Here is a list of the best Wendell Berry books, some I have read myself, some that I did research on, and all have great reviews!
- 1. The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture (2015)
- 2. The World-Ending Fire: The Essential Wendell Berry (2019)
- 3. Jayber Crow (2001)
- 4. The Peace of Wild Things: And Other Poems ()
- 5. This Day: Collected & New Sabbath Poems (2014)
- 6. What Are People For?: Essays (2010)
- 7. Hannah Coulter (2005)
- 8. A Place on Earth: A Novel (2001)
- 9. The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry (1999)
- 10. The Memory of Old Jack (Port William) (1999)
- 11. The Art of Loading Brush: New Agrarian Writings (2019)
- 12. Nathan Coulter: A Novel (Port William) (2008)
- 13. Farming: A Hand Book (2011)
- 14. That Distant Land: The Collected Stories (Port William) (2005)
- 15. Life Is a Miracle: An Essay Against Modern Superstition (2001)
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1. The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture (2015)
Since its publication in 1977, The Unsettling of America has been recognized as a classic of American letters. In it, Wendell Berry argues that good farming is a cultural and spiritual discipline. Today’s agribusiness, however, takes farming out of its cultural context and away from families. As a result, we as a nation are more estranged from the land―from the intimate knowledge, love, and care of it. Sadly, his arguments and observations are more relevant than ever. Although “this book has not had the happy fate of being proved wrong,” Berry writes, there are people working “to make something…
In a time when our relationship to the natural world is ruled by the violence and greed of unbridled consumerism, Wendell Berry speaks out in these prescient essays, drawn from his fifty-year campaign on behalf of American lands and communities. The writings gathered in The World-Ending Fire are the unique product of a life spent farming the fields of rural Kentucky with mules and horses, and of the rich, intimate knowledge of the land cultivated by this work. These are essays written in defiance of the false call to progress and in defense of local landscapes, essays that…
3. Jayber Crow (2001)
“This is a book about Heaven,” says Jayber Crow, “but I must say too that . . . I have wondered sometimes if it would not finally turn out to be a book about Hell.” It is 1932 and he has returned to his native Port William to become the town’s barber. Orphaned at age ten, Jayber Crow’s acquaintance with loneliness and want have made him a patient observer of the human animal, in both its goodness and frailty. He began his search as a “pre-ministerial student” at Pigeonville College. There, freedom met with new burdens and a young man needed more than a mirror to…
4. The Peace of Wild Things: And Other Poems ()
I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free. The poems of Wendell Berry invite us to stop, to think, to see the world around us, and to savour what is good. Here are consoling verses of hope and of healing; short, simple meditations on love, death, friendship, memory and belonging; luminous hymns to the land, the cycles of nature and the seasons as they ebb and flow. Here is the peace of wild things….
5. This Day: Collected & New Sabbath Poems (2014)
Wendell Berry’s Sabbath Poems are filled with spiritual longing and political extremity, memorials and celebrations, elegies and lyrics, alongside the occasional rants of the Mad Farmer, pushed to the edge yet again by his compatriots and elected officials. With the publication of this new complete edition, it has become increasingly clear that the Sabbath Poems have become the very heart of Berry’s work. And these magnificent poems, taken as a whole for the first time in This Day, have become one of the greatest contributions ever made to American poetry….
6. What Are People For?: Essays (2010)
Ranging from America’s insatiable consumerism and household economies to literary subjects and America’s attitude toward waste, here Berry gracefully navigates from one topic to the next. He speaks candidly about the ills plaguing America and the growing gap between people and the land. Despite the somber nature of these essays, Berry’s voice and prose provide an underlying sense of faith and hope. He frames his reflections with poetic responsibility, standing up as a firm believer in the power of the human race not only to fix its past mistakes but to build a future that will…
7. Hannah Coulter (2005)
Hannah Coulter is Wendell Berry’s seventh novel and his first to employ the voice of a woman character in its telling. Hannah, the now-elderly narrator, recounts the love she has for the land and for her community. She remembers each of her two husbands, and all places and community connections threatened by twentieth-century technologies. At risk is the whole culture of family farming, hope redeemed when her wayward and once lost grandson, Virgil, returns to his rural home place to work the farm….
8. A Place on Earth: A Novel (2001)
Published in 1967, we return to Port William during the Second World War to revisit Jayber Crow, the barber, Uncle Stanley, the gravedigger, Jarrat and Burley, the sharecroppers, and Brother Preston, the preacher, as well as Mat Feltner, his wife Margaret, and his daughter-in-law Hannah, whose son will be born after news comes that Hannah’s husband Virgil is missing. “The earth is the genius of our life,” Wendell Berry writes here. “The final questions and their answers lie serenely coupled in it.”…
9. The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry (1999)
The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry gathers one hundred poems written between 1957 and 1996. Chosen by the author, these pieces have been selected from each of nine previously published collections. The rich work in this volume reflects the development of Berry’s poetic sensibility over four decades. Focusing on themes that have occupied his work for years―land and nature, family and community, tradition as the groundwork for life and culture―The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry celebrates the broad range of this vital and transforming poet….
10. The Memory of Old Jack (Port William) (1999)
Old Jack, born just after the American Civil War and dying in contemporary times, spends one beautiful September day in Port William, his home since birth, remembering. The story tells of the most searing moments of Old Jack’s life, particularly his debt to his sister Nancy and her husband Ben Feltner, Old Jack’s model of what an honorable manhood and strength might be. “Few novelists treat both their characters and their readers with the kind of respect that Wendell Berry displays in this deeply moving account . . . The Memory of Old Jack is a slab of rich Americana.” ―The New York Times Book Review…
Wendell Berry’s profound critique of American culture has entered its sixth decade, and in this gathering he reaches with deep devotion toward a long view of agrarian philosophy. The Art of Loading Brush is an energetic mix of essays, stories, and a poem, which explore agrarian ideals as they present themselves historically and as they might apply to our work today. Filled with insights and new revelations from a mind thorough in its considerations and careful in its presentations, The Art of Loading Brush is a necessary and timely collection….
12. Nathan Coulter: A Novel (Port William) (2008)
When young Nathan loses his grandfather, Berry guides readers through the process of Nathan’s grief, endearing the reader to the simple humanity through which Nathan views the world. Echoing Berry’s own strongly held beliefs, Nathan tells us that his grandfather’s life “couldn’t be divided from the days he’d spent at work in his fields.” Berry has long been compared to Faulkner for his ability to erect entire communities in his fiction, and his heart and soul have always lived in Port William, Kentucky. In this eloquent novel about duty, community, and a sweeping love of…
13. Farming: A Hand Book (2011)
The sanity and eloquence of these poems spring from the land in Kentucky where Wendell Berry was born, married, lives, farms, and writes. From classic pastoral themes both lyrical and reflective, to a verse play, to a dramatic narrative and the manic, entertaining, prescient ravings of Berry’s Mad Farmer, these poems show a unity of language and consciousness, skill and sensitivity, that has placed Wendell Berry at the front rank of contemporary American poets….
Originally published in 2005, That Distant Land brings together twenty-three stories from the Port William Membership. Arranged in their fictional chronology, the book is not an anthology so much as it is a coherent temporal mapping of this landscape over time, revealing Berry’s mastery of decades of the life lived alongside this clutch of interrelated characters bound by affection and followed over generations. This volume combines the stories found in The Wild Birds (1985), Fidelity (1992), and Watch with Me (1994), together with a map and a charting of the complex and interlocking genealogies….
15. Life Is a Miracle: An Essay Against Modern Superstition (2001)
In Life Is a Miracle, the devotion of science to the quantitative and reductionist world is measured against the mysterious, qualitative suggestions of religion and art. Berry sees life as the collision of these separate forces, but without all three in the mix we are left at sea in the world….
Best Wendell Berry Books: The Ultimate Collection
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Wendell Berry: Essays, 1993–2017
Author(s): Wendell Berry; Jack Shoemaker
ID: 2393172, Publisher: Library of America, Year: 21 May 2019, Size: 2 Mb, Format: epub
Author(s): Wendell Berry
ID: 2633734, Publisher: Counterpoint, Year: 2019, Size: 238 Kb, Format: epub
The World-Ending Fire: The Essential Wendell Berry
Author(s): Wendell Berry, Paul Kingsnorth
ID: 2741228, Publisher: Counterpoint, Year: 2018, Size: 2 Mb, Format: epub
Please note that this booklist is not definite. Some books are truly hot items according to Los Angeles Times, others are drafted by unknown authors. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant resources you could recommend? Drop a comment if you have any feedback on the list.