HLT Winter Reading List

December 21, 2020

Did you make a resolution to read more in 2021? Looking for a good book to hunker down with this winter? The staff at HLT put together a list of some of our favorite nature-themed books to help you select your next read.

Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England “Changes in the Land, provides a brilliant inter-disciplinary interpretation of how land and people influence one another.”

Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail “Emma Gatewood told her family she was going on a walk and left her small Ohio hometown with a change of clothes and less than two hundred dollars. The next anybody heard from her, this genteel, farm-reared, 67-year-old great-grandmother had walked 800 miles along the 2,050-mile Appalachian Trail.”

Chesapeake Requiem: A Year with the Watermen of Vanishing Tangier Island “A brilliant, soulful, and timely portrait of a two-hundred-year-old crabbing community in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay as it faces extinction from rising sea levels.”

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History “In prose that is at once frank, entertaining, and deeply informed, The New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert tells us why and how human beings have altered life on the planet in a way no species has before.”

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 lenses of knowledge together to show that the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. “

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder “Last child in the Woods is the first book to bring together cutting-edge research showing that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development—physical, emotional, and spiritual.”

The Overstory “The Overstory is a sweeping, impassioned work of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of – and paean to – the natural world.”

The Nature of Nature: Why We Need the Wild “Using fascinating examples from his expeditions and those of other scientists, Sala shows the economic wisdom of making room for nature, even as the population becomes more urbanized.”

The World-Ending Fire The Essential Wendell Berry “The writings gathered in The World-Ending Fire are the unique product of a life spent farming the fields of rural Kentucky with mules and horses, and of the rich, intimate knowledge of the land cultivated by this work. These are essays written in defiance of the false call to progress and in defense of local landscapes, essays that celebrate our cultural heritage, our history, and our home.”

Sand County Almanac “A Sand County Almanac combines some of the finest nature writing since Thoreau with an outspoken and highly ethical regard for America’s relationship to the land.”

Mary Oliver New and Selected Poems, Volume 1 “Features previously published and new poems that explore the natural world and how it is connected to human beings and spirituality.”

The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light “In The End of Night, Paul Bogard restores our awareness of the spectacularly primal, wildly dark night sky and how it has influenced the human experience across everything from science to art.”

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