The Book of Nature: The Astonishing Beauty of God's First Sacred Text


Product Details

$27.99  $26.03
Broadleaf Books
Publish Date
6.3 X 8.5 X 1.0 inches | 1.0 pounds

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About the Author

Barbara Mahany is an author and freelance journalist beloved for her features and writing that appeared in the Chicago Tribune for almost thirty years. She is known for her writing at the intersection of nature, spirituality, interfaith considerations, and family. She is the author of Slowing Time: Seeing the Sacred Outside Your Kitchen Door. Mahany lives in the Chicago area with her husband, the Pulitzer Prize-winning former Chicago Tribune architecture critic, Blair Kamin. They have two sons, Will and Teddy.


"Mahany's lyrical, thoughtful, most recent work beautifully complements her shelf of awe-inspired books about nature and will appeal to fans of Shauna Niequist and Anne Lamott." --Booklist

"The Book of Nature provides permission to wonder, get curious and find God in the tiny details of a sprouting garden, a forest glade, birds in flight or the moon....Mahany reminds us that there are different ways to encounter God all around us, beyond just in scripture." ----BookPage

"Weaving together the astonishments of science; the profound wisdom and literary gems of thinkers, poets, and observers who have come before us; and her own spiritual practice and gentle observation, Barbara Mahany reintroduces us to The Book of Nature, an experiential framework of the divine." ----Englewood Review of Books

"Mahany...writes in ways that are nearly as arresting as the book of nature she describes." ----National Catholic Reporter

"Regardless of where one's spirituality (or lack of it) may lie, Barbara Mahany's The Book of Nature is a deeply rich celebration of the ageless overlap between religion and the many faces of the natural world--the 'Book of Nature' to which mystics, monks, and others have turned for insight into the sacred. Best of all, this thought-provoking exploration is wrapped in Mahany's luscious and luminous writing, which makes every page a delight." --Scott Weidensaul, author of A World on the Wing

"Attention is among the deepest forms of integrity. In The Book of Nature, Barbara Mahany pays attention. She doesn't look through nature; she looks at nature and, there, sees the mysteries that make and unmake us. In an age of environmental threat and neglect, Barbara Mahany's book is a theological, poetic, and devoted plea for attention to our most fundamental constitution: matter--and everything that comes from it, including us." --Pádraig Ó Tuama, host of Poetry Unbound from On Being Studios

"The Book of Nature is an invitation to step into the newness of each day: sunrise, garden, forest, waters, nightfall. These pages reflect both awe and heartbreak, a pause when our world feels on fire and the climate crisis calls us to collective lament, communion, and action." --Mallory McDuff, author of Love Your Mother: 50 States, 50 Stories, and 50 Women United for Climate Justice

"Following in and deepening the footsteps of the Desert Mothers and Fathers, Barbara Mahany's The Book of Nature invites you to engage with nature as the body of God: to know that all life is the happening of a nondual Aliveness called by many names. Calling to a humanity drunk on transcendence and desperate to escape from Nature and our responsibility to Her, The Book of Nature reveals the sobering immanence of God as the Source and Substance of all reality." --Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author of Judaism Without Tribalism

"Lovely and smart reflections--the perfect book to slip into a rucksack on a day you're planning a wander through the larger world!" --Bill McKibben, author The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon