Over the past year (strange to think that it has been nearly a year since the coronavirus turned our lives upside down), I have been delving into reading more than ever before! As India enters yet another lockdown, I thought I would share some of my favourite books in a series of posts! I will also link to where they are available to purchase online, both in India and on Amazon USA. Some of these can also be found at local lending libraries and bookshops, so do consider supporting small businesses if you are able to order from them during these hard times!

Books for Wildlife and Nature Enthusiasts: Reading Series 1

For Older Readers:

The Wild Heart of India by T. Shankar Raman – Amazon India | Amazon USA (a collection of essays on wildlife and nature in India)

Cities and Canopies: Trees in Indian Cities by Harini Nagendra & Seema Mundoli – Amazon India | Amazon USA (Native and imported, sacred and ordinary, culinary and floral, favourites of various kings and commoners over the centuries, trees are the most visible signs of nature in cities, fundamentally shaping their identities)

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate (The Mysteries of Nature Book 1) by Peter Wohlleben – Amazon India | Amazon USA (Look out for parts 2 and 3 in this series “The Mysteries of Nature, if you like this book)

My Husband and Other Animals by Janaki LeninAmazon India | Amazon USA (I also recommend Part 2 of this series of short stories about the life of Janaki and her husband Rom Whitaker, the founder of Madras Crocodile Bank!)

Every Creature Has a Story by Janaki Lenin – Amazon India | Amazon USA (Janaki Lenin’s exploration of the evolution of diverse life forms sparkles with humour, clarity of thought and rigour of science. She uncovers the surprising — sometimes bizarre but always amazing – ways in which creatures breed and survive)

The Vanishing: India’s Wildlife Crisis by Prerna Singh BindraAmazon India | Amazon USA (a collection of essays on different endangered species of India and what must be done to conserve them)

The Dance of the Sarus by S. Theodore Bhaskaran – Amazon India | Amazon USA (a collection of 53 short essays on wildlife and birds)

Wild and Wilful by Neha Sinha – Amazon India | Amazon USA (In this book, we meet fifteen iconic Indian species in need of conservation and heart. The author explores what these creatures need, and how they exert agency and decision-making)

Indica: A Deep Natural History of the Indian Subcontinent by Pranay Lal – Amazon India | Amazon USA (Few places have been as influential as the Indian subcontinent in shaping the course of life on Earth. Yet its evolution has remained largely unchronicled)

Rain in the Mountains by Ruskin Bond – Amazon India | Amazon USA (A collection of short essays on life in the majestic Himalayas by India’s favourite writer, Ruskin Bond)

Running Away from Elephants: The Adventures of a Wildlife Biologist by Rauf Ali – Amazon India | Amazon USA (Beginning with his interactions with Dr Salim Ali, the legendary ornithologist—who was also his grand-uncle—wildlife biologist Rauf Ali takes the reader on a journey through India’s natural history and the beginning of ecological studies in India)

Unhurried Tales: My Favourite Novellas by Ruskin Bond – Amazon India | Amazon USA

Himalaya: A Literary Homage to Adventure, Meditation, and Life on the Roof of the World by various authors (Edited by Ruskin Bond & Namita Gokhale) – Amazon India | Amazon USA

Let Them Eat Shrimp by Kennedy Warne – Amazon India | Amazon USA (the tale of mangrove forests across the world and their slow degradation and disappearance, as well as the livelihoods of the communities that rely upon these forests for their survival)

For Younger Readers:

The Water Catchers by Bhairavi Parekh – Amazon India only (a fantasy adventure chapter book with a protagonist determined to solve the mystery of a water shortage in his town)

Green Gardening: Ideas to Potter About With by Benita Sen – Amazon India only (You don’t need a garden to go green. This book of green ideas shows you how to garden almost anywhere … a windowsill, the balcony of your flat, the terrace, the steps outside your home. You can grow plants in boots, coconut shells, tyres, broken pots and old tubs; make feeders for the birds visiting your neighbourhood; create a mini garden in the fish bowl and much more)

the ‘Vikram Aditya Adventure‘ series by Deepak Dalal – you can find all 8 titles HERE on his site for Indian orders | Amazon USA (Book 1 linked here)

The Essential Collection for Young Readers by Ruskin Bond – Amazon India | Amazon USA

Ghum-Ghum Gharial’s Glorious Adventure by Arpana Kapur (Click HERE to read for free on Pratham Books Storyweaver)

When I Grow Up, I Want to Be a Tiger by Prerna Singh Bindra – Amazon India only

Gyalmo, the Queen of the Mountains by Ranjini Murali (Nature Conservation Foundation) (Click HERE to read for free on Pratham Books Storyweaver)

Birds that Sing their Name by Panchapakesan Jeganathan (Nature Conservation Foundation) (Click HERE to read for free on Pratham Books Storyweaver)

How to be an Otter by Nisarg Prakash (Click HERE to read for free on Pratham Books Storyweaver)

Saahi’s Quest by Yuvan – visit kalpavriksh.org/our-store to buy if in India  

Bulbuli’s Bamboo by Mita Bordoloi – Amazon India 

2 thoughts on “My Lockdown Reading List Pt. 1 – Nature and Wildlife Books

  1. That is a good list!
    You already read A Taste of Tanzania? About the roadtrip of photographer Wim Demessemaekers and the chef Axel Janssens?

    In A Taste of Tanzania, Chef Axel Janssens wanders through the magnificent country with his best friend and talented photographer, Wim Demessemaekers. They uncover hidden gems in an old, beaten up jeep, held together by spit, chewing gum and prayers.

    The story of the dudes, brimming with mind-blowing images, is narrated by their big friend Stephen Walckiers. He peppered this fantastic, flavorsome, and visually stunning road trip with his own memories and musings about this beautiful country.


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