Thursday, March 29, 2012

New Titles

1) Backhouse, Frances. Owls of North America. 2008. Firefly Books. Hardbound: 215 pages. Price: $34.95 U.S.

SUMMARY: Owls are almost everywhere. These distinctive birds populate every continent except Antarctica and survive in everything from arid desert, to arctic tundra, to dense rain forest.
     From ancient mythology to Harry Potter, owls hold an enduring place in the human imagination. In some cultures they are revered; in others, feared. And for every superstition that associates owls with good fortune, a dozen more link them to death, sickness or evil.
     Frances Backhouse provides an in-depth yet lively study of these fascinating birds. Topics include anatomy and adaptations, mating behaviors, egg laying and chick rearing, feeding habits, communication displays and location.
     Superbly designed birds of prey, owls are equipped with highly effective tools for killing and dismembering their prey: strong feet with curved, stiletto-like talons and a sturdy hooked bill with razor-sharp cutting edges. What makes owls unique is that most of them hunt in darkness from dusk to dawn using their keen hearing, enhanced low-light vision and sound-muffling structures on their flight feathers.
     With detailed profiles of and range maps for all 23 species, along with 70 color photographs illustrating key behavioral characteristics, Owls of North America is a solid reference for birders, naturalists and general readers.
RECOMMENDATION: A good general introduction to the owls of North America.

2) Woodley, Sherrida. Quick Fall of Light. 2010. Gray Dog Press. Paperback: 285 pages. Price: $16.95 U.S.

SUMMARY: Can A Shocking Resurrection From Extinction Save Mankind?
     While the world succumbs to the horrors of a great flu epidemic, a woman vows to protect the perilous fate of a bird whose existence manipulates the destiny of man. In this suspenseful tale, part Michael Crichton, part Rachel Carson, a global virus sets the tone, but it's a one-pound bird that determines who lives... and who doesn't. Science collides head-on with the untamed in this powerful novel of redemption.
RECOMMENDATION: An interesting eco-thriller with an ornithological twist.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New Titles

1) Adkins, Linda. Mini Encyclopedia of Garden Ponds: How to Plan, Construct and Maintain a Vibrant Pond That Will Enhance Your Garden. 2012. Firefly Books. Paperback: 208 pages. Price: $19.95 U.S.

SUMMARY: Mini Encyclopedia of Garden Ponds has all the know-how needed to create an ideal water feature in any garden. It examines a variety of ponds according to their size and type, from formal to wildlife, and considers their installation, from siting and budget to construction and equipment, such as filters and pumps.
     Useful directories feature photographs and detailed descriptions of native and exotic plants and wildlife with which to stock a pond, with a particular emphasis on achieving and maintaining a balanced and healthy pond environment. A further chapter describes and illustrates the process of planting oxygenating marginal plants that enhance the pond's health and appearance. Water features, such as waterfalls and streams, are covered and a final section explains routine care and maintenance to ensure the pond looks its best all year round.
     Mini Encyclopedia of Garden Ponds is written in an accessible and easy-to-understand style, and illustrated with a wealth of color photographs and illustrations to support the comprehensive text and bring to life the joys of pond ownership for the reader.
RECOMMENDATION: An easy-to-use guide to building your own garden pond.

2) de Kock, Servaas and Ronnie Watt. Koi: A handbook on keeping Nishikigoi. 2006. Firefly Books. Paperback: 159 pages. Price: $22.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: With full-color photographs, annotated illustrations and detailed, expert how-to advice, this guidebook is ideal for the koi hobbyist.
     Koi begins with the history of koi-keeping, from the first known use of the word "koi"(about 500 BC) to the early 1900s, when collectors began breeding them for specific colors and metallics. The markings and patterns of koi are their most important feature, and the authors detail these in depth and define the Japanese terms used to describe them.
    In addition to the section on the 15 varieties of koi, or nishikigoi, the authors address the care and exhibition of koi. Topics include:

*The water environment
*Feeding programs
*Pond design and maintenance
*Environmental health factors
*Evaluating and grading koi
*Behavioral symptoms
*Pre-show and post-show preparations
*Parasitic, bacterial and viral conditions
*Judging criteria used at shows
*The effects of temperature on feeding
*Selecting and breeding koi
*How to enhance colors

Koi is a complete and practical reference on these enjoyable, enchanting creatures.

RECOMMENDATION: Once you build a pond using the first book, now you can add koi to it using this book!

3) Oliver, A.P.H.. Guide to Seashells of the World. 2004 (reprinted 2012). Firefly Books. Paperback: 320 pages. Price: $19.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: Guide to the Seashells of the World is a practical identification guide that covers a wide range of shells from all parts of the world. The book combines comprehensive and informative text with 1,200 color illustrations, focusing on the shells themselves rather than on the marine creatures that once inhabited them.
     An introductory section covers mollusks and their classification, terminology and collection, along with conservation issues and an invaluable identification key.
     The main section is the identification guide to 1,200 species in precise detail and clarity. The description of each species is accompanied on the same page with an easy-to-use identification key and color illustration.
     The specific details for each entry include:

*Detailed color picture of the shell
*Shell size
*Distribution and locations
*Color and texture
*Defining characteristics.

Guide to the Seashells of the World is an ideal reference for shell aficionados.

RECOMMENDATION: A useful guide for shell collectors.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Weekly Birdbooker Report

Photo copyright: Joe Fuhrman

My WEEKLY Birdbooker Report can be found here:

Friday, March 23, 2012

New Title

1) Derocher, Andrew E. and Wayne Lynch. Polar Bears: A Complete Guide to Their Biology and Behavior. 2012. Johns Hopkins University Press. Hardbound: 249 pages. Price: $39.95 U.S.

SUMMARY: The polar bear, king of the Arctic, is one of the world's most recognizable animals. Images of the majestic beasts roaming across the ice cap, plunging into frigid waters, and playing with furry cubs have come to symbolize the beauty and grandeur of the Arctic. Andrew E. Derocher and Wayne Lynch have spent decades following the bears, and this book offers the most comprehensive and readable review of their biology, ecology, behavior, and conservation.
     With gripping photographs by Lynch, a preeminent wildlife photographer, and the personal stories of Derocher, this book is as stunning to look at as it is fascinating to read. It weaves together their remarkable experiences with the latest research to tell the amazing story of these Arctic predators, tracing the animals back to their evolutionary roots and looking ahead to the future of polar bears on a warming planet Earth.
     Through informative and engaging language, Derocher carefully explains the sea ice ecosystem that is essential to the survival of polar bears. He addresses the threat of global warming to the Arctic—home to polar bears for tens of thousands of years—and describes in impressive detail their feeding habits, distribution, den ecology, and reproduction. Lynch's vivid photographs capture all this and more as they chronicle the wide range of polar bear behavior, from family rituals to ferocious predatory practices.
     Captivating, accurate, and inspiring, Polar Bears belongs in the hands of all who love the wild.
RECOMMENDATION: Of all the polar bear books out there, this one looks the most scientific.

New Titles

1) Harden, Blaine. A River Lost: The Life and Death of the Columbia. 2012. W.W. Norton. Paperback: 286 pages. Price: $15.95 U.S.

SUMMARY: After two decades, Washington Post journalist Blaine Harden returned to his small-town birthplace in the Pacific Northwest to follow the rise and fall of the West's most thoroughly conquered river. To explore the Columbia River and befriend those who collaborated in its destruction, he traveled on a monstrous freight barge sailing west from Idaho to the Grand Coulee Dam, the site of the river's harnessing for the sake of jobs, electricity, and irrigation. A River Lost is a searing personal narrative of rediscovery joined with a narrative of exploitation: of Native Americans, of endangered salmon, of nuclear waste, and of a once-wild river. Updated throughout, this edition features a new foreword and afterword.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in the history of the Pacific Northwest.

2) Stringer, Chris. Lone Survivors: How We Came to Be the Only Humans on Earth. 2012. Times Books. Hardbound: 336 pages. Price: $28.00 U.S.

SUMMARY: In this groundbreaking and engaging work of science, world-renowned paleoanthropologist Chris Stringer sets out a new theory of humanity's origin, challenging both the multiregionalists (who hold that modern humans developed from ancient ancestors in different parts of the world) and his own "out of Africa" theory, which maintains that humans emerged rapidly in one small part of Africa and then spread to replace all other humans within and outside the continent. Stringer's new theory, based on archeological and genetic evidence, holds that distinct humans coexisted and competed across the African continent—exchanging genes, tools, and behavioral strategies.
     Stringer draws on analyses of old and new fossils from around the world, DNA studies of Neanderthals (using the full genome map) and other species, and recent archeological digs to unveil his new theory. He shows how the most sensational recent fossil findings fit with his model, and he questions previous concepts (including his own) of modernity and how it evolved.
     Lone Survivors will be the definitive account of who and what we were, and will change perceptions about our origins and about what it means to be human.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in Human evolution.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


1) Warakagoda, Deepal, Carol Inskipp, Tim Inskipp, and Richard Grimmett. Birds of Sri Lanka. 2012. Helm Field Guides. Paperback: 224 pages. Price: GBP 24.99 (about $39.50 U.S.).

SUMMARY: With a rich avifauna of more than 350 species that includes 29 endemics, the island of Sri Lanka is one of southern Asia's most popular birding destination.
     This new field guide provides full coverage of every species on the Sri Lanka list, including most vagrants, with particular emphasis placed on endemic species and races. Detailed text highlights key identification criteria, along with accurate colour maps. Packed with spectacular and detailed plates by leading bird artists such as Alan Harris, Tim Worfolk and John Cox, Birds of Sri Lanka is the definitive identification tool for the visiting birdwatcher and another majestic addition to the Helm Field Guides series.
RECOMMENDATION: When compared to the Oxford guide to Sri Lanka, this guide has the text opposite the plates with larger range maps. I think birders will prefer this layout over the Oxford one.

This title is available from Buteo Books here.

Monday, March 19, 2012

New Title

1) Gracie, Carol. Spring Wildflowers of the Northeast: A Natural History. 2012. Princeton University Press. Hardbound: 272 pages. Price: $29.95 U.S.

SUMMARY: This exquisitely illustrated volume provides an in-depth look at spring-blooming wildflowers of the Northeast, from old favorites to lesser-known species. Featuring more than 500 full-color photos in a stunning large-sized format, the book delves deep into the life histories, lore, and cultural uses of more than 35 plant species. The rich narrative covers topics such as the naming of wildflowers; the reasons for taxonomic changes; pollination of flowers and dispersal of seeds; uses by Native Americans; related species in other parts of the world; herbivores, plant pathogens, and pests; medicinal uses; and wildflower references in history, literature, and art. The photos capture the beauty of these plants and also illustrate the concepts discussed in the text.
     A book unlike any other, Spring Wildflowers of the Northeast combines the latest scientific research with an accessible, entertaining style, making it the ideal volume for readers of all levels of expertise. This title features:

*Showcases the Northeast's most spectacular spring-blooming wildflowers
*Features more than 500 full-color photos
*Covers the life histories, lore, and cultural uses of more than 35 species
*Combines the latest scientific research with an easy-to-read style
*Offers something new for seasoned botanists as well as armchair naturalists

RECOMMENDATION: A useful reference book for the wildflowers of the region.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Weekly Birdbooker Report

                                   Photo copyright: Joe Fuhrman
My WEEKLY Birdbooker Report can be found here:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

New Title

1) Lovitch, Derek. How to Be a Better Birder. 2012. Princeton University Press. Paperback: 192 pages. Price: $19.95 U.S.

SUMMARY: This unique illustrated handbook provides all the essential tools you need to become a better birder. Here Derek Lovitch offers a more effective way to go about identification--he calls it the "Whole Bird and More" approach--that will enable you to identify more birds, more quickly, more of the time. He demonstrates how to use geography and an understanding of habitats, ecology, and even the weather to enrich your birding experience and help you find something out of the ordinary. Lovitch shows how to track nocturnal migrants using radar, collect data for bird conservation, discover exciting rarities, develop patch lists--and much more.
     This is the ideal resource for intermediate and advanced birders. Whether you want to build a bigger list or simply learn more about birds, How to Be a Better Birder will take your birding skills to the next level. This book features:

*Explains the "Whole Bird and More" approach to bird identification
*Demonstrates how to use geography, habitats, ecology, and the weather to be a better birder
*Shows how to bird at night using radar, collect conservation data, develop patch lists--and more
*Offers essential tools for intermediate and advanced birders

RECOMMENDATION: This book will be most useful for intermediate level birders. The section on NEXRAD radar will be useful to all birders.

This title is available from Buteo Books here.

Friday, March 16, 2012

New Titles

1) Joyce, E.B. and D.A. McCann (editors). Burke & Wills: The Scientific Legacy of the Victorian Exploring Expedition. 2011. CSIRO Publishing. Hardbound: 343 pages. Price: $66.95 U.S.

SUMMARY: This book challenges the common assumption that little or nothing of scientific value was achieved during the Burke and Wills expedition.
     The Royal Society of Victoria initiated the Victorian Exploring Expedition as a serious scientific exploration of hitherto unexplored regions of inland and northern Australia. Members of the expedition were issued with detailed instructions on scientific measurements and observations to be carried out, covering about a dozen areas of science. The tragic ending of the expedition meant that most of the results of the scientific investigations were not reported or published. Burke and Wills: The Scientific Legacy of the Victorian Exploring Expedition rectifies this historic omission.
     It reveals for the first time the true extent and limits of the scientific achievements of both the Burke and Wills expedition and the various relief expeditions which followed.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in Australian natural history history.

2) Olsen, Jerry. Australian High Country Owls. 2011. CSIRO Publishing. Paperback: 366 pages. Price: $77.00 U.S.
SUMMARY: Australian High Country Owls provides the latest scientific information on Australian owl species, especially Ninox owls. It details studies of Southern Boobooks and Powerful Owls, visits to North America and Europe to learn about owl research, and the resulting publications that overturned some existing beliefs about Australian owls. Ultimately, this led to the discovery of a new owl species in Indonesia, the Little Sumba Hawk-Owl.
     Appendices cover the biology, conservation and rehabilitation of Australian owls, including: field recognition, subspecies taxonomy, habitat, behaviour, food, range, migration, breeding, voice and calls, status and myths, questions about each species, and techniques for caring for injured and orphaned owls.
     The book includes numerous photographs of different owl species, and will be a handy reference for bird researchers and amateur bird watchers alike.
RECOMMENDATION: Owl biologists will find this volume useful.

3) Zickefoose, Julie. The Bluebird Effect: Uncommon Bonds with Common Birds. 2012. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Hardbound: 355 pages. Price: $28.00 U.S.

SUMMARY: Julie Zickefoose lives for the moment when a wild, free living bird that she has raised or rehabilitated comes back to visit her; their eyes meet and they share a spark of understanding. Her reward for the grueling work of rescuing birds—such as feeding baby hummingbirds every twenty minutes all day long—is her empathy with them and the satisfaction of knowing the world is a birdier and more beautiful place.
     The Bluebird Effect is about the change that's set in motion by one single act, such as saving an injured bluebird—or a hummingbird, swift, or phoebe. Each of the twenty five chapters covers a different species, and many depict an individual bird, each with its own personality, habits, and quirks. And each chapter is illustrated with Zickefoose's stunning watercolor paintings and drawings. Not just individual tales about the trials and triumphs of raising birds, The Bluebird Effect mixes humor, natural history, and memoir to give readers an intimate story of a life lived among wild birds.
RECOMMENDATION: If you enjoyed the author's Letters From Eden, you'll enjoy this book! Her artwork reminds me of Roger Tory Peterson's artwork.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New Title

1) Asher, Robert J.. Evolution and Belief: Confessions of a Religious Paleontologist. 2012. Cambridge University Press. Hardbound: 300 pages. Price: $24.99 U.S.

SUMMARY: Can a scientist believe in God? Does the ongoing debate between some evolutionists and evangelicals show that the two sides are irreconcilable? As a paleontologist and a religious believer, Robert Asher constantly confronts the perceived conflict between his occupation and his faith. In the course of his scientific work, he has found that no other theory comes close to Darwin's as an explanation for our world's incredible biodiversity. Recounting discoveries in molecular biology, paleontology and development, Asher reveals the remarkable evidence in favor of Darwinian evolution. In outlining the scope of Darwin's idea, Asher shows how evolution describes the cause of biodiversity, rather than the agency behind it. He draws a line between superstition and religion, recognizing that atheism is not the inevitable conclusion of evolutionary theory. By liberating evolution from its misappropriated religious implications, Asher promotes a balanced awareness that contributes to our understanding of biology and Earth history.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in the evolution vs. creationism debate.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New Titles

1) Downer, John. EarthFlight: Breathtaking Photographs from a Bird's-Eye View of the World. 2012. Firefly Books. Hardbound: 240 pages. Price: $49.95 U.S.

SUMMARY: For his award-winning In-Flight Movie, filmmaker John Downer devised a 61/2-ounce camera that could be carried by a trained buzzard. Eagle followed, for which Downer used a smaller video camera with an onboard transmitter to film a raptor's flight over the Alps. Supernatural continued the pioneering work, using a flock of greylag geese. Flock leader Buff was trained to carry a harness holding an even tinier camera, the "Goosecam," which captured amazing views from inside the flock.
     EarthFlight, Downer's latest film project, is a six-part series. It uses spycams, microlights, hang-gliders, miniature helicopters and wirecams to give viewers a privileged perspective of birds in flight. Whether soaring 10,000 feet high over the Sahara or skimming yards over the Great Wall of China, EarthFlight the film allows viewers to take part in the miracle of flight.
     Every page shows us what the birds see--winding shorelines, bustling cities, sunsets and storms, mountains, canyons and roiling seas--and the animals they encounter: pelicans diving for fish, a tiger drinking from a stream, migrating reindeer, dolphins playing, and in the desolation of the desert, a nomadic family. The book closes with a "Making of" chapter.
     EarthFlight truly is a bird's eye view, a pioneering work of genius and a memorable journey around the world like no other.
RECOMMENDATION: Birders will want this coffee-table book!

2) Hill, Barry and John Wolseley. Lines for Birds: Poems & Paintings. 2011. UWA Publishing. Paperback: 224 pages. Price: $59.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: Lines for Birds is the result of a rich collaboration between two distinguished artists, both long fascinated by nature’s beauty and power. Containing lush images by acclaimed painter John Wolseley and words by award-winning poet Barry Hill, this dazzling book weaves together a conversation between two venerable artists who, in a world of endangered nature, celebrate joy.
     The book follows the flight paths and habitats of birds, from the Victorian Mallee to the forests of South East Asia, to Japan and the South of France.
     This remarkable collection captures the very essence of Bird – its energy, inquisitiveness and daring – and is proof that these creatures suggest new ways of telling stories about the Earth.
RECOMMENDATION: For birders with an interest in art or poetry.

3) Rapai, William. The Kirtland's Warbler: The Story of a Bird's Fight Against Extinction and the People Who Saved It. 2012. University of Michigan Press. Hardbound: 204 pages. Price: $24.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: At a time when the world is seeing its species rapidly go extinct, the Kirtland's warbler is not just a survivor, it's a rock star. The Kirtland's warbler is the rarest warbler species in North America and will always be rare because of its persnickety nesting preferences. But when the total population fell below 400 birds in the 1970s and 1980s—driven largely by a loss of habitat and the introduction of a parasite—a small group of dedicated biologists, researchers, and volunteers vowed to save the Kirtland's warbler despite long odds. This is the story of the warbler's survival and gradual recovery, the people and policies that kept it from extinction, and the ongoing challenges that may again jeopardize the bird's future.
    In The Kirtland's Warbler, William Rapai explores the bird's fascinating natural history as well as the complex and evolving relationships between the warbler, its environment, its human protectors, and state and federal policies that today threaten to eradicate decades of work done on the species' behalf. Beginning with an account of the warbler's discovery in the mid-nineteenth century and ornithologists' desperate hunt for information on the elusive new species, the book goes on to examine the dramatic events that quickly led to the warbler's precarious status and its eventual emergence as a lightning rod for controversy.
     The Kirtland's warbler is often described as a "bird of fire" for its preference for nesting in areas cleared by wildfire. But it also warrants the name for the passion it ignites in humans. Both tragic and uplifting, the story of this intriguing bird is a stirring example of how strong leadership, vision, commitment, sustained effort, and cooperation can come together to protect our natural world.
RECOMMENDATION: A must have for those with an interest in this species.

This title can be bought from Buteo Books here

4) Wild, Dennis. The Double-Crested Cormorant: Symbol of Ecological Conflict. 2012. University of Michigan Press. Hardbound: 248 pages. Price: $27.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: This is the story of the survival, recovery, astonishing success, and controversial status of the double-crested cormorant. After surviving near extinction driven by DDT and other contaminants from the 1940s through the early 1970s, the cormorant has made an unprecedented comeback from mere dozens to a population in the millions, bringing the bird again into direct conflict with humans. Hated for its colonial nesting behavior; the changes it brings to landscapes; and especially its competition with commercial and sports fishers, fisheries, and fish farmers throughout the Great Lakes and Mississippi Delta regions, the cormorant continues to be persecuted by various means, including the shotgun.
     In The Double-Crested Cormorant, Dennis Wild brings together the biological, social, legal, and international aspects of the cormorant's world to give a complete and balanced view of one of the Great Lakes' and perhaps North America's most misunderstood species. In addition to taking a detailed look at the complex natural history of the cormorant, the book explores the implications of congressional acts and international treaties, the workings and philosophies of state and federal wildlife agencies, the unrelenting efforts of aquaculture and fishing interests to "cull" cormorant numbers to "acceptable" levels, and the reactions and visions of conservation groups. Wild examines both popular preconceptions about cormorants (what kinds of fish they eat and how much) and the effectiveness of ongoing efforts to control the cormorant population. Finally, the book delves into the question of climate and terrain changes, their consequences for cormorants, the new territories to which the birds must adapt, and the conflicts this species is likely to face going forward.
RECOMMENDATION: For anyone with an interest in the species.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

New Title

1) Soennichsen, John. Washington's Channeled Scablands Guide: Explore and Recreate along the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail. 2012. The Mountaineers Books. Paperback: 223 pages. Price: $17.95 U.S.

SUMMARY: Explore Washington's canyons of Ice Age wonders -- great trails, stunning scenery, and amazing history

* Comprehensive guide to a fascinating region rich with history and recreational access to camping, hiking, fishing, and more
* The Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail was designated by the National Park Service in 2009. Once completed, the Trail will connect interpretive facilities, signage, and other tourism activities
* Features regional maps and photos

     Often overlooked by those cruising on the highway to Spokane or the Tri-Cities area, more than 2,000 square miles of terrain in eastern Washington are home to a striking collection of sharp-edged coulees slicing through a crust of basalt. In this stunning landscape, deep lakes fill the depths of dramatic gorges flanked by steep walls of towering rock columns, labyrinthine channels, and wide tracts of scabby rock that give the region its name -- geologically, no other region in the world contains features like those found in the Channeled Scablands.
     Where-to guidebook and travel narrative come together in the Washington's Channeled Scablands Guide to offer a comprehensive and intimately knowledgeable tour of this one-of-a-kind region. Local writer and historian John Soennichsen is your guide to fascinating lore; snapshots of the unique towns connected by this singular landscape; descriptions of the unique geology; advice on how to explore whether by auto, horseback, canoe, bike, or on foot; and essential info like where to fuel up and stop for dinner.
     Take the family to scenic camping and fishing in Coffeepot Lake, and read out loud the legend of Old West outlaw Harry Tracey as you cruise along on a "Back Roads Auto Tour." Lace up your boots for a cross-country hike in the Juniper Dunes Wilderness Area or up Badger Mountain Trail. Explore the unearthly crater-like formations in the Telford-Crab Creek Tract, or set up with your camera for a stunning sunrise over Palouse Falls. Whether you're a boater looking for new waterways to explore, a naturalist interested in unique ecosystems, or just a curious traveler -- if you're seeking adventure and intrigue just a little off the beaten path, you'll find the keys to a whole new world of exploration with Washington's Channeled Scablands Guide.
RECOMMENDATION: This is a fun way to learn about most of the geology of Eastern Washington State, USA!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

My Weekly Birdbooker Report

                                     Photo copyright: Joe Fuhrman
My WEEKLY Birdbooker Report can be found here:

Saturday, March 3, 2012

New Titles

1) Stanford, Dennis J. and Bruce A. Bradley. Across Atlantic Ice: The Origin of America's Clovis Culture. 2012. University of California Press. Hardbound: 319 pages. Price: $34.95 U.S.

SUMMARY: Who were the first humans to inhabit North America? According to the now familiar story, mammal hunters entered the continent some 12,000 years ago via a land bridge that spanned the Bering Sea. The presence of these early New World people was established by distinctive stone tools belonging to the Clovis culture. But are the Clovis tools Asian in origin? Drawing from original archaeological analysis, paleoclimatic research, and genetic studies, noted archaeologists Dennis J. Stanford and Bruce A. Bradley challenge the old narrative and, in the process, counter traditional—and often subjective—approaches to archaeological testing for historical relatedness.
     The authors apply rigorous scholarship to a hypothesis that places the technological antecedents of Clovis in Europe and posits that the first Americans crossed the Atlantic by boat and arrived earlier than previously thought. Supplying archaeological and oceanographic evidence to support this assertion, the book dismantles the old paradigm while persuasively linking Clovis technology with the culture of the Solutrean people who occupied France and Spain more than 20,000 years ago.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in the prehistory of North America.

2) Toops, Connie and Phyllis Greenberg. Midway: A Guide to the Atoll and its Inhabitants. 2012. LasAves. Paperback: 84 pages. Price: $14.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: Set like a gem in the vast Pacific Ocean, halfway between Tokyo and San Francisco, Midway is a nature-lover’s dream. The atoll hosts the world’s largest albatross nesting colony. Amazingly approachable tropicbirds, terns, boobies, and frigatebirds also nest there. Reefs surrounding Midway teem with rainbow-hued corals and fishes, as well as sea turtles, monk seals, and Hawaiian spinner dolphins.
     This remote outpost influenced world affairs on several occasions. Notably, the 1942 Battle of Midway changed the course of World War II. View the confrontation through the eyes of four survivors, and learn how Midway has generated recognition on a scale well beyond its physical size.
     Whether your interest is nature or history, Connie Toops’ informative text and Phyllis Greenberg’s compelling photos provide everything you need to know—and will definitely inspire you—to visit Midway.
 RECOMMENDATION: A must have for those with an interest in the Midway Atoll! You can order the book here:
                                This title is available through Buteo Books here.

Friday, March 2, 2012

New Title

1) Springman, I.C. and Brian Lies. More. 2012. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Hardbound: 40 pages. Price: $16.99 U.S.

   One magpie,
   lots of stuff,
   and a few friendly mice
   show us that less is

This innovative and spare picture book asks the question: When is MORE more than enough? Can a team of well-intentioned mice save their friend from hoarding too much stuff? With breathtaking illustrations from the award-winning Brian Lies, this book about conservation wraps an important message in a beautiful package.

RECOMMENDATION: For ages 4 and up. Brian Lies artwork highlights this book!