One of our favourite summer pleasures is kicking back by a beach, or under a tree, sinking into a good book. In honour of this tradition, Watershed Watch staff have put together a list of some of our favourite nature-themed books for fiction and nonfiction lovers alike.
Salmon: A Fish, the Earth, and the History of Their Common Fate by Mark Kurlansky
Spanning continents and centuries, this book chronicles the history and lifestyle of salmon and makes the compelling argument that fish are a measurement of the health of our planet.
The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben
German author and forester Peter Wohlleben has been coined a “tree whisperer.” Both scientific and romantic, this book shows that trees are much more communicative, sentient and intelligent than we perceive.
The Overstory by Richard Powers
Inspired by the giant redwoods of Northern California, The Overstory won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. This ‘environmental epic’ centres around the lives of nine different Americans whose unique connections with trees bond them together in the face of ecological destruction.
Not On My Watch: How a Renegade Whale Biologist Took on Governments and Industry to Save Wild Salmon by Alexandra Morton
Released earlier this year, Morton’s memoir chronicles her decades-long fight against the salmon farming industry in British Columbia, unfolding against the backdrop of her life story. Many of the events detailed in the book overlap with Watershed Watch’s work against the industry. In fact, check the acknowledgements at the end for mention of a couple of our staff.
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer
This work of nonfiction attempts to bridge the divide between western science and Indigenous traditional knowledge. It is an important exploration of how different systems of knowing can offer a deeper understanding of nature and stewardship.
Sweet Water: Poems for the Watersheds edited by Yvonne Blomer
For all our poetry lovers, Sweet Water gathers the words of poets writing about water in all of its many formations. It is an ode to ways watersheds sustain us, and all other life forces.
Bottomfeeder: How to Eat Ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood by Taras Grescoe
We sometimes get questions from our audience on how to consume seafood sustainably. From Tokyo to Portugal to B.C.’s own salmon farming industry, this insightful, easy-to-understand investigation into ethical seafood consumption on the global stage is a good place to start.
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
Summer got you dreaming of the ultimate adventure? This deeply personal memoir about a young woman’s solo trek across the Pacific Crest Trail is an adventure story for the ages. It is an inspiring testament to how reconnecting with nature can be a powerful source of strength and healing.
The River Why by David James Duncan
A quintessential Pacific Northwest coming-of-age tale about humanity, nature and fishing.
Closer to the Ground: An Outdoor Family’s Year on the Water, in the Woods and at the Table by Dylan Tomine
This is an intimate, father-and-children portrait of one family’s mission to eat from the land, forests and sea across four seasons. Filled with vivid photographs and yummy recipes, this is a story of adventure, history and food.