1. Welcome to BookAndReader!

    We LOVE books and hope you'll join us in sharing your favorites and experiences along with your love of reading with our community. Registering for our site is free and easy, just CLICK HERE!

    Already a member and forgot your password? Click here.

Nature Literature

Discussion in 'Book Search & Suggestions' started by nomadic myth, Apr 21, 2006.

  1. nomadic myth

    nomadic myth New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    0
    Some of my main interests are environmentalism, nature, animals and stuff like that.

    Some books I've enjoyed recently are:

    White Fang - Jack London
    The Call of the Wild - Jack London
    My Side of the Mountain - Jean Craighead George
    Julie of the Wolves - Jean Craighead George
    O Pioneers! - Willa Cather
    The Country of the Pointed Firs - Sarah Orne Jewett


    What other books can people recommend? They don't need to be only about animals or nature, but I like to have elements of man vs. nature, or a rural/wild setting, or natural beauty. I think I will enjoy Robinson Crusoe, which I just started, and I'm going to dive into some James Fenimore Cooper soon. Oh, I just love Walden.
     
  2. Justin91

    Justin91 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    374
    Likes Received:
    0
    Currently Reading:
    Anthony and Cleopatra - Colleen McCullough
    Have you read Walden by Henry David Thoreau? Also Hemingway has some good short stories based in nature...my favorite is The Big Hearted River 1 & 2...this is part of his Nick Adams stories.

    I went through a phase in high school where I read a lot of Edward Abbey. In one book, I think it was called Eco Warrior, Abbey made some good points, but I was not too fanatical about eco terrorism. I did like his Desert Solitaire however.
     
  3. Poppy1

    Poppy1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Messages:
    2,217
    Likes Received:
    9
    Have you read anything by Gerald Durrell? I particularly enjoyed his books about his childhood on Corfu Island but he went on to become an enviromentalist/explorer/conservationist and wrote many books about his exploits. He is also very funny.
     
  4. mehastings

    mehastings Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Messages:
    3,036
    Likes Received:
    2
    How about A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson? I haven't read it myself, but I've heard it is really interesting and quite funny too!
     
  5. Tiffany

    Tiffany New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm just going to toss this one out...William Faulkner's Go Down, Moses is pretty outdoorsey. The novel is a compilation of some of his previously published (and re-worked) stories, including "The Bear" and "Delta Autumn." The book focuses primarily on issues of race and environmental devastation; a good portion of it takes place in the woods while the men of Yoknapatawpha hunt. I myself don't care much for eco-books, so Moses isn't one of my favorites-- but you might like it.
     
  6. pwilson

    pwilson New Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Messages:
    488
    Likes Received:
    0
    Currently Reading:
    Crime And Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky
    As far as natural beauty and environmental titles go, I would second the Desert Solitaire suggestion although some sections I enjoyed more than others. There are several books that would fall somewhat under the man vs. nature category. Follow The River by James Alexander Thom is about a woman who is captured by Shawnee Indians and then escapes and attempts to make her way home through the wilderness. Both Into Thin Air or Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer focus heavily on man's relationship with nature. I would also recommend Life Of Pi by Yann Martel and a short story by Stephen Crane called The Open Boat.
     
  7. Donna Rose

    Donna Rose New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Currently Reading:
    The Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan (reread)
    Try also The Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter.

    Donna (new here) :)
     
  8. Libre

    Libre Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2005
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    0
    Earth Abides - George R. Stewart.
    It's usually mentioned in post-apocalyptic threads, however, the themes of nature and man's relationship with it are omni-present in the book. Extremely thoughtfull treatments of population cycles of different species (including humans) and the "natural" state of people, minus technology. Where we would be in 50 years if industry and most of society vanished. How people are basically just another species on the planet - subject to the same "rules" as any other species, from ants to lions.
    One of the most memorable books I've ever read. Can't recommend it highly enough.
     
  9. nomadic myth

    nomadic myth New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great. Thanks everyone. Those suggestions should keep me busy for a while. I heard about a couple of those before, but only in passing, and would never have considered them during a book shopping session.
     
  10. LoeMa

    LoeMa Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    0
    "Walden" is one of my absolute favorites. In reference to this I would recommend "Nature" by Emerson.

    Greetings
     
  11. blurricus

    blurricus New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    1
    Currently Reading:
    Trainspotting - Irvine Welsh
    "The River Why" by David James Duncan is incredible.
    I second the Krakeaur recommendations. "Into Thin Air" is absolutely amazing, and "Eiger Dreams" is a good collection of his works. Ann Bancroft also has some incredible stuff. I hear that "Sand County Almanac" is also incredible, but can't remember the author right now.

    As to Bill Bryson's travisty "A Walk in the Woods":
    If you're a backpacker at all, don't read this book. It's infuriating. When I read it, I was told it was a good book. It isn't. It's a tragic book. All he does is complain and screw up. His style of backpacking is European. Staying at hotels and enjoying meals at diners. He complains about some of the elevation changes when they are as little as 500 ft sometimes.
    Thru hiking is very difficult work, and he was completely unprepared. I feel as though he was writing to a bunch of people who never backpack in order to impress them. As a backpacker, I was not impressed, I was horrified.
     
  12. ions

    ions New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Messages:
    1,214
    Likes Received:
    0
    Currently Reading:
    Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
    Check out Farley Mowat. Never Cry Wolf is a great start. James A. Michener also has a few books that could be considered nature literature. Alaska & Journey spring to mind.
     
  13. pwilson

    pwilson New Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Messages:
    488
    Likes Received:
    0
    Currently Reading:
    Crime And Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky
    I have this one on my TBR pile and I've also heard his book The Brothers K is really good.
     
  14. girlzfish2

    girlzfish2 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2006
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here are a couple of my recommendations...

    "The Snow Leopard" by Peter Mathiassen (sp). He writes of his trip with a colleague to actually see snow leopards in Tibet. I read a few years ago. If you like books with a zen quality, you will like this. I didn't like Bill Bryson's 'A Walk in the Woods'. I live near the App Trail and thought we was a wuss. If you are frightened of bears and snakes, don't hile the AT. I did like Krakauer's 'Into Thin Air'.....about the disaster on Mt. Everest. Good luck.
     
  15. nomadic myth

    nomadic myth New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    0
    I read a lot of the recommended titles.

    The Education of Little Tree was very warm, and I was sad when it was finished. It would be nice to stay in that story forever.

    Desert Solitaire was way better than I expected. I never visited that geography, but was sucked in by Abbey's thoughts anyway.

    Earth Abides was great. I picked up a copy with a really horrible cover design, but fortunately what was inside was a good read.

    A Sand County Almanac was pleasantly dry in the way I enjoy most. Dry like good old Robert Frost. I loved it, and some sections really made me think.

    Into the Wild was not bad, but I definitely think McCandless was an idiot. Krakauer defends him a bit, and I can understand this slightly, but overall, McCandless was still an idiot.

    The Snow Leopard blew my mind. Totally different from what I expected. I was imagining a more modern expedition for some reason, and less majesty. I'm still ringing from it.
     
  16. Mari

    Mari New Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Messages:
    557
    Likes Received:
    1
    Currently Reading:
    What to Expect the First Year
    Kon-Tiki, by Thor Heyerdahl.
     
  17. nomadic myth

    nomadic myth New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm enjoying The Man Who Walked Through Time, by Colin Fletcher. He was the first man to walk from one end of the Grand Canyon to the other below the rim.

    He has some nice thoughts about the insignificance of man.
     
  18. nomadic myth

    nomadic myth New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Stars, the snow, the Fire: Twenty-Five Years in the Alaska Wilderness by John Haines.

    John Haines is a writer of non-fiction and poetry. Over his lifetime he spent time off and on in a remote homestead in Alaska. His longest stretch was twelve years. He lived simply, surviving by doing odd jobs in a nearby settlement and by trapping. This book is his memoir of his time in Alaska. It is actually a collection of essays that appeared at various times throughout the past years in different publications.

    The poetic brilliance of his writing is wonderful. When he is describing trapping I get a sense of the horror and disgust that he too felt. One cannot shoot the animal that has been trapped in a leg hold for two days, because it will ruin the fur, so you must club it, and then when it is unconscious you must break its neck. Not fun. So he says.

    Snow is not just snow for him, but a history and book of stories. Bats are not just bats but an essay on shadow and darkness. People are really alive in his memory, even when their own memories are fading.

    Overall, a really nice read.
     
  19. SFG75

    SFG75 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    Messages:
    7,133
    Likes Received:
    90
    Currently Reading:
    The Road to Character; David Brooks
    Definitely have to throw in Walden.:)
     
  20. nomadic myth

    nomadic myth New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wilderness and the American Mind by Roderick Nash.

    A non-fiction book tracing the idea of wilderness in America from its beginnings. The book starts with an analysis of what "wilderness" actually is, and then moves through American history examining the idea along the way.

    If you were wondering where exactly Thoreau, Leopold, Olson, Cooper, Hawthorne, Muir, Abbey, or anyone else fits into things, this is a must read.

    It's funny to read about something I'm passionate about and learn that before 1850 I would have been thought a total nutcase for thinking what I do.
     

Share This Page