Whether it’s a walk in the countryside, a walk in the park, or even an afternoon bathing in the woodlands, no time spent in nature is wasted. But for those times you’re stuck at home, a wildlife and nature book can keep you connected to the natural world, or help you learn more about the species that inhabit it.
We’ve picked out the best nature and wildlife books, from stunning photography to animal behavior. The list includes selections from Sir David Attenborough, Merlin Sheldrake and the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.
If that’s not enough, check out our list of the best science books to further expand your shelf.
Best Books on Animals, Wildlife and Nature
Into the Forest: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness
Dr. Qing Li
£12.99, Penguin Life
We’ve spent more and more time indoors in recent years, and for many of us, that’s only going to increase with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as a species, we are programmed to love the outdoors. Even just looking at green spaces can reduce stress and improve mental health.
Dr. Qing Li explained into the forest How we can make the most of nature to improve our physical and mental health.
30 Seconds Zoology
Edited by Mark Fellowes
£14.99, The Ivy Press
The animal kingdom is a beautiful thing, but it is also vast and complex, so the study of zoology can be a daunting prospect for many. Put together by Mark Fellowes, professor of ecology at the University of Reading, this beautifully illustrated book takes 50 of the most basic categories and concepts from animal research and explains them in 300 words or less (hence the “30 Seconds Zoology”).
In addition to covering a wide range of topics, from how we understand evolution to issues posed by habitat loss, the book features some of the most important figures in the field.
Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and Vision for the Future
Information on climate change and our responsibility to the environment from the UK’s favourite naturalist and Earth broadcaster.
Life on our planet is my testimony and my vision for the future.Here’s a story about how we made this mistake, our biggest mistake — and how we can fix it if we act now
Going Wild: How Animals Learn to Be Animals
Across the animal kingdom, the genetic tapestry is covered with more erudite cultures than humans realize. But it’s subtle.
get wild Show that “natural” doesn’t always come naturally. Many animals learn almost from their elders; get answers to questions about how to live where one lives; learn skills, dangers, group identity, communication dialects, and the survival traditions that define their existence.
The story of sperm whales, macaws and chimpanzees get wild Three major themes of culture are represented: identity, preference for beauty, and how social life creates tensions that culture must ease. The species on these pages expand our appreciation for living in the world.
In his book, Joe Harkness reveals research into the mental health benefits of observing nature, as well as his own emotional and often witty anecdotes.
read bird therapy It’s like making a new friend, a friend who believes in your deepest secrets, who in return will offer you advice and reassurance that no matter what your difficulties, nature will provide support and comfort.
An entangled life: How fungi create our world, change our thinking and shape our future
£20.00, Bodleian Head
The fungus kingdom is as broad and busy as the animal or plant kingdoms, but understudied and under-understood, Merlin Sheldrake said. He reveals the true extent of their impact on Earth’s history and human life in an easy-to-read format.
In Merlin’s lyrical and poetic tone, tangled life Has the charm of nature or travel writing, but his meticulous study of the latest scientific understanding of fungi makes it a must-read for science enthusiasts.
Everything you know about animals is wrong
‘Blind as a bat’; ‘Bury your head in the sand’: Some animal facts are so well known that they even enter our language. But “well-known” does not equal “true”. Bats aren’t blind at all, and ostriches don’t try to hide their massive bodies by burying their heads.
Matt Brown bears these misunderstandings and Everything you know about animals is wrong, busting all the common animal “facts” myths we’ve heard so often from childhood that we just accept them as real. Be prepared to question everything you think you know.
Voyage Flights: An Illustrated Natural History of Bird Migration
Mike An and David Tipling
£30, Yale University Press
Every year, millions of birds make incredible journeys across the planet, crossing continents and flying for months on end. We’re used to birds migrating to warmer climates in the winter, but we don’t often stop and think about how amazing it really is. How do arctic terns get from their Arctic breeding grounds to their Antarctic summer homes? How did Swift stay in the air for ten months at a time?
Writer Mike Unwin and wildlife photographer David Tipling fairway flightinvestigates the science behind this strange behavior, with photos of 67 different species.
Hélène Druvert and Emmanuelle Grundmann
£19.95, Thames and Hudson
ocean The most fascinating aspects of the ocean are explained, including waves, coral reefs and food chains. With engaging foldable infographics and stunning laser-cut illustrations, this is a beautifully interactive book that helps children and adults appreciate our oceans.
Other Thoughts: Octopuses and the Evolution of Intelligent Life
£9.99, William Collins
Octopuses are essentially an alien species on Earth – sentient beings whose intelligence has evolved completely independently of our own. Godfrey-Smith took a close look at the minds of these cephalopods, revealing what they can tell us about the nature of consciousness itself.
Missing Wildlife Series
Federation of Wildlife Photographers
This remember wild animals The series was started by Margot Raggett in 2014 after seeing a poached elephant in Kenya. Then she spent six months convincing the world’s best wildlife photographers to donate a picture for a book, remember the elephantto raise funds to fight poaching.
From then on, the book remember wild animals The series has donated £638,000 to 47 conservation projects in 23 countries. Check out some of their stunning wildlife photos in this article about the series.
Animals Among Us: The New Science of Anthropology
Why do we keep pets? According to Bradshaw, it goes beyond cuteness and companionship, all the way back to the ancient bonds of our shared past. Combining psychology and evolutionary science, this book gives pet owners a new perspective on their furry friend.
A zoologist’s guide to the galaxy: Earth’s animals reveal aliens and ourselves
Dr. Arik Kershenbaum
Scientists are increasingly convinced that life exists elsewhere in the universe as well. But what would that life be like?
Using the growing body of information about other planets, Kershenbaum confidently demonstrated the possibility of extraterrestrial life by applying the laws of biology, chemistry, and his knowledge of Earth’s history.
Underworld: A Journey Through Time
Robert Macfarlane is a research fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and a journalist who writes about environmentalism and travel for top news outlets. All of his books are worth reading, but this nonfiction book about deep time is a Sunday Times bestseller and is truly original.
exist Underground world We travel underfoot to learn about Earth’s history. It’s popular science, nature writing, and a travel book, all rolled into one poetic, easy-to-use package.
Flights to Vesper
£16.99, Jonathan Corner
author of a touching book H is for Eagle return Flights to Vespera collection of essays on the relationship between man and nature.
One of the greatest nature writers of the century, Helen Macdonald used simple moments—birds nesting, boars emerging from the woods, foraging for mushrooms in autumn—to connect them with History, personal reflection, and political commentary are intertwined.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Portfolio 30
Rosamund Kidman Cox
£25, Natural History Museum
Beautiful collection of images from the 2020 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Check out some incredible wildlife pictures in the book.
Miracles: Spectacular Moments in Nature Photography
£26, Chronicle Books
Miracle Featuring winning images from the BigPicture Natural World Photography Contest.
In addition to stunning photos, this science book explains the science and photography behind each photo.
best book ever
We think this is our pick of books on wildlife and nature, but if you don’t find your favorite here, check out our more book recommendations: