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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 any one 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 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. The Summer Book Tove Jannson
  8. The Signature of all things by Elizabeth Gilbert
  9. Gone to Earth Mary Webb
  10. Skellig by David Almond
  11. My name is Mina by David Almond
  12. October October by Katya Balen
  13. Pine by Francine Toon 🌻
  14. Desire lines by Felicity Volk
  15. The Last migration by Charlotte McConaghy
  16. The Octopus and I by Erin Hortle
  17. The Birdman’s wife by Melissa Ashley
  18. The Living sea of waking dreams by Richard Flanagan

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

CLIMATE AND ENVIROMENTAL ACTIVISM

  1. The weather makers by Tim Flannery
  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

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

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. 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

TREES AND FORESTS

  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

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. Neon Pilgrim by Lisa Dempster