Cozy Up With These Nature-Inspired Books

There’s something so inviting about curling up with a book when the air turns crisp and the leaves and snow begin to fall. I wanted to share some of the books I’ve been enjoying this fall. They’re a mix of feel-good classics, non-fiction, poetry, and outdoor adventure books. All of them are a warm invitation to see nature in a different way, whether through science or whimsy.

Nature-inspired books for fall reading!

Science

Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, and Shape Our Futures

Merlin Sheldrake’s ‘Entangled Life’ seamlessly blends science and storytelling to shed light on the world of fungi and our relationship with nature. It’s a wild ride, covering many topics, like the euphoric effects of psilocybin, how lichens challenge our understanding of autonomy, and how fungi can detoxify polluted places. I found it difficult to put this book down and I ordered the illustrated edition, packed with stunning photography, after finishing it.

“Lichens are living riddles. Since the nineteenth century, they have provoked fierce debate about what constitutes an autonomous individual. The closer we get to lichens, the stranger they seem. To this day, lichens confuse our concept of identity and force us to question where one organism stops and another begins.”

– Merlin Sheldrake’s Entangled Life

Outdoor Adventure

The Boy and the Mountain: A Father, His Son, and a Journey of Discovery

In ‘The Boy and the Mountain,’ Torbjorn Ekelund and his seven-year-old son explore Norway’s Skrim mountains. During the journey, the father is engrossed by a century-old mystery—the disappearance of a six-year-old boy in the same area. As a new parent, I found the book emotionally challenging yet ultimately rewarding, exploring the joys and responsibilities of parenthood, the art of letting go, and the unforgiving forces of nature. The book reads like a slow meditation on nature and parenthood, a welcomed departure from the bravado found in many outdoor adventure stories.

Picture a morning in a tent in a forest. A blond head inside a sleeping bag. Squinted eyes. Suntanned skin. A puzzled expression before he realizes where he is. The boy looks up and smiles. Remembers. In a tent in a forest, that’s where we are. He inches over toward his father and lays his head on his father’s chest.

– Torbjorn Ekelund’s The Boy and the Mountain.

Poetry

Devotions

Devotions is an anthology that brings together over five decades of Mary Oliver’s beautiful poetry. Following in the tradition of the Romantics, Oliver’s work reflects a deep love and reverence for the outdoors. Her ability to describe nature often leads me to see aspects of it anew with awe again.

How I Go to the Woods

Ordinarily I go to the woods alone, with not a single friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore unsuitable.

I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of praying, as you no doubt have yours.

– Mary Oliver’s Devotions

Feel Good Classics

The Wind in the Willows

Kenneth Grahame’s ‘The Wind in the Willows’ follows the delightful adventures of Mole, Ratty, Badger, and the incorrigible Toad. The novel takes place in the English countryside among the riverbanks and woodlands. Here, our four protagonists stumble into all kinds of adventures (big and small) and themes of friendship, nature, and the simple joys of living are explored. The book is a cozy escape from today’s fast-paced world and made me laugh-out-loud several times.

…when tired at last, he sat on the bank, while the river still chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories in the world, sent from the heart of the earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea.”

– Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows

The Hobbit

J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ is an enduring tale of bravery, friendship, and self-discovery. Bilbo Baggins’ journey from a reluctant hero to a courageous adventurer is not only heartwarming, but beckons us to embrace our own life’s adventures. I love the mix of fantasy, endearing personalities, and captivating landscapes.

Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.

– J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit

What Are You Currently Reading?

Those are my nature-inspired books for this autumn! I’d love to hear your recommendations in the comments section. Happy reading!

Other Posts You May Enjoy

Can Nature Improve Your Health?

Learn About Your Local Environment With a Sit Spot 

From Grass to Garden: Creating Habitat and Biodiversity With Native Plant Gardens

Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *