Posted in HyggeBox

7 Nature books you must read this month

It might just be Derbyshire but the weather doesn’t seem to be picking up fast, even though I am super hopeful for another heatwave that lasts from now until the winter! There is a silver lining to every cloud and this one, is the fact that a semi-cold, rainy day (unless you are totally embracing the rain) is a great day to start a good book.

I’ve neglected my love of reading recently, February to April seem to have flown by without too many reads but I am determined, especially as I am not able to step outside too much without getting drenched, that I will read more!

In this month’s HyggeBox we are tackling the joys of Natural Living; for both the wellbeing of ourselves and mother nature herself, so I thought what better way to kick off the month than reading an awesome nature book? I’ve chosen 7 must reads for May (and beyond if you’re a slow reader like me!):

1. Our Place: Can We Save Britain’s Wildlife Before It Is Too Late?

This absolute corker to kick us off was only released on 9th April — it is currently in Hardback, great for home not so great for commuting, but it does come on the kindle!


Mark Cocker sets out on a journey to discover why we love protecting wildlife so much in the UK through charities like the National Trust and the RSPB and yet we live (especially in England) in a quite baron state of affairs when it comes to our natural environment.

The Guardian reviewed it as a “Damning indictment of Britons’ ecological complacency” the full review can be found here. It has been quite a long time in the making, starting out in 2014, this book sheds some pretty interesting light on us Brits and our love and naivety about the natural world around us.

Buy it here

2. The Seabirds Cry

The full story of seabirds from one of the greatest nature writers. The book looks at the pattern of their lives, their habitats, the threats they face and the passions they inspire — beautifully illustrated by artist Kate Boxer.

In ten chapters, each dedicated to a different bird, and each beautifully illustrated by Kate Boxer, The Seabird’s Cry travels their ocean paths, fusing traditional knowledge with all that modern science has come to know about them: the way their bodies work, their dazzling navigational expertise, their ability to smell their way to fish or home, to understand the workings of the winds in which they live.

Of the ten birds in this book, seven are in decline, at least in part of their range. This book is so important to read, understand and actually actively get involved with → there’s a whole Puffin project run by the RSPB that you can join and really support the great work that is helping our wonderful seabirds.

A beautiful book and a lasting record that deserves to inspire its readers to take action to preserve these incredible creatures, before they are lost forever.

Buy it here or on Kindle

3. Waiting for the Albino Dunnock

A little less away from the problems of our wildlife in the UK and a bit more of an uplifting book, Waiting for the Albino Dunnock is a year in the life of someone new to birdwatching and the joys they have found in taking it up!

This book explores the the beauty of birds and how they have the power to change lives, as it did the author’s. Personal and elegiac in tone, the writing is an unusual combination of prose poems based on the actual experience of seeing a specific bird for the first time, woven with elements of science and wisdom traditions, ornithology, mythology and philosophy, taxonomy and history, literature and folklore, conveying the wider picture of what it means to be human in relationship to nature.

This book is available in Hardbackpaperback and Kindle plus it is rather fitting with the wonders to be found in this month’s Hyggebox!

4. London’s Street Trees — a field guide

Moving away from birds for a second, this book is inspired by London’s street trees and sounds like a great guide. Less of a book which might be news to some people’s ears!

This book goes beyond London Plane trees and looks at the over 300 different species of trees and cultivars that grace its streets. From giant redwoods in Edgware to Olive trees and a Magnolia outside the Cheesgrater. Every London borough is different. It is certainly a feel good book for this time of year and if you’re near the capital you could hunt out some of these wonders and get some Urban Forest Bathing!

5. What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins

The oceans and our planet’s beautiful water have been hot topic at the moment, from the documentary Blue Planet’s insight into the horrendous problems with plastics to books about marine life and how it needs our help (from our own destruction) we should all be taking note. So a fish book had to be on the list for this month’s reading.

In What a Fish Knows, the myth-busting ethologist Jonathan Balcombe addresses these questions and more, taking us under the sea, through streams and estuaries, and to the other side of the aquarium glass to reveal the surprising capabilities of fishes. Although there are more than thirty thousand species of fish — more than all mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians combined — we rarely consider how individual fishes think, feel, and behave.

It is a great book about fish and really upends our ideas about what fish do and don’t do, how they interact, behave and generally live in our waters.

Buy it here on paperback or kindle

6. The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative

A little more human centric for this book, published last year, the author was fascinated by philosophers, writers and poets ideas about how walking in the woods could be great for our health so she set out on a journey to find out how nature plays a part on our happiness

Being outside is a wonderful thing and something I love to celebrate with HyggeBox, so this book feels like a great read, especially for this time of year when the leaves are coming to life and our woods offer so much.

“The author makes a compelling argument for time outdoors. She takes a refreshing approach, including ‘forest bathing’ (the Japanese custom of a sensory walk in the woods); ecotherapy in Scotland; and how nature can produce the same effects as mind-altering drugs. Thought-provoking and excellent.” BBC Wildlife Magazine

Buy it here

7. Adventures of a Young Naturalist: The Zoo Quest Expeditions

I’m not sure I could do a Nature book list without the wonders from David Attenborough on here. This book was published only this year in March and from the reviews sounds like a fantastic book to read, i’m certainly going to take this one on over the bank holiday weekend!

It covers the years that a young David Attenborough was offered the opportunity to work for London zoo travelling the world for rare rare and elusive animals for London Zoo’s collection, and to film the expeditions for the BBC for a new show called Zoo Quest. This is the story of those voyages.

It’s already in paperback and you can buy it here

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