The Books

Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the original Up North!

In 1993, a tenacious literary agent along with a small band of publishing types with something to prove to their bosses in the U.K. took a chance on our first book, Up North. It became a national bestseller and dog-eared copies are still to be found and loved at cottages, camps and homes around Ontario and beyond.

Used copies of Up North are still available on the market, and the 2010 updated edition, The Complete Up North, remains in print and available for sale. Makes a great gift! (Through the evolution of the publishing industry, we are now published by the wonderful folks at Penguin Random House Canada/McClelland and Stewart.)

To celebrate the 30th anniversary in 2023, we’ll be posting fan mail, anecdotes, and what-not and will invite your comment on blog posts – scroll through the Nature Blog to see the latest and to add your comments.

To see a video telling the story of our Up North books and the newest book, The Complete Up North, visit our About Us page. Scroll down to see all our nature guides to Ontario and the great North Woods. We also hope you’ll follow — and contribute to — our Nature Blog. We hope you enjoy our books and web site.

– Doug Bennet and Tim Tiner

Our Latest Book: The Complete Up North

“… a surprisingly entertaining page turner from start to finish. Its prose is so engaging and the author’s curiosity so obviously infectious that you’ll be completely unable to set it aside.”
—Ryan Murdock, Outpost Magazine


The Must-Have Book for Every Cottager, Camper, Nature Lover and Budding Naturalist

The Complete Up North is our comprehensively updated and thoroughly revised one-volume edition of the two classic bestsellers Up North and Up North Again. Now with more than 175 main entries and new information on scores of species, the guide brims with vital and amusing facts about everything you might encounter in Ontario’s vast outdoors.

We’re avid naturalists, campers, hikers and writers with an infectious curiosity and a keen sense of what’s fun to know about the many species and elements of Ontario’s wilderness. The Complete Up North has answers to such crucial questions as:

Why doesn’t the adult mayfly eat?

What does the bull moose use his beardlike dewlap for?

Which bird flies upside down, just for fun?

How does a poplar leaf show whether it’s going to rain?

Beautifully and meticulously illustrated, The Complete Up North is the book to turn to when you find a strange bug on your petunias, or want the name of that ghostly white plant you found in the forest, or need to identify the golden fish that darted under your canoe, or just want to impress others with your knowledge of Ontario’s birds, beasties, and creepy-crawlies, its flowers, fish and forests — even the rocks beneath your feet and the clouds and stars that glide overhead.

Printed on Ancient Forest Friendly, 100% recycled paper. Now available in bookstores across Ontario and online.

Order The Complete Up North

Earlier Books from the Best-Selling Up North series…

The classic and national bestseller! More than 50,000 sold…


“Crammed full of information on the flora, fauna and natural forces of nature on our doorstep, it is a mini-encyclopedia of fascinating information about Central and Northern Ontario that deserves room on the cottage shelf or space in the glove compartments of motoring travellers.”
–The Globe and Mail

Table of Contents
Excerpt: Common Loon

The sequel to Up North — by popular reader demand…


“Recounting Native American creation myths, borrowing from ancient Chinese and Greek stories of how the gods mapped out the stars, and referring to anecdotes from the lives of such scientists as Darwin and Linnaeus, Up North Again is an excellent modern digest of how the natural world has captured and fascinated the human imagination.”
–Quill & Quire

Table of Contents
Excerpt: Orion

As seen or heard on CityTV Breakfast Television, CBC Radio One, Talk 640 Radio, CFRB 1010…


“Even the most veteran amateur naturalist of our urban wilds will discover something new here… ”
–NOW magazine, 4-star review

Table of Contents
Excerpt: Starling
Press Release
Buy the Book

The all-American “Up North” for the U.S. North Woods…


“Having just lived through another l-o-n-g winter for the privilege of living in the northwoods, this book was like a breath of fresh air. From mosses to white pines, water striders to black bears, this very readable book covers most everything you’re likely to find in the northern woods… Lots of little-known facts written in an intelligent and engaging fashion. An easy-to-use reference that even children could enjoy, with entries that make you want to check out ‘just one more thing.’”
–Reader review from Northern Michigan,

Table of Contents
Excerpt: Beaver
Press Release
Buy this Book

2 thoughts on “The Books

  1. Coloured illustrations would be most useful in identifying species and varieties. I was also hoping for animal track pictures and track markings. Looking forward to your next version.

    • Thanks Tammy. Great suggestions. We know some families have used other field guides as references for colouring in Marta’s black-and-white illustrations in Up North… a fun activity. Track markings a good idea… we’ll ask the publisher to increase the budget! Thanks for reading the book. -Tim and Doug

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