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.
- Natural History: A Selection (Penguin Classics) (1991)
- A Natural History of the Senses (1991)
- Heaven’s Breath: A Natural History of the Wind (New York Review Books Classics) (2019)
- Dinosaurs: A Concise Natural History (2016)
- Natural and Moral History of the Indies (Chronicles of the New World Encounter) (2002)
- A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent (The Lady Trent Memoirs) (2014)
- A Natural History of North American Trees (Donald Culross Peattie Library) (2013)
- Trees: Their Natural History (2014)
- Water: A Natural History (1997)
- The Natural History of The Bahamas: A Field Guide (2019)
- A Natural History of the Sonoran Desert (2015)
- The Natural History of Nonsense (1959)
- Europe: A Natural History (2019)
Natural History: A Selection (Penguin Classics) (1991)
Pliny’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.
A Natural History of the Senses (1991)
Diane 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
Heaven’s Breath: A Natural History of the Wind (New York Review Books Classics) (2019)
Wind 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.
Dinosaurs: A Concise Natural History (2016)
The 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.
Natural and Moral History of the Indies (Chronicles of the New World Encounter) (2002)
The 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 Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent (The Lady Trent Memoirs) (2014)
You, 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.
A Natural History of North American Trees (Donald Culross Peattie Library) (2013)
“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.
Trees: Their Natural History (2014)
Trees 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.
Water: A Natural History (1997)
Water: 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.
The Natural History of The Bahamas: A Field Guide (2019)
Take 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 Natural History of the Sonoran Desert (2015)
The 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.
The Natural History of Nonsense (1959)
Here 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).
Europe: A Natural History (2019)
A 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.
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 Library 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.
Fieldbook of natural history,
Author(s): by E. Laurence Palmer. Rev. by H. Seymour Fowler.
ID: 3502454, Publisher: McGraw-Hill, Year: [1974, c1975], Size: 54 Mb, Format: pdf
The Lives of Beetles: A Natural History of Coleoptera
Author(s): Arthur V. Evans
ID: 3435762, Publisher: Princeton University Press, Year: 2023, Size: 102 Mb, Format: pdf
Viruses: A Natural History
Author(s): Marilyn J. Roossinck
ID: 3534681, Publisher: Princeton University Press, Year: 2023, Size: 185 Mb, Format: pdf
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.