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The Secret Wisdom of Nature

Trees, Animals, and the Extraordinary Balance of All Living Things – Stories from Science and Observation

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  • ISBN: 9781771643887
  • Tags: Jane Billinghurst, Literary Non-fiction, Nature & Environment, Peter Wohlleben, Science,
  • Dimensions: 5.25 x 7.5
  • 272 Pages


“As you read these pages you will understand why I so admire [Peter Wohlleben] and am so in love with his work.”

Nature is full of surprises: deciduous trees affect the rotation of the Earth, cranes sabotage the production of Iberian ham, and coniferous forests can make it rain. But what are the processes that drive these incredible phenomena? And why do they matter?

In The Secret Wisdom of Nature, master storyteller and international sensation Peter Wohlleben takes readers on a thought-provoking exploration of the vast natural systems that make life on Earth possible. In this tour of an almost unfathomable world, Wohlleben describes the fascinating interplay between animals and plants and answers such questions as: How do they influence each other? Do lifeforms communicate across species boundaries? And what happens when this finely tuned system gets out of sync? By introducing us to the latest scientific discoveries and recounting his own insights from decades of observing nature, one of the world’s most famous foresters shows us how to recapture our sense of awe so we can see the world around us with completely new eyes.

Published in Partnership with the David Suzuki Institute.

Peter Wohlleben is the acclaimed author of the international bestsellers The Hidden Life of Trees and The Inner Life of Animals. He spent over twenty years working for the forestry commission in Germany before leaving to put his ecological ideas into practice. Today he manages a forest academy and an environmentally friendly woodland in Germany, where he is working for the return of primeval forests.

Jane Billinghurst’s career has been in book publishing in the UK, the US, and Canada, as an editor, publisher, writer, and translator.


"Peter Wohlleben’s curiosity about the natural world, his sense of wonder at its complexity and beauty, and his clear and compelling writing have combined in this book, The Secret Wisdom of Nature. As you read these pages you will understand why I so admire him and am so in love with his work." 
—Jane Goodall

"By the end of the book, it’s clear that it’s we humans who are extraordinary, in ways awful and awesome."
—New York Times

"With an eye for the memorable anecdote... Mr. Wohlleben writes with authority but avoids the temptation of appearing to have all the answers.”
—Wall Street Journal

"Peter Wohlleben’s bestselling Mysteries of Nature trilogy - The Hidden Life of Trees, The Inner Life of Animals, and his latest... taps into a very human instinct: pattern recognition." 
—The Guardian

"Wohlleben examines complex ecosystems and our interventions in them...Fruitful reading for students of the environment and of environmental literature, of which this is a fine specimen indeed." 
* (starred review)

"Wohlleben is right to remind us that everything is joined up." 
—Evening Standard

"Wohlleben presents scientific evidence with the exuberant wonder of your favorite high school teacher."
—Mindful Magazine

"Wohlleben uses the latest scientific discoveries and his own decades of experience as a forester to present some fascinating revelations."
—Winnipeg Free Press

"[Wohlleben] writes in a wholly readable tone, and with infectious curiosity...[on] the idea that 'we’d do better to keep our hands off everything in nature that we do not absolutely have to touch.'”
—Georgia Straight

"An absorbing and constantly surprising look at the unexpected connections that make the world work. ...He brilliantly shows us how to see and learn, not command and control."
—William Bryant Logan, author of Dirt and Oak

"Wohlleben writes clearly and eloquently about issues that he obviously cares passionately about, and that makes for compelling reading."
—Anne H. Ehrlich, Senior Research Scientist, emerita, Biology Department, Stanford University

"With scientific accuracy and easy-to-understand language, Peter Wohlleben shows us the secret, sacred relationships among living beings on this miraculous planet" 
—Carl Safina
, author of Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel