venture out west a bit, Don Berry’s “Trask” trilogy is a clarifying, historic exploration of Northwest Oregon when it was still wild.

  5. Robert Frost is a favorite of mine. I enjoy looking at lists like this it allows me to add more books to read to my already expansive list of things I will get to.

  6. A list of the best nature/environmental writing is no small task to put together. I think you have done a nice job putting it together. I have read a lot of them, but some not yet. Also, thanks for stopping by my blog about the Rocky Mountains.

  7. Thanks for the list. A lot for me to discover! Id like to suggest something for the poetry list- The Fallow deer at the Lonely House by Thomas Hardy. Beautiful photography!

  8. You might want to take a look at Barry Lopez. I hope to read all of his extensive work some day. As far as fiction goes, I think you might like Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior. And I can’t recommend Voyage of the Narwhal by Andrea Barrett enough. Superb.

  9. Very interesting! I love Thoreau’s writing. Some of the books on your list I have read, many I have not, so a very useful list. Last year I read ‘Seed to Seed’ The Secret Life of Plants by Nicholas Harberd, he describes 10 years of observation of a tiny thale-cress plant, describing what happens in great detail. I was fascinated, a great read!
    I’m grateful for having got to know your excellent blog. (and now i’m going to pick me a title from your list and request it in the library 🙂

  10. I love that you focus on a love of nature by combining photography and literature! One of those ideas that I wish I had thought of myself (except that I’m not a photographer). I was going to mention Farley Mowat, but I see that a few others have already done that.
    Whenever I’m ready for a nature-lit hit, I’ll come back and check out your list!

  11. Fine list. I was going to recommend Lopez and Matthiessen but see I have been beaten to it. I really enjoyed ‘The Wild Trees’ by Richard Preston.

  12. Hey Tom, thanks for following my blog, I am enjoying yours this morning too. Possible additions for your nature lit list: Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat, and Why I Wake Early by Mary Oliver.

  13. Hello Thomas,
    Greetings from across the pond. Really interesting list here.
    Have you read the following 2 books? I think you’d enjoy them.

    Meadowlands – “The private life of an English Meadow” by John Lewis-Stempel. – A year observed in a small traditional British hay meadow. Precision of observation, and beautifully written.

    Secondly, and this fresh from this year’s Hay Literary Festival, Robert Macfarlane’s “Landmarks”. You can click below for a clip of Robert’s prose style which won him the medal for the best prose of any writer at this year’s festival. ( its never before been awarded to a non fiction writer apparently). The book is a kind of dictionary of old local words collected from across the UK for natural features of landscape or climate. The book is a wake up call for the disconnect for many of living devoid of influences from the natural world.

    Best wishes
    Julian

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/effgwh/acts/ah9p8g#p02slxd3

    PS Rob. mentioned John Muir in his talk- who I’d never heard of before(!) as being a big personal influence on his writing career, so I must get the book you mention above.

  14. Great List and I have read many of these. Also recommended Peter Matthiessen, Barry Lopez and Robert Macfarlane. All good.

  15. An excellent reading list but I saw nothing of Craig Childs. “The Animal Dialogues” and “The Secret Life of Water” are 2 that should be in everyone’s library. He writes of the southwest, my home, so there may be some bias. His use of language is stunning. Thanks for stopping by our blog….found you because of that visit, glad I did.

  16. Thank you for finding me, as you’ll see I am a huge fan of nature and the peace and fullfillment it brings to my life. Peace and blessings and following. Lovely photos you have my friend also😊

  17. Great to see John Burroughs included! I teach a college literature course that cycles back again and again to Burroughs and his insightful observations of Nature. Muir is, of course, a powerful trailguide!

  18. Hi Tom!
    This list is great! I haven’t read any of these books, but I love to read am so glad I’ve found some books to add to m reading list! If you would like to check out a new book, one of my Norwegian favourites is “Doppler” by Erlend Loe. It is about a man that gets tired of life (or society) and moves out in the woods surrounding Oslo to live in a tent. I’ve read it several times, and like it because of the big focus on nature (of course) and because it takes a critical view on society (things we do and say “because that’s the way it is”. It is written in a humourus and slightly sarcastic way.

  19. Call of the Wild – My escape to Alaska by Guy Grieve (is one of my favourites).
    Cabin at Singing River – One Woman’s story of building a home in the Wilderness by Chris Czajkowski.
    On the Edge of Nowhere – Memoir by James Huntington.
    Indian Creek Chronicles – A Winter Alone in the Wilderness by Pete Fromm.
    We Took to the Woods – Louise Dickinson Rich
    On The Wild Edge – In Search of a Natural Life by David Petersen
    The Only Kayak – A Journey into the Heart of Alaska by Kim Heacox.

    Have been trying (unsuccessfully) to get hold of some of the older DVDs on wilderness living (for when I am too tired to read). Dick Proenneke for one.

  20. You might want to try Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey, Of Mountains and Men by William O. Douglas, Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain and William Leach’s wonderful book about butterflies, Butterfly People: An American Encounter with the Beauty of the World.

    1. Thanks for the suggestions Don! Desert Solitaire has been on my list of books to read for a while and I just havent gotten around to it! I will have to check out those other books as well as I havent heard of a few of them!

  21. Hi Doug! Nice to meet you, and hate that I am only now responding to the fact you liked something of mine last Nov! But, I’m here, and like your site. Also am a voracious reader and have read many from your list. Might I add a couple more authors for you to check out – Farley Mowat (some might be hard to find or out of print), and Edward Abbey. Give them a try, they’re worth it. Have a great year!

  22. If you’re not already taken with it, I suggest the essay, Walking, by Thoreau. It is one of my all-time favorites.

    http://thoreau.eserver.org/walking.html

    One of my favorite quotes from it:
    ” I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits unless I spend four hours a day at least — and it is commonly more than that — sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields absolutely free from all worldly engagements. … When sometimes I am reminded that the mechanics and shop-keepers stay in their shops not only all the forenoon, but all the afternoon too, sitting with crossed legs, so many of them — as if the legs were made to sit upon, and not to stand or walk upon — I think that they deserve some credit for not having all committed suicide long ago.”

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