Towel? Check. Sunscreen? Check. Hat? Check. Snacks and water? Check. Now that you have the essentials, all that’s left to pack before you hit the beach or the hammock is a great summer read. And, since you’ll be enjoying the outdoors, why not make it a book about the outdoors.
To offer some guidance, I asked Leslie at the Audubon Shop in Lincoln for her top picks. Like what you see? Stop by Shop at Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary or order a copy over the phone at 781-259-2214. Mass Audubon members save 10 percent plus your purchase helps Mass Audubon protect the nature of Massachusetts.
Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl by Stacey O’Brien
A student researcher at Caltech is captivated by an injured four-day-old barn owl and adopts him, keeping him for the next 19 years. This warm and heartfelt tale reveals much about both the bird and the humans it lives with.
Good, Good Pig: the Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood by Sy Montgomery
Christopher is the name Sy Montgomery gave to the sick piglet she brought home in a shoebox. He eventually grew to weigh 750 pounds, became a beloved family member also adored by the neighbors, and was featured on USA Today and NPR. A charming, wise, and personable memoir by the same naturalist who brought us Birdology.
The Outermost House: A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod by Henry Beston
A classic of nature literature originally published in 1928, this beautifully written account still speaks strongly to us today. Beston intended to stay for two weeks on the Cape but was so mesmerized by the beauty he found on the beach that he stayed for a year. This book has a personal connection as well: the cottage where he stayed was given to Mass Audubon in 1960. Sadly, it was destroyed by a winter storm in 1978.
Life List: A Woman’s Quest for the World’s Most Amazing Birds by Olivia Gentile
A biography of Phoebe Snetsinger, a mother, housewife, and amateur birdwatcher who received a terminal diagnosis of cancer at age 49 and responded by setting out to see as many of the world’s birds as she could. This is the tale of her quest, the hundreds of trips around the globe she made, and the risks and dangers she faced. It’s a story with both triumph and tragedy.
Bayshore Summer: Finding Eden in A Most Unlikely Place by Pete Dunne
Director of the Cape May Bird Observatory, Dunne gives us a personal tour and intimate portrait of the New Jersey Shore—the beaches, the birds, the nearby produce farms, the crabbers and fishermen, and the unspoiled beauty many of us may not remember or know.
The Armchair Birder Goes Coastal: The Secret Lives of Birds of the Southeastern Shore by John Yow
A great companion for a ramble along the beach, this is a witty and individualistic look at the lives of southern waterbirds.
A Paradise of All These Parts: A Natural History of Boston by John Hanson Mitchell
Editor of Mass Audubon’s Sanctuary magazine, Mitchell evokes a wonderful sense of place as he explores both the historical and modern landscape of Boston. Readable, lively, and entertaining.
And tell us: What’s your favorite nature-inspired read?
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