1. Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness by Dr. Qing Li
What do you prescribe for a society riddled with “nature deficit disorder”? According to Dr. Qing Li, it’s the ancient Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku – forest bathing – which his ground-breaking research has found to reduce stress levels and blood pressure, strengthen our immune and cardiovascular systems, and boost energy, mood, creativity, and concentration. This book introduces us to a beautifully simple practice for improving quality of life and long-term wellbeing, from the world’s foremost expert in Forest Medicine.
Dr. Qing Li will be running a workshop in Advaya’s upcoming Guardians of the Forest course between 3 May and 11 August.
2. Tree Story by Valerie Trouet
Valerie Trouet is a dendrochronologist: a scientist studying tree rings and what they tell us about climate and atmospheric conditions throughout history. Her research at the University of Arizona has examined the climate over the past 2,000 years and how it has influenced humanity and ecosystems. Tree Story gives us an insider’s look into this research, revealing the far-reaching scientific insights that have arisen from counting tree rings, and which shine light not only on the biology of climate, but also its influence on landmark events in human history.
3. The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
In this book, German forester Peter Wohlleben delves into the complex and sophisticated world of tree communication: the messages, signals and impulses they share, and the intertwined relationships between trees, fungi, the forest floor, and all other living beings. Weaving in his own experience in forests with scientific research, Wohlleben invites us to look closer and deeper at trees, understanding not only their essential role in ecology and the maintenance of life on this planet, but also how they enrich us emotionally and spiritually.
4. Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai by Claire Nivola
This book, suitable for adults as well as kids, tells the story of Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan activist and the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. Faced with social and environmental degeneration upon her return to Kenya as a graduate, Wangari founded the Green Belt Movement, kick-starting a movement of tree planting and environmental advocacy in Kenya and eventually, across Africa. Her story is testament to the power of individual activism driven by love.
5. Wildwood: A Journey through Trees by Roger Deakin
Roger Deakin – a British writer, filmmaker and environmentalist – finished writing Wildwood four months before his death in 2006. The book is an exploration of the “fifth element” of wood in nature, culture and our lives, as Deakin takes us with him on a journey across continents. Weaving in autobiography, history, travel writing and natural history, the book explores “what lies behind man’s profound and enduring connection with trees.”