Recommended Reading For Nature Nerds: A List


Whether you're the curl-up-with-a-good-book-on-a-rainy-day type or the kick-off-your-shoes-and-read-in-the-park type, we have some great reads for you, fellow nature nerd.

Learning more about the plants, animals, geography, and history of your local parks can lead you to make fantastic discoveries about the world around you. Below, you'll find titles that will introduce you to new flora and fauna with helpful field guides; inspire you to discover urban nature; and challenge you the way that only a good book can.

The following list contains titles recommended for the nature enthusiast in all of us. With the swipe of your library card, all of these books can be picked up from your local Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh branch. You can also find some of these titles -- and comfy rocking chairs! -- at the Frick Environmental Center.


Discover Pittsburgh's parks with these titles about nature in urban settings.


Unseen City | Nathanael Johnson 

A fresh perspective of where nature can be found and a challenge to look for nature in all places, including cities. 


The Urban Tree Book: An Uncommon Field Guide for City and Town | Arthur Plotnik 

Discover the biology and history of some trees you might find lining the streets of Pittsburgh.


Handy guides to help you identify the plants and animals that call parks home.


National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms | Gary Lincoff


Trees of Pennsylvania and the Northeast | Charles Fergus


National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds, Eastern Region | John L. Bull


Wildlife of Pennsylvania and the Northeast | Charles Fergus


Peterson First Guide to Wildflowers of Northeastern and North Central North America

Roger Tory Peterson


Go even more in-depth with these fascinating reads. 


The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch in Nature | David Haskell 

A study of a single square meter of forest and the daily changes that happen.


Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival | Bernd Heinrich 

A look at woodland animals and their winter survival strategies.


Pilgrim at Tinker Creek | Annie Dillard

A riveting narrative of a Pittsburgh local's exploration of nature.


Silent Spring | Rachel Carson 

A nationally recognized novel focused on the effect humans can have on the environment.

Have other recommended nature reads that you would add to this list? Tell us in the comments below!

- Erin Gaughan, educator with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy