Thursday, October 22, 2015
1) Alexievich, Svetlana.Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster. 2006 (2015). Picador. Paperback: 236 pages. Price: $16.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: On April 26, 1986, the worst nuclear reactor accident in history occurred in Chernobyl and contaminated as much as three quarters of Europe. Voices from Chernobyl is the first book to present personal accounts of the tragedy. Journalist Svetlana Alexievich interviewed hundreds of people affected by the meltdown---from innocent citizens to firefighters to those called in to clean up the disaster---and their stories reveal the fear, anger, and uncertainty with which they still live. Comprised of interviews in monologue form, Voices from Chernobyl is a crucially important work, unforgettable in its emotional power and honesty.
RECOMMENDATION: The author just won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
2) Toft, Catherine A. and Timothy F. Wright. Parrots of the Wild: A Natural History of the World’s Most Captivating Birds. 2015. University of California Press. Hardbound: 345 pages. Price: $39.95 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Parrots of the Wild explores recent scientific discoveries and what they reveal about the lives of wild parrots, which are among the most intelligent and rarest of birds. Catherine A. Toft and Tim Wright discuss the evolutionary history of parrots and how this history affects perceptual and cognitive abilities, diet and foraging patterns, and mating and social behavior. The authors also discuss conservation status and the various ways different populations are adapting to a world that is rapidly changing. The book focuses on general patterns across the 350-odd species of parrots, as well as what can be learned from interesting exceptions to these generalities.
A synthetic account of the diversity and ecology of wild parrots, this book distills knowledge from the authors’ own research and from their review of more than 2,400 published scientific studies. The book is enhanced by an array of illustrations, including nearly ninety color photos of wild parrots represented in their natural habitats. Parrots of the Wild melds scientific exploration with features directed at the parrot enthusiast to inform and delight a broad audience.
RECOMMENDATION: A must have for those with a serious interest in parrots.