Reduce stress. Connect with Nature, part 3: Read a book with Nature as a main character

Read a book with Nature as a main character
Photo: A woman sitting on a rock reading in nature by Lovleah

We, humans, are part of Nature, which is why I believe it’s important to stay connected with her. When we’re connected with Nature, we’re also connected with ourselves.

However, you might not have many opportunities to experience Nature. Especially when you live somewhere with limited access to the outdoors and access to the ‘Great Outdoors’ is non-existent.

Luckily there are other ways in which you can connect with Nature. For some of them you don’t even have to step outside. (Side note: you can download a resource with multiple ways to connect with Nature here)

One of them is reading (or listening to) books in which Nature is one of the main characters. To help you get started I’ve listed five of my personal favourites.


Journey to the Center of the World by Jules Verne

1.) Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne

Jules Verne (1828-1905)was a French novelist, poet and playwright now most well-known for his futuristic adventure novels.

One of his goals in writing his books was “to depict the earth” and he did so in many of his (some still) famous titles. Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea, Around the World in Eighty Days and Journey to the Center of the Earth among them


A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

2.) A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson is one of my favourite authors. This American-British author has an enormous sense of curiosity and wonder (often the very things that sets him off on a quest that leads to a book). He combines it with a wonderful sense of humour that has caused me to laugh out loud in trains, buses and other public places.

As a hiker myself, I especially enjoyed reading about his adventures on the Appalachian trail. Should you have a subscription with a service like Audible, I highly recommend getting the audiobook read by Bryson himself. When you do, just be careful when drinking something while listening 😂


Wild: a Journey from Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed

3.) Wild: a Journey from Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed

The original cover had a hiking boot on it. That and coming upon the story how she lost that boot as I leafed through the book was enough for me to be intrigued and buy it.

I was not disappointed. In fact I loved the book and have read it at least twice since that first read.

I love Cheryl Strayed no-nonsense kind of writing and speaking.


The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams

4.) The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams

Not a novel like the other books on this list, but rather the result of journalist, Florence Williams, searching for the answer to her own question: why does being in Nature make me happy?

Being written by a journalist rather than a scientist makes this book an enjoyable read while still being grounded in science.

It gave me more insight into the (still developing) science behind what I’ve known since I first spend a Summer in the mountains: we humans are deeply connected to Nature.


Born Free by Joy Adamson

5.) Born Free by Joy Adamson

Born Free is the true story of an orphaned lion cub, rescued, raised and released into the wild by the author and her husband, George Adamson.

Two sequal books (Live Free and Forever Free) were written about Elsa, as the cub became known and famous.

Born Free was first published in 1960 and the descriptions in the book conjure up vivid images of the beauty of what the African landscape looked like. That landscape has changed much since then. Reading books like these makes us (even more) aware of the importance to protect, conserve and restore this and other natural landscapes like it.


Watership Down by Richard Adams

Having recently re-read this book, I couldn’t resist adding it to this list.

Bonus: Watership Down by Richard Adams

I first read this book in high school when Art Garfunkel’s ‘Bright Eyes’ for the movie version Watership Down was a huge hit.

It’s the wonderful and stirring tale of adventure, courage and survival follows a band of very special creatures on their flight from the intrusion of man and the certain destruction of their home.

Some books become dated and rather dull with the passage of time. Not his one though. Despite the 40+ years since its first publication, Watership Down still has all of its magic!


Let me know which of these books you like best.

As always …

Go dare greatly!

— Gerdi