Chester Fritz Library Updates

News and notes from UND's Chester Fritz Library

A Place in the Woods: books and resources about nature

July is usually the warmest month in North Dakota. With that in mind, the best place to be is under shade or near a body of water. Here are 12 books (and several online resources) to help you connect with nature this summer.

Online Resources


cover of Moon of the Crusted Snow

Moon of the Crusted Snow

By Waubgeshig Rice

With winter looming, a small northern Anishinaabe community goes dark. Cut off, people become passive and confused. Panic builds as the food supply dwindles. Tensions rise and, as the months pass, so does the death toll due to sickness and despair. Frustrated by the building chaos, a group of young friends and their families turn to the land and Anishinaabe tradition in hopes of helping their community thrive again.

cover of The Overstory

The Overstory

By Richard Powers

An air force loadmaster in the Vietnam War is shot out of the sky, then saved by falling into a banyan. An artist inherits a hundred years of photographic portraits, all of the same doomed American chestnut. A hard-partying undergraduate in the late 1980s electrocutes herself, dies, and is sent back to life by creatures of air and light. A hearing-and speech-impaired scientist discovers that trees are communicating with one another. These four, and five other strangers — each summoned in different ways by trees — are brought together in a last and violent stand to save the continent’s few remaining acres of virgin forest.

Non-Fiction and Memoir

cover of The Nature Fix

The Nature Fix

By Florence Williams

For centuries, poets and philosophers extolled the benefits of a walk in the woods. Intrigued by our storied renewal in the natural world, Florence Williams set out to uncover the science behind nature’s positive effects on the brain. The Nature Fix demonstrates that our connection to nature is much more important to our cognition than we think and that even small amounts of exposure to the living world can improve our creativity and enhance our mood. In prose that is incisive, witty, and urgent, Williams shows how time in nature is not a luxury but is in fact essential to our humanity.

cover of A Walk in the Woods

A Walk in the Woods

By Bill Bryson

Bryson share his experiences hiking the Appalachian Trail with a childhood friend. The two encounter eccentric characters, a blizzard, getting lost, and rude yuppies along the way. Following his return to America after twenty years in Britain, Bill Bryson decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. Bryson’s acute eye is a wise witness to this fragile and beautiful trail, and as he tells its fascinating history, he makes a moving plea for the conservation of America’s last great wilderness.

cover of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

By Annie Dillard

What is the true nature of Nature? Is it a harmonious, interconnected system, operating according to the principles of co-dependence and benevolence? Or is it red in tooth and claw, an unfeeling, unthinking force, in which the individual is overwhelmed and subsumed to serve a larger purpose, one mysterious and obscure? This is what this volume is all about: an exploration into the nature of Nature, an attempt to discover the true character of the natural world around us.

National and State Parks

cover of Indigenous Peoples, National Parks, and Protected Areas

Indigenous Peoples, National Parks, and Protected Areas

By Stan Stevens

This passionate, well-researched book makes a compelling case for a paradigm shift in conservation practice. It explores new policies and practices, which offer alternatives to exclusionary, uninhabited national parks and wilderness areas and make possible new kinds of protected areas that recognize Indigenous peoples’ rights and benefit from their knowledge and conservation contributions.

cover of Art of the National Parks

Art of the National Parks

By Jean Stern

Reproductions of paintings depicting eight U.S. national parks. Inspired by nineteenth-century painters and photographers, Congress passed legislation preserving America’s spectacular natural resources for the enjoyment of all. Today, artists continue to play a significant role in interpreting these iconic panoramas, intimate corners, and diverse wildlife within our national parks. In Art of the National Parks, seventy painters and sculptors offer distinctive visions of eight of the nation’s most beloved wild lands: Acadia, Everglades, Grand Canyon, Grand Tetons, Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Zion.

cover of American Wilderness

American Wilderness: a journey through the national parks

By David Muench

The National Parks of the United States of America display the spectacular range of the country’s climatic, geological, biological and botanical environment. From East to West, from the Great Lakes to the Grand Canyon, the National Parks tell the history of the earth, revealing along the way the astounding beauty of natural forms and the exhilarating variety of flora and fauna.

Activities in Nature

cover of Nature's Best Hope

Nature’s Best Hope

By Douglas Tallamy

Nature’s Best Hope shows how homeowners everywhere can turn their yards into conservation corridors that provide wildlife habitats. It’s practical, effective, and easy–you will walk away with specific suggestions you can incorporate into your own yard. If you’re concerned about doing something good for the environment, Nature’s Best Hope is the blueprint you need.

cover of A Natural Sense of Wonder

A Natural Sense of Wonder

By Rick Van Noy

The technology boom of recent years has given kids numerous reasons to stay inside and play, while parents’ increasing safety concerns make it tempting to keep children close to home. But what is being lost as fewer kids spend their free time outdoors? Deprived of meaningful contact with nature, children often fail to develop a significant relationship with the natural world, much less a sense of reverence and respect for the world outside their doors.

cover of the Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America

The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America

By David Sibley

A guide for bird enthusiasts specifically designed for use in the field features descriptions of 650 species of birds from east of the Rocky Mountains, and illustrations that depict species from different views.