The Best Books About Lakes to Marvel At

Written by Angie Menjivar
Updated: May 27, 2024
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Life by the lake is easier, with the peaceful waters serving as a reflection of your still spirit. In these environments, you can enjoy a slowed-down pace. You savor your meals, enjoy the scenery, and take pleasure in activities out on the water. It makes sense to want to explore books about lakes and bring some of that serenity home with you. Wherever that is! Even if you don’t regularly make it out to enjoy lake life, you can remind your mind, body, and spirit of lake life. This way, you can experience moments of calm as you leaf through a book you cherish.

We found the some of the best books about lakes, including one that covers everything you need to know about the Great Lakes. One is filled with devotionals and stunning photos, and one tantalizes the type of reader who loves a bit of mystery. There’s no leaving kiddos out, so we highlight a book meant specifically for babies and toddlers. We round out the list with an inspirational book filled with thought-provoking quotes, and a fiction novel that centers around a lake.

  1. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes
    • Expertly paints a portrait of an upcoming ecological catastrophe
    • Explains the importance of the Great Lakes
    • Customers rate this book 4.7 out of five stars
    Check Amazon
  2. The Mysterious North Shore of Lake Superior
    • Contains 20 chilling stories on UFOs, ghosts, shipwrecks, and more within its pages
    • Many take place within Lake Superior
    • Each story is short enough that you can enjoy it for a quick read 
    Check Amazon
  3. Devotions from the Lake
    • With each page, you’re presented with a gorgeous photo and a special devotion that helps you start each day at the lake with quiet time you can spend with God
    • A gorgeous book that gifts you moments of serenity to soften the edges of your regular day-to-day
    • Customers rate this book 4.9 out of five stars
    Check Amazon
  4. Good Night Lake
    • Ideal for babies up to four years of age
    • Helps to build listening and memory skills
    • Customers rate this book 4.8 out of five stars
    Check Amazon
  5. 1,001 Pearls of Fishing Wisdom: Advice and Inspiration for Sea, Lake, and Stream
    • Offers insights from several different authors including Ernest Hemingway, Ted Hughes, and Henry David Thoreau
    • Segmented into different chapters on fishing
    • Customers rate this book 4.3 out of five stars
    Check Amazon
  6. The Lake
    • New York Times best-seller
    • Great novel for younger adults
    • Customers rate this book 4.4 out of five stars
    Check Amazon

A-Z Animals Top Picks for Books About Lakes

#1 Best Overall: The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan

The best overall book about lakes is The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan.

This book is available in Kindle, audiobook, hardcover, and paperback versions. It won the J. Anthony Lukas award and is a Los Angeles Times book prize finalist. This book covers everything from science to history. It explores the past, present, and future of the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes hold 20% of the world’s supply of surface freshwater. Together, these lakes provide recreation, work, and sustenance for millions of Americans. However, the Great Lakes are under threat. Dan Egan is the author of this book and he’s also a prize-winning reporter. He expertly paints a portrait of an upcoming ecological catastrophe that requires special attention.

He doesn’t just explain how the Great Lakes came about but also touches on the perils they face. Not to leave you without hope, he examines the different ways that we can preserve the Great Lakes for many generations in the future. This book covers how the Great Lakes were separated from the Atlantic Ocean and how engineering marvels came about as a result. Yet, each action that was taken in the past has a consequence in the future and Egan does well explaining how different invaders have made their way into the lakes to decimate native species. He explains how this ecosystem has been slowly getting destroyed. This book doesn’t mince words and the author is not shy about addressing all the standing concerns surrounding the Great Lakes.

The only drawback to this book is that it does not contain a lot of pictures.

Pros and Cons of The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan

ProsCons
This book explores the past, present, and future of the Great Lakes.It does not contain many pictures.
It explains the science and history of the Great Lakes.
It explains how the Great Lakes were separated from the Atlantic Ocean.
This book discusses the invasive species in the Lakes and how they are damaging the native populations.
There are Kindle, paperback, hardcover, and audio versions available.
Best Overall
The Death and Life of the Great Lakes
  • Expertly paints a portrait of an upcoming ecological catastrophe
  • Explains the importance of the Great Lakes
  • Customers rate this book 4.7 out of five stars
Check Amazon

2. Most Scary: The Mysterious North Shore of Lake Superior by William Mayo and Kathryn Mayo

If you’re looking for a scary story about lakes then we recommend The Mysterious North Shore of Lake Superior by William Mayo and Kathryn Mayo.

If stories about shipwrecks, UFOs, and ghosts are right up your alley, this is a book you can’t miss. It’s available in Kindle and paperback formats and contains 20 chilling stories within its pages. These are all reportedly true accounts of unexplained phenomena in northeastern Minnesota. Part of the stories you’re reading includes a giant serpent that lives beneath the surface of Lake Superior and several different ghost stories all having taken place on Minnesota’s north shore.

Each one of these tales is equally terrifying and if you’re a horror fan, you are sure to enjoy each one. The stories include harrowing reports of different shipwrecks and even several animal attacks. UFOs, Bigfoot, and other freaky tales keep your interest from the first page all the way to the last. Lake Superior seems to be a location where many of these ghostly tales take place, and each story is short enough that you can enjoy it for a quick read or settle in around a campfire with a blanket and share the whole book with your friends.

Pros and Cons of The Mysterious North Shore of Lake Superior by William Mayo and Kathryn Mayo

ProsCons
This book contains 20 chilling stories of unexplained phenomena in northeastern Minnesota.None
It features stories about shipwrecks, UFOs, and ghosts.
It includes a story about a giant serpent that lives beneath the surface of Lake Superior.
There are Kindle and paperback editions available.
Most Scary
The Mysterious North Shore of Lake Superior
  • Contains 20 chilling stories on UFOs, ghosts, shipwrecks, and more within its pages
  • Many take place within Lake Superior
  • Each story is short enough that you can enjoy it for a quick read 
Check Amazon

3. Best Devotional Book: Devotions from the Lake by Thomas Nelson

If you’re the kind of person who feels that life is overall better when you’re at the lake then Devotions from the Lake by Thomas Nelson is a book for you.

This book manages to capture all of the best parts of lake life with 100 devotions paired with breathtaking photography. God meets you where you are, especially when you are playing and resting. Lake life is its own style of living but even if you don’t live by the lake, you can carry a bit of lake life with you wherever you go. That slow-down feeling you experience when you’re by the water is something you can enjoy when you take long walks, when you share an ice cream cone with a loved one, and when you look up to enjoy a watercolor sunset.

Although it seems like only vacations can bring about that sense of peace and rest, this book invites you to live like this year round. With each page, you’re presented with a gorgeous photo and a special devotion that helps you start each day at the lake with quiet time you can spend with God. Purchase it for yourself as a reminder to keep a little piece of the lake with you at all times or purchase it as a gift for someone who would benefit from and appreciate each page.

Pros and Cons of Devotions from the Lake by Thomas Nelson

ProsCons
This book contains 100 unique devotions.None
It features breathtaking photographs.
Each devotion offers a quite time that you can spend with God.
Best Devotional Book
Devotions from the Lake
  • With each page, you’re presented with a gorgeous photo and a special devotion that helps you start each day at the lake with quiet time you can spend with God
  • A gorgeous book that gifts you moments of serenity to soften the edges of your regular day-to-day
  • Customers rate this book 4.9 out of five stars
Check Amazon

4. Best for Kids: Good Night Lake by Adam Gamble

Of course, we have to include a book about lakes for children. So for the little one in your life we recommend Good Night Lake by Adam Gamble.

This one is a sweet bedtime story that shares everything to do with lake adventures. It covers swimming, camping, and stargazing along the shore of the lake. Throughout the story, your toddler can discover ducks and swans that enjoy the calm waters as well as some insects and frogs that hide in the thick, green vegetation. If you have a child whom you’ve taken to the lake before and who knows this lifestyle (or even if you want to prep them for your next lake adventure), this is the perfect little book.

It’s ideal for babies up to four years of age and it helps to build listening and memory skills because it identifies famous landmarks. Read it just before naptime or bedtime. The soothing phrases serve as the perfect lullaby to help your child fall asleep easily. This is a board book and if you’re a parent, you know what that means. It’s built to last. You don’t have to keep it stored on the top shelf. You can keep it where your child’s little hands can reach it.

Unfortunately, some customers reported that they received a damaged book.

Pros and Cons of Good Night Lake by Adam Gamble

ProsCons
This is a sweet bedtime story about lake adventures.Some customers received a damaged book.
It covers swimming, camping, and stargazing along the shore of the lake.
This book features soothing phrases which act as the perfect lullaby for children.
It is suitable for children up to four years old.
Best for Kids
Good Night Lake
  • Ideal for babies up to four years of age
  • Helps to build listening and memory skills
  • Customers rate this book 4.8 out of five stars
Check Amazon

5. Most Inspirational: 1,001 Pearls of Fishing Wisdom: Advice and Inspiration for Sea, Lake, and Stream by Nick Lyons

If a part of your love for the lake involves fishing then 1,001 Pearls of Fishing Wisdom: Advice and Inspiration for Sea, Lake, and Stream by Nick Lyons is a great book to have in your home or at your lake house.

This book contains lighthearted humor to contemplative moments on different fishing styles like saltwater fishing, bass fishing, and fly fishing. Its focus is on the essence of the sport of angling and makes a perfect gift for yourself if you’re a fisherman or for the fisherman in your life. The book is segmented into different chapters which include Techniques and Strategies, Big Fish, Some Hints About Why We Fish, and The Lighter Side, among others.

It offers insights from several different authors including Ernest Hemingway, Ted Hughes, and Henry David Thoreau. The book covers everything from frustrations to all the joys of angling. Some of the insights are from fishing experts and enthusiasts while others are from well-respected writers. It makes this collection even more valuable for those who are newer to the sport. One of the insights reads, “Fishing provides that connection with the living world. It gives you the opportunity of being totally immersed, turning back into yourself in a good way.”

However, it should be noted that this book is a book of short quotes, not fishing stories. Some reviewers reported that they were disappointed when they realised this.

Pros and Cons of 1,001 Pearls of Fishing Wisdom: Advice and Inspiration for Sea, Lake, and Stream by Nick Lyons

ProsCons
This book features contemplative moments on different fishing styles like saltwater fishing, bass fishing, and fly fishing.It is a book of short quotes, not fishing stories.
It is divided into chapters based on subjects such as techniques and strategies, and why we fish.
It offers insights from several authors including Ernest Hemingway, Ted Hughes, and Henry David Thoreau.
Most Inspirational
1,001 Pearls of Fishing Wisdom: Advice and Inspiration for Sea, Lake, and Stream
  • Offers insights from several different authors including Ernest Hemingway, Ted Hughes, and Henry David Thoreau
  • Segmented into different chapters on fishing
  • Customers rate this book 4.3 out of five stars
Check Amazon

6. Best Fictional Novel: The Lake by Preston Natasha

If you’re looking for a good novel that you can curl up with then we recommend The Lake by Preston Natasha.

This fiction novel is a New York Times best-seller. It’s about two characters named Esme and Kayla who were once campers at Camp Pine Lake. They return as counselors in training. The experience reminds them both of how they used to be. They have secrets from their past that they didn’t plan on sharing but soon, it becomes clear that the lake never forgets. The secret they have kept for many years is just about to resurface. The characters are 18 years old, which makes this a great novel for younger adults who can better relate to the mindset of the characters.

Unfortunately, reviewers commented that the book was great until the ending which they felt was “a let down” and too predictable.

Pros and Cons of The Lake by Preston Natasha

ProsCons
This book is a New York Times bestseller.Reviewers felt that the ending was too predictable and a “let down”.
It is a thrilling story about two campers who were once campers at Camp Pine Lake and their secrets from the past which come back to the surface.
It is a great novel for younger adults.
Best Fiction Novel
The Lake
  • New York Times best-seller
  • Great novel for younger adults
  • Customers rate this book 4.4 out of five stars
Check Amazon

Choosing the Best: What to Look For

Each book about lakes has a different approach to the topic. Some are factual while others put an imaginative story together that centers around lake life. Some serve as inspirational pieces while others are better suited as bedtime stories for little ones.

Reading Level

The reading level of books is of importance, not just for kids, but for adults as well. The vocabulary and concepts a book relays should land for the reader, neither being too complex nor too simple. When you pick up a book at the appropriate reading level, you can ensure that the reader can understand and appreciate the text.

Type of Book

There are inspirational books, fiction novels, and stories of true accounts. One of the books we highlight in the list above is comprised of several different short stories, all centering around paranormal activity. This type of book is for those readers who are attracted to spooky stories and enjoy learning about supernatural activities. You get to decide which type of book you prefer, whether you’re adding it to your own library or picking it up as a gift for someone else.

About the Author

Angie Menjivar is a writer at A-Z-Animals primarily covering pets, wildlife, and the human spirit. She has 14 years of experience, holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology, and continues her studies into human behavior, working as a copywriter in the mental health space. She resides in North Carolina, where she's fallen in love with thunderstorms and uses them as an excuse to get extra cuddles from her three cats.

The Best Books About Lakes to Marvel At FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is the most beautiful lake?

It’s said beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so what may be the most beautiful lake to you may not be the most beautiful lake for someone else. However, there are some lakes that are well-known for their striking, breathtaking beauty. Some of those lakes include Lake Tahoe, Moraine Lake, Lake Superior, Lake Como, and Lake Baikal.

What are the five types of lakes?

There are more than five types of lakes! However, we’ll list five. They include tectonic lakes, volcanic lakes, landslide lakes, meteorite lakes, and aeolian lakes.

What is the prettiest lake in North Carolina?

North Carolina is home to some gorgeous lakes and scenery. One of the most popular (and certainly one of the prettiest) lakes is Lake Lure. This lake is man-made and calls forth locals and tourists year-round. To explore mountain lake life, Bear Lake Reserve is a must-see destination. Here, visitors can explore the lake on pontoons, paddleboards, and other motorized rentals!

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