Check out our curated collection of reading material related to conservation, environmentalism, and the unique ecosystems of Southwest Florida. 


Best. State. Ever.: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland

Dave Barry

Barry is going to show you why Florida is a great state. And whatever else you think about Florida-- you can never say it's boring.


The Calusa and Their Legacy: South Florida People and Their Environments

Darcie A. MacMahon and William A. Marquardt

A history of the remarkable Calusa people of South Florida.


Day Hiking Southwest Florida: A Guide to the Best Trail Adventures in Greater Naples and Fort Myers

Johnny Molloy

A guide to exploring the many trails in our area.


​The Everglades: River of Grass

Marjorie Stoneman Douglas

Before 1947, when Marjory Stoneman Douglas named The Everglades a "river of grass," most people considered the area worthless. She brought the world's attention to the need to preserve the Everglades. In the new and updated Afterword, Michael Grunwald again tells us what has happened to them since then.


Fodor's Florida

Fodor's Travel Guides

A guidebook listing all there is to see and do in Florida.



​A Land Remembered

Patrick D. Smith

In this best-selling novel set in what is now Lee County, Patrick Smith tells the story of three generations of the MacIveys, a Florida family who battle the hardships of the frontier to rise from a dirt-poor Cracker life to the wealth and standing of real estate tycoons. The sweeping story that emerges is a rich, rugged Florida history featuring a memorable cast of crusty, indomitable Crackers battling wild animals, rustlers, Confederate deserters, mosquitoes, starvation, hurricanes, and freezes to carve a kingdom out of the swamp. 


​Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad that Crossed an Ocean 

Les Standiford

An extraordinary man and partner of John D. Rockefeller in the Standard Oil Company, Flagler had the vision to build railroads to link this territory with the rest of America. This book shows how he masterminded the nearly impossible engineering feat of spanning more than 100 miles of ocean and islands to reach the southernmost tip of the Eastern Seaboard


​A Naturalist in Florida: A Celebration of Eden

Archie Carr

Archie Carr (1909-1987) was an eminent naturalist, writer, conservationist, and world authority on sea turtles. Throughout his life he wrote on many aspects of natural history, but he was particularly entranced by the wildlife and ecosystems of Florida, where he lived for more than fifty years. This captivating book-a collection of essays on Florida-provides memorable details and anecdotes about the flora, fauna, and humans that have inhabited this colorful landscape.


​The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Possession 

Susan Orlean

Fascinating, witty, and bizarre, this true story of beauty and obsession in Florida weaves a seductive tale of plant smugglers, swamp explorers, and the strange effects orchids have on the eccentric collectors who must possess them.


Paradise Lost?: The Environmental History of Florida

Jack Emerson Davis and Raymond Arsenault

This collection of essays surveys the environmental history of the Sunshine State, from Spanish exploration to the present, and provides an organized, detailed overview of the reciprocal relationship between humans and Florida's unique peninsular ecology.  


​Shadow Country

Peter Matthiessen

Inspired by a near-mythic event of the wild Florida frontier at the turn of the twentieth century, Shadow Country reimagines the legend of the inspired Everglades sugar planter and notorious outlaw E.J. Watson, who drives himself relentlessly toward his own violent end at the hands of neighbors who mostly admired him, in a killing that obsessed his favorite son.


Silent Spring

Rachel Carson

First published in 1962, Silent Spring alerted a large audience to the environmental and human dangers of indiscriminate use of pesticides, spurring revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water. 



Some Kind of Paradise: A Chronicle of Man and the Land in Florida

Mark Derr

Traces the history of Florida, emphasizing the period between Reconstruction and the Depression, illuminating the environmental and social changes of our southernmost state.



The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise

Michael Grunwald

The Swamp is the stunning story of the destruction and possible resurrection of the Everglades, the saga of man's abuse of nature in southern Florida and his unprecedented efforts to make amends. Michael Grunwald, a prize-winning national reporter for The Washington Post, takes readers on a riveting journey from the Ice Ages to the present, illuminating the natural, social and political history of one of America's most beguiling but least understood patches of land.



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