Recently, a number of books on the ways that humans have disrupted the Earth's natural systems have been published. With The Nature Instinct: Relearning Our Sixth Sense for the Inner Workings of the Natural World, Tristan Gooley shows how humans can reconnect with nature.
Gooley (The Lost Art of Reading Nature's Signs) is no novice at interpreting the natural world. He founded a natural navigation school in 2008 and has led expeditions on five continents by reading the signs and signals of nature. In The Nature Instinct, he lays out how he does it. With smooth prose and accessible examples taken from real life, Gooley explains how to use the sun and the star constellation Orion to tell direction. He describes how to interpret animals' behaviors to predict their next moves. Moreover, he explains how one's own behavior can influence that of animals--and how to avoid scaring them off.
When used together, the tools he provides can make it seem that the tracker possesses a "sixth sense," he explains. But none of this, he continues, is rooted in mysticism. On the contrary, it is science. Threaded throughout the book is an examination of how the human brain works--how the limbic system communicates with the neocortex--to help us form instantaneous assessments of the world around us. Our ancestors were experts at natural navigation, Gooley explains, and many Indigenous people still are. This captivating book will help nature enthusiasts to reclaim those skills. --Amy Brady, freelance writer and editor