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I am thinking of making the Gaia/ Environment reading challenge a permanent feature on Gum trees and Galaxies, holding the reading challenge each year and adding an ongoing list of environmental-themed reads for anyone interested in extending their reading in this area. To that end, I am starting a new page devoted to Environment themed reading as an ongoing reference for the challenge and for anyone interested in reading in the nature/environment-themed area. For convenience, the title will link to the Goodreads entry and where possible I will link to challenge participants blog posts under the titles as well or if no available link to Goodreads or blog reviews I will link to the publisher. (If I miss anyone’s blog review please leave me a comment with a link and I will update).

As we enter the Anthropocene and our busy urban lives seem to separate us more and more from the natural world, it seems more important than ever to maintain a connection to nature, especially if we are to have any hope of minimising the impact of climate change and the extinction event we are currently living through. A connection to the natural world also seems crucial in maintaining good mental health, at least it is for me. Going bush regularly is a big part of what Gum trees and Galaxies is about so I figure the nature/environment reading and the Gaia challenge is a nice fit with the blog.

In the past I have used lists like those created on Goodreads as a resource to help me discover new titles and possible related reads, so thought it might be a good idea to create my own ultimate list here on Gum Trees and Galaxies. This is a work in progress and will be added to as I discover new titles or people add titles to their challenge. Where you post a review to a title I will add a link to your post under the title, just leave me a comment to let me know.

I have created some sub-headings for the list but often a book could rightfully fall under several headings but for simplicity, I will only put a title on the list once, under the most appropriate heading. And if a title has a sunflower🌻 beside it, that indicates the title is a personal favourite of mine and worth seeking out.

NATURE FICTION

  1. Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
  2. Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver
  3. The Posionwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  4. Watership Down by Richard Adams
  5. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  6. The Overstory by Richard Powers
  7. Bewilderment by Richard Powers
  8. The Summer Book Tove Jannson
  9. The Signature of all things by Elizabeth Gilbert
  10. Gone to Earth Mary Webb
  11. Skellig by David Almond
  12. My name is Mina by David Almond
  13. October October by Katya Balen
  14. Pine by Francine Toon
  15. Desire lines by Felicity Volk
  16. The Last migration by Charlotte McConaghy
  17. Once there were wolves by Charlotte McConaghy
  18. The Octopus and I by Erin Hortle
  19. The Birdman’s wife by Melissa Ashley
  20. The Living sea of waking dreams by Richard Flanagan
  21. All our shimmering skies by Trent Dalton
  22. Blood Trail by Tony Park
  23. The Last Woman in the World by Inga Simpson
  24. Where the trees were by Inga Simpson
  25. Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce
  26. The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak
  27. The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by  Shokoofeh Azarto 

AUSTRALIAN NON FICTION

  1. Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World Tyson Yunkaporta 🌻
  2. Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe
  3. Call of the reed warbler by Charles Massy
  4. The wasp and the Orchid by Daniele Clode
  5. Phosphorescence: On awe, wonder and things that sustain you when the world goes dark. by Julia Baird 🌻
  6. This one wild and precious life: a hopeful path forward in a fractured world. by Sarah Wilson
  7. Wild Nature by John Bray
  8. From Snow to Ash: Solitude, soul searching and survival on Australia’s toughest hiking trail by Anthony Sharwood
  9. Surrender: A journal for my daughter by Joshua Yeldham
  10. Welcome to country: A travel guide to Indigenous Australia by Marcia Langton
  11. Tracks by Robyn Davidson
  12. The Flower hunter: The remarkable life of Ellis Rowan by Christine & Michael Morton-Evans
  13. Understory: a life with trees by Inga Simpson
  14. The winter road by Kate Holden
  15. Signs and wonders: Dispatches from a time of beauty and loss by Delia Falconer

CLIMATE AND ENVIROMENTAL ACTIVISM

  1. The weather makers by Tim Flannery: https://livingonthedowns.wordpress.com/2021/01/24/booksnapsunday-the-weather-makers/
  2. The Uninhabitable earth: Life after warming by David Wallace-Wells
  3. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
  4. The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural history by Elizabeth Kolbert
  5. Field notes from a Catastrophe: Man, nature and climate change by Elizabeth Kolbert
  6. The right to be cold: One woman’s story of protecting her culture, the arctic and the whole planet. by Sheila Watt-Cloutier
  7. Fight for Planet A by Craig Reucassel
  8. Optimism: Reflections on a life of action by Bob Brown and Karen’s review: https://livingonthedowns.wordpress.com/2021/01/31/book-snap-sunday-optimism-by-bob-brown/
  9. A life on our planet: my witness statement and a vision for the future. by David Attenborough
  10. Why Rebel by Jay Griffiths
  11. The Great derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable by Amitav Ghosh
  12. The Nutmeg’s curse: parables for a planet in crisis by Amitav Ghosh
  13. This changes everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein

NON-FICTION NATURE WRITING

  1. Meadowland: The private life of an English field by John Lewis-Semple
  2. The Running Hare: The secret life of farmland by John Lewis-Semple
  3. The last wilderness: A journey into silence. by Neil Ansell
  4. Common Ground by Rob Cowen
  5. The Salt Path by Raynor Winn 🌻
  6. The Wild Silence by Raynor Winn
  7. Diary of a young naturalist by Dara McAnulty 🌻
  8. The Wild remedy: How nature mends us – a diary by Emma Mitchell
  9. Finding Sisu: In search of courage strength and happiness the Finish way by Katja Pantzar
  10. The moth snowstorm: nature and joy by Michael McCarthy
  11. Findings by Kathleen Jamie
  12. Sightlines by Kathleen Jamie
  13. The Old ways: A journey on foot by Robert Macfarlane
  14. The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd
  15. Losing Eden: Why our minds need the wild by Lucy Jones
  16. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer
  17. Salt on your tongue: women and the sea by Charlotte Runcie
  18. Wild: An Elemental Journey by Jay Griffiths
  19. Wild Stillnes by Ryan Saunders
  20. The outrun by Amy Liptrot
  21. A country in mind: memoir with landscape by Saskia Beudel
  22. Wanderland: A search for magic in the landscape by JIni Reddy
  23. The edge of the sea by Rachel Carson
  24. Wintering: The power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May
  25. Tapestries of life:Uncovering the Lifesaving Secrets of the Natural World by Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson
  26. Yearning Wild: Exploring the Last Frontier and the Landscape of the Heart by R. Glendon Brunk and A year of Kayaking’s review: https://kayak2016blog.wordpress.com/2022/01/22/yearning-wild-a-book-review/

BIRDS, BEES AND BUGs

  1. An Uncertain future: Australian Birdlife in Danger by Geoffrey Maslen
  2. Where Song began: Australia’s birds and how they changed the world by Tim Low
  3. Corvus: A life with Birds by Esther Woolfson
  4. Gifts of the crow: How perception, emotion and thought allow smart birds to behave like humans by John M Marzluff
  5. The genius of birds by Jennifer Ackerman
  6. H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
  7. Vesper Flights by Helen Macdonald
  8. Bird therapy by Joe Harkness
  9. The Sea bird’s cry: the lives and loves of puffins, Gannets and other ocean voyagers by Adam Nicolson
  10. The secret life of the owl by John Lewis-Semple
  11. Nightwatchmen of the Bush and plains: Australian owls and owl like birds by David Fleay
  12. A Sting in the tail: my adventures with bumble bees by Dave Goulson
  13. A buzz in the meadow by Dave Goulson
  14. Silent earth: averting the insect apocalypse by Dave Goulson
  15. Bee Journal by Sean Borodale

CREATURES OF ALL KINDS

  1. Foxes Unearthed: A story of love and loathing in Modern Britain by Lucy Jones
  2. Spineless: the science of jellyfish and the art of growing a backbone by Juli Berwald
  3. Shark: In peril in the sea by David Owen
  4. Kraken The curious, exciting , and slightly disturbing science of squid by Wendy Williams
  5. Poseidon’s steed: The story of seahorses from myth to reality by Helen Scales
  6. Paradoxical Platypus: Hobnobbing with duckbills by David Fleay
  7. The secret world of wombats by Jackie French
  8. Fathoms: the world in the whale by Rebecca Giggs
  9. The Book of Eels:Our Enduring Fascination with the Most Mysterious Creature in the Natural World by Patrick Svensson
  10. The 99th Koala by Kailas Wild
  11. My family and other animals by Gerald Durrell
  12. Fox & I an uncommon friendship by Catherine Raven
  13. Questions raised by Quolls: Fatherhood and Conservation in an Uncertain World by Harry Saddler
  14. The Puma Years by Laura Coleman and Curly geek’s review: https://thebookstop.wordpress.com/2022/01/21/review-the-puma-years-by-laura-coleman/
  15. Platypus Matters by Jack Ashby

TREES, FORESTS and Fungi

  1. The Hidden life of trees: What they feel, how they communicate – discoveries from a secret world by Peter Wohlleben
  2. Into the forest by Qing Li
  3. City of Trees: essays on life death and the need for a forest by Sophie Cunningham
  4. Cabaret of plants: Botany and the imagination by Richard Mabey
  5. Gum: the story of eucalypts and their champions by Ashley Hay
  6. The heartbeat of trees: Embracing Our Ancient Bond with Forests and Nature by Peter Wohlleben
  7. Walks in the wild: a guide through the forest by Peter Wohlleben
  8. Finding the mother tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest by Suszanne Simard
  9. Entangled life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds and Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake

WALKING IN THE WILDS

  1. BeWILDered by Laura Waters
  2. Walking with Plato: A philosophical hike through the British isles by Gary Hayden
  3. Walking home by Simon Armitage
  4. Rain: Four walks in English weather by Melissa Harrison
  5. Hiking with Nietzsche: Becoming who you are by John Kaag
  6. To the river: A Journey Beneath the Surface by Olivia Laing
  7. Neon Pilgrim by Lisa Dempster
  8. Tristimania by Jay Griffiths
  9. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

hard to categorise

  1. Spillover: Emerging Diseases, Animal Hosts, and the Future of Human Health by David Quammen

for kids

  1. Diary of a wombat by Jackie French
  2. The fire wombat by Jackie French
  3. The book of Australian trees by Inga Simpson
  4. The lorax by Dr Suess
  5. Dry to Dry: The seasons of Kakadu by Pamela Freeman and Liz Anelli and Brizzy May’s review: https://brizzymaysbooksandbruschettasite.wordpress.com/2022/01/06/dry-to-dry-the-seasons-of-kakadu-book-review/