What are some inspiring books by naturalists that write about nature and its trans formative qualities in such a way that you can;t just wait to get out there? I am not looking for books in extreme adventure and sports but something more within my reach. I know John Muir is a noted naturalist but before buying any of his books, I wanted to get a recommendation from you all.
"list" questions can cause problems on stackexchange sites, but, anyhow...
From a UK perspective, Robert Macfarlane's "The Wild Places" is excellent.
Peter Mathiessen's The Snow Lepoard.
I actually read it after (not before) trekking from Pokhara to the Dolpo region in Nepal, but I think it meets your description of a book that "just makes you want to get out there". It's an excellent description of what it was like to make that journey thirty years earlier (around 1973). It's not just an inspiring book about journeys and nature (and a very elusive species of big cat) but also deals a lot with Buddhist themes and in a manner that's very approachable for someone who isn't familiar with them (like me).
Hatchet - by Gary Paulsen
This one get me hooked at a young age.
Of Water and Spirit from Malidoma Patrice Somé. Although this book is not explicitly about nature, it is about people who live in unity with it. There is one very strong moment in the book that inspires very strongly for contact with nature, and very deeply describes its transformative qualities. You will not be dissapointed.