Summer 2023 Reading Recommendations

A collage of book covers over an orange background with text that reads Summer 2023 Reading Recommendations

Now an annual tradition, Gathering Waters shares our staff’s summer reading recommendations.

Let us know what you think of our picks, and what you’re reading this summer! Drop us a note at

An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us

By Ed Yong

Every animal perceives the world within its own unique sensory bubble. This book welcomes the reader into this previously unfathomable dimension. I was blown away by the journeys into animals’ perceptual worlds guided by Yong. The audiobook is also a treat, narrated by Ed Yong himself. Or, if you just want a taste of the book, there is a great Fresh Air interview with the author by Terry Gross.

-Charlie Carlin, Director of Strategic Initiatives

Flight Paths: How a Passionate and Quirky Group of Pioneering Scientists Solved the Mystery of Bird Migration

By Rebecca Heisman

The captivating, little-known true story of a group of scientists and the methods and technology they developed to uncover the secrets of avian migration.

-Mike Carlson, Executive Director

Fox and I: An Uncommon Friendship

By Catherine Raven

When is it OK to befriend a fox? That’s a question that biologist Catherine Raven asks in her memoir. Her vivid descriptions transport the reader to her remote Montana cabin and the community of magpies, voles, juniper trees, all manner of other birds and wildflowers in the valley…and a fox, who takes to visiting daily, and yes, she reads to him from The Little Prince. A beautiful, quirky, and poignant account of her—and our—connection with the natural world.

-Meg Domroese, Director of Programs and Impact

Hunt, Gather, Parent: What Ancient Cultures Can Teach Us About the Lost Art of Raising Happy, Helpful Little Humans

By Michaeleen Doucleff, PhD

Parenting during the summer months can leave us all feeling a bit frazzled. This book examines parenting strategies from some of the oldest cultures, many of which are strikingly different from that of most Western families. The author takes a first hand observational role by living with several families, then converts those observations into practice with her own child. This book provides perspective and refreshing approaches that have helped me foster a deeper connection with my littles.

-Chris Gutschenritter, Director of Land Conservation Law Program

Collecting Courage: Joy, Pain, Freedom, Love – Anti-Black Racism in the Charitable Sector

It’s not a light summer read but a provocative one. Collecting Courage: Joy, Pain, Freedom, Love is a collection of 15 first-person narratives shared by accomplished Black fundraisers and equity, racial and social justice advocates, documenting their experiences confronting and surviving racism working in charitable and philanthropic spaces across North America.

-Pat McMurtrie, Annual Giving & Outreach Manager

How to Prepare for Climate Change

By David Pogue

From what to grow to where to live, How to Prepare for Climate Change is a comprehensive guide to preparing for and surviving the greatest threat of our time.

-Rhianon Morgan, Operations Coordinator

Fellowship Point

By Alice Elliottt Dark

When this novel first came out in 2022, I added it to my “to-read” list because of the setting (the coast of Maine) and the mention of land preservation. It is a story about a woman determined to secure her legacy as an author and to permanently protect a peninsula known as Fellowship Point. It’s a bit of a hefty summer read in both size and content, but what better time to dig into a big story?

-Amanda Sweno, Communications & Outreach Coordinator

Braiding Sweetgrass

By Robin Wall Kimmerer

This nonfiction book informs us on the role of Indigenous knowledge and how it adds a different perspective or approach to conventional Western scientific methodologies. So get ready, settle in, and enjoy the writing of Robin Wall Kimmerer because this book is a page-turner.

-Tina Tran, Diversity in Conservation Intern

Oh Crap! Potty Training

By Jamie Glowacki

To successfully train your child for a lifetime of socially acceptable behavior, this is a summer must-read! Plenty of good humor and an entire chapter devoted to… you guessed it, POOP. You won’t want to put this book down.

-Creal Zearing, Director of Philanthropy