Bees and Trees: Novels for Nature Lovers

Love trees? Read these! Summer is upon us and it's time to get outside and enjoy all that longer, warmer days have to offer. There are so many great ways to spend time outdoors in the Pacific Northwest, whether finding a new hiking trail, biking, camping, sunbathing, or any other number of fun summer activities. And of course, don't forget to check your library calendar to see what great Summer Reading activities are going on near you! Naturally, I think reading should play a part in all the summer fun, so I always pack a book along with my picnic and beach bag. There's just something extra cozy about reading a story that is connected to your surroundings, so here are some excellent books in which nature plays a starring role. Check one out from your local library and head outside to enjoy it!

The Bees

A member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive, Flora 717, due to her courage and strength, finds her way into the Queen's inner sanctum where she discovers secrets about the hive that cause her to challenge authority and perform unthinkable acts.

The History of Bees

England, 1852. William is a biologist and seed merchant, who sets out to build a new type of beehive that will give both him and his children honor and fame. United States, 2007. George is a beekeeper fighting an uphill battle against modern farming, but hopes that his son can be their salvation. China, 2098. Tao hand paints pollen onto the fruit trees now that the bees have long since disappeared. When Tao's young son is taken away by the authorities after a tragic accident, she sets out on a grueling journey to find out what happened to him. Haunting, illuminating, and deftly written, The History of Bees joins these three very different narratives into one gripping and thought-provoking story that is just as much about the powerful bond between children and parents as it is about our very relationship to nature and humanity.

The Trees

The trees arrive in the night: thundering up through the ground, transforming streets and towns into shadowy forest. Buildings are destroyed. Broken bodies, still wrapped in tattered bed linen, hang among the twitching leaves. Adrien Thomas has never been much of a hero. But when he realizes that no help is coming, he ventures out into this unrecognizable world. Michelle, his wife, is across the sea in Ireland and he has no way of knowing whether the trees have come for her too. Then he meets green-fingered Hannah and her teenage son Seb. Together, they set out to find Hannah's forester brother, to reunite Adrien with his wife and to discover just how deep the forest goes. Their journey will take them to a place of terrible beauty and violence, to the dark heart of nature and the darkness inside themselves.

The Overstory

A novel of activism and natural-world power presents interlocking fables about nine remarkable strangers who are summoned in different ways by trees for an ultimate, brutal stand to save the continent's few remaining acres of virgin forest.

Need more to explore? Check out even more nature-themed novels here, and as always, happy reading!