With the continuing news regarding the Trump administration’s plans to ignore human-caused climate change, gut the EPA, and generally disdain the natural sciences, it’s more important than ever to pay close attention to books about nature, the environment, and other similar topics. In that spirit, I put forward the following significant books as we enter what is likely to be the hottest spring on record (thanks, Chinese hoaxsters):

The Gulf by Jack E. Davis

“In light of the 2010 devastation of the BP oil spill, environmental historian Davis presents an engaging, truly relevant new study of the Gulf as a powerful agent in the American story….An elegant narrative braced by a fierce, sobering environmental conviction.”


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The Death and Life of the American Great Lakes by Dan Egan

“This exhaustively detailed examination of the Great Lakes reveals the extent to which this natural resource has been exploited for two centuries….Not light reading but essential for policymakers—and highly recommended for the 40 million people who rely on the Great Lakes for drinking water.”

The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel

“A journalist’s account of a Massachusetts man who went deep into the Maine woods to live a life of solitude and self-sufficiency….Finkel’s compassionate research not only probes the nature of the relationship between the individual and society, but also ponders the meaning of Grande Cover 2 happiness and fulfillment in the modern world.”

Curators by Lance Grande

“After more than 30 years as a research scientist at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History…Grande steps back to describe the inner workings of these institutions devoted to the study of biology, anthropology, geology, and human culture…the author brings curatorial work to life through absorbing stories about fossils, gems, and other natural objects and the men and women who find them.”

Eric Liebetrau is the nonfiction and managing editor.