As you may have guessed, Andrew and Penny of EcoFriendly West love to read. Here are some of the books that have caught our attention on recent year-end book lists. It’s an eclectic assortment ranging from post-apocalyptic fiction to travel adventures, history, and a raccoon uprising. We hope you find something you want to read.

Books for Adults

In the Name of Wild: One Family, Five Years, Ten Countries and a New Vision of Wildness, Phillip Vannini and April Vannini, with Autumn Vannini – A trip to 5 continents, 10 countries, and 20 World Heritage sites reveals that wildness isn’t about the absence of people. It’s about connections, kinship, and coexistence with the land. (Canadian)

Mushrooming: The Joy of the Quiet Hunt, Diane Borsato features write-ups and illustrations for 120 North American mushrooms along with a discussion on artists inspired by fungus and foraging. As an artist, Borsato believes that mushrooming is a way to pay attention, using all your senses. (Canadian)

Vancouver Island Marmot, The World’s Rarest Marmot, Catherine Babault – Enjoy photos of the Vancouver Island marmot in its natural habitat along with information about the conservation efforts being taken to save it. (Canadian)

The Creative Instigator’s Handbook: A DIY Guide to Making Social Change Through Art, Leanne Prain is aimed at creatives who are willing to expand their comfort zones by jumping into the fray and doing some outrageous, inspired rabble-rousing of their very own. (Canadian)

Changing the Climate with the Seeds We Sow, Dan Jason – Dan Jason, founder of Salt Spring Seeds, presents 21 plants to enhance home- and community-scale agriculture and challenge an industrial farming system reliant on fossil fuel inputs. Watercolour illustrations are an added bonus. (Canadian)

Looking for the Hidden Folk: How Iceland’s Elves Can Save the Earth, Nancy Marie Brown – What if we, like Icelanders, believed in elves? How would it change the way we think about and find value in nature?

Appleseed, Matt Bell – Part speculative epic, part tech thriller, part reinvented fairy tale, Appleseed explores climate change, manifest destiny, humanity’s unchecked exploitation of natural resources, and the small but powerful magic contained within every single apple.

Lark Ascending, Silas House – In the not-too-distant future, as fires devastate most of the United States, Lark and his family secure a place on a refugee boat headed to Ireland, the last country not yet overrun by extremists and rumoured to be accepting American refugees: a story of friendship, family, and healing.

Fresh Banana Leaves: Healing Indigenous Landscapes Through Indigenous Knowledge, Jessica Hernandez proposes a vision of land stewardship that heals rather than displaces, that generates rather than destroys, offering case studies and personal histories and giving voice to Latin American women and protectors.

Beaverland: How One Weird Rodent Made America, Leila Philip – Trapped to near extinction, beavers are now heralded as conservation heroes and eco engineers. A look at how beavers have shaped our history, culture, and environment.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Volume 32 – 100 photographs from more than 70 photographers from 30 different countries: admire the drama and beauty while discovering the story behind the pictures.

Endless Forms: The Secret World of Wasps, Seirian Sumner – There are 10 times as many wasps as bees and they are 100 million years older. They play an important role in pest control and pollination but remain unloved and unappreciated. It’s time to appreciate wasps as much as their cousins, the bees.

The Mind of a Bee, Lars Chittka – Speaking of bees, they’re profoundly smart with distinct personalities. They can count, use simple tools, solve problems, and may even possess consciousness.

Books for Kids

The Girl Who Built an Ocean, Jess Keating – Jeanne Villepreux-Power began her career as a dressmaker, sewing beautiful gowns for the Parisian aristocracy. She went on to invent the world’s first aquarium. (Canadian)

Whales to the Rescue: How Whales Help Engineer the Planet, Adrienne Mason – Find out all about whales – from what they eat and poop to how they migrate and the role they play as ecosystem engineers. (Canadian)

Revenge of the Raccoons, Vivek Shraya – Raccoons are hitting the streets to finally tell their story: a riotous tale of underdog uprising and a clever commentary on humans’ sense of ownership over the cities we live in. (Canadian)

Science Comics: Birds of Prey, Joe Flood is a colourful introduction to some of the world’s most skilled hunters.

Narwhal and Jelly series, Ben Clanton – Narwhal, a happy-go-lucky narwhal, and Jelly, a no-nonsense jellyfish, love waffles, parties, and undersea adventures in a series of light-hearted graphic novels.

Real Outdoor Science Experiments: 30 Exciting Steam Activities for Kids, Jenny Ballif – Make nature your laboratory and find answers to your questions – calculate latitude from the stars, make ink from plants, and figure out what causes sinkholes.

See Also

Nature Reading by Canadian Authors [EcoFriendly West]

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