Wednesday, September 2, 2015

New Titles


1) Avery, Mark. Inglorious: Conflict in the Uplands. 2015. Bloomsbury. Hardbound: 304 pages. Price: $26.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Driven grouse shooting, where flocks of Red Grouse are chased by lines of beaters so that they fly over lines of "guns" that shoot the fast-flying birds, is a peculiarly British field sport. It is also peculiarly British in that it is deeply rooted in the British class system. Grouse shooting is big business, backed by powerful, wealthy lobbying groups, with tendrils running throughout British society.
     Inglorious makes the case for banning driven grouse shooting. Mark Avery explains why he has, after many years of soul-searching, come down in favor of an outright ban. There is too much illegal killing of wildlife, such as Buzzards, Golden Eagles, and, most egregiously of all, Hen Harriers; and, as a land use, it wrecks the ecology of the hills. However, grouse shooting is economically important, and it is a great British tradition. All of these, and other points of view, are given fair and detailed treatment and analysis, with testimony from a range of people on opposite sides of the debate.
     The book also sets out Avery's campaign with Chris Packham to gain support for the proposal to ban grouse shooting, culminating in "Hen Harrier Day," timed to coincide with the "Glorious" 12th. Ever controversial, Mark Avery is guaranteed to stir up a debate about field sports, the countryside, and big business in a book that all conservationists will want to read.  
RECOMMENDATION: If you enjoyed the author's other works, you should enjoy this book.


2) Lindo, David. Tales from Concrete Jungles: Urban birding around the world. 2015. Bloomsbury. Hardbound: 240 pages. Price: $27.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: When you think about going bird-watching, you imagine visiting magnificent open countryside, rolling hills, lush woodland, or waterlogged marshes. You don't think of towns and cities. In fact, the urban environment is surprisingly rich in birds: parks, gardens, scrubland, lakes, and reservoirs all harbor many species of birds. Some town gardens even have bigger lists of birds than country gardens do.
      Since 2006, a long-running series of articles has appeared in Birdwatching magazine, showcasing David Lindo visiting a wide variety of cities in Britain and Europe and the birds he has encountered on these short city breaks. These articles are collected here for the first time--most of them expanded with new material but also, featuring a few never before published. They cover visits to many cities throughout the world and the striking variations among them.
      This book is not a compendium of birding sites within many of the world's cities. It is a series of adventures featuring birds and inspiring stories. Above all, it is hoped that this book will inspire you to look at cities with different eyes, to appreciate the diversity of wildlife wherever you are, and realize the importance of the conservation message.  
RECOMMENDATION: If you enjoyed the author's The Urban Birder, you'll like this book.

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