The 6 Best Books About Lakes to Marvel At

Written by Angie Menjivar
Published: October 14, 2022
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Key Points

  • The best overall book about lakes is The Death and Life of the Great Lakes.
  • Explore the Great Lakes in great detail, pick up a page-turner on everything paranormal by Lake Superior, and pick up a sweet lake adventure book for the toddler in your life.
  • Be sure to pick a book with the appropriate reading level. There are fiction books, non-fiction books, and those meant strictly for adult or child audiences.

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 six 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
  2. 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
  3. The Mysterious North Shore of Lake Superior: A Collection of Short Stories About Ghosts, UFOs, Shipwrecks, and More (Hauntings, Horrors & Scary Ghost Stories)
  4. The Mysterious North Shore of Lake Superior: A Collection of Short Stories About Ghosts, UFOs, Shipwrecks, and More (Hauntings, Horrors & Scary Ghost Stories)
    • 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
  5. Devotions from the Lake
  6. 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
  7. Good Night Lake (Good Night Our World)
  8. Good Night Lake (Good Night Our World)
    • 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
  9. 1,001 Pearls of Fishing Wisdom: Advice and Inspiration for Sea, Lake, and Stream
  10. 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
  11. The Lake
  12. The Lake
    • New York Times best-seller
    • Great novel for younger adults
    • Customers rate this book 4.4 out of five stars
    Check Amazon

The Death and Life of the Great Lakes

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

Customers rate this book 4.7 out of five stars. They describe it as informative and hopeful. Some customers live near one of the Great Lakes and have been surprised to discover the information presented in this book. They feel humbled by the information the author delivers and have finished the book in record time because of how fascinating it is. One customer was skeptical about a book that involves lakes and fish and mussels and swamps being a page-turner, but it is. He says the chapters end with cliffhanger statements — kind of like an action thriller. He found it riveting overall and when he finished it, he realized he only wants to dive deeper into the topics the author presents.

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

The Mysterious North Shore of Lake Superior

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.

Best Scary
The Mysterious North Shore of Lake Superior: A Collection of Short Stories About Ghosts, UFOs, Shipwrecks, and More (Hauntings, Horrors & Scary Ghost Stories)
  • 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

Devotions from the Lake

If you’re the kind of person who feels that life is overall better when you’re at the lake, this is a book for you. It 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.

Customers rate this book 4.9 out of five stars. They love that it’s a meaningful book and has a way of bringing you back to the peace you find close to the water. It’s inspirational and customers enjoy it thoroughly. One customer shares that she reads one devotional every morning when she takes time out of her day to enjoy a hot cup of coffee. She finds each page thought-provoking and reassuring. The short devotionals pair with beautiful photos and she highly recommends them. Overall, it’s a gorgeous book that gifts you moments of serenity to soften the edges of your regular day-to-day.

Best Devotional
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

Good Night Lake

Of course, we have to include a book about lakes for children. 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.

Customers rate this book 4.8 out of five stars. This is just one in a series of books and customers suggest that you explore the others as well. They see it as a great tool for vocabulary building and appreciate that it introduces little ones to lake life and wildlife. One customer purchased this book for her niece just before their first camping trip at the lake. She’s just over a year old so she doesn’t really understand the wording as much as she will when she’s older, but she enjoyed the story and loved flipping through the board book.

Best for Children
Good Night Lake (Good Night Our World)
  • 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

1,001 Pearls of Fishing Wisdom: Advice and Inspiration for Sea, Lake, and Stream

If a part of your love for the lake involves fishing, this book is great to have in your home or at your lake house. It spans from 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.”

Customers rate this book 4.3 out of five stars. They view it as the perfect gift for fishermen who appreciate this book style. One customer purchased it for his stepfather who is an avid fisherman and who also loves these bite-size pieces of wisdom he can pass on to others. It was the ideal gift for him. His stepson gave it to him at Christmas and noticed him reading the book out loud to others the very next day. Overall, it’s described as a fun and interesting read and the book itself is of great quality.

Best 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

The Lake

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.

Customers rate this book 4.4 out of five stars. 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. One customer says that this book has one of the best endings she has ever come across. The last page and a half are pure genius. She’s a bit older than the age range this book may be intended for but after reading it all the way through, she was impressed.

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

Criteria: What to Look for in Books About Lakes

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.

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About the Author

Angie is a writer with over 10 years of experience developing content for product and brand reviews, focusing much of her time on animals of all types. A cat owner herself, she enjoys writing articles on beloved pets that both inform and entertain her audience.

The 6 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 5 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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