A friend asked the other day about recommendations for good popular books about ecology. Initially, I kind of drew a blank. Which surprised me.
I think there are plenty of great popular books about evolution – the first one that comes to mind is Beak of the Finch. (I realize it’s more than 20 years old, but gosh, it holds up well.) And in the field of animal behavior you have a whole bunch, too – one that first came to my mind is Ravens in Winter (again, not the newest book, I realize).
But for ecology? Hmmm. The first one that I thought of is a bit obvious, A Sand County Almanac. This has aged well, but doesn’t quite describe the contemporary field of ecology. I was also thinking of Rob Dunn’s The Wild Life of Our Bodies – and even more so, the forthcoming Never Out of Season will totally fit this bill.
I can think of many great natural history books. I was hoping to find a book that is principally about ecology and the people that do ecology.
I asked about this on twitter, and the community provided a great conversation, some bits of which are below. I realized, well, yes, there are plenty of books about contemporary ecology.
I’d like to use the comments for y’all to contribute your thoughts about good general books about ecology – please add your thoughts!
So, what do you think? If you were teaching about ecology to non-majors, for example, what nonfiction book would you want to read?