Covering themes rooted in the West, these books inspire adventure and conservation.

These 5 Books Will Inspire Your Inner Wild

Getty Images/Justin Lewis

Discovering solitude and restoration, a lone male hiker reclines in a hammock strung between two pine trees next to an idyllic mountain lake. He is barefoot and wears a plaid wool shirt, reading a book, while clouds and sky offer up prisms of magical afternoon sunshine. Snowy mountains are nearby, but before he climbs them, this hiker is resting up, in balance with himself and his momentary place in the world.

Snuggle up with a good book. Whether you’re looking for a gift for your favorite adventurer or wanting to cozy up with one yourself, these reads will inspire readers with wanderlust.

We only recommend things we love. If you buy something through our site, we might earn a commission.

This Contested Land by Mckenzie Long

Courtesy of Amazon

This Contested Land: The Storied Past and Uncertain Future of America’s National Monuments

For those following environmental policy, it comes as no surprise that national parklands and monuments are constantly under threat, and were particularly so under our previous administration. In her first book, This Contested Land, author and graphic artist McKenzie Long sets out to various parklands across the U.S., including Gold Butte in Nevada, Organ Mountains–Desert Peaks in New Mexico, and the Cascade–Siskiyou National Monument in Oregon and California on a mission to convey the complexities behind protecting these lands from climate change and economic development. The collection of essays is a beautiful homage to the contested lands of the West and beyond.

This Contested Land: The Storied Past and Uncertain Future of America’s National Monuments by Mckenzie Long, $25
The Seven Circles

The Seven Circles

The Seven Circles: Indigenous Teachings for Living Well

More Videos From Sunset

In The Seven Circles, wellness teachers and husband-wife duo Chelsey Luger and Thosh Collins share intimate stories from their life journeys growing up in tribal communities that inspired their commitment to wellness. The founders of Well for Culture cover various Indigenous traditions that serve as guidance for leading a healthful life, from staying active and spiritually centered through running and dance, to creating a light-filled, minimalist home to foster sacred space. Ultimately, the book takes readers on a journey of how to connect with nature, community, and with ourselves.

The Seven Circles: Indigenous Teachings for Living Well by Chelsey Luger and Thosh Collins, $24
Ranchland Wagonhound

Courtesy of Amazon

Ranchland: Wagonhound

French photographer Anouk Masson Krantz takes us on a deep dive into the private world of Wagonhound in Wyoming, one of America’s largest and most revered working ranches, spanning more than 300,000 acres. Her stunning photography showcases cowboy ranching culture and land stewardship in the American West and highlights the daily beauty and seasonal rhythms of life on the ranch. It makes an excellent coffee table book, a wonderful alternative to the Tom Ford tome that every modern home seems to have these days.

Ranchland: Wagonhound by Anouk Masson Krantz, $64
Soundings by Doreen Cunningham


Soundings: Journeys in the Company of Whales: A Memoir

I’ve been completely fascinated by whales from the time I was a child, so I’m immediately ordering Irish-British author Doreen Cunningham’s Soundings. The book blends science and nature storytelling with memoir—in it Cunningham travels with her toddler as she follows the migration route of gray whales between Mexico and Alaska. It’s the perfect combination of escapism and realism, and promises to be an excellent read with countless great reviews from critics.

Soundings: Journeys in the Company of Whales: A Memoir by Doreen Cunningham, $16
Never Finished by David Goggins

Never Finished

Never Finished: Unshackle Your Mind and Win the War Within

David Goggins’ bestselling memoir, Can’t Hurt Me, cultivated an army of evangelists for his raw, wild, and inspirational storytelling. In his latest work Never Finished, Goggins takes you inside what he calls his Mental Lab, where he developed this totally over-the-top yet inspiring take on philosophy, psychology, and pushing past previously determined limits. If you’re looking to break barriers in 2023, or are just looking for a unique read by one of the West’s wildest characters, this book is for you.

Never Finished: Unshackle Your Mind and Win the War Within by David Goggins, $28

Read the Current Issue Here!

Get one year of Sunset—and all kinds of bonuses—for just $24.95. Subscribe now!