We asked leaders in the biomimicry community – including Institute staff, founders of the Biomimicry Global Networks, our friends at Biomimicry 3.8, and our co-founder, Janine Benyus – for their summer reading recommendations, and have compiled a great list of books for your trip to the beach (or lake, reservoir, bay, pond, channel, estuary, fjord, bight, canal, wetland, lagoon, marsh, tributary, or river delta) this summer. Some may be better suited for hunkering down during winter months, but all will provide a new perspective in thinking about sustainability, innovation and design, and our relationship with the natural world. Enjoy!

Recommended by Janine Benyus, co-founder, Biomimicry Institute & Biomimicry 3.8

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses by Robin Wall Kimmerer

The Hidden Half of Nature by Anne Biklé and David R. Montgomery

I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong

Adapt: How Humans Are Tapping into Nature’s Secrets to Design and Build a Better Future by Amina Khan

Recommended by Amy Coffman-Phillips, founder, Biomimicry Chicago network

Evolution by Stephen Baxter (Sci-Fi)

Storms of my Grandchildren by James Hansen

Birthright: People and Nature in the Modern World by Stephen Kellert

 

Recommended by Katherine Collins, author, The Nature of Investing, founder, Honeybee Capital Foundation

The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams

 

Recommended by Lisa Dokken, biomimicry consultant and lecturer, Columbia University

The Soil Will Save Us: How Scientists, Farmers, and Foodies Are Healing the Soil to Save the Planetby Kristin Ohlson

 

Recommended by Marjan Eggermont, associate dean, Schulich School of Engineering, and founding co-editor, Zygote Quarterly

Science of Seeing: Essays on Nature from Zygote Quarterly by Adelheid Fischer

 

Recommended by Chris Garvin, architect and founding board member, Biomimicry NYC network

Designing Regenerative Cultures by Daniel Christian Wahl

 

Recommended by Adiel Gavish, social media and communications manager, Biomimicry Institute and founder, BiomimicryNYC network

Orbiting the Giant Hairball by Gordon MacKenzie

The Story of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang (Sci-Fi)

Recommended by Ron Gonen, co-founder and CEO, Closed Loop Fund

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

 

Recommended by Tim McGee, founder, Likolab

How to Raise a Wild Child by Scott D. Sampson

Parasite Rex: Inside the Bizarre World of Nature’s most Dangerous Creatures by Carl Zimmer

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elizabeth Tova Bailey

Recommended by Nicole Miller, managing director, Biomimicry 3.8

Teeming: How Superorganisms Work Together to Build Infinite Wealth on a Finite Planet (and your company can too) by Dr. Tamsin Woolley Barker

 

Recommended by Beth Rattner, executive director, Biomimicry Institute  

What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins by Jonathan Balcombe

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery

Recommended by Josh Stack, founder, Stack Resilience and co-founder, Biomimicry Northern Forest

Dark Age Ahead by Jane Jacobs

Solving for Pattern by Wendell Berry (essay from his book, The Gift of Good Land)

Principles for Building Resilience: Sustaining Ecosystem Services in Social-Ecological Systems by Reinette Biggs

 

Recommended by Kathy Zarsky, systems director, HOLOS, and co-founder, and director, Biomimicry TX network

Patterns in Nature: Why the Natural World Looks the Way It Does by Phillip Ball

The Self-Made Tapestry: Pattern Formation in Nature by Phillip Ball

Seeds: Time Capsules of Life by Rob Kesseler

Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future by Betty Sue Flowers, Peter M. Senge and C. Otto Scharmer

Recommended by Joe Zazzera, founding principal, Plant Solutions

The Ground Beneath Us: From the Oldest Cities to the Last Wilderness, What Dirt Tells Us About Who We Are by Paul Bogard

RESOURCES

We also recommend checking out Joe Zazzera’s 111 “Books of Interest for the Biomimicry Professional” board on Pinterest!

In addition, we would like to encourage readers to obtain a copy of your local Master Naturalist’s reading list.

 

ADD YOUR OWN BOOK RECOMMENDATION!

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