Explore Nature with These Outdoor Themed Book Recommendations

Enjoy one of these books with local or regional significance while out on your next summertime adventure.

  • The Spokane River (2018) edited by Paul Lindholdt: A newly-published collection of essays and poems on the environment—with reflections from 28 contributors—including Jess Walter, Tod Marshall, Sherman Alexie, Jerry White (Spokane Riverkeeper), Beatrice Lackaff (OTO writer), and many others.
  • Dog Songs (2013) by Mary Oliver: A book of poems (and one essay) by a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet will make you cry, in a good way.
  • I Promise Not To Suffer: A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail (2013) by Gail D. Storey: A funny memoir by a non-hiker who backpacked the PCT at age 56 with her husband, using their homemade ultralight gear.
  • Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (1974) and Teaching a Stone to Talk (1983): Expeditions and Encounters by Annie Dillard: The Pulitzer-prize winning Pilgrim is a narrative expose while the other is comprised of narrative essays. Dillard, who lived in western Washington for a few years during the 1970s, is renowned for her reflections on her explorations of the natural world.
  • We Live in Water (2013) by Jess Walter: This book of short fiction stories from Spokane’s NYT-best-selling author has been described as “darkly funny” and “sneakily sad”—which makes great escapist trailside reading.
  • The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac (2015) by Sharma Shields: Set in the Inland Northwest, this “dark, fantastical” novel from Shields, another great Spokane writer, includes place names like Palouse, Rathdrum, and Lilac City, the pseudonym for Spokane. Chapters advance the plot through time and the multi-generational family characters, which makes it easy to bookmark and continue reading from place to place. //

[Feature photo by Amy McCaffree.]

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