8 Books To Reignite Your Love Of Life On Land
From eagles and earthworms to forests and fungi, these reads will spark your passion for the planet and all that lives on it
By hannah rochell
27 january 2022
Want to get your nose stuck in a book that helps you reconnect with nature once you’ve put it down? Whether you’re wild for worms, a fungi fanatic, or just looking to expand your knowledge of the wonderful life we share planet Earth with, we’ve got your reading list ready to go.
1. Birdgirl: A Young Environmentalist Looks to the Skies in Search of a Better Future
Dr Mya-Rose - otherwise known as Birdgirl on Instagram and her blog - is a British-Bangladeshi ornithologist, environmentalist and diversity activist. She has seen over 5,000 different types of bird, that’s half the world’s species, and at just 19 years old, she is the youngest person to do so. In this book, she tells her story of travelling the world to pursue her passion (both of her parents are birders) and encourages us all to lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.
Available for pre-order, £15.79, bookshop.org
2. Entangled Life
This award-winning book explores the fascinating and often neglected world of fungi. Neither plant nor animal, these organisms are vital for all life on Earth. Learn how they can solve problems and manipulate animal behaviour, are able to digest plastics and crude oil, can thrive in space and radioactive areas, and how they hold the key to understanding the planet.
3. The Book Of The Earthworm
Packed with 50 beautifully illustrated facts about one of the most underrated wrigglers on the planet, learn why earthworms are one of our most important and surprising creatures. Without them, our soil would be barren and we wouldn’t be able to grow the food that we, and all animals, need to survive.
4. Wilding: The Return Of Nature To A British Farm
This inspirational book has topped conservation reading lists since its release in 2019. It is a hopeful memoir charting a family’s journey to rewild their West Sussex farm using free-roaming cattle, ponies, pigs and deer. Spoiler: it was a success, with rare species now thriving in an ecosystem heaving with life.
5. The Overstory
Bill Gates says this novel changed the way he thinks about trees, and Barack Obama, Margaret Atwood and Emma Thompson are also fans. It’s a story of nine strangers, each brought together by the natural world and then working together to save it from catastrophe. Another fan, Hugh Jackman, is working on an adaptation for Netflix.
6. Grounded: How Connection with Nature can Improve Our Mental and Physical Wellbeing
We’re always keen to learn more about nature relatedness and how outdoor activities like wild swimming can help our mental health, so this book is right up our street. Exploring how a deeper connection with nature can benefit us all, it aims to give us the tools to feel more balanced, resilient and fearless.
7. The Book Of Trespass: Crossing The Lines That Divide Us
This part-nature, part-political book looks at how in England, we are excluded from 92% of the country’s land and 97% of its waterways because they are blocked from public access. By trespassing the land of the media magnates, Lords, politicians and private corporations that own most of the country, Nick Hayes argues that the root of social inequality is the uneven distribution of land.
8. Vesper Flights
From the author of 2014’s H is for Hawk, a touching memoir about the author putting her life back together with the help of a goshawk called Mabel, this new book is a collection of essays about human relationships with the natural world. Via stories of everything from hunting mushrooms to wild pigs, it explores how animals teach us about life.
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