BLGM's mission is to promote a love of books and reading to all by offering advice and information needed to help our visitors to find their next favorite book.

Best Natural History Books that Should be on Your Bookshelf

While there are many courses and tutorials online, learning from a book is still one of the best ways to greatly improve your skills. Below I have selected top Natural History books.

1. Natural History: A Selection (Penguin Classics) (1991)

Best Natural History Books that Should be on Your BookshelfPliny’s Natural History is an astonishingly ambitious work that ranges from astronomy to art and from geography to zoology. Mingling acute observation with often wild speculation, it offers a fascinating view of the world as it was understood in the first century AD, whether describing the danger of diving for sponges, the first water-clock, or the use of asses’ milk to remove wrinkles. Pliny himself died while investigating the volcanic eruption that destroyed Pompeii in AD 79, and the natural curiosity that brought about his death is also…
Author(s): Gaius Plinius Secundus (Pliny the Elder), John F. Healey

2. A Natural History of the Senses (1991)

Best Natural History Books that Should be on Your BookshelfDiane Ackerman’s lusciously written grand tour of the realm of the senses includes conversations with an iceberg in Antarctica and a professional nose in New York, along with dissertations on kisses and tattoos, sadistic cuisine and the music played by the planet Earth. “Delightful . . . gives the reader the richest possible feeling of the worlds the senses take in.” —The New York Times…
Author(s): Diane Ackerman

3. Heaven’s Breath: A Natural History of the Wind (New York Review Books Classics) (2019)

Best Natural History Books that Should be on Your BookshelfWind is everywhere and nowhere. Wind is the circulatory system of the earth, and its nervous system, too. Energy and information flow through it. It brings warmth and water, enriches and strips away the soil, aerates the globe. Wind shapes the lives of animals, humans among them. Trade follows the path of the wind, as empire also does. Wind made the difference in wars between the Greeks and Persians, the Mongols and the Japanese. Wind helped to destroy the Spanish Armada. And wind is no less determining of our inner lives: the föhn, mistral, sirocco, Santa Ana, and other…
Author(s): Lyall Watson, Nick Hunt

4. Dinosaurs: A Concise Natural History (2016)

Best Natural History Books that Should be on Your BookshelfThe ideal textbook for non-science majors, this lively and engaging introduction encourages students to ask questions, assess data critically and think like a scientist. Building on the success of the previous editions, Dinosaurs has been reorganised and extensively rewritten in response to instructor and student feedback. It continues to make science accessible and relevant through its clear explanations and extensive illustrations. Updated to reflect recent fossil discoveries and to include new taxa, the text guides students through the dinosaur…
Author(s): David E. Fastovsky, David B. Weishampel, et al.

5. Natural and Moral History of the Indies (Chronicles of the New World Encounter) (2002)

Best Natural History Books that Should be on Your BookshelfThe Natural and Moral History of the Indies, the classic work of New World history originally published by José de Acosta in 1590, is now available in the first new English translation to appear in several hundred years. A Spanish Jesuit, Acosta produced this account by drawing on his own observations as a missionary in Peru and Mexico, as well as from the writings of other missionaries, naturalists, and soldiers who explored the region during the sixteenth century. One of the first comprehensive investigations of the New World, Acosta’s study is strikingly broad in scope….
Author(s): de Acosta, José , Jane E. Mangan, et al.

6. A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent (The Lady Trent Memoirs) (2014)

Best Natural History Books that Should be on Your BookshelfYou, dear reader, continue at your own risk. It is not for the faint of heart―no more so than the study of dragons itself. But such study offers rewards beyond compare: to stand in a dragon’s presence, even for the briefest of moments―even at the risk of one’s life―is a delight that, once experienced, can never be forgotten. . . .All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the…
Author(s): Marie Brennan

7. A Natural History of North American Trees (Donald Culross Peattie Library) (2013)

Best Natural History Books that Should be on Your Bookshelf“A volume for a lifetime” is how The New Yorker described the first of Donald Culross Peatie’s two books about American trees published in the 1950s. In this one-volume edition, modern readers are introduced to one of the best nature writers of the last century. As we read Peattie’s eloquent and entertaining accounts of American trees, we catch glimpses of our country’s history and past daily life that no textbook could ever illuminate so vividly.Here you’ll learn about everything from how a species was discovered to the part it played in our country’s history. Pioneers often stabled an animal…
Author(s): Donald Culross Peattie

8. Trees: Their Natural History (2014)

Best Natural History Books that Should be on Your BookshelfTrees are familiar components of many landscapes and have been vital in determining the ecology of our planet as well as the development of human cultures and communities. Yet how much do we really understand about how they work? This updated and revised edition provides a comprehensive introduction to all aspects of tree biology and ecology and presents the state-of-the-art discoveries in this area. The wonders and mysteries of trees are explored throughout the book and questions such as why leaves turn spectacular colours in the autumn, how water reaches the top…
Author(s): Peter A. Thomas

9. Water: A Natural History (1997)

Best Natural History Books that Should be on Your BookshelfWater: A Natural History takes us back to the diaries of the first Western explorers; it moves from the reservoir to the modern toilet, from the grasslands of the Midwest to the Everglades of Florida, through the guts of a wastewater treatment plant and out to the waterways again. It shows how human-engineered dams, canals and farms replaced nature’s beaver dams, prairie dog tunnels, and buffalo wallows. Step by step, Outwater makes clear what should have always been obvious: while engineering can de-pollute water, only ecologically interacting systems can create healthy waterways.Important reading for…
Author(s): Alice Outwater

10. The Natural History of The Bahamas: A Field Guide (2019)

Best Natural History Books that Should be on Your BookshelfTake this book with you on your next trip to the Bahamas or the Turks and Caicos Islands or keep it close to hand in your travel library. The Natural History of the Bahamas offers the most comprehensive coverage of the terrestrial and coastal flora and fauna on the islands of the Bahamas archipelago, as well as of the region’s natural history and ecology. Readers will gain an appreciation for the importance of conserving the diverse lifeforms on these special Caribbean islands. A detailed introduction to the history, geology, and climate of the islands. Beautifully illustrated, with more than seven hundred color…
Author(s): Dave Currie, Wunderle Jr., Joseph M., et al.

11. A Natural History of the Sonoran Desert (2015)

Best Natural History Books that Should be on Your BookshelfThe landscape of the Sonoran Desert Region varies dramatically from parched desert lowlands to semiarid tropical forests and frigid subalpine meadows. Covering southeasternmost California, much of southern and central Arizona, most of Baja California, and much of the state of Sonora, Mexico, it is home to an extraordinary variety of plants and animals. A Natural History of the Sonoran Desert takes readers deep into its vast expanse, looking closely at the relationships of plants and animals with the land and people, through time and across landscapes. In accessible language, more than forty scientists and/or naturalists…
Author(s): Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Steven John Phillips, et al.

12. The Natural History of Nonsense (1959)

Best Natural History Books that Should be on Your BookshelfHere for your delectation is the SPECTACULAR AND RARE————–The Natural History of Nonsense by BERGEN EVANS. THIS ITEM IS FOUND NOWHERE ELSE!!! DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT!!! DON’T STAY HOME WITHOUT IT!!! NOT TO BE MISSED!! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!! A FABULOUS COLLECTIBLE!! This is the softcover stated VINTAGE FIRST EDITION FROM 1958. The book (no dj) is in excellent reading condition. There are no rips, tears, markings, etc.—and the pages and binding are tight (see photo). **Note: All books listed as FIRST EDITIONS are stated by the publisher in words or…
Author(s): Bergen EVANS

13. Europe: A Natural History (2019)

Best Natural History Books that Should be on Your BookshelfA place of exceptional diversity, rapid change, and high energy, for the past 100 million years Europe has literally been at the crossroads of the world: ever since the interaction of Asia, North America and Africa formed the tropical island archipelago that would become the continent of today.In this unprecedented ecological history, Tim Flannery shows how Europe has absorbed wave after wave of immigrant species ever since; taking them in, transforming them, and sometimes hybridising them. Flannery reveals how, in addition to playing a vital role…
Author(s): Tim Flannery

Best Natural History Books that Should be on Your Bookshelf

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some natural history books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

Natural History Dioramas – Traditional Exhibits for Current Educational Themes: Science Educational Aspects

Author(s): Annette Scheersoi, Sue Dale Tunnicliffe
Publisher: Springer International Publishing, Year: 2019, Size: 10 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2309439

Natural History Dioramas – Traditional Exhibits for Current Educational Themes: Socio-cultural Aspects

Author(s): Annette Scheersoi, Sue Dale Tunnicliffe
Publisher: Springer International Publishing, Year: 2019, Size: 8 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2309449

Mapping Russia's Natural Focal Diseases: History and Contemporary Approaches

Author(s): Svetlana Malkhazova, Varvara Mironova, Natalia Shartova, Dmitry Orlov
Publisher: Springer International Publishing, Year: 2019, Size: 47 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2310655

A Natural History of Beer

Author(s): Rob DeSalle; Ian Tattersall; Patricia J. Wynne
Publisher: Yale University Press, Year: 2019, Size: 8 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 2336675

Europe: A Natural History

Author(s): Tim Flannery
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press, Year: 2019, Size: 5 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 2352714

Act Natural: A Cultural History of Misadventures in Parenting

Author(s): Jennifer Traig
Publisher: Ecco, Year: 2019, Size: 5 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 2357463

Science without God? : rethinking the history of scientific naturalism

Author(s): Harrison, Peter; Roberts, Jon H.
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Year: 2019, Size: 10 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2362409

Zoological Collections of Germany: The Animal Kingdom in its Amazing Plenty at Museums and Universities

Author(s): Lothar A. Beck (eds.)
Publisher: Springer International Publishing, Year: 2018, Size: 34 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2203642

Wisconsin State Parks: Extraordinary Stories of Geology and Natural History

Author(s): Scott Spoolman
Publisher: Wisconsin Historical Society Press, Year: 2018, Size: 18 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 2211243

Please note that this booklist is not final. Some books are really chart-busters according to The Wall Street Journal, others are composed by unknown writers. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant links you could recommend? Drop a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

Affiliate Disclaimer: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Leave a Reply