Summer officially arrives this week and that means trips to the beach, the mountains, and the park. Maybe you’re already packing tents so you can sleep under the stars. These 15 nature-filled books are perfect to read by the campfire, in the RV, or even on the couch if your idea of the great outdoors is looking out the picture window.
Jack London’s most known and beloved novel is a nature classic featuring a sled dog who transforms from his domesticated ranch life to his wild and instinctual nature.
The combination of man and dog against the elements of the then untamed North and the anything-goes adventurous nature of Buck, the protagonist, makes for exciting reading. London draws on his turn of the century experiences during the Goldrush in Alaska when dogs were as important to survival as humans.
A biography about a young man from a well-to-do family who goes into nature and eventually into the Alaskan wilderness to invent a new life for himself and prove he can survive without society, but never comes out.
It’s not about the great outdoors, but echoes it. After all, one can find snippets of nature in any city, in any park. The main character’s friends go missing in some woods in a Dublin suburb when he is only 12, and 20 years later, he must investigate a crime that takes place in the same woods.
When Cheryl Strayed’s mom died and her family fell apart, without any backpacking experience, she embarked upon the Pacific Crest Trail in an effort to find balance and some peace.
A solo thousand mile journey on the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State taken by an inexperienced hiker is a revelation. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.
A harrowing and true account of a tragic night in August of 1967 when two separate and unrelated female campers were attacked and killed by grizzlies in Glacier National Park.
Many have heard about the movie, but the book is worth the read. In the northern Georgia wilderness, on a remote, unchartered white-water river, four men embark on a canoe trip that turns into a nightmarish struggle for survival when they encounter not only difficult river conditions, but malevolent mountain men.
When a girl wanders away from her bickering older brother and recently divorced mother on an Appalachian Trail, she becomes lost in the wilderness and confronts a predator that may or may not be real.
A literary novel of suspense about a girl who is abducted in the Colorado wilderness and how it affects her and her entire family.
The Courtland family is taking one last vacation in the Rocky Mountains before their daughter leaves for college. But when Caitlin and her younger brother, Sean, go out for an early morning run and only Sean returns, the mountains become as terrifying as they are majestic.
Read our review of DESCENT here.
A hard, chilling account of a young girl trying to care for her mom and her siblings after her father goes missing in the harsh and tangled countryside of the Ozarks.
A social worker living in northwest Montana deals with all types, namely one anarchist and his family who are trying to live off the grid in Montana’s rugged mountains. Smith Henderson explores the complexities of American freedom and the restrictions that go along with being part of society.
A suspenseful Charlie Parker thriller taking place in and around the deep, haunting woods of Maine where a wrecked plane with no bodies is discovered. It involves the supernatural and will keep you turning pages.
Rural Minnesota would seem peaceful enough, but William Kent Krueger has his series detective, Cork O’Connor, adeptly expose poverty, abuse, and alcoholism on the nearby Indian reservations, and worse—those who exploit innocent children from those reservations.
When the body of a missing teenage girl washes up on the shore of a Minnesota island in Lake Superior, the residents of the nearby Bad Bluff reservation whisper that it was the work of the deadly mythical beast, the Windigo. Private investigator Cork O’Connor has taken on the case to determine how to save another missing girl, before it’s too late.
A recent winner of the 2017 Edgar Award for Best Novel. The description of the crash into the ocean and the epic, heroic swim the protagonist takes to save himself and a young boy will have you on the edge of your seat (or camping chair or log), especially if you’re on a beach camping trip. There’s nothing like nature to make us feel small and helpless.
Again, many have seen the movie based on Norman Maclean’s classic collection that poignantly recounts his years growing up in Montana with his uncontrollable, passionate fly-fishing brother and his Presbyterian family, but it’s the gorgeous writing so gracefully tuned into nature that stays in your mind long after you’ve read the last page.
This semi-autobiographical novel about the power and beauty of nature l inspired the classic film of the same name. The story of a Presbyterian family from turn-of-the century Montana for whom "there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing," it focuses on the relationship of two brothers: Older Norman who is try to straighten out his wild younger brother, Paul.
A travelogue—a journey. You will fall in love with John Steinbeck’s writing all over again, and you will also fall for the author’s Standard poodle, Charley, as Steinbeck recounts their adventures driving an RV (named after Don Quixote’s horse) around America.
To hear the speech of the real America, to smell the grass and the trees, to see the colors and the light—these were John Steinbeck’s goals as he set out, at the age of fifty-eight, to rediscover the country he had been writing about for so many years. John Steinbeck was awarded in 1964.