Science shows us getting out and enjoying the benefits of nature will make us healthier. Reading about nature isn’t a bad idea either. How about reading a book about nature at your favorite outdoor spot? Maybe it’s the beach; maybe it’s the park. Maybe it’s a hammock in your backyard. It doesn’t matter.
And we just happen to have some of our favorite nature books for you here to enjoy this summer. Choose any of them, and then choose your favorite spot.
Amos Clifford is the founder of the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs. He has trained Forest Therapy Guides in 22 countries. He believes the traditional Japanese art of Shinrin-Yoku can help people fully engage with the healing power of nature. Even if you can’t get to a forest every weekend, you can learn to practice forest bathing in a nearby city park or garden.
Florence Williams is a nature journalist and contributing editor to Outside Magazine. Using her research and investigation skills, Williams writes about the scientific proof behind nature’s positive effect on your brain. If you’re the kind of person who needs proof, this is the book for you.
San Diegan Richard Louv is the author of ten books. Most are dedicated to his study and leadership in connecting families and especially children to nature, and sounding the warning about what will happen to human culture if we fail. His books have been translated into 20 languages. I’ve written several times about Louv’s most recent book, Vitamin N: The Essential Guide to a Nature Rich Life, encouraging parents to be sure their children are exposed to nature. But his earlier books are also valuable, including The Nature Principle, which focuses the message on adults and what we can do to help ourselves and help change national policy.
Clemens G. Arvay
Arvay is an Austrian biologist who examines the relationship between human beings and nature, and the many health-promoting effects of being in contact with nature, plants, and animals. His book explains the science of biophilia, and shares research and amazing facts about the healing properties of nature. For example did you know spending just one single day in a forest increases the white cell count in your blood (which protect the body from infection) by 40 percent? You will be a believer after reading Professor Arvay’s book.
Forester and best-selling author Peter Wohllebeh believes the forest is a social network (the original, not that one Mark Zuckerberg came up with). Trees interact like human families. Communicate, and warn each other about dangers. The book looks at the life, death, and regeneration of trees. It is the first in a series of three books. The others are “The Inner Life of Animals” and “The Secret Wisdom of Nature.”
This choice is more about fun – but you’ll still learn a lot about nature! Tristan Gooley is an old-fashioned adventurer and the “Natural Navigator.” He has led expeditions on five continents and is the only person who has flown and sailed solo across the Atlantic Ocean. He has been to some of the most remote places on the planet – and no, there isn’t any GPS. Gooley has learned how to find his way using nothing but nature clues. For example, when you are at sea, if you see more than 10 birds in any five-minute window you are within 40 miles of land. His techniques are taught to the British military as part of its survival training. That’s good enough for me! Who needs Google Maps when you have tree rotes, sand dunes, butterflies and the smell of cinnamon?