The preferred method of reading a book for many people is curled up on the sofa or in front of the fireplace with a hot cup of tea. Let's face it, for many readers having their nose stuck in a book is much more preferable than in a flower. However, there are a couple of books that are written in such a way that one can't help but want to venture into the great outdoors after reading them.
The River Why is a great book to read for everyone who ever dreamed of running away from the city and living in nature. The story is about a young flyfisherman named Gus Orviston who decides to live in a small cabin and do nothing but eat, sleep and fish. His idyllic existence in the foothills of the Oregon Coast range brings him closer to nature, but also opens his eyes to the damage done to the river and forests by humans. It is a coming of age tale set against the stunning backdrop of a natural landscape that will inspire you even if you have no love for fishing.
With twenty books and more than six decades of research on the topic, Edward Wilson knows a thing or two about ants. However, while ants features prominently in his first novel, Anthill is also the tale of Raff Cody, who is a kind of modern day Huckleberry Finn figure. Raff spends his summers in the remote Nokobee wilderness exploring with his cousin Junior and later in life fights for its protection. The way in which the author describes the flora and fauna in great detail will leave you hankering for a nature experience of your own.
Martin Marten is a book that effortlessly combines the stories of both humans and animals into one. One of its stars is Dave, a 14 year old boy who is fortunate enough to grow up surrounded by the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Readers get to experience this beautiful landscape not only from the perspective of Martin, but also the pine marten with which he forms an unlikely bond. Besides being a good read, the author never runs out of ways to describe the natural Oregon forest in a way that will make you want to grab your camping gear and go there right away.
Prodigal Summer is a book that tells three intricate tales set in a tiny corner of southern Appalachia. The beautiful setting is described in precise detail and the colorful cast of characters is as interesting as their surroundings. The entire tale takes place during one hot summer in rural Virginia and the author uses her knowledge of biology and ecology to great effect. From Deanna the park ranger and Lusa the widowed entomologist to the elderly Garnett, who is on a quest to revive the American chestnut tree it is a book that mingles human and ecological conflicts in an engaging manner.
The author spent almost a year in the Yukon while researching this tale of of a sled dog named Buck and it is clearly evident in his work. St. Bernard-Scotch Collie, Buck, lives a happy life in California, but is stolen and ends up in the Klondike region of Canada where he is trained as a sled dog. This is just the start of his adventures and he experiences plenty of highs as well as lows on his journey. This book is a great way to see nature from the unique perspective of an animal in the enduring spirit of Buck will inspire you to get out of your comfort zone and answer the call of the wild yourself.