Plant on top of books

Some books really change the world. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson alerted the world to the ecological damage caused by pesticides and other chemicals. She laid the foundation for the entire environmental movement and her influence is still felt today. Read on for some of our recommendations for important books championing earth science.

Her book is part of a proud canon of books that changed the way we interact with nature and our environment. There have been many books and authors that can help you understand our Earth and ecosystems better, but we recommend starting with the following books.  

Gaining a better understanding of our planet can help us appreciate it more by providing us with the knowledge and tools necessary to use its resources, all as sustainably as possible.

How one scientist took on the chemical industry – Mark Lytle

In this time of great transformation, these books are more important than ever.

We can’t miss the classics that you need to know about. They are as important today as the day they were first published.


While not necessarily a book about history or our relationship to earth from a scientific lens, Henry David Thoreau’s 1854 auto-biographical work, Walden, details Thoreau’s life from July 4, 1845, to September 6, 1847, living in the wilderness near Concord, Massachusetts. For those wondering what it would be like to build a home from the ground-up in the wilderness and live off the land for two years, Walden is the book to read.

Sand County Almanac

Published in 1949 by Aldo Leopold, Sand County Almanac contains a collection of essays centered around natural history, scene painting with words, and philosophy–all based on Leopold’s time living in Sauk County, Wisconsin. The main driving force for the book was to instill a sense of responsibility among people to take care of the land they inhabited.

Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal Vegetable Miracle

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to completely uproot your way of life in favor of a more sustainable, local one? It’s this question that perfectly sets the stage for Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. Published in 2007, the book describes Kingsolver’s experience trying to eat only locally-grown food for a whole year.


One of the more recent additions to iconic books exploring our connection to the earth is Yuval Noah Harari’s 2011 best-seller, Sapiens. Named after Homo Sapiens, our human ancestors from many, many years ago, Sapiens provides a compact, easy-to-follow history of the earth from day one. Looking at everything from our effect on native wildlife to biological evolution, to the creation and purpose of religion, Sapiens is one of the best primers on human history ever published. This history book is driving a worldwide interest in earth science.

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