Breathe : Best Nature Books

From how we need the wild to feel well to nature providing solace during this time of great anxiety – the team at Ultimate Library share their recommended reading list of inspired books about the importance of staying connected to nature in these modern times.


1. Losing Eden: Why Our Minds Need the Wild

Delicately observed, Losing Eden is an enthralling journey exploring how and why connecting with the living world can drastically affect our health. Today many of us live indoor lives, disconnected from the natural world as never before. And yet nature remains deeply ingrained in our language, culture and consciousness. For centuries, we have acted on an intuitive sense that we need the wild to feel well.

Losing Eden : Why Our Minds Need the Wild


2. The Swallow by Stephen Moss

Renowned nature writer, Stephen Moss documents a year of observing the swallow close to home and in the field to shed light on the secret life of this extraordinary bird. We trace the swallow’s life cycle and journey, including the epic 12,000-mile round trip it takes every year, to enable it to enjoy a life of almost eternal sunshine, and the key part the swallow plays in our traditional and popular culture.

The Swallow


3. The Consolation of Nature : Spring in the Time of Coronavirus by Jeremy Minott & Peter Marren

Nature took on a new importance for many people when the coronavirus pandemic arrived, providing solace in a time of great anxiety – not least because the crisis struck at the beginning of spring, the season of light, growth, rebirth and renewal. Three writers living in different parts of the country in turbulent times documented the Spring in intimate detail.

The Consolation of Nature: Spring in the Time of Coronavirus


4. The Book of Trespass by Nick Hayes

Nick Hayes takes us on a journey over the walls of England, into the thousands of square miles of rivers, woodland, lakes and meadows that are blocked from public access. By trespassing the land of the media magnates, Lords, politicians and private corporations that own England, Nick Hayes argues that the root of social inequality is the uneven distribution of land.

The Book of Trespass


5. Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty

Winner of the 2020 Wainwright Prize, this book chronicles the turning of Dara McAnulty’s world, from spring to summer, autumn to winter, on his home patch, at school, in the wild and in his head. Evocative and raw, this very special book vividly explores the natural world from the perspective of an autistic teenager juggling homework, exams and friendships alongside his life as a conservationist and environmental activist.

Diary of a Young Naturalist

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