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Notable Books with Trees

With summer temps on the way (in February?), now is the time to head outside with a great book. Although, is there ever a bad time to curl up with a good book?

We’ve collected a few books with trees – not the science-heavy, research study kind – but rather, books that involve trees in unexpected ways. To make this list a slight surprise, we decided against any of our tried and true favorite tree books, including The Giving Tree, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, the Lord of the Rings series, the Lorax, or any of the Harry Potter books with the Whomping Willow.

  1. Dante’s Inferno
    The journey begins not with a single tree, but an entire forest, or “selva oscura”. Lost among the thick trees, which may owe something to the great yew forests of medieval Italy, but probably much more to the shady canopies of the mind, the poet makes his way down through the darkness into hell.
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    Since it was first published in 1960,Harper Lee’s classic To Kill a Mockingbird has been released in dozens of editions with different styles of cover art, almost all of which have one thing in common — the inclusion of an oak tree. After the mysterious Boo Radley starts leaving gifts for Scout and Jem in a knothole of the oak tree outside his house, it comes to symbolize friendship and acceptance despite unlikely circumstances.
  3. Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
    Hermann Hesse’s novel Siddhartha tells the life story of Siddhartha Gautama (otherwise known as Buddha) and highlights the moment that Guatama first attained enlightenment. After spending 49 days meditating, Gautama discovered the truth about life while sitting under a Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya, India.
  4. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
    The Lemonade Tree in the Villa Villekulla garden – the one with the hollow trunk where Pippi, Tommy and Annika found cool glass bottles of sockerdricka (or lemonade) – was one of the ancient elm trees which are still there.
  5. The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
    In Spain, Ferdinand the bull grows up to be big and strong. One day he is accidentally chosen for the bullfights in Madrid, where the crowd and bullfighters are impressed and hopeful for an epic battle. They are disappointed, however, because Ferdinand refuses to fight. Ultimately, he is rewarded with his utmost wish, to sit under his favorite cork tree and smell the flowers.

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