This month we are exploring the natural world with our #RogersReads challenge to read a book about nature. It’s a wide, wild world out there, so you have plenty of options! “Nature” can mean so many things. Plants, animals, rocks, minerals, and even fossils! You can read informational non-fiction books or more creative fiction stories about any of these topics. If you need help finding the perfect book, we’ve listed a few below to help you get started.
There are plenty of non-fiction books about nature and naturalists, so it is quite easy to find a book to fulfill this prompt in that section. Around the World in 80 Plants is a recent publication by Jonathan Drori that explores notable places through their endemic plants. The Nature of Nature by Enric Sala, World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake, and Slime by Ruth Kassinger are all ruminations on the magic of the natural world. Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer and Iwígara by Enrique Salmón are about Native American plant traditions.
Field guides and handbooks are great resources for people getting to know the great outdoors. Whether you are researching a place nearby or just curious about the world, this is a great place to start. Rocks and Minerals: The Clearest Recognition Guide Available by Chris Pellant has awesome information on rocks you may be familiar with as well as some rare finds. The National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers and The Sibley Guide to Birds both have lovely illustrations and information about the things you may see in the sky or below your feet while sightseeing.
If you prefer fiction, do not be dismayed. There are plenty of fiction titles that are focused on the importance of nature in some way. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is a popular title that may already be on your “to-be-read” list. In Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver uses ecology themes to imbue more feeling into her story. Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy and The Overstory by Richard Powers are both odes to a disappearing world. The Bear by Andrew Krivak and The Martian by Andy Weir are futuristic novels that center around the natural world or plants. The River by Peter Heller is a heart-pounding tale of wilderness survival. Rules for Visiting by Jessica Francis Kane slows down the pace with protagonist, May Attaway, a botanist trying to reconnect with her friends.
Graphic novels that feature natural themes are also available in abundance. Swamp Thing. Twin Branches by Maggie Stiefvater and Mera Tidebreaker by D. Paige are both fantastic tales featuring people with (super)natural abilities. Taproot by Keezy Young is about a gardener with a unique relationship with nature. Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson is a series that follows some intrepid young women as they learn about the wild. Through the Woods by Emily Carroll and The Rime of the Modern Mariner by Nick Hayes are both tales of gothic terror.
If you haven’t already, you can join the #RogersReads reading challenge by registering and entering the books you read at rpl.readsquared.com under “missions.” Each month, prizes will be awarded to two readers who complete a mission online by the end of the month. If you complete all twelve missions by December 31, 2021, you will be entered for the grand prize that will be awarded at the end of the challenge. You can finish the challenges in any order over the course of the year with eBooks, audiobooks, or print copies of a title.
We are looking forward to a year full of challenging new reads with you!
#RogersReads Reading Challenges for 2021
1. Read a book that makes you laugh.
2. Read a book that is about food or has food in the title.
3. Read a book set in or about space.
4. Read a book that is about or based on mythology or folklore.
5. Read a book whose author is known for something other than writing.
6. Read a book, fiction or non-fiction, about nature.
7. Read a fictional retelling of a historical event.
8. Read a book you meant to read in 2020.
9. Read a book with an animal on the cover.
10. Read a book from your least favorite genre.
11. Read a book that, for better or worse, you judged by its cover.
12. Read a book with a body of water on the cover or in the title.