Monday, February 23, 2015

New Title


1) Ebert, David A., Sarah Fowler and Marc Dando. A Pocket Guide to Sharks of the World. 2015. Princeton University Press. Paperback: 256 pages. Price: $19.95 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Sharks are some of the most misunderstood animals on the planet. We still have a lot to learn about these fascinating creatures, which are more seriously threatened with extinction and in greater need of conservation and management than any other major group of vertebrates.
     A Pocket Guide to Sharks of the World
is the first field guide to identify, illustrate, and describe the world’s 501 shark species. Its compact format makes it handy for many situations, including recognizing living species, fishery catches, or parts sold at markets. The book also contains useful sections on identifying shark teeth and the shark fins most commonly encountered in the fin trade. A Pocket Guide to Sharks of the World is an essential resource for fisheries management, international trade regulation, and shark conservation. 
RECOMMENDATION: A must have for anyone with an interest in sharks.

The Weekly Birdbooker Report

                                        Photo copyright: Joe Fuhrman


My WEEKLY Birdbooker Report can be found here: http://www.scilogs.com/maniraptora/birdbooker-report-361/

Thursday, February 19, 2015

New Title


1) Gaiman, Neil. Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances. 2015. William Morrow. Hardbound: 310 pages. Price: $26.99 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: From one of the most critically acclaimed and beloved storytellers of our time comes a major new collection of stories and verse.
     "We each have our little triggers . . . things that wait for us in the dark corridors of our lives." So says Neil Gaiman in his introduction to Trigger Warning, a remarkable compendium of twenty-five stories and poems that explore the transformative power of imagination.
     In "Adventure Story"—a thematic companion to the #1 New York Times bestselling novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane—Gaiman ponders death and the ways in which people take their stories with them when they die. "A Calendar of Tales" is comprised of short pieces about the months of the year—stories of pirates and March winds, an igloo made of books, and a Mother's Day card that portends disturbances in the universe. Gaiman offers his own ingenious spin on Sherlock Holmes in his award-nominated mystery tale "The Case of Death and Honey." Also included is "Nothing O'Clock," a very special Doctor Who story that was written for the beloved series in 2013, as well as the never-before-published "Black Dog," a haunting new tale that revisits the world of American Gods as Shadow Moon stops in at a village pub on his way back to America.
     Gaiman, a sophisticated writer whose creative genius is unparalleled, entrances with his literary alchemy and transports us deep into an undiscovered country where the fantastical becomes real and the everyday is incandescent. Replete with wonder and terror, surprises and amusements, Trigger Warning is a treasury of literary delights that engage the mind, stir the heart, and shake the soul. 
RECOMMENDATION: Fans of Gaiman's works should enjoy this book!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

New Titles


1) Hayes, Denis and Gail Boyer Hayes. Cowed: The Hidden Impact of 93 Million Cows on America’s Health, Economy, Politics, Culture, and Environment. 2015. W.W. Norton. Hardbound: 392 pages. Price: $27.95 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: In Cowed, globally recognized environmentalists Denis and Gail Boyer Hayes offer a revealing analysis of how our beneficial, centuries-old relationship with bovines has evolved into one that now endangers us.
     Long ago, cows provided food and labor to settlers taming the wild frontier and helped the loggers, ranchers, and farmers who shaped the country’s landscape. Our society is built on the backs of bovines who indelibly stamped our culture, politics, and economics. But our national herd has doubled in size over the past hundred years to 93 million, with devastating consequences for the country’s soil and water. Our love affair with dairy and hamburgers doesn’t help either: eating one pound of beef produces a greater carbon footprint than burning a gallon of gasoline.
     Denis and Gail Hayes begin their story by tracing the co-evolution of cows and humans, starting with majestic horned aurochs, before taking us through the birth of today’s feedlot farms and the threat of mad cow disease. The authors show how cattle farming today has depleted America’s largest aquifer, created festering lagoons of animal waste, and drastically increased methane production.In their quest to find fresh solutions to our bovine problem, the authors take us to farms across the country from Vermont to Washington. They visit worm ranchers who compost cow waste, learn that feeding cows oregano yields surprising benefits, talk to sustainable farmers who care for their cows while contributing to their communities, and point toward a future in which we eat less, but better, beef. In a deeply researched, engagingly personal narrative, Denis and Gail Hayes provide a glimpse into what we can do now to provide a better future for cows, humans, and the world we inhabit. They show how our relationship with cows is part of the story of America itself. 
RECOMMENDATION: A detailed overview of this environmental problem.






2) Hosler, Jay. Last of the Sandwalkers. 2015. First Second. Paperback: 312 pages. Price: $16.99 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Nestled in the grass under the big palm tree by the edge of the desert there is an entire civilization--a civilization of beetles. In this bug's paradise, beetles write books, run restaurants, and even do scientific research. But not too much scientific research is allowed by the powerful elders, who guard a terrible secret about the world outside the shadow of the palm tree.
      Lucy is not one to quietly cooperate, however. This tiny field scientist defies the law of her safe but authoritarian home and leads a team of researchers out into the desert. Their mission is to discover something about the greater world...but what lies in wait for them is going to change everything Lucy thought she knew.
      Beetles are not the only living creatures in the world.
      Deftly combining suspenseful adventure storytelling with the principles and tools of scientific inquiry, entomologist and cartoonist Jay Hosler has created in Last of the Sandwalkers a tale that satisfies and fascinates even the most bug-averse among us. 
RECOMMENDATION: If you liked Hosler's other graphic novels, you should enjoy this one!


3) Macdonald, Helen. H Is for Hawk. 2014. Grove Atlantic. Hardbound: 300 pages. Price: $26.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: When Helen Macdonald’s father died suddenly on a London street, she was devastated. An experienced falconer—Helen had been captivated by hawks since childhood—she’d never before been tempted to train one of the most vicious predators, the goshawk. But in her grief, she saw that the goshawk’s fierce and feral temperament mirrored her own. Resolving to purchase and raise the deadly creature as a means to cope with her loss, she adopted Mabel, and turned to the guidance of The Once and Future King author T.H. White's chronicle The Goshawk to begin her challenging endeavor. Projecting herself “in the hawk's wild mind to tame her” tested the limits of Macdonald’s humanity and changed her life.
    Heart-wrenching and humorous, this book is an unflinching account of bereavement and a unique look at the magnetism of an extraordinary beast, with a parallel examination of a legendary writer’s eccentric falconry. Obsession, madness, memory, myth, and history combine to achieve a distinctive blend of nature writing and memoir from an outstanding literary innovator. 
RECOMMENDATION: This award winning book is now available in the USA.

The Weekly Birdbooker Report


                                          Photo copyright: Joe Fuhrman

My WEEKLY Birdbooker Report can be found here: http://www.scilogs.com/maniraptora/birdbooker-report-360/

Friday, February 13, 2015

New Title

1) Guillemain, Matthieu and Johan Elmberg. The Teal. 2014. T & A D Poyser. Hardbound: 320 pages. Price: $85.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Small, noisy and colourful, the Teal is a familiar duck throughout the wetlands and waterways Europe and Asia. Once hunted extensively for the pot, its numbers have recovered and it is now one of our commonest species of waterfowl.

     A flagship species for wetland conservation, the Teal is also an excellent model species for ecological research, and this forms the spine of this new Poyser monograph.
    The Teal looks at distribution and trends in numbers, foraging ecology, breeding behaviour), population dynamics, management and conservation of teal, looking at both the Eurasian Common Teal and its North American equivalent, the Green-winged Teal (which until relatively recently was considered to be the same species). The book provides a scientifically robust account on which wetland managers, research scientists and the ornithological community may rely, with wider implications for the conservation and management of other waterfowl, and for ecological research in general.
RECOMMENDATION: A must have for anyone with a serious interest in this/these species.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

New Title



1) Fenton, M. Brock and Nancy B. Simmons. Bats: A World of Science and Mystery. 2014. The University of Chicago Press. Hardbound: 303 pages. Price: $35.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: There are more than 1,300 species of bats—or almost a quarter of the world’s mammal species. But before you shrink in fear from these furry “creatures of the night,” consider the bat’s fundamental role in our ecosystem. A single brown bat can eat several thousand insects in a night. Bats also pollinate and disperse the seeds for many of the plants we love, from bananas to mangoes and figs.
     Bats: A World of Science and Mystery presents these fascinating nocturnal creatures in a new light. Lush, full-color photographs portray bats in flight, feeding, and mating in views that show them in exceptional detail. The photos also take the reader into the roosts of bats, from caves and mines to the tents some bats build out of leaves. A comprehensive guide to what scientists know about the world of bats, the book begins with a look at bats’ origins and evolution. The book goes on to address a host of questions related to flight, diet, habitat, reproduction, and social structure: Why do some bats live alone and others in large colonies? When do bats reproduce and care for their young? How has the ability to fly—unique among mammals—influenced bats’ mating behavior? A chapter on biosonar, or echolocation, takes readers through the system of high-pitched calls bats emit to navigate and catch prey. More than half of the world’s bat species are either in decline or already considered endangered, and the book concludes with suggestions for what we can do to protect these species for future generations to benefit from and enjoy.
     From the tiny “bumblebee bat”—the world’s smallest mammal—to the Giant Golden-Crowned Flying Fox, whose wingspan exceeds five feet, Bats presents a panoramic view of one of the world’s most fascinating yet least-understood species. 
RECOMMENDATION: A well illustrated introduction to these mammals.