Readers Respond: Five Nature Books to Check Out in the New Year - Cape Elizabeth Land Trust


Readers Respond: Five Nature Books to Check Out in the New Year

We asked the CELT community to recommend their favorite nature-related reads. Here are our top 5, including fiction, non-fiction, and a young adult pick.

Winter Count

Barry Lopez

 “Published in 1981, award-winning author Barry Lopez’s, collection of short stories, Winter Count, is, in short, magical. Precise word choice and rich imagery combine to create an absolutely palpable experience for the reader. Sitting here now, decades after my first reading, I feel both physically cold and emotionally comforted recalling a character’s bearing witness to a flock of herons descending on New York City as he sat, cold on a granite bench, contemplating love and the loss thereof.” ~ Recommended by Katye Charette

Where the Crawdads Sing

Delia Owens

The New York Times calls this 2019 bestseller “a painfully beautiful first novel that is at once a murder mystery, a coming-of-age narrative and a celebration of nature.”

“I really enjoyed it, and it definitely does have a natural history bent to it.  While it is a fictional book, the author has degrees in zoology and animal behavior, and that is evident throughout the story.” ~ Recommended by Lisa Gent


Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman

Written by award-winning young adult author Neal Shusterman, collaborating for the first time with his son Jarrod, this novel spins a tale of adventure in a dystopian, near-future world where a prolonged drought causes California’s water supply to run out. Good for all ages! ~ Recommended by Hannah Rohner

The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love

Kristin Kimball

“Now almost a decade old, this memoir details the author’s personal journey from Manhattan-based travel writer to organic farmer. In doing so, it provides a window into the timeless joys and struggles of building a life on good soil and hard work. Worth a read for anyone interested in taking a closer look at farming and the challenges of starting a farm in the modern day.” ~ Recommended by Philip Mathieu

The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature

David George Haskell

A 2013 Pulitzer Prize finalist, this book is sure to help you see the forest in new ways. “Haskell spends a year visiting a single square meter of land, using it to describe the whole of the natural world, from the micro to the macro.” ~ Recommended by Kelly Corbin

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