Additional Books on Nature Appreciation:

A major portion of Lodge Spirit covers the subject of nature appreciation in America.  If you are interested in learning more on this subject, many of the following books expand on the views of  the naturalists covered in Lodge Spirit, all of  whom promoted nature appreciation.

Other books on nature appreciation are also provided.  These have been chosen to provide you with unique insights and a broader perspective into nature appreciation.  Use these insights to become a knowledgeable and active advocate.  Descriptions of each book are included to help you make a selection.

(Click on the image to enlarge it and to order the book.)

John Muir

The Wilderness World of John Muir

By John Muir, Edited by Edwin Way Teale Paperback: $13.08

John Muir’s extraordinary vision of America comes to life in these fascinating selections from his personal journals. Learn about his unique perspective gained from experiencing nature.

In 1903, while on a three-day camping trip with President Theodore Roosevelt, he convinced the president of the importance of a national conservation program.  Muir’s passionate advocacy is widely recognized for saving the Grand Canyon and Arizona’s Petrified Forest, in addition to Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon..

As a conservationist, John Muir traveled through most of the American wilderness alone and on foot, without a gun or a sleeping bag.  Muir’s writing, based on journals he kept throughout his life, gives us a picture of an America still wild and unsettled only one hundred years ago.  In The Wilderness World of John Muir, Edwin Way Teale has selected the best of Muir’s writings from all of his major works—including My First Summer in the Sierra and Travels in Alaska.

This book provides a singular collection that proves to be “magnificent, thrilling, exciting, breathtaking, and awe-inspiring” (Kirkus Reviews).

Essential Muir: A Selection of John Muir’s Best Writings

California Legacy Book by Fred D. White, Author and Editor, edited by John Muir Paperback: $10.49

An introduction to the great ”poetico-trampo-geologist-botanist and ornithologist-naturalist” As a preservationist. inventor. and lobbyist, John Muir was many things at once.  He is California’s best-known icon – so much so that his image was chosen to appear on the new state quarter.  But the best way to know the man who founded the Sierra Club and helped create Yosemite National Park is to read his own words.             

Essential Muir is the second volume in the California Legacy Essentials Collection. It provides the best of John Muir’s writings on nature – in which he waxes ecstatic even as he accurately describes the scientific attributes of a flower – as well as his thoughts on religion and society.  This book presents a fresh look at one of California’s greatest literary figures.

His love for nature was so powerful – and his description of it so compelling – it still inspires us a century later.

 Meditations of John Muir: Nature’s Temple

by Chris Highland Paperback: $8.79; Kindel: $7.69

John Muir’s exuberance for nature was the touchstone for his commitment to the earth and all its creatures.  As a naturalist, writer, and activist, Muir shaped the spiritual and physical boundaries of some of our most treasured national parks. Editor Chris Highland pairs 60 insightful Muir quotes with selections from other celebrated thinkers and spiritual texts.

This pocket-size guide is designed to take with you when backpacking, or on nature hikes and other ventures.


John Burroughs

John Burroughs: An American Naturalist

By Edward Renehan Paperback: $16.22

John Burroughs (1837-1921) emerged from an obscure boyhood in the Catskill Mountains to write more than thirty books, creating the genre of the nature essay, and becoming the preeminent nature writer of his day.  This book chronicles Burroughs’ life from student and teacher to grandfather and widower.

It includes his philosophical differences with Ernst Thompson Seton whom Burroughs and Theodore Roosevelt labeled as a nature faker. It also includes the dichotomy of decrying the wanton industrialization and commercialism of America while being admired by many of the country’s industrialists and business leaders.

The World of John Burroughs: The Life and Work of One of America’s Greatest Naturalists

by Edward Kanze Hardcover: $17.23; Paperback: $24.43

John Burroughs was one of the earliest and most articulate pioneers of the United States conservation movement, publishing twenty-eight books on the natural world during the height of the Industrial Revolution.  As an author, teacher, and poet, he wrote with intimacy and feeling, illustrating verbal landscapes and providing philosophical insights about the environment.

People by the hundreds of thousands relished his writings. The World of John Burroughs focuses not only on his work, but also on Burroughs’ personal life.  His friends included Walt Whitman, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, and John Muir.  The text is enhanced by Burroughs’s essays and poems, and uniquely, by endearing recollections of his granddaughter.

With engaging narrative and illuminating photographs by author Edward Kanze, The World of John Burroughs celebrates Burroughs’s dedication to studying the world and making nature come to life on the written page.

John Burroughs’ America: Selections From The Writings Of The Hudson River Naturalist

by John Burroughs, Edited by Farida Wiley

Hardback: $33.08 Paperback:  $22.28

This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original.  Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages.  Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world’s literature in affordable, high quality, modern editions that are true to the original work.


John Audubon

John James Audubon: Writings and Drawings

by John James Audubon (Library of America)

Hardcover: $26.22; Paperback: $18.58

A landmark volume, this book collects the writings and drawings of one of America’s greatest artist-naturalists.  The breathtaking art of John James Audubon’s Birds of America has been celebrated throughout the world since it first appeared over 150 years ago.  Less well known is Audubon’s literary legacy – the magnificent volumes of natural history he published during his lifetime, as well as the remarkable journals, memoirs, and letters left behind at his death.

Now, with The Library of America’s unprecedented John James Audubon: Writings and Drawings, Audubon the great nature writer takes his rightful place alongside Audubon the artist. Here is the most comprehensive selection of Audubon’s writings ever published, along with a spectacular portfolio of his drawings.  The “Mississippi River Journal,” the foremost record of an American artist’s progress, details Audubon’s first wilderness bird hunts.  Selections from his “1826 Journal” follow him to Europe, where his abilities were finally recognized.  Audubon’s masterwork, the five-volume  Ornithological Biography, is here generously represented by 45 entries.

Charming, haunting, and violent by turns, these vivid intimate portraits of the habits and habitats of America’s birds, from the curious mating rituals of the Wild Turkey to the sublime spectacle of the migration of the now vanished Passenger Pigeon, changed American nature writing forever. The “Missouri River Journals” evoke the vanishing American Indian and the hardships of frontier life.  An extensive selection of letters charting almost 20 years of Audubon’s artistic development, along with two essays on artistic technique and a brief memoir, round out the volume.

For the first time, all texts have been painstakingly prepared from original sources.  General and ornithological indices will aid the reader in the field as well as in the study.  Sixty-four full-color plates, and fascinating manuscript sketches, some never before published, offer a unique perspective on Audubon’s art.

John James Audubon: The Making of an American

by Richard Rhodes Hardcover – Deckle Edge

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Richard Rhodes, this book is the first major biography of John James Audubon in forty years.  It is the first to illuminate fully the private and family life of the master illustrator of the natural world.

Rhodes shows us young Audubon arriving in New York from France in 1803, his illegitimacy a painful secret, speaking no English but already drawing and observing birds.  We see him falling in love, marrying the wellborn English girl next door, crossing the Appalachians to frontier Kentucky to start a new life, fashioning himself into an American just as his adopted country was finding its identity.

Here is Audubon exploring the wilderness of birds – pelicans wading the shallows of interior rivers, songbirds flocking, passenger pigeons darkening the skies – and teaching himself to revivify them in glorious life-size images.  Now he finds his calling: to take his hundreds of watercolor drawings to England to be engraved in a great multivolume work called The Birds of America.  Within weeks of his arrival there in 1826, he achieves remarkable celebrity as “the American Woodsman.”  He publishes his major work as well as five volumes of bird biographies enhanced by his authentic descriptions of pioneer American life.

Audubon’s story is an artist’s story but also a moving love story.  In his day, communications by letter across the ocean were so slow and uncertain that John James and his wife, Lucy, almost lost each other in the three years when the Atlantic separated them until he crossed the Atlantic and half the American continent to claim her.  Their letters during this time are intimate, moving, and painful, and they attest to an enduring love.

We examine Audubon’s legacy of inspired observation–the sonorities of a wilderness now lost, the brash life of a new nation just inventing itself – precisely, truthfully, lyrically captured.  And we see Audubon in the fullness of his years, made rich by his magnificent work, winning public honor: embraced by writers and scientists, fêted by presidents and royalty. Here is a revelation of Audubon as the major American artist he is.  And here he emerges for the first time in his full humanity–handsome, charming, volatile, ambitious, loving, canny, immensely energetic.  Richard Rhodes has given us an indispensable portrait of a true American icon.

Birds of America

By John James Audubon; Introduction by David Allen Sibley October 4, 2011

Hardcover: $98.79

John James Audubon’s paintings and descriptions of the birds of North America remain the gold standard against which all ornithological portraits are judged. His landmark work, Birds of America (1838), consisted of 435 life-size prints that were published in batches of five over the course of thirteen years. Because the prints were extremely large and had to be hand-colored by a team of painters, the cost of creating the original sets was exorbitant.

Today, complete copies are rare–the last to be sold commanded approximately $11.5 million in a December 2010 auction, making it the most expensive book ever. The exquisitely preserved, complete set of prints from which this slip-cased facsimile edition was created is part of the permanent collection of the Natural History Museum of London.

The images were captured using state-of-the-art digital scanning techniques to preserve the intricate detail and vibrant colors of Audubon’s original work.  It’s a stunning book–and a reminder to us of the importance of preserving these lovely creatures and their natural settings.


Ernest Thompson Seton

 Ernest Thompson Seton: The Life and Legacy of an Artist and Conservationist

By David Witt Hardcover, 2010 Hardcover: $150.15

No description available.

Collected Works of Ernest Thompson Seton

by Ernest Thompson Seton Hardcover: $32.39;  Paperback: $21.59

According to the author, “the stories in the Collected Works volume were selected from those published in ‘Wild Animals I Have Known.’  They are true stories of the animals described, and are intended to show how their lives are lived.

Though the lower animals have no language in the full sense as we understand it, they have a system of sounds, signs, touches, tastes and smells that answers the purpose of language, and I merely translate this, when necessary, into English.”

Ernest Thompson Seton’s America: Selections from the Writings of the Artist-Naturalist

By Ernest Thompson Seton, Editor: Farida A. Wiley Hardback: $15.00;  Paperback: 2 used from $4.99

This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was selected for quality.  Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts – the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience.  We believe this work is culturally important and have elected to bring the book back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide.



Other Sources

The National Parks: America’s Best Idea

By Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns Hardcover: $36.05; Paperback: $22.09

America’s national parks spring from an idea as radical as the Declaration of Independence: that the nation’s most magnificent and sacred places should be preserved, not for royalty or the rich, but for everyone.  In this evocative and lavishly illustrated narrative, Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan delve into the history of the park idea, from the first sighting by white men in 1851 of the valley that would become Yosemite and the creation of the world’s first national park at Yellowstone in 1872, through the most recent additions to a system that now encompasses nearly four hundred sites and 84 million acres.

The authors recount the adventures, mythmaking, and intense political battles behind the evolution of the park system, and the enduring ideals that fostered its growth.  They capture the importance and splendors of the individual parks: from Haleakala in Hawaii to Acadia in Maine, from Denali in Alaska to the Everglades in Florida, from Glacier in Montana to Big Bend in Texas.  And they introduce us to a diverse cast of compelling characters — both unsung heroes and famous figures such as John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt, and Ansel Adams — who have been transformed by these special places and committed themselves to saving them from destruction so that the rest of us could be transformed as well.             

The National Parks is a glorious celebration of an essential expression of American democracy.


The Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature: Essays on the Aesthetics of Nature

By Malcolm Budd Kindle: $43.19;  Hardcover: $75.73

The aesthetics of nature has over the last few decades become an intense focus of philosophical reflection, as it has been ever more widely recognized that it is not a mere appendage to the aesthetics of art.

Everyone delights in the beauty of flowers, and some are thrilled by the immensity of mountains or of the night sky.  But what is involved in serious aesthetic appreciation of the natural world?

Malcolm Budd presents four interlinked studies in the aesthetics of nature, approaching the subject from a variety of angles.  As well as developing Budd’s own original ideas, the book provides a comprehensive treatment of Kant’s classic aesthetics of nature, and an encyclopedic critical survey of recent literature on the subject.


by Henry David Thoreau Hardcover: $19.79;  Paperback, 60 pages: $5.36


The philosophies of Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) have greatly influenced the American character, and his writings on human nature, materialism, and the natural world continue to be of profound importance today.  Thoreau was a hero to environmentalists and ecologists, and a profound thinker about humanity’s happiness.

In this essay, Thoreau explores the joys and necessities of long afternoon walks, how spending time in untrammeled fields and woods soothes the spirit, and how Nature guides us on our walks.  He comments on the lure of the wild for writers and artists, why “all good things are wild and free,” and more.

First published in the Atlantic Monthly in 1862, this essay is vital to any appreciation of this great man’s work.

Nature and Selected Essays

by Ralph Waldo Emerson, with introduction by Larzer Ziff Kindle: $9.99; Penguin Classics paperback:$11.48


Through his writing and his own personal philosophy, Ralph Waldo Emerson unburdened his young country of Europe’s traditional sense of history and showed Americans how to be creators of their own circumstances.  His mandate called for harmony with rather than domestication of nature, and for a reliance on individual integrity rather than on materialistic institutions.

This philosophy is echoed in many of the great American philosophical and literary works of his time and ours, and has given an impetus to modern political and social activism.

Larzer Ziff’s introduction to this collection of fifteen of Emerson’s most significant writings provides an important backdrop to the society in which Emerson lived during his formative years.

A New Green History of the World: The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilizations

By Clive Ponting Paperback:$11.33


In an important work that forces readers to view history with new eyes, Ponting shows in compelling detail how, over and over, human beings throughout history have prospered by exploiting the Earth’s resources to the point where they could no longer sustain societies’ populations, causing collapse. Publicity to tie in with Earth Day (April 23rd).

Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature

by William Cronon  (Editor) Kindle:$12.49;  Paperback:$13.38


In a lead essay that powerfully states the broad argument of the book, William Cronon writes that the environmentalist goal of wilderness preservation is conceptually and politically wrongheaded.  Among the ironies and entanglements resulting from this goal are the sale of nature in our malls through the Nature Company, and the disputes between working people and environmentalists over spotted owls and other objects of species preservation.

The problem is that we haven’t learned to live responsibly in nature. The environmentalist aim of legislating humans out of the wilderness is no solution. People, Cronon argues, are inextricably tied to nature, whether they live in cities or countryside. Rather than attempt to exclude humans, environmental advocates should help us learn to live in some sustainable relationship with nature.

Protecting Life on Earth: An Introduction to the Science of Conservation

Protecting Life on Earth offers a non-technical, yet comprehensive introduction to the growing field of conservation science.  It is a multifaceted exploration of our current biodiversity crisis.  The book delivers vivid examples throughout, including features on some of nature’s most compelling wildlife.

Beginning with a brief introduction to environmental history, the text introduces the central concepts of evolution and ecology.  It then covers several major issues related to the conservation of biodiversity including extinction, climate change, sustainability, conservation law, and invasive species.  The book also touches on adjacent disciples such as economics and sociology as they relate to conservation.  The text even includes practical advice on the decisions we make every day, such as how we spend our money, where we live and work, and what we eat and buy.

Throughout, Protecting Life on Earth underscores the ways in which our future is tied to that of Earth’s threatened species, and demonstrates exactly why conservation is so vitally important for us all.

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