The below list of books about nature in several categories is an excellent resource for those interested in learning how to better connect with nature. They include non-fiction books about nature connection and other nature topics as well as some fiction writing. There are a variety of genres including forest bathing, nature connection, mindfulness, hiking and finding inspiration in nature.
When I’m feeling lost, confused, and uncertain, there are only a few things that can help me find my way.
- First: a good walk in the woods. The trees and plants are like old friends to me—I know them well by now, and they always welcome me with open arms. They never judge me or ask me questions; they just listen to my problems and help me find solutions.
- Second: tending to my garden. There’s something about digging your hands into the dirt and pulling up weeds that helps clear your head. It’s like taking out the trash: you feel better once it’s done! Plus, you get some delicious food in return!
- Third: reading books about nature! Books about nature can give you a new perspective on life, whether fictional or nonfictional. They remind us that no matter what we’re facing in our lives, there is still beauty all around us if we just look for it. I’m always looking for new books about nature to read. There are so many good ones out there that it can be hard to choose which one to start with. Here are some of my recommendations based on my own reading or based on expert recommendations:
Books About Nature Connection
Non-fiction Shinrin-Yoku or “Forest Bathing”:
The term “forest bathing” is a Japanese concept that refers to a style of therapy for escaping the stress of modern life by immersing yourself in the richness of forest environments. Based on my personal experiences, I think one way to improve our ability to identify with nature and appreciate its importance is to immerse ourselves into nature itself, but also in books that help us see nature from a new perspective.
Here are my top book recommendations for connecting with nature and the practice of Forest Bathing.
- “Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health And Happiness” by Qing Li
- “Shinrin Yoku: The Japanese Art of Forest Bathing” by Yoshifumi Miyazaki
- “Forest Bathing: A Start Here Guide for Beginners” by Dr. Cyndi Gilbert
- “The Joy of Forest Bathing: Reconnect With Wild Places & Rejuvenate Your Life” by Melanie Choukas-Bradley
- “The Healing Magic of Forest Bathing: Finding Calm, Creativity, and Connection in the Natural World” by Julia Plevin
Non-fiction theories and science behind connecting with trees and nature:
Science and nature writers provide us with fascinating information about nature. They show that the natural world is amazing, even though we are not always aware of it. These non-fiction books focus on new scientific discoveries that help us understand how humans are deeply connected to the natural world.
- “The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative” by Florence Williams
- Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer
- “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder” by Richard Louv
- The Eight Master Lessons of Nature: What Nature Teaches Us About Living Well in the World by Gary Ferguso
- “Rooted” by Lyanda Lynn Haupt
- “The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating” by Elisabeth Tova Bailey
- “Feral” by George Monbiot
Nature for healing:
In recent years there has been a growing body of research revealing the many positive effects that spending time in nature can have on our health and wellbeing. Indeed, studies in the field of environmental psychology examining how our relationship with the natural world impacts our mental and physical health consistently find that they are inextricably linked. These positive findings are backed up by numerous clinical trials that have investigated the effect of natural environments on a range of health issues, from anxiety and depression to attention deficit disorders and pain management.
The books in this section examine the effect that the natural world has on our physical and mental health, and provide tips on connecting with it.
- “The Earth Prescription: Discover the Healing Power of Nature with Grounding Practices for Every Season” by Laura Konive
- “Mindfulness in Nature” by David Harp and Nina Smiley
- “Rewilding: Meditations, Practices, and Skills for Awakening in Nature” by Micah Mortali
- “Healing with Nature: Mindfulness and Somatic Practices to Heal from Trauma” by Rochelle Calvert PhD
- “The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative” By Florence Williams
- “The Wild Remedy: How Nature Mends Us – A Diary” By Emma Mitchell
Books both fiction and non-fiction in which you will become intimately more acquainted with trees:
Trees are inspiring and their importance to our lives is undeniable. We connect with them in many ways: they are our homes, our support systems, we use their fruits and invite their protection from storms and cold winds. Trees can inspire creativity and invite you to bring your focus into the present moment. Reading about trees can give you a greater appreciation for them.
Below are my recommendations of both fiction and non-fiction books in which the reader will become intimately acquainted with trees:
- “The Songs of Trees: Stories from Nature’s Great Connectors” by David George Haskell
- “The Overstory” by Richard Powers
- “The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from A Secret World” by Peter Wohlleben
- “Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest” by Suzanne Simard
Fiction to inspire your outdoor spirit:
In the realm of serious fiction there are some writers who write about nature with insight and passion. These novels capture the essence of a place so well you can’t help but feel like you’ve visited it yourself. I’ve picked a few here for you that I hope will fill your days with wonder, delight and new inspirations.
Memoirs of those who submerged themselves in nature:
There’s an impulse in each of us to seek out and uncover the secrets of the natural world, even if we don’t always know what we’re looking for. We have lost touch with the natural world that once surrounded us and now it seems as if we are destroying that world at an alarming rate. In a generation, we have almost severed our connection with nature—a connection we need more than we realize.
The rise of the nature memoir is not only a reflection of that need but is a growing shoot of hope; here are a few of my favorite nature memoirs to inspire you to reclaim that nature connection:
I hope the suggestions in this article have inspired you to pick up one or more of these books about nature connection, and that you will put their ideas into practice for yourself. Through them we can strengthen our connection to our natural world.