“…a symphony, filled with the music of life. It is fascinating, heartbreaking, and beautifully written.” Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future
“A stunning call to reinhabit our ancient communion with sound. David George Haskell’s gorgeous prose and deep research meld wonder with intellect, inspiring reverence, delight, and a sense of urgency in protecting aural diversity. The voice of the earth is singing with beauty and need—Haskell shows us the extraordinary gift and responsibility of being available to listen.” Lyanda Lynn Haupt, author of Rooted: Life at the Crossroads of Science, Nature, and Spirit, and Mozart’s Starling
“This is how scientific writing should be, and almost never is: suffused with wonder and pathos, throbbing with the music of the wild. Haskell conducts a magnificent symphony here. He shows us – no, lets us hear – that we are resonant animals in a thrillingly resonant universe, and that our fulfilment depends on finding the frequency that will make us resonate with everything else. His superb book sent me on my way singing, and trying to join in with the songs I heard on the way.” Charles Foster, author of Being a Beast and Being a Human
“In luminous prose, David Haskell teaches us to hear the beauty and tragedy of the whole history of life on Earth. Sounds Wild and Broken will change the way you listen to nature and to yourself, and may this help us heal our planet before it’s too late.” David Rothenberg, author of Nightingales in Berlin and Why Birds Sing
“This brilliant book—and I don’t use the term lightly—will change the way you hear everything. Haskell takes us deep inside the minds and music of human and non-human life, revealing one marvel after another, and makes a powerful case for conservation that not only preserves species, but the sensory experience of life itself.” Jonathan Meiburg, musician and author of A Most Remarkable Creature “
Thirteen Ways to Smell a Tree October 2021 in the UK.
“Eclectic, brilliant and beautifully written, David Haskell reboots our aromatic memory reminding us of how our lives are intertwined with the wonder of trees. A treat not to be sneezed at.” Sir Peter Crane, FRS.
“Thirteen Ways to Smell a Tree is a transportive olfactory journey through the forest that sets the sense tingling. Every chapter summons a new aroma: leaf litter and woodsmoke, pine resin and tannin, quinine and bay leaf—life in all its glorious complexity. David George Haskell is a knowledgeable, witty and erudite companion, who takes us by the hand and leads us through the world, reminding us to breathe it all in. This book is a breath of fresh air.” Cal Flyn, author of Islands of Abandonment.
The Songs of Trees:
Winner of the 2020 Iris Book Award
Winner of the 2018 John Burroughs Medal
Best Science Books of 2017, NPR Science Friday
Favorite Science Books of 2017, Brain Pickings
The 10 Best Environment, Climate Science and Conservation Books of 2017, Forbes.com
“A work of scientific depth and lyricism” The Guardian
“has the diverse busyness of a thriving woodland. It is hard to think of a recent scientifically-inflected book on nature that is as fluent, compelling, and intoxicatingly rich.” The Times Literary Supplement.
“Haskell proves himself to be the rare kind of scientist Rachel Carson was when long ago she pioneered a new cultural aesthetic of poetic prose about science…a resplendent read in its entirety” Maria Popova in Brain Pickings
Interviews in Outside Magazine and Yale Environment 360.
Listen to a compilation of sounds from the trees or visit with them through photos and sound.
The Forest Unseen:
Winner of 2013 Best Book Award from the National Academies
Finalist for 2013 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction
Runner-up for 2013 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award
Winner of the 2013 Reed Environmental Writing Award
Winner of the 2012 National Outdoor Book Award for Natural History Literature
Dapeng Nature Writing Award (in translation). Shenzhen, China. 2016.
“He thinks like a biologist, writes like a poet, and gives the natural world the kind of open-minded attention one expects from a Zen monk rather than a hypothesis-driven scientist.” James Gorman, The New York Times
“…a new genre of nature writing, located between science and poetry.” Edward O. Wilson, Harvard University
Recent essays and collaborations:
The voices of birds and the language of belonging. Emergence Magazine. Includes audio essay with bird song.
The Atomic Tree. VR experience based on the last chapter of The Songs of Trees.
Time travel with trees. The New York Times Sunday Review
The seasons are not what they used to be. The New York Times
Concurrent-Dyscurrent. CD/digital tracks of 4-minute field recording compositions (also on all streaming services).