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A Cozy Winter Reading List for 2023

Read any good books lately? The holiday season can sometimes feel like chaos, with our senses assaulted by crowds of people, electronic devices, and a roller coaster of changing weather conditions. Many of us may forget to enjoy the simple pleasure of reading in a quiet, cozy room, curled up under a blanket with our favorite furry family members or a hot beverage. With over two months of winter ahead of us, I’d like to take a page out of a librarian’s book and invite you to make time to read! To get you started, with the help of my coworkers, fellow scientists and naturalists, we’ve compiled a list of books we recommend to inspire you in your quest to create your own Wild Acres at home. Many thanks to our enthusiastic Facebook followers for suggestions as well!

Let us know if you read any of these or enjoyed this reading list, at We’ll put out another list for your young budding naturalists in a future issue!

Photos of several books Award-winning fiction (with trees!):

The Overstory, by Richard Powers

Brand new in 2022:

An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Worlds Around Us, by Ed Yong

For naturalists who love a classic:

A Sand County Almanac, by Aldo Leopold

For local environmental solutions:

The Nature of Oaks: The Rich Ecology of Our Most Essential Native Trees, by Douglas Tallamy

For global environmental solutions:

Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life, by E.O. Wilson

Short-format inspiration:

All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis, edited by Ayana Johnson and Katherine Wilkinson

For foodies and food growers:

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver

On our feathered friends:

The Birder’s Bug Book, by Gilbert Waldbauer

On creepy crawlies:

Wicked Bugs, by Amy Stewart

On seasonal contrasts:

Winter World or Bumblebee Economics, by Bernd Heinrich

On native plants and native people:

Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer

On aquatics:

For The Love of Rivers, by Kurt D. Fausch

The Soul of an Octopus, by Sy Montgomery

Welcome HabiChatters to the 2023 winter issue!
In this issue, Education Ecologist Paula Becker starts us off with a fantastic overview of what is happening in the natural world at this time of year, and then I’ll tell you some of what we’re up to in the Natural Heritage Program. Education Assistant Edwin Guevara writes about some of our favorite winter wildlife, owls and evergreens. And, if our newsletter didn’t fully feed your craving for reading, I’ve included a reading list to inspire and delight. We hope you enjoy and wish you a very Happy New Year from the education team at Wild Acres!

Sarah Witcher

Click here to have HabiChat—the quarterly backyard wildlife habitat newsletter from the Wild Acres program—delivered right to your inbox!

In this Issue

Photo of American holly