Genre Guide – Nature Writing

From the solo meditation of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden to the call to action at the center of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, nature has long been an inspiration for writers. 

These titles represent a range of natural writing. There’s personal memoir and scientific explorations, appreciations of nature’s beauty, and reflections on how nature shapes our own personal journeys.

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A Darker Wilderness: Black Nature Writing from Soil to Stars

In this essay collection, an array of writers tackle nature writing from a uniquely Black perspective. As they examine the historical implications of how Black people have engaged with their surroundings, a deeper understanding of the wider effects of convening with nature emerge. You can also check out this title as eBook on Hoopla.

Earth Keeper: Reflections on the American Land

Momaday, a member of the Kiowa tribe, mines the many stories he has collected during his life that showcase the unique relationship between Native Americans and the natural world. You can also check out this title as eBook or eAudio on Hoopla.

The Heartbeat of Trees: Embracing Our Ancient Bond with Forests and Nature

Peter Wohlleben has written multiple books with trees at their center and, with The Heartbeat of Trees, shows that there is still so much more to say. From readers interested in the science of trees to those who just appreciate their majesty, this book is a true love letter to one of our nature’s greatest assets. You can also check out this title as eBook on Overdrive/Libby or as eBook or eAudio on Hoopla.


In writing about landscapes that touch every part of the world, Barry Lopez’s Horizon examines the varied beauty our world has to offer, while also showcasing how humanity’s zest for exploring what all the world. Both armchair travelers and those with well-stamped passports should certainly seek out Horizon. You can also check out this title as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

A Line in the World: A Year on the North Sea Coast

A Danish writer spends a year traveling the North Sea Coast, musing on how the landscape has changed over the years while also highlighting how these same places have helped to change her. This is perfect for those who like to really sit back and consider both the big and small changes of the world they inhabit. You can also check out this title as eAudio on Hoopla.

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Annie Dillard is a titan of the nature essay and is at her highest form with Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. She focuses on one patch of the world—Tinker Creek, which runs through Virginia’s Roanoke Valley—and how the seasons make their unique mark on the landscape and its inhabitants. You can also check out this title as eBook or eAudio on Overdrive/Libby or as eBook or eAudio on Hoopla.

Thin Places: A Natural History of Healing and Home

Not a traditional deep dive into the natural world, Thin Places is Kerri Dochartaigh’s story of growing up amid the turbulence Troubles in Ireland living in a Catholic-Protestant household. For Dochartaigh, nature became both an outlet and a savior. Memoir readers looking for a uniquely nature-appreciative take will find much to savor here. You can also check out this title as eAudio on Hoopla.