Nature Books

On Wednesday one of you asked for some recommendations on books about the environment.  I’m sure I’m forgetting some, but here are a few that come to mind:

Watchers at the Pond, by Franklin Russell.   Written by a Canadian journalist about a pond like the ones you might find near Royal Oak.  It will change your view of the kind of habitats that seem boring and common because they are so familiar to us.  The Tree Where Man Was Born, by Peter Mathiessen.  He was a travel writer who wrote extensively about Africa.  It’s either this, or African Silences in which he chronicles his encounters with some of the last hunter-gatherers living freely on that continent.  Sailing Alone Around the World, by Captain Joshua Slocum.  The title pretty much says it all.  This is a classic.  The North Pole, by Robert Peary; South, by Ernest Shackleton; Scott’s diaries… Tales of polar exploration and adventure.   If you want to cool off during the summer.  Which reminds me, White Fang, by Jack London.  As long as we’re moving into fiction, The Monkey Wrench Gang is a classic by Edward Abbey.  Be warned, it’s hilarious and violent.  A crime story at every level.  Action packed.  The crime novels of Carl Hiassen come to mind as well, but they are certainly toned down from Abbey’s work.  And while Hiassen has an environmentalist take on life, they aren’t, strictly speaking, about the environment.  William Bartram’s Travels. Explored the Appalachian mountains in the 1700’s.  And Walter Bonatti, The Mountains of My Life.  Famous Italian mountain climber from the mid-20th century.  The novels of Jim Harrison, and his memoirs.  True North, Sundog, Off to the Side. A Michigan writer who will remind you that the state in which you live is unique among landscapes of this planet, and well worth guarding in every way.  Then there’s poetry.  Gary Snyder, Thomas Merton.

Hopefully this is OK for a partial list.  Enough to get you started, at least.

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