Back to Nature: Best Books on the Environment  

“Enjoy the peace of Nature and declutter your inner world.”
― Amit Ray, Mindfulness Living in the Moment – Living in the Breath

There is an intrinsic connection between mankind and nature. Though man is now on a quest to deplete all natural resources, Mother Nature continues to nourish us. Spending time out in nature can do wonders for our souls and bodies. It can not only uplift our mood but also lower our stress levels. A stroll in the park, a picnic by the river, or a leisurely walk in the woodlands are all good for us. Yet, we are powerless in the fast-paced hustle and bustle of modern life. We seldom have the time or energy to step out of our concrete jungles.

Have you ever felt trapped in your monotonous city life unable to answer the call of nature? If yes, worry not. As with everything, there is a solution to this malady as well. If you are physically unable to leave your material world, you can allow your mind to appreciate the beauty of nature. Books have the ability to transport you to places without even taking a single step from your place. You can immerse yourself in a book about nature and enjoy the outdoors from the comforts of your home.

I present you with a list of amazing nature-inspired books that are bound to buoy your spirits.

Book: Walden

Author: Henry David Thoreau

Walden Thoreau

Published in 1854, Walden is one of the pioneering nature-inspired books. In this book, Henry David Thoreau chronicles his time spent away from civilization at Walden Pond. In this compelling book, Thoreau condenses his two-year-two-month-two-day stay into one year. He uses the four seasons to symbolize the cycle of human life and nature. The book shuns materialism and upholds the value of a simple and minimalist lifestyle. Thoreau builds his own home, grows his own food, and does everything that is feasible on his own. His vivid writing style brings to life the ponds, woods, fields, ice and rain, and winter and spring. Walden is a classic that would definitely make you rethink your outlook on life and inspire you to live a more nature-friendly outlook.

Book: Travels in Alaska

Author: John Muir  

John Muir is a stalwart in the genre of eco-fiction. All his books make you appreciate the benevolence of nature. His Travels in Akaska is one such book. In this book, Muir waxes poetic about his visits to the uncharted and wild territory of Alaska. His reverent discussions of glaciers and the wildlife of the area leave us astounded. We feel that we are with him as he fearlessly explores the snow-covered terrain and meets bears, wolves, bald eagles, and whales. Muir’s descriptions of the indigenous people who made a living off the harsh land are enlightening. His writing is lyrical and sweeps us off to a faraway place and time. We are fortunate to have the photographs that he took on his journeys. Comparing his photos with present-day Alaska is interactive and educational.

Book: The Jungle Book

Author: Rudyard Kipling


Rudyard Kipling’s spectacular collection of stories entitled The Jungle Book takes you to the deep jungles of India. Mowgli is one of the main characters of this 1894 classic. Abandoned as a baby in the jungle, the boy was raised by wolves and educated by Kaa the python, Bagheera the black python, and Baloo the bear.  While some of the stories revolve around him, others have little to do with him. Self-discovery and nature are the recurrent themes in this timeless children’s piece. Kipling holds no bar in this book. He bluntly portrays the survival of the fittest motto of the jungle and the savagery that accompanies it. Though aimed at children, The Jungle Book is bound to make adults long for the simplicity of jungle life as well. The Disney rendition of the book and the countless on-screen adaptations in myriad languages are testaments to its enduring popularity.

Book: The Call of the Wild

Author: Jack London


The Call of the Wild is indeed Jack London’s masterpiece. Published in 1903, the book revolves around a sled dog named Buck. After being stolen from his home in California, he is sold to live a harsh life in Alaska. He sheds his veneer of civilization to survive the difficult conditions. There comes a time when he finally meets a person who shows him compassion. They form a strong bond that is quite unforeseen. Jack London’s description of the environment is commendable. Though it is an allegory of socialism, London effortlessly depicts how the environment shapes one’s character. The Call of the Wild will definitely call to your wild urges. It is a book that is a must-read for all dog lovers.

Book: Pather Panchali: Song of the Road

Author: Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay  

Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay’s Pather Panchali: Song of the Road is a masterpiece of epic proportions. Published as a book in 1929, the book revolves around a young boy called Apu Roy. Apu’s father is Harihar, his mother is Sarbajaya, and his older sister is Durga. The brother-sister duo leads an idyllic life in their village, Nischindipur, despite their poverty. However, things soon take a turn. Bandyopadhyay paints a beautiful picture of childhood and village life in his book. Through vivid imageries, he makes us feel the dripping sound of the forest, the twittering of birds, and the majesty of waving grass. In addition to bringing to us the grim picture of poverty and gender equality, Pather Panchali: Song of the Road gives us a rare treat of nature and life. Satyajit Ray’s film rendition of the novel is a masterpiece in its own right.

Book: Melody Finch

Author: Ian Boyd and Gary Luck

Melody Finch is a spectacular children’s illustrated novel penned by Ian Boyd and Gary Luck. Melody is just a young girl who is transformed into a diamond to retail finch through a stroke of luck. She makes it her mission to reach her Nanna Bell in Goolwa and help her save her beloved boat, The Isabella. We accompany Melody as she traverses the vast Australian landscape. Through the eyes of a bird, we see the havoc that our uncaring actions wrought on the natural world. From birds and frogs to fish and seals, we get a glimpse of everyone’s world. Melody Finch indeed teaches us to appreciate nature.


Mother Nature is the provider that gives us everything. If she wishes, she can even take away everything. She is all-powerful. Yet, nothing or nobody can be as compassionate as nature. We should protect nature and spend as much time as possible appreciating her spell-binding verdant beauty.

Do comment and let me know which of the books listed here intrigues you the most.

Note: All images on our site are in the public domain or are used with WordPress permission, unless stated otherwise.

One thought on “Back to Nature: Best Books on the Environment  

  1. Australia, Alaska, and India are excellent depictions of nature in all its glory. Now let’s work to keep Her alive!


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