Reading nature books keeps me inspired to sketch, draw, write, ink and paint! With the holidays coming up, I thought I would share a list of my top 10 nature themed books. I hope you get some great ideas for yourself and gift giving!
“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.”~ Mason Cooley
The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling, by John Muir Laws
This is an extensive guide to drawing nature (plants, animals, landscapes)! There are lots of examples and clear steps to follow. It took me awhile to read through, but I took a few minutes each morning with my cup of tea to read a few pages (instead of watching the news!) and I thoroughly learned a lot and enjoyed it!
Keeping a Nature Journal, by Clare Walker Leslie
A very down to earth written book, encouraging nature enthusiasts to focus on recording the information and basic sketches of the nature objects or landscapes they are observing. It is amazing what you can do with a few simple ink strokes and a splash of color here and there! A lot of examples and encouraging text guide and encourage the reader in a straightforward manner. It’s a great resource to keep referring back to!
The Hidden Life of Trees, by Peter Wohlleben
What looks like a short book with short chapters, is a very extensive coverage of all things trees – how they communicate, feel, share, protect and thrive. I’ve been reading chapters periodically over time so I can absorb the interesting information that seems to indicate the active life of trees and their social network. A walk in the woods will never be the same again after reading this book as you admire the wisdom of trees!
The Triumph of Seeds, by Thor Hanson
Seeds are part of our everyday lives, but often taken for granted. They exist in our morning toast, the cotton in our clothing, spices, trees and plants. This book covers very interesting topics such as the incredible energy contained in a seed, seed banks that save and preserve, and the incredible survival instinct of seeds. I wrote a blog post for Earth Day 2021 on this book which you can find at Seeds: A Celebration of Earth Day! This author has more books on my wish list on bees, climate change, feathers and gorillas.
The Language of Butterflies, by Wendy Williams
A lovely journey into the world of butterflies, their anatomy and the fascinating wonder of the monarch butterfly migration. One very interesting bit of information covered is how butterfly scales are being researched to design devices which help asthma sufferers. I had one of this author’s books, The Horse, on my wish list when I found this one and I was completely thrilled to find out she had also written about amazing butterflies!
Wesley the Owl, by Stacey O’Brien
This really is a remarkable story about a woman raising a barn owl in her bedroom for 18 years! I learned so much about owls — their sensitive temperament, surprising playfulness, direct communication and the amazing number of mice each owl needs per day. It really was hard to put this book down! It made me think about pets and how the bond between humans and animals can be so loyal and caring.
The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, by Elisabeth Tova Bailey
There is a quiet peacefulness about this book as a woman bedridden with illness observes a common woodland snail in a terrarium on her nightstand. Focusing on the snail’s slow movement, the rows and rows of its teeth chewing through plants and mushrooms, she finds a sense of calm in this small part of the natural world. It’s a delightful, quick-read book, one to keep on the shelf to read again and again.
Secrets of a Devon Wood, by Jo Brown
This is an enchanting journal filled with gorgeous drawings of insects, plants and mushrooms! The pages in this book are an exact replica of those in the original journal that documents the small wonders of the wood behind the artist’s home in Devon, England. I love the scientific look of the page header where you can choose the weather symbol, day of the week, memo no. and date. There are a few empty pages in the back to draw in and I think the ruled lines of the page would be helpful as a guide for not only the sketch, but making notes and observations that look neat and tidy alongside the drawing. A book to treasure!
Gracelaced, by Ruth Chou Simons
Filled with stunning botanical watercolor paintings, this book has inspiring faith-based chapters to encourage the reader. There are small spaces for writing your own thoughts, or bible verses that are related to each message. The art is so beautiful, you will be enjoying these pages over and over! This book would make a meaningful gift with its thought provoking messages and incredible artwork.
Around the World in 80 Plants, by Jonathan Drori
What a unique book that outlines 80 amazing plants from various parts of the world, including colorful illustrations of each plant! This is the kind of book that you can pick up, read about one plant and ponder it for a few days to absorb all of the interesting information. Once you finish, you can turn around and start again as there is so much to learn in each section and it’s full of surprises!
What are some of your favorite nature themed books? Let me know in the comments below if you have other recommendations!
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