Saturday, February 13, 2016

New Title



1) Kells, Val, Luiz A. Rocha, and Larry G. Allen. A Field Guide to Coastal Fishes: From Alaska to California. 2016. Johns Hopkins University Press. Paperback: 368 pages. Price: $25.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: From the Arctic waters of Alaska to the southern tip of California, this fully illustrated guide captures the stunning diversity of fishes along the western coastlines of the United States and Canada. The combined work of renowned marine science illustrator Val Kells and distinguished ichthyologists Luiz A. Rocha and Larry G. Allen, A Field Guide to Coastal Fishes: From Alaska to California is this region’s most current and thorough fish identification guide.
     Whether you are an angler, scuba diver, naturalist, student, or teacher, you will find every fish you’re trying to identify, each shown in lifelike detail. The book’s coverage extends from shallow, brackish waters to depths of about 200 meters.
     Key features include· Over 950 illustrations of adults, juveniles, and color variants · Descriptions of 157 fish families and almost 700 species· Text presented adjacent to the illustrations· Concise details about the biology, range, and distribution of each species      
     Poised to become your go-to reference, this guide will find a welcome spot on your boat, in your backpack, or on your bookshelf.
RECOMMENDATION: A MUST have for those with an interest in the marine fishes of the West Coast.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

New Title



1) Dunne, Pete. Bird Droppings: Writings About Watching Birds & Bird Watchers. 2016. Stackpole Books. Paperback: 111 pages. Price: $16.95 U.S.   

PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Pete Dunne, one of the foremost birding writers in the country, shares 33 funny, poignant, whimsical, and informative tales about birders and birding in his first collection of birding essays in more than ten years. 

RECOMMENDATION: Fans of Dunne's other books should enjoy this one.
 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

New Title



1) Rauzon, Mark J.. Isles of Amnesia: The History, Geography, and Restoration of America's Forgotten Pacific Islands. 2016. University of Hawaii Press. Paperback: 271 pages. Price: $24.99 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: For over a quarter century, biologist Mark J. Rauzon has worked in the field of island restoration, traveling throughout the American Insular Pacific to eradicate invasive plants and animals introduced by humans. The region spans from Hawai‘i to Samoa to Guam, and their neighbors—small, obscure tropical islands that are hundreds, if not thousands, of nautical miles from each other. These little-known US possessions and territories include various islands and atolls: Jarvis, Howland, Baker, the Northern Marianas, Wake, Palmyra, Johnston, and Rose Atoll, among others. They anchor a vast National Marine Monument program created in 2009, and expanded in 2014, to protect the largest area in the world from exploitation.
     In Isles of Amnesia, Rauzon chronicles the ecological and human history of these islands, enlivened with his first-hand experiences of eradication efforts to restore atoll ecosystems and maximize native biodiversity. Each chapter focuses on an individual island or island group, revealing how each location has its own particular story, secret past, or ecological lesson to be shared. Taken as a whole, the region has played a unique role in American history, with the remoteness of the islands having served the needs of whalers and guano miners in the 1800s and, in later years, that of military secret projects, missile launching, chemical weapon incinerations, and air bases. Rauzon further explores the creation of the National Marine Monuments and what their protection means to a changing ocean, and presents original research about the US military’s Pacific Project and germ warfare testing. Illustrated with over seventy historical photographs and original drawings, this much-needed work tells the fascinating story of America’s forgotten Pacific islands.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in island conservation.

New Title



1) Hardt, Marah J.. Sex in the Sea: Our Intimate Connection with Kinky Crustaceans, Sex-Changing Fish, Romantic Lobsters and Other Salty Erotica of the Deep. 2016. St. Martin's Press. Hardbound: 278 pages. Price: $26.99 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Forget the Kama Sutra. When it comes to inventive sex acts, just look to the sea. There we find the elaborate mating rituals of armored lobsters; giant right whales engaging in a lively threesome whilst holding their breath; full moon sex parties of groupers and daily mating blitzes by blueheaded wrasse. Deep-sea squid perform inverted 69s, while hermaphrodite sea slugs link up in giant sex loops. From doubly endowed sharks to the maze-like vaginas of some whales, Sex in the Sea is a journey unlike any other to explore the staggering ways life begets life beneath the waves.
     Beyond a deliciously voyeuristic excursion, Sex in the Sea uniquely connects the timeless topic of sex with the timely issue of sustainable oceans. Through overfishing, climate change, and ocean pollution we are disrupting the creative procreation that drives the wild abundance of life in the ocean. With wit and scientific rigor, Hardt introduces us to the researchers and innovators who study the wet and wild sex lives of ocean life and offer solutions that promote rather than prevent, successful sex in the sea. Part science, part erotica, Sex in the Sea discusses how we can shift from a prophylactic to a more propagative force for life in the ocean.
RECOMMENDATION: Just in time for Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 8, 2016

New Title



1) Head, Vernon R.L.. The Rarest Bird in the World: The Search for the Nechisar Nightjar. 2016. Pegasus Books. Hardbound: 243 pages. Price: $26.95 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: In 1990, a group of Cambridge scientists arrived at the Plains of Nechisar in Ethiopia. On that expedition, they collected more than two dozen specimens, saw more than three hundred species of birds, and a plethora of rare butterflies, dragonflies, reptiles, mammals, and plants. As they were gathering up their findings, a wing of an unidentified bird was packed into a brown paper bag. It was to become the most famous wing in the world. This wing would set the world of science aflutter. Experts were mystified. The wing was entirely unique. It was like nothing they had ever seem before. Could a new species be named based on just one wing? After much discussion, a new species was announced: Nechisar Nightjar, or Caprimulgus solala, which means "only wing." And so birdwatchers like Vernon began to dream. Twenty-two years later, he joins an expedition of four to find this rarest bird in the world. In this gem of nature writing, Vernon captivates and enchants as he recounts the searches by spotlight through the Ethiopian plains, and allows the reader to mediate on nature, exploration, our need for wild places, and the human compulsion to name things. Rarest Bird is a celebration of a certain way of seeing the world, and will bring out the explorer in in everyone who reads it.
RECOMMENDATION: For those who like a good ornithological adventure story.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

New Titles



1) Clement, Peter and Chris Rose. Robins and Chats. 2015. Helm. Hardbound: 688 pages. Price: $90.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Robins and chats are a diverse group of birds comprising both highly colourful and visible species, such as the robin-chats of Africa, as well as some of the most skulking and elusive birds, such as the shortwings of Asia. Many species, like the well-known Nightingale, are renowned songsters, some are even familiar garden birds, but a good number are highly sought-after for their extreme rarity or simply because they are hard to see.
     This authoritative handbook, part of the Helm Identification Guides series, looks in detail at the world's 175 species of robins and chats. This large group passerines was formerly considered to be part of the thrush family (Turdidae), but is now usually treated as a separate family, Muscicapidae, together with the Old World flycatchers. The vast majority of species are Eurasian or African, with only a handful of species straying into the New World or Australasia. The Australian Robins, although superficially similar, have long been regarded as a separate family and are not included in this book. 
     Robins and Chats discusses the identification and habits of these birds on a species-by-species basis, bringing together the very latest research with accurate range maps, more than 600 colour photographs, and 62 superb colour plates that illustrate age and racial plumage differences. This authoritative and sumptuous book will be indispensable for all chat enthusiasts, and will surely remain the standard reference on the subject for many years to come.
RECOMMENDATION: A MUST have for those that collect bird family monographs or have an interest in these species.


2)  Howell, Steve N. G. and Brian L. Sullivan. Offshore Sea Life ID Guide: East Coast. 2015. Princeton University Press. Paperback: 64 pages. Price: $14.95 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Two-thirds of our planet lies out of sight of land, just offshore beyond the horizon. What wildlife might you see out there? This handy guide, designed for quick use on day trips off the East Coast, helps you put a name to what you find, from whales and dolphins to shearwaters, turtles, and even flying fish. Carefully crafted color plates show species as they typically appear at sea, and expert text highlights identification features. Essential for anyone heading out on a whale-watching or birding trip, this guidebook provides a handy gateway to the wonders of the ocean.
RECOMMENDATION: A well illustrated introduction to the marine life found off the East Coast.
This authoritative handbook, part of the Helm Identification Guides series, looks in detail at the world's 170 species of robins and chats. This large family of small passerines was formerly considered to be part of the thrush family, Turdidae, but is now usually treated as a separate family, Muscicapidae, together with the Old World flycatchers.

Robins and chats are a diverse family comprising both highly colorful and visible species, such as the robin-chats of Africa, as well as some of the most skulking and elusive birds, such as the shortwings of Asia. Many chats, such as the well-known Nightingale, are renowned songsters, and a good number are highly sought-after by world listers for their extreme rarity or simply because they are hard to see.

This book discusses the identification and habits of these birds on a species-by-species basis, bringing together the very latest research, with accurate range maps, more than six hundred stunning color photographs that illustrate age and racial plumage differences, and sixty-four superb color plates by the internationally renowned artist Chris Rose.

This authoritative and sumptuous book will be an essential purchase for all chat enthusiasts, and will become the standard reference on the subject for many years to come. - See more at: http://bloomsbury.com/us/robins-and-chats-9780713639636/#sthash.N8KwB5jt.dpuf
$90.00

Peter Clement
Peter Clement
Peter Clement

Thursday, January 21, 2016

New Title



1) Orians, Gordon H.. Snakes, Sunrises, and Shakespeare: How Evolution Shapes Our Loves and Fears. 2015. University of Chicago Press. Paperback: 221 pages. Price: $17.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Our breath catches and we jump in fear at the sight of a snake. We pause and marvel at the sublime beauty of a sunrise. These reactions are no accident; in fact, many of our human responses to nature are steeped in our deep evolutionary past—we fear snakes because of the danger of venom or constriction, and we welcome the assurances of the sunrise as the predatory dangers of the dark night disappear. Many of our aesthetic preferences—from the kinds of gardens we build to the foods we enjoy and the entertainment we seek—are the lingering result of natural selection.
     In this ambitious and unusual work, evolutionary biologist Gordon H. Orians explores the role of evolution in human responses to the environment, beginning with why we have emotions and ending with evolutionary approaches to aesthetics. Orians reveals how our emotional lives today are shaped by decisions our ancestors made centuries ago on African savannas as they selected places to live, sought food and safety, and socialized in small hunter-gatherer groups.  During this time our likes and dislikes became wired in our brains, as the appropriate responses to the environment meant the difference between survival or death. His rich analysis explains why we mimic the tropical savannas of our ancestors in our parks and gardens, why we are simultaneously attracted to danger and approach it cautiously, and how paying close attention to nature’s sounds has resulted in us being an unusually musical species.  We also learn why we have developed discriminating palates for wine, and why we have strong reactions to some odors, and why we enjoy classifying almost everything.
     By applying biological perspectives ranging from Darwin to current neuroscience to analyses of our aesthetic preferences for landscapes, sounds, smells, plants, and animals, Snakes, Sunrises, and Shakespeare transforms how we view our experience of the natural world and how we relate to each other.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in behavioral/evolutionary biology.