1) Gillespie, Rosemary G. and David A. Clague (editors). Encyclopedia of Islands. 2009. University of California Press. Hardbound: 1074 pages. Price: $95.00 U.S.
SUMMARY: Islands have captured the imagination of scientists and the public for centuries—unique and rare environments, their isolation makes them natural laboratories for ecology and evolution. This authoritative, alphabetically arranged reference, featuring more than 200 succinct articles by leading scientists from around the world, provides broad coverage of all the island sciences. But what exactly is an island? The volume editors define it here as any discrete habitat isolated from other habitats by inhospitable surroundings. The Encyclopedia of Islands examines many such insular settings—oceanic and continental islands as well as places such as caves, mountaintops, and whale falls at the bottom of the ocean. This essential, one-stop resource, extensively illustrated with color photographs, clear maps, and graphics will introduce island science to a wide audience and spur further research on some of the planet's most fascinating habitats.
RECOMMENDATION: A MUST have for anyone with an interest in islands! You can read a sample chapter here: http://www.ucpress.edu/content/chapters/10384.ch01.pdf
2) Powell, Jerry A. and Paul A. Opler. Moths of Western North America. 2009. University of California Press. Hardbound: 369 pages. Price: $95.00 U.S.
SUMMARY: Insects boast incredible diversity, and this book treats an important component of the western insect biota that has not been summarized before—moths and their plant relationships. There are about 8,000 named species of moths in our region, and although most are unnoticed by the public, many attract attention when their larvae create economic damage: eating holes in woolens, infesting stored foods, boring into apples, damaging crops and garden plants, or defoliating forests. In contrast to previous North American moth books, this volume discusses and illustrates about 25% of the species in every family, including the tiny species, making this the most comprehensive volume in its field. With this approach it provides access to microlepidoptera study for biologists as well as amateur collectors. About 2,500 species are described and illustrated, including virtually all moths of economic importance, summarizing their morphology, taxonomy, adult behavior, larval biology, and life cycles.
RECOMMENDATION: A must have for those with a serious interest in the Lepidoptera of Western North America. You can read a sample chapter here: http://www.ucpress.edu/content/chapters/10255.ch01.pdf