Environmental Reading List

When I was directing education for Mission: Wolf, I compiled an environmental reading list of 50 books which is now one of the most used lists on the internet. When I have time, I intend to modify, annotate, and expand that list here to better fit this website. Until then, here it is in original form.

In making this list, I tried to include only books that are a joy to read. I figure that most people don’t want to read a textbook or a doomsday environmental tale. These are my top 50 picks about wolves, the environment, and other related topics. I hope you find the books as inspiring, entertaining, and thought-provoking as I do.

Environmental Philosophy and Ethics

Abbey, Edward (1968). Desert Solitaire.
Heacox, Kim (2006). The Only Kayak.
Thoreau, Henry David (1854). Walden.
Turner, Jack (1996). The Abstract Wild.

Environmental Policy

Brower, David (1990). Let The Mountains Talk, Let The Rivers Run.
McPhee, John (1971). Encounters With the Archdruid.
Sax, Joseph (1980). Mountains Without Handrails.
Wilkinson, Charles (1993). Crossing the Next Meridian.


Lopez, Barry (1979). Of Wolves and Men.
Peterson, Rolf (1995). The Wolves of Isle Royale: A Broken Balance.
Robinson, Michael (2005). Predatory Bureaucracy.
Smith, Douglas and Gary Ferguson (2006). Decade of the Wolf.

Outdoor Education

Cornell, Joseph (1978). Sharing Nature with Children.
Gilbert, Elizabeth (2002). The Last American Man.
Louv, Richard (2008). Last Child in the Woods.
Orr, David (1994). Earth in Mind.


Katz, Sandor Elix (2006). The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved.
Lappe, Frances Moore (1971). Diet for a Small Planet.
Pollan, Michael (2006). The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
Schlosser, Eric (2001). Fast Food Nation.

Animal Behavior

Donaldson, O. Fred (1993). Playing by Heart.
Hempfling, Klaus Ferdinand (2001). Dancing with Horses.
Kohanov, Linda (2007). The Tao of Equus.


Carson, Rachel (1962). Silent Spring.
Chase, Alston (1987). Playing God in Yellowstone.
Halverson, Anders (2010). An Entirely Synthetic Fish.
Leopold, Aldo (1949). A Sand County Almanac.

Sustainability and Technology

Brende, Eric (2007). Better Off.
Diamond, Jared (2005). Collapse.
Hawken, Paul (2007). Blessed Unrest.
McKibben, Bill (2007). Deep Economy.
Royte, Elizabeth (2006). Garbage Land.


Childs, Craig (2001). The Secret Knowledge of Water.
Fishman, Charles (2011). The Big Thirst.
Reisner, Marc (1986). Cadillac Desert.
Ward, Diane Raines (2002). Water Wars.

Outdoor Adventure

Bryson, Bill (1998). A Walk in the Woods.
Krakauer, Jon (1997). Into the Wild.
Lansing, Alfred (1959). The Endurance.
Matthiessen, Peter (1978). The Snow Leopard.
McPhee, John (1976). Coming into the Country.
Saint-Exupéry, Antoine de (1939). Wind, Sand and Stars.
Simpson, Joe (1988). Touching the Void.

For Younger Audiences

Dr. Seuss (1971). The Lorax.
George, Jean Craighead (1972). Julie of the Wolves.
George, Jean Craighead (1972). My Side of the Mountain.
O’Dell, Scott (1960). Island of the Blue Dolphins.
Paulson, Gary (1987). Hatchet.
Paulson, Gary (1990). Woodsong.
Paulson, Gary (1995). Tracker.