Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New Titles

1) Gregson, Richard. Green Birding: How to See More Birds and Protect the Environment at the Same Time. 2013. Stackpole Books. Paperback: 134 pages. Price: $16.95 U.S.

SUMMARY: This book discusses:
*Where to look for birds close to home--often-overlooked spots in cities and suburban neighborhoods that can be bird magnets
*How to get deeper by studying the birds around your home and participating in citizen science and conservation projects
*Green birding listing challenges and groups the green birder can get involved in
*Includes advice on how to adapt your equipment to a new style of birding and how to attract more birds to your home garden.

RECOMMENDATION: A brief but detailed overview on the subject.

2) Pagel, Mark. Wired For Culture: Origins of the Human Social Mind. 2013. W.W. Norton. Paperback: 416 pages. Price: $18.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: A unique trait of the human species is that our personalities, lifestyles, and worldviews are shaped by an accident of birth—namely, the culture into which we are born. It is our cultures and not our genes that determine which foods we eat, which languages we speak, which people we love and marry, and which people we kill in war. But how did our species develop a mind that is hardwired for culture—and why?
     Evolutionary biologist Mark Pagel tracks this intriguing question through the last 80,000 years of human evolution, revealing how an innate propensity to contribute and conform to the culture of our birth not only enabled human survival and progress in the past but also continues to influence our behavior today. Shedding light on our species’ defining attributes—from art, morality, and altruism to self-interest, deception, and prejudice—Wired for Culture offers surprising new insights into what it means to be human.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in human social evolution.

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