The Book

Book Summary

For Love of Lakes weaves a delightful tapestry of history, science, emotion, and poetry for all who love lakes or enjoy nature writing. For Love of Lakes is an affectionate account documenting our species long relationship with lakes—their glacial origins, Thoreau and his environmental message, and the major perceptual shifts and advances in our understanding of lake ecology. This is a necessary and thoughtful book that addresses the stewardship void while providing improved understanding of our most treasured natural feature.
In the tradition of Aldo Leopold’s seminal work, A Sand County Almanac, For Love of Lakes focuses on the lakes, ponds, and waters outside your very home and the intricacies of these ecosystems.

For a longer summary click here.

Read the Introduction to For Love of Lakes

Minnesota Book Award Finalist Creative Nonfiction/Memoir Category

For Love of Lakes Featured by the Minnesota Book Awards

For Love of Lakes was a finalist for the 24th Annual Minnesota Book Awards.

Interview with Mike Edgerly on Minnesota Public Radio’s Midday

Darby appeared on Midday December 2, 2011, with Jerry Dennis, award winning author from Michigan, whose new book is The Windward Shore: Winter on the Great Lakes.  The two authors were paired because their books are about lakes and their writing is “reminiscent of Sigurd Olson.” Hear the interview here.

Interview on KAXE Northern Community Radio.

Go to the archive on January 9, 2012 at 8:10 AM to listen to Darby’s interview.

Article in Park Rapids Enterprise, “Commentary: The Importance of Lake Associations” September 16, 2012.

Article in Park Rapids Enterprise, “Conservation activist finds kindred spirits at county talk”

Article in  Great Lakes Echo: “Deterioration of Lake Health Inspires For Love of Lakes

Article in ABC Newspapers: “Anoka Rotary Club holds forum focused on clean water” by Mandy Moran Froemming, February 20,2015

Interview on Wisconsin Public Radio.

Dustcover Quotes

John J. Magnuson, Emeritus Professor of Zoology and Limnology, University of Wisconsin—Madison.
Bill McKibben, author Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
Steven Heiskary, Research Scientist, Minnesota Pollution Agency and Past President 2005, North American Lake Management Society
Jonathan Higgins, Senior Aquatic Ecologist, The Nature Conservancy

Quotes by Folks

Read what others are saying about the book.

Independent Reviews

The View From Listening Point, newsletter of the Listening Point Foundation, included a review of For Love of Lakes by Bob Olson, Sigurd Olson’s son, in their Fall, 2012 publication.

St. Paul Pioneer Press, A roundup of interesting nonfiction by Midwesterners, by Mary Anne Grossman.  “Nelson…doesn’t hit readers over the head. Instead, he blends his studies of water quality with philosophizing about what lakes mean to us and why the lakes lose when we separate water from land in our minds.”

Don Shelby on MinnPost ”Darby Nelson: A Modern-Day Thoreau”

Ted Rulseh’s Blog review  ”It is hard to consider an ecological education complete without having read this book…It belongs in the same sentence as Sand County Almanac.”

Minneapolis Star Tribune Sunday Book Page , (Christmas Day) Review by Tom Meersman.

School Library Journal Review

Lake Tides-Wisconsin Lakes Newsletter, Fall, 2011, page 13

ForeWord Reviews For Love of Lakes “rivals Annie Dillard.”

Freshwater Society Review

Waltonian -Minnesota Izaak Walton League newsletter, Winter, 2011/12

Get a Copy

For Love of Lakes is published by Michigan State University Press.