Connecticut Audbon Society


What’s on your bookshelf? CT Audubon shares favorite reads on nature and the environment

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” – Groucho Marx

Compiled and written by Liza Hickey
April 27, 2020 — Any season is a good season to make new friends. For your reading pleasure, and in no particular order, Connecticut Audubon staff introduces us to some of their friends, new and old. (Not surprisingly, a few distinguished local authors showed up too.) Suggestions for young readers is in the works.  

A Season on the Wind, Inside the World of Spring Migration, by Kenn Kaufman
Not only captures the wonder of migration, but also details the camaraderie shared by thousands who travel to the renowned Magee Marsh in northwest Ohio each spring to witness the migration spectacle first-hand. –Matt Bell, EcoTravel   

I enjoyed it for its timeliness for the current season, its information and the story-telling manner which makes it very visual as you read! –Deirdra Wallin, Deer Pond Farm

Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson
It’s a classic and one of the first environmentally themed books I ever read. –Heather Kordula, Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center

The Everglades: River of Grass, by Marjory Stoneman Douglas
Published in 1947, a call to attention about the degrading quality of life in the Everglades. It remains an influential book on nature conservation as well as a reference for information on South Florida. –Andy Griswold, EcoTravel

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan
There’s an entire backstory to what you ate for lunch–how it was farmed, if it was genetically modified, whether it’s good for you or the planet. This book might change your whole relationship to food. –Emily Green, Membership

The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World, by Michael Pollan
Through the lens of four domesticated plants (or byproducts of), get an interesting view of the symbiotic relationship between plants and people. -Emily Green, Membership

Plastic: A Toxic Love Story, by Susan Freinkel
A deep dive into our connection with plastic in all its forms. Ever wonder about the life of a plastic Adirondack chair? Well, now you can find out, and it’s fascinating. –Emily Green, Membership

A Field Guide to Long Island Sound, by Patrick Lynch
 A must-have book (and the only book to have back-cover blurbs from both Patrick Comins and Tom Andersen). — Tom Andersen, Communications

Earth in Mind: On Education, Environment and the Human Prospect by David Orr
Though written over 20 years ago, much of it still rings true today. I would recommend this to teachers, parents or anyone who cares for the environment. –Heather Kordula, Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center

The Trout Pool Paradox, by George Black 
A local recommendation that weaves natural and human history into an engaging story about why two watersheds in Connecticut, and the communities within them, are different today even though they were similar a few hundred years ago. -Jim Arrigoni, Deer Pond Farm

The Hidden Life of Trees, by Peter Wohlleben
Even if trees are not your thing, you’ll find something in this book that you never thought about before. An easy read even if you do not know the background science. As the front cover states: “A walk in the woods will never be the same again.” –Heather Kordula, Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center

The Song of the Dodo, by David Quammen 
Quammen is a great, award-winning science writer, especially gifted at explaining complicated issues in an engaging way. This book explores how species become endangered and go extinct. As a conservation biologist, I wish citizens and policy makers had a basic understanding of the content in this book to lead us to being better stewards of our natural heritage. -Jim Arrigoni, Deer Pond Farm

This Fine Piece of Water: An Environmental History of Long Island Sound, by Tom Andersen
Long Island Sound is not only the most heavily used estuary in North America, it is also one of the most beautiful waterways, with picturesque seascapes and landfalls. Written by our very own Director of Communications. –Cathy Hagadorn, Deer Pond Farm

The Feather Thief, Kirk Wallace Johnson
A modern day true story explaining the history, greatness and controversies of “collecting.” How one person’s observation, curiosity and speaking up can really make a difference, good or bad. A must read if you care about birds and the environment! Cathy Hagadorn, Deer Pond Farm

The Pine Barrens, by John McPhee
 Short and sharp. –Tom Andersen, Communications

The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring, by Richard Preston
Discover life in the high canopies of the tallest trees on earth. -Kathleen Magner, Center at Fairfield

Lab Girl, by Hope Jahren
Chronicles the life and work of acclaimed scientist Hope Jahren, whose fascination with, and dedication to understanding the natural world is infectious and inspiring. Her wry sense of humor makes this read a real page turner. Very relevant, given these times.  –Sarah Heminway, Northeast Corner Programs  

The Seaside Naturalist, A Guide to Study at the Seashore, by Deborah Coulombe
A wonderfully approachable non-fiction resource book of life along the New England coast.  Divided into sections based on organism type, with illustrations. Just for fun, there’s a true/false quiz at the end of each section–a great source for trivia games. -Carol Kratzman, Coastal Center at Milford Point






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