The Guardian: Why Nature Writing is Exploding

At its core, The Guardian is a British news source which includes daily newspapers and a well composed online edition.  This particular article is about why people are becoming more and more interested in the genre of nature writing, citing specific numbers to back up this claim.  Touching on our emotions, the article explains why people are so drawn to Nature Writing and its sereneness, including working out childhood issues or even the current political trauma having to do with the 2016 election cycle.  Also explained is how the genre seems to be expanding, most likely due to the surge in interest.  I saw this firsthand this summer while browsing the shelves of Golden Hare Books in Edinburgh, Scotland.  Books such as Charles Foster’s Being a Beast were the focal points of the bookstore’s displays.  This article also provides a shortlist of books to be found on the UK based Wainwright nature writing prize website.  The author of this article is a full-time writer for The Guardian and former editor of The Bookseller, which has a long standing within the book industry.  Despite the incredible coding and content on this site, the only downfall is that it is UK based, which might make access to some of the books listed a bit difficult for readers who live elsewhere.

Dissertation: A philosophical reflection on nature writing

This site will lead you to an abstract of a dissertation written by Ayli Lapkoff Ph.D. for Boston College.  The abstract inclues overviews for chapters 1 through 6, describing what each chapter has to say about the topic of nature writing.  Among these topics are how the writers experience nature by being there, how readers experience nature through the writing, and why the authors choose to use the written word to express their thoughts.  Being a dissertation, this site is of not only high writing quality, but also has a good list of sources—the only problem is that if you are not a student of an institution with ProQuest access, getting ahold of the document in its full form may be difficult.

Outside Online: John Muir Knew How to Live

Outside Online is the online version of Outside Magazine, the premiere source for outdoor journalism.  Because of this, Outside Online has many articles on the topic of nature writing, as well as articles on specific authors, and how this genre affects nature and the outdoor community.  This specific link is to a video by Wilderness Collective on the life and words of John Muir.  In the video you will hear quotes by John Muir alongside images portraying a journey in nature.  This type of video moves viewers to not only want to get outside and be in nature more often, but it also sparks an interest towards one of the frontiersmen of nature writing.  Wilderness Collective is a group of creative filmmakers, so despite the high quality of the video, viewers will know little about the filmmakers themselves.  Nevertheless, short films like this often show images and spark interest that words simply cannot.

iStoryBooks: Why Your Child Should Learn About Nature Through Reading

This blog seems to be a compilation of articles regarding children and reading.  In particular, this article is about the disconnect that children these days have with nature and how to remedy this issue.  The overarching view is to read stories to children that are about nature and to get them interested in the genre of nature writing.  At best, this website in whole operates as a blog.  There is little to no information on the authors of the blog, but from reading the simple text presented in the post I linked above the authors seem to care enough to do their research and provide information to parents about children and reading.

The Guardian: Is our love of nature writing bourgeois escapism?

For information about The Guardian as a working website please see the above description.  The article linked here touches on themes of nature writing as a bourgeois genre that caters to the city-dweller’s need to rewild without actually getting dirty.  The author cites sources which articulate invasiveness of foreign species and then asks if that might be a touchy subject if taken out of context, say, to humans as a species.  Like the industrial revolution, the author of this piece cites society’s newfound love of nature writing a response to corporate capitalism.  Nature writing allows readers to feel like they are one with the earth again, that they are not trapped in cement boxes in high rises, and that they are not alone.  The author, Steven Poole, has also written books on topics such as the modern world’s new ways of thinking.

Human Nature: 12 Nature Books to Read This Summer

Human Nature is an international conservation blog that focuses mostly on news regarding the environment around the world.  It is a subdomain of the company Conservation International, an environmental nonprofit organization.  This specific post is a list of 12 books within the genre of nature writing that the author recommends.  Because the author is the managing editor of this blog, she is of high regard to the company and a credible source.

The Wall Street Journal: Call of ‘Wild’ from Cheryl Strayed

Well known as the largest daily print newspaper based in New York City, The Wall Street Journal’s online version is a comprehensive guide to the articles they print, with even more content available to online readers.  The linked article is about the phenomena surrounding people swarming to the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) after reading Cheryl Strayed’s book titled Wild.  The article gives information on the number of people from this influx, and ways in which the PCT Association have had to compensate for the growth in people wanting to hike the trail spanning the length between Mexico and Canada.  Another issue this article covers is the practice of Leave No Trace, which is well known to seasoned hikers and campers, but might not be practiced correctly by trail newbies.  As a Los Angeles based reporter for The Wall Street Journal, the author of this site is highly credible.  The biography linked from the article has a full description of the author’s education, as well as ways to contact her.  In general, the quality of content and workability of the WSJ is regarded as very prestigious.

Outside Online: The Chris McCandless Obsession Problem

For information on Outside Online as a credible website please see the above link description.  This specific article from Outside Online involves the story of Christopher McCandless which can be found in the book Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer.  Chris McCandless was an American idealist who ventured into the wild to live a quiet life off of the land.  Even though Chris never made it out of the wild, people are still inspired to try their hand at the life he tried to lead in the Alaskan backcountry.  This article describes some instances of this and how these people get into trouble by trying to repeat Chris McCandless’ journey.  The author of this article tells her own story of visiting the bus that Chris lived in in the Alaskan wilderness, flanked by the rushing river that kept him stranded there.  Having gone there herself, she is a very credible source for this topic.