Nature and Environmental Book Reviews

Short List of Best Nature and Environmental Books



American Nature Writing Has Flourished Since 1900

by David Yarian, Ph.D.

Since 1900 American nature writing has flourished, encompassing natural history, travel narratives, nature essays, "rambles," wilderness adventuring, sea voyaging, poetry, fiction, calls to environmental action and many more sub-genres.

It's as if all the best writers and naturalists fanned out and went from the outer shores of Cape Cod to the reefs of the Hawaiian Islands, from Denali to the Everglades - and points between. To look at the wild (and not-so-wild) beauty of this vast continent, its environmental and ecological challenges, and report back what they've seen and heard.

The books selected here are "classics" for many reasons, but common to all is the excellence of style and the rewarding quality of their writing. While some are self-consciously "literary", many are not, yet their ability to help us experience the natural world via reading is transformative.

The books and writers celebrated here have won many awards for scientific merit and quality of writing, including the Nobel prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and the John Burgess Medal for Natural History.

This is a marvelous library of the best American nature writing since 1900. Imagine a quirky independent bookseller whose shop sits in a scenic place, with good armchairs, fresh coffee and plenty of natural light.

Browse . . . and enjoy. Thanks for stopping by.