Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Naturalist's Guide to Reading (Outdoorsy Reading)

Every year, when Spring begins to warm this Central Valley and bring a vibrant, colorful Blossom Trail through the orchards, I begin to long for the mountains again. For me, there is no better place to vacation, hike, walk, think, write or live than the mountains. The solitude and peace found there is what I imagine Earth is supposed to be like - untouched and clean. 

Since I was a kid, I've gravitated toward "naturalist" literature, starting with Jack London, and as an adult, consuming anything and everything penned by nature lovers and wilderness advocates like John Muir. 

Springtime signals the beginning of warmth. I don't like being cold (I mean, my name is Summer, so come on...), and the warm days make me gravitate toward books that center on outdoorsy adventure or fun. 

Here are 5 2017 naturalist/outdoorsy reads for this Spring: 

The Yosemite, by John Muir. 
If you've never read anything by Muir before, I highly recommend this book. It's short, beautiful and inspiring. He tells of his experiences in one of the most famous National Parks during a time when the wilderness was still virtually untouched. 

Tracker, by Gary Paulsen 
This "children's" book tells the tale of a young boy going out to hunt a deer for the first time on his own, at the age of 13. It's extremely short, but powerful. Paulsen does a masterful job, as always. 

The Last One, by Alexandra Oliva 
I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this one before on Writing Belle, but it's a really great read, okay?! One woman fights for survival amidst a survivalist reality television show...the only trouble is...it's not really a show. If you want to read about some hardcore camping/survivalist techniques and adventures, give this fictional escapade a shot. 

The Call of the Wild, by Jack London 
Give me one book to read on a deserted island, and I would beg for this one. It's my all-time favorite, my book of all books. I even have the last lines of the novel framed on my living room wall. Nobody - I repeat, NOBODY - writes about nature of wildlife better than Jack London. He will always reign supreme, in my opinion. If you've never read it, I suggest you do. Your life will be better because of this book. 

100 Deadly Skills, by Navy SEAL Ret. Clint Emerson 
Because who doesn't need to know these 100 deadly skills that might save your life in either the apocalypse or in the middle of downtown Los Angeles? Oops. I think a bit of humor just popped out. Sorry. (not really) But seriously: so much to read. 

So there you go - just a few books that I grabbed from my bookcase to kick off the warmer weather. Any recommendations? Let me know! 

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