Looking to get outdoors? We are too, and think the best way to get outside is with a good book in hand. For those ladies (or gentlemen!) in search of a novel that inspires and empowers all to get outside, hop on a plane to somewhere new, or communicate with nature, any of the books on the following list are a great place to start. As a bonus, most of the books on this list are by women authors empowering themselves and others to take whatever leap they’ve been mulling over.
The Sea Around Us
by Rachel Carson
You might’ve heard of environmentalist and writer Rachel Carson from her award winning novel, Silent Spring, that successfully argued against government use of powerful pesticide, DDT, because of its effect on plants and animals. Well, lesser known The Sea Around Us is just as inspirational. Using her incredible research skills, Carson dives into what we currently know about the sea, and why what we don’t know makes it a place filled with wonder and mystery. The Sea Around Us is perfect for those adventurers in search of a novel that combines thoughtful research with an ardent respect for the natural world. The way Carson writes about the sea is sure to ignite a new respect in readers the next time they take a trip to the beach.
by Cheryl Strayed
For adventurers in need of a book about a life-changing adventure, Wild is a classic. The memoir dives into Cheryl Strayed’s experience hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, or PCT, while looking to figure out her next step in life. Strayed faces many challenges, meets incredibly kind people along the way, and learns a lot about herself in the process. Readers are guaranteed to be inspired by Strayed’s adventures on the trail and the grit she displays when she keeps going despite hardship.
Who knows? Maybe you’ll even be inspired to hike along the PCT on your next journey out west.
The Great Alone
by Kristin Hannah
Kristin Hannah’s, The Great Alone, features a family’s move to rural Alaska and how they tackle the challenges brought on by both nature and their new community. Through the lens of the Allbright family, Hannah explores the meaning of being truly alone with nature and how great and terrible this loneliness can be. Explorers looking to live vicariously through a family experiencing something new while learning about themselves and the world will enjoy Hannah’s 2018 masterpiece.
by Robyn Davidson
Robyn Davidson’s Tracks dives into her 1700 mile trek across Australia with just four camels and her dog. Throughout her transformative solo journey, Davidson combats snakes, heat, dehydration, and perilous Australian landscape. Tracks empowers readers to not be afraid of their own transformation and to go further then they previously thought possible. For women constantly told that “traveling alone is dangerous,” Davison’s memoir is known for its counterpoint: maybe traveling alone is dangerous, but most of the time, it’s worth it.
A House in the Sky
by Amanda Lindhout
A memoir about Lindhout’s experience in Somalia and her fifteen month abduction, A House in the Sky both thrills and educates readers about Lindhout’s unique experiences. A New York Times Bestseller in 2014, this incredible memoir traces Lindhout’s desire to travel, ever-present wanderlust, and her courage and resourcefulness throughout her unprecedented situation. Although less about nature and more about the experience of a woman traveler, A House in the Sky is a must read for those looking for excitement and adventure.
by Robin Wall Kimmerer
In an age where we’re learning that nature always knows best, Braiding Sweetgrass is the answer for many readers looking to expand their knowledge of indigenous wisdom and the teachings of nature. Author Robin Wall Kimmerer is often referred to as a “teacher” of the natural world. Readers delight in the perspective that Kimmerer has on the abundance of that the earth offers us, and learn that the “better” or “faster” mentality of American capitalism is not always the best way to go in order to heal our natural world. Additionally, Braiding Sweetgrass integrates the teachings of indigenous people in the United States, and makes it very clear that she has listened to and respects all that they have given our shared Earth.
A Beautiful Work in Progress
by Mirna Valerio
Ultrarunner Mirna Valerio has a lot to say about ultrarunning as a sport, community, and way of life. Follow along on her journey debunking stereotypes regarding who can be an athlete and what the typical athlete should look like. Valerio inspires by entering the sport (and running in general!) later than the average runner, but time and time again crushes races of lengths that most people can’t even begin to comprehend. If you’re a reader in search of inspiration from women doing the seeming impossible, A Beautiful Work in Progress empowers all to seek new adventures.