Monday, October 26, 2015
1) Deeming, D. Charles and S. James Reynolds (editors). Nests, Eggs, and Incubation: New ideas about avian reproduction. 2015. Oxford University Press. Hardbound: 296 pages. Price: $110.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Nests, Eggs, and Incubation brings together a global team of leading authorities to provide a comprehensive overview of the fascinating and diverse field of avian incubation. Starting with a new assessment of the evolution of avian reproductive biology in light of recent research, the book goes on to cover four broad areas: the nest, the egg, incubation, and the study of avian reproduction. New research on nest structures, egg traits, and life history is incorporated, whilst contemporary methodologies such as self-contained temperature probes and citizen science are also discussed. Applied chapters describe how biological knowledge can be applied to challenges such as conservation and climate change. The book concludes by suggesting priorities for future research.
This book builds upon the foundations laid down by Charles Deeming's 2001 work Avian Incubation (now freely available for download), much of which remains relevant today. Read in conjunction with this previous volume, it provides an up to date and thorough review of egg biology, nest function, and incubation behaviour, which will be an essential resource for students of avian biology as well as professional and field ornithologists.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with a technical interest in the subject.
2) Nicolson, Adam. Sea Room: An Island Life in the Hebrides. 2015. Picador. Paperback: 401 pages. Price: $20.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: In 1937, Adam Nicolson's father answered a newspaper ad for a small cluster of three islands-The Shiants (Gaelic meaning "holy" or "enchanted")-which lie east of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Sheer black cliffs drop five hundred feet into the cold, dark, rip currents of the Minch, lounging seals crowd at their feet and thousands upon thousands of sea birds swarm overhead in the sky. Nicolson inherited the islands when he was twenty-one and in this spellbinding and luminous book, he recalls his keenly deep connection to the wild, windswept, and yet enchantingly beautiful property. Not merely a haven of solitude, the islands, with a centuries-old past haunted by restless ghosts and tales of ancient treasure, came to be for Nicolson his heartland and a "sea room"-a sailing term he uses to mean "the sense of enlargement that island life can give you."
In passionate, prismatic prose, Sea Room celebrates this extraordinary landscape, exploring Nicolson's complicated relationship to the paradoxes of island life and the wonder of revelatory engagement with our natural world.
RECOMMENDATION: This edition has been updated with a new afterword.