World Book Day 2024

6 March 2024

With World Book Day 2024 on 7 March 2024, we wanted to share a handful of our favourites from the breadth of literature regarding the topics of trees, wood, and sustainability. 

The climate crisis has resulted in a deluge of books exploring sustainability and the importance of trees. We have hand-picked a few books that we think provide unique insight, in-depth looks, or just a variety of interesting (and sometimes disheartening) facts surrounding forest sustainability.

6 interesting books about trees, wood, and sustainability

We’ve compiled the following list to highlight some books we think are worthy of your attention. This list is by no means exhaustive; there is an incredible amount of great literature exploring these topics. Consider this a foundation for your own literary exploration.


1. A Trillion Trees: How We Can Reforest Our World (Fred Pearce, 2021)

With over twenty years of experience behind him, Pearce delves into the science, ecological importance, and future of trees. With a strong scientific (and optimistic) view on forestry, Pearce explores how trees are essential for the planet and the realistic ways we can help our forests recover. Through a journalistic writing style that explains complex science in an understandable manner, the cultural and political barriers to sustainability are explored, immersing you in a book that presents trees on a global scale, truly demonstrating their role in maintaining life on our planet.


2. Norwegian Wood: Chopping, Stacking, and Drying Wood the Scandinavian Way (Lars Mytting, 2011)

In this book about the simple pleasure of wood, Mytting manages to grip readers by elevating the supposed mundanity of wood chopping, stacking, and drying through immersive non-fiction writing that explores logs beyond their grain. Philosophy, culture, and the Norwegian way of life are traversed through the lens of, quite simply, wood.


3. The Secret Life of Trees: How They Live and Why They Matter (Colin Tudge, 2005)

As densely packed as some forests, Tudge traverses a wide span of subjects in The Secret Life of Trees. Packed with science and some facts that seem so otherworldly you won’t even believe they are facts (did you know that when some trees are chewed on by animals they warn surrounding trees with chemicals?), Tudge’s book describes exactly why trees matter.


4. Teaching the Trees: Lessons from the Forest (Joan Maloof, 2005)

Told through a collected of natural-history essays, Maloof displays her passion for trees through Teaching the Trees. Through a combination of a friendly, almost conversational style of writing and impassioned conservation pleas, Maloof is able to remind us all of the importance of trees, and the tragedy we would all face if we do not act.


5. The Lost Rainforests of Britain (Guy Shrubsole, 2022)

With a strong background of research and activism, Shrubsole delves into a habitat that few know exists. Once covering close to 20% of the UK and now left only in small pockets, Britain’s rainforests are inspiringly described through this book, with active solutions proposed to restore this lost wonder.


6. The Hidden Life of Trees (Peter Wohlleben, 2015)

Packed with unique environmental science facts, Wohlleben aims to change the way people look at trees through The Hidden Life of Trees. Trees are investigated as more than just organisms that let us breathe; their complex communicative systems, symbiotic relationships, and influence on the environment around them are engagingly explored to help us understand exactly what makes trees so special.


Honourable mentions

These books are not necessarily directly about wood or trees, but they cover the wider topic of sustainability in unique and interesting ways.


Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures (Merlin Sheldrake, 2020)

In this intimate look into an often misunderstood – and scarcely conceptualised – facet of nature, Sheldrake creates an accessible and exciting introduction to the wild world of fungi. Touching on the environmental importance of fungi, Sheldrake shines the light on the world that spends most of its time hidden in the undergrowth, revealing some seemingly supernatural processes that are happening all around us.


Otherlands: A World in the Making (Thomas Halliday, 2022)

This densely-packed book takes readers on a journey through the Earth’s existence, evoking myths and carefully crafted analogies to allow you to comprehend the phenomenal changes our planet has been through. The journey that Otherlands takes you through is a complex one, but one that Halliday masterfully navigates with skill and precision, gripping readers with every sentence.


The Case for Nature: Pioneering Solutions for a Planetary Crisis (Siddarth Shrikanth, 2023)

The nature crisis is explored by Shrikanth in The Case for Nature, using their background of conservationism as the foundation. The Case for Nature is extremely readable and gripping, framing nature as having intrinsic value. Shrikanth investigates how real solutions can be found, whilst making it abundantly clear that there is not just one planetary crisis; nature is also in danger of being irreversibly damaged.


Have you recently read a book exploring sustainability? Perhaps you’ve read a piece of fiction that has resonated with you, using nature, forests, and our planet as the perfect backdrop for the story. We’d love to hear – get in touch with us on social (Facebook, Instagram, X, or LinkedIn).


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