Best Selling Books in Outdoors & Nature - Essays

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For more book recommendations, please check out New York Times® Best Sellers, Children's Book Recommendations or the complete list of Featured Book Lists and Award Winners

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release date: Sep 25, 2018
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How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals
National Book Award finalist Sy Montgomery reflects on the personalities and quirks of 13 animals—her friends—who have profoundly affected her in this stunning, poetic, and life-affirming memoir featuring illustrations by Rebecca Green.

Understanding someone who belongs to another species can be transformative. No one knows this better than author, naturalist, and adventurer Sy Montgomery. To research her books, Sy has traveled the world and encountered some of the planet’s rarest and most beautiful animals. From tarantulas to tigers, Sy’s life continually intersects with and is informed by the creatures she meets.

This restorative memoir reflects on the personalities and quirks of thirteen animals—Sy’s friends—and the truths revealed by their grace. It also explores vast themes: the otherness and sameness of people and animals; the various ways we learn to love and become empathetic; how we find our passion; how we create our families; coping with loss and despair; gratitude; forgiveness; and most of all, how to be a good creature in the world.
release date: Aug 11, 2015
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Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants
As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on “a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise” (Elizabeth Gilbert).

Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings―asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass―offer us gifts and lessons, even if we've forgotten how to hear their voices. In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.
release date: Sep 13, 2016
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The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They CommunicateDiscoveries from A Secret World

The first book in New York Times bestselling author Peter Wohlleben’s The Mysteries of Nature Trilogy. Book two, The Inner Life of Animals, is available now, and the third book, The Secret Wisdom of Nature, is coming in Spring 2019.

Are trees social beings? In this international bestseller, forester and author Peter Wohlleben convincingly makes the case that, yes, the forest is a social network. He draws on groundbreaking scientific discoveries to describe how trees are like human families: tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, support them as they grow, share nutrients with those who are sick or struggling, and even warn each other of impending dangers. Wohlleben also shares his deep love of woods and forests, explaining the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in his woodland.

After learning about the complex life of trees, a walk in the woods will never be the same again.

Includes a Note From a Forest Scientist, by Dr.Suzanne Simard
release date: Aug 28, 2018
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The Hidden Life of Trees: The Illustrated Edition

A visually stunning journey into the diversity and wonders of forests.

In his international bestseller The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben opened readers’ eyes to the amazing processes at work in forests every day. Now this new, breathtakingly illustrated edition brings those wonders to life like never before.

With compelling selections from the original book and stunning, large-format photographs of trees from around the world, this gorgeous volume distills the essence of Wohlleben’s message to show trees in all their glory and diversity. Through rich language highlighting the interconnectedness of forest ecosystems, the book offers fascinating insights about the fungal communication highway known as the “wood wide web,” the difficult life lessons learned in tree school, the hard-working natural cleanup crews that recycle dying trees, and much more. Beautiful images provide the perfect complement to Wohlleben’s words, with striking close-ups of bark and seeds, panoramas of vast expanses of green, and a unique look at what is believed to be the oldest tree on the planet.

release date: Jul 18, 2017
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Creative Haven Autumn Scenes Coloring Book (Adult Coloring)

These beautifully rendered scenes evoke the sights, sounds, and even the smells of autumn. From falling leaves and Halloween decorations to an abundant cornucopia and a festive Thanksgiving collage, 31 amazingly detailed images celebrate one of the most colorful seasons. Pages are perforated and printed on one side only for easy removal and display. Specially designed for experienced colorists, Autumn Scenes and other Creative Haven® adult coloring books offer an escape to a world of inspiration and artistic fulfillment. Each title is also an effective and fun-filled way to relax and reduce stress.

release date: Jan 15, 1990
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Desert Solitaire
Hailed by The New York Times as “a passionately felt, deeply poetic book,” the moving autobiographical work of Edward Abbey, considered the Thoreau of the American West, and his passion for the southwestern wilderness.

Desert Solitaire is a collection of vignettes about life in the wilderness and the nature of the desert itself by park ranger and conservationist, Edward Abbey. The book details the unique adventures and conflicts the author faces, from dealing with the damage caused by development of the land or excessive tourism, to discovering a dead body. However Desert Solitaire is not just a collection of one man’s stories, the book is also a philosophical memoir, full of Abbey’s reflections on the desert as a paradox, at once beautiful and liberating, but also isolating and cruel. Often compared to Thoreau’s Walden, Desert Solitaire is a powerful discussion of life’s mysteries set against the stirring backdrop of the American southwestern wilderness.
release date: Dec 26, 2006
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A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America–majestic mountains, silent forests, sparking lakes. If you’re going to take a hike, it’s probably the place to go. And Bill Bryson is surely the most entertaining guide you’ll find. He introduces us to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy (or just foolhardy) folks he meets along the way–and a couple of bears. Already a classic, A Walk in the Woods will make you long for the great outdoors (or at least a comfortable chair to sit and read in).

release date: Feb 20, 2018
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The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative

"Highly informative and remarkably entertaining." ―Elle

From forest trails in Korea, to islands in Finland, to eucalyptus groves in California, Florence Williams investigates the science behind nature’s positive effects on the brain. Delving into brand-new research, she uncovers the powers of the natural world to improve health, promote reflection and innovation, and strengthen our relationships. As our modern lives shift dramatically indoors, these ideas―and the answers they yield―are more urgent than ever.

12 illustrations
release date: Oct 02, 2018
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The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2018 (The Best American Series ®)
“This is one of the most exciting times in the history of science,” New York Times-bestselling author Sam Kean proclaims in his introduction to The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2018. “Things aren’t perfect by any means. But there are more scientists making more discoveries in more places about more things than ever before.” The twenty-six pieces assembled here chart the full spectrum of those discoveries. From the outer reaches of space, to the mysteries of the human mind, to the changing culture in labs and universities across the nation, we see time and again the sometimes rocky, sometimes revelatory road to understanding, and along the way catch a glimpse of all that’s left to learn.
 
release date: Dec 12, 1986
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A Sand County Almanac (Outdoor Essays & Reflections)
The environmental classic that redefined the way we think about the natural world—an urgent call for preservation that’s more timely than ever.
 
“We can place this book on the shelf that holds the writings of Thoreau and John Muir.”—San Francisco Chronicle
 
These astonishing portraits of the natural world explore the breathtaking diversity of the unspoiled American landscape—the mountains and the prairies, the deserts and the coastlines. Conjuring up one extraordinary vision after another, Aldo Leopold takes readers with him on the road and through the seasons on a fantastic tour of our priceless natural resources, explaining the destructive effects humankind has had on the land and issuing a bold challenge to protect the world we love.
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