Recommended Nature Reads

Discover tardigrades hidden in deep moss, follow the path of glaciers to learn how moraines form, and capture the likeness of a darting hummingbird, all from the safety of your own home, backyard, or neighborhood with this round-up of recommended nature reads from Mountaineers Books.
Mountaineers Books Mountaineers Books
March 27, 2020

The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, and it's clear that spring is upon us once again. The rhythms of nature bring comfort during difficult times, and remind us that in spite of everything the world keeps turning. 

We can observe and enjoy these seasonal changes without straying far from home. As Ken Keffer, the author of Earth Almanac, writes, "The tales of nature are far more fascinating than the wildest fiction—and the chance to witness them happens every moment you step outside, and many times when you are stuck inside too. Paying attention to nature allows you to discover daily inspiration in your backyard." 

We've curated a few recommended reads that will bring out your inner naturalist and help you explore the wonder that surrounds us.  

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EARTH ALMANAC

By Ken Keffer, illustrated by Jeremy Collins


Celebrate the 50th Earth Day this April with Earth Almanac: Nature’s Calendar for Year-Round Discovery, and explore the ebb and flow of nature through daily natural history facts and stories, featuring mammals, birds, insects, marine life, plants, fungi, geology, astronomy, and more. With more than 90 entries per season, the day-by-day descriptions capture nature’s patterns and offer insight into the activities and connections throughout our natural world, while sidebars provide calls to environmental action, citizen science opportunities, and details on special dates or holidays. Engaging and accessible, Earth Almanac inspires readers to learn about and appreciate the natural world, and to get outside and explore it, this Earth Day and every day of the year.

Naturalist Ken Keffer’s Earth Almanac is a delightful, fact-rich immersion into the seasonal wonders of the natural
world.... Jeremy Collins’s precise, sensitive illustrations enliven the text and provide a visual field guide to the plants and animals likely to be found on a trek through the wild or the neighborhood. —Foreword Reviews (starred review)

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NATURE OBSCURA

By Kelly Brenner, illustrated by Zoe Keller


With wonder and a sense of humor, Nature Obscura author Kelly Brenner examines the rich, natural urban landscape to reveal sur­prising creatures and their intricate microhabitats. In her hometown of Seattle, she explores shores, wetlands, forests, and neighborhood parks to expose strange, often overlooked organisms—tardigrades, hummingbirds, spiders, dragonflies, slime molds, sword ferns, muskrats, and more. Nature Obscura may inspire you to follow a fly, spy on a murder of crows, or squeeze moss to find a water bear. Nature exists in our cities, if only we look.

Impeccably researched and written, Brenner’s smart debut is ideal for those with a deep interest in nature. —Publishers Weekly

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PHOTOGRAPHY: BIRDS

By Gerrit Vyn


Elevate your bird photography with expert advice from renowned Cornell Lab of Ornithology photographer Gerrit Vyn as he walks you step by step through the process of creating better bird images. Whether you’re documenting the chickadees that visit your feeders, spending a day at a national wildlife refuge, or spending weeks in the field on a photo expedition or safari, Photography: Birds will give you the confidence and skills you need to be a better bird photographer—and a better naturalist.

Once you absorb the stunning images that illustrate this new book, you will appreciate how Vyn writes about photo topics unique for bird photographers, including photographing at a feeding station, utilizing blinds, and more. After your camerawork creates fine photos, Vyn describes how images can be digitally edited, and throughout the book he emphasizes an ethical approach to observing and photographing birds. —The Birding Wire

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