1. The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder
In a tech-obsessed world characterized by ever-increasing connectivity, Richard Louv observes one alarming disconnect. As ties between the earth and its inhabitants seem to sever, Louv provides evidence that a strong bond to nature is essential to human health, mental acuity, and creativity.
2. Ranger Confidential
Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenery? Written by former National Park Ranger Andrea Lankford, this eye-opening book tears down the curtain between the public and the unsung heroes of our public lands. From patrol horse chases to helicopter rescues, Ranger Confidential details one woman’s quest to maintain her idealism while working a dangerous, and at times devastating, job.
3. The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature
David George Haskell
If nature teaches us anything, it’s the power of perspective. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, this elegantly written book unveils the amount of life contained in a single square meter of old-growth forest.
4. The Adventure Gap: Changing the Face of the Outdoors
James Edward Mills
This is the gripping tale of the first all-African American team to attempt to summit Denali, the highest peak in North America. But it’s also much more. Weaving in the history of African Americans in the outdoors and arguing for the necessity of equal access from a conservationist’s perspective, journalist James Edward Mills looks to the past, present, and future as he grapples with the lack of diversity in the American wild.
5. Into the Wild
The story of Christopher McCandless’ disappearance and eventual death in the Alaskan wilderness has polarized the public for decades, time and time again proving it has the power to both inspire and disgust—sometimes simultaneously. Jon Krakauer’s classic book chronicles McCandless’ journey in vivid detail, forcing the reader to reckon with tough questions about life, death, and our place in the world.
6. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants
Robin Wall Kimmerer
Robin Wall Kimmerer is a biology professor and member of the Potawatomi Nation. These identities work together to form her unique perspective on the world, inspiring her to learn from—not just about—the plants she studies.
In recent months, as activity ground to a halt all over the world, the internet was flooded with fake images of wildlife reclaiming public spaces. While there may not actually have been any dolphins in the canals of Venice (disappointing, we know), this is the true story of how nature reclaimed a cultivated space. In this beautiful memoir, Isabella Tree recounts how she and her husband turned their 3,500-acre Sussex farm back over to nature—and the explosion of life that followed.
8. I'll Call You in Kathmandu
American journalist Elizabeth Hawley first moved to Nepal in 1960 as a political reporter. Over the course of the coming decades, however, she would become recognized as the unofficial chronicler of Himalayan mountain expeditions, interviewing climbers as they passed through Kathmandu. This is her story—and, by extension, that of the development of Himalayan mountaineering throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.