In his most urgent book to date, world-renowned biologist Edward O. Wilson states that in order to stave off the mass extinction of species, including our own, we must move swiftly to preserve the biodiversity of our planet. He argues that the situation facing us is too large to be solved piecemeal, and he proposes a solution comensurate with the magnitude of the problem: dedicate fully half the surface of the Earth to nature. Identifying actual regions of the planet that can still be reclaimed, Wilson puts aside the prevailing pessimism of our times. Edward O. Wilson won the Henry David Thoreau Prize for literary excellence in nature writing in 2011. BOOKPLATE SIGNED BY AUTHOR.Liveright, W. W. Norton, 2016. Paperback, 259 pp.
Eminent field biologist George Schaller has roamed through many lands observing wild animals and conducting landmark long-term studies that have deepened our understanding of these creatures. This collection of short pieces is the first and only overview of Schaller's remarkable career. The author's own photographs appear throughout: of animals and their behavior, and of himself and his family "at home" in wild places from Africa to Tibet. George B. Schaller won the Henry David Thoreau Prize for literary excellence in nature writing for 2020. SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR on an attached bookplate.Sierra Club Books, 2007. Paperback, 272 pp.
Explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus, the remarkable connections it makes with people, and the vibrant community that arises around this complex, intelligent, and spirited creature. An example of true immersion journalism. Sy Montgomery won the Henry David Thoreau Prize for literary excellence in nature writing in 2017.Atria, 2015. Paperback, 262 pp.
Explores a new perspective on human evolution by examining the phenomenon of ultraendurance and makes surprising discoveries about the physical, spiritual, and primal drive to win. At once lyrical and scientific, this book shows Bernd Heinrich's signature blend of biology, anthropology, psychology, and philosophy, infused with his passion to discover how and why we can achieve super-human abilities. Bernd Heinrich won the Henry David Thoreau Prize for literary excellence in nature writing in 2018.Ecco, HarperCollins, 2002. Paperback, 292 pp.
A grand tour of the realm of all of our senses. We learn about the evolution of the kiss, the sadistic cuisine of eighteenth-century England, the chemistry of pain, and the melodies of the planet Earth. Diane Ackerman won the Henry David Thoreau Prize for literary excellence in nature writing in 2015.Vintage Books / Random House, 1990. Paperback, 331 pp.
Botanist and Native American Robin Wall Kimmerer shows that the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings are we capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learning to give our own gifts in return. Robin Wall Kimmerer won the Henry David Thoreau Prize for literary excellence in nature writing in 2021. Milkweed Editions, 2013. Paperback, 390 pp.
A beautifully written mix of science and personal reflection that invites readers to explore and learn from the elegantly simple lives of mosses. In this series of linked personal essays, Kimmerer explains the biology of mosses and reflects on what these fascinating organisms have to teach us. Robin Wall Kimmerer won the Henry David Thoreau Prize for literary excellence in nature writing in 2021.Oregon State University Press, 2003. Paperback, 168 pp.
A book that is part memoir, part scientific investigation. Heinrich is a dedicated and accomplished runner who won his first marathon at age 39. Here he looks deeply at running, aging, and the body, exploring the unresolved relationship between metabolism, diet, exercise, and age. Bernd Heinrich won the Henry David Thoreau Prize for literary excellence in nature writing in 2018.HarperCollins, 2021. Hardcover, 208 pp.
A definitive collection spanning more than five decades of this Pulitzer-Prize winning poet's esteemed and celebrated literary career. Arranged by Mary Oliver herself, this timeless volume showcases the beloved poet at her edifying best. She provides us here with an invaluable collection of her passionate and perceptive observations of the natural world. Mary Oliver won the Henry David Thoreau Prize for literary excellence in nature writing in November 2018.Penguin Press, 2017. Hardcover, 455 pp.