Some Books to Consider
National Outdoor Book Award Winners
You are sure to find something for that favorite armchair with a view.
A Dream In Polar Fog
There are many books out there with a setting in the polar extremities, many of them great reads. This book by Yuri Rythkheu stands out as a recommendation for his visual prowess.
A Field Guide to Getting Lost
Rebecca Solnit takes readers on some interesting adventures, not necessarily to places you might think. Captivating ideas we keep you turning pages for more.
A Sand County Almanac
A timeless classic by Aldo Leopold first published in 1949. If you love nature and how we relate to it, you are missing out if you haven’t read this.
A Walk in the Woods
An all-time classic by Bill Bryson.
Best American Travel Writing Series
An annual compilation of short stories from various well-known writers. Some years are better than others.
Country Driving: A Chinese Road Trip
Peter Hessler’s wizardry places us right there in the backcountry bringing the reader into the lives, culture, and history sprinkled with vivid descriptions of the surrounding landscape with his masterful writing style.
Some might consider this book by Edward Abbey a cult classic.
Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage
One of the best survival stories of all time by, this one told by Alfred Lansing.
H is for Hawk
If you are one of millions who are fascinated with birds of prey and wonder what it would be like to interact with them, Helen Macdonald offers a nice story.
If I could only use seven words to describe this book, I would quote the author, Kim Heacox, “words are tools too – they shape everything.” Do you want to go to a place within yourself where you have never been? Read this book and you just might get there.
Lost in the Wild: Danger and Survival in the North Woods
If you have ever been lost or thought about what it would be like to be lost – really lost – then this book by Cary Griffith is worth a read. Some readers can’t put the book down.
Married to Bhutan
Get to know a beautiful land and people through Linda Leaming’s story about a country where the government measures “Gross National Happiness” instead of Gross National Product.
My First Summer in the Sierra
When John Muir describes the valleys and mountains, it has me gazing over toward the closet where I keep my favorite hiking boots.
New and Selected Poems, Volumes 1 and 2
Mary Oliver has an extraordinary talent in bonding our hearts with nature so tightly and melodically; it can sometimes bring us to tears (of joy)! Too many books to mention here but her New and Selected Poems duo would be at the top as introductory reads for this author and poet.
Some solid leadership techniques are shared by seasoned mountaineer and former foreign policy advisor, John Graham. Sierra Club recommends reading this book before enrolling in their advanced outings leader trainings.
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
If anyone could teach a stone to talk, Annie Dillard could.
When it comes to describing nature and teaching important lessons, it is hard to beat Barbara Kingsolver. Barbara’s stories and settings are so diversified, it is hard to classify her with any single word other than “extraordinary.” Although this book would probably be embraced the most from a nature perspective, check out her other books as well.
River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze
From a cultural perspective, this book reminded me of Peter Hessler’s earlier novel, County Driving, although it is an interesting story in its own right. If you could not get enough of Peter’s writing style from Country Driving, this book might help your thirst for more.
Ron Rash has a few best sellers to his credit; but Serena is my favorite. It gave me strong visualizations of the life experience by many folks in Appalachia during the early twentieth century. If a piece of you is forever drawn to the mountain living, this book will be hard to put down.
The Outdoor Athlete
This book by Courtenay and Doug Sherman would appeal most to people who prefer a very structured approach to exercise routines. Each chapter provides information about a selected outdoor recreational activity , dedicating half the content to practical information and the other half describing specialized and detailed conditioning strategies. A broad range of activities are covered.
The Shipping News
This Pulitzer-Prize winning book by Annie Prouix (or the movie based on the book) will have your body strapped to your chair while your mind is effortlessly transported to the Newfoundland coast. The screenplay is also well written and the cast of characters captivating, giving you a similar experience in a more condensed format.
The Snow Leopard
We get to see the world through Peter Matthiessen’s eyes in this National Book Award winner.
Wanderlust: A History of Walking
Rebecca Solnit evokes an incredible depth of thought with the consistent theme of walking throughout this book.
Wilderness and the American Mind
Wilderness. A word that eludes a universally accepted definition yet stirs deep emotions in all of us. Roderick Frazier Nash covers this subject remarkably in his iconic book, now in it’s fifth edition.
With so many great nature writers, it is difficult to list them all. Let us know about your favorites.