Sunday, February 20, 2022

New Titles


1) Kratzer, Chris Alice. The Social Wasps of North America. 2022. Owlfly Publishing. Paperback: 417 pages. Price: $24.99 U.S.

PUBLISHER’S SUMMARY: With over 400 pages and 900 full-color illustrations, The Social Wasps of North America is the world's first complete illustrated field guide to all known species of social wasps from the high arctic of Greenland and Alaska to the tropical forests of Panama and Grenada.

     For beginners, experts, and everyone in-between, The Social Wasps of North America provides new insights about some of the world’s least popular beneficial insects, plus tips and tricks to avoid painful stings. This book includes detailed information about the ecology, evolution, taxonomy, anatomy, nest architecture, and conservation of social wasp species.

     To purchase this book in softcover format, visit our website at:
RECOMMENDATION: A MUST have for anyone with an interest in social wasps! The thing I like most about this book is that it covers ALL of North America, not just the United States and Canada.


2) Brazil, Mark. Japan: The Natural History of an Asian Archipelago. 2022. Princeton University Press. Flexibound: 384 pages. Price: $35.00 U.S.

PUBLISHER’S SUMMARY: This richly illustrated guide is the first comprehensive and accessible introduction to the extraordinary natural history of the Japanese archipelago. It explains how Japan’s geology, geography, climate, seas and currents have forged conditions supporting a diverse range of species―from cranes, bears, eagles and monkeys to plants, butterflies, dragonflies, frogs and snakes―many of which are found nowhere else in the world. Engaging and authoritative, this book is a must-have for anyone who wants to explore or learn about Japan’s natural wonders, from the Japanese Macaque―the famous snow monkeys―to the magnificent Steller’s [Sea-]Eagle.

  • Features more than 878 colour photographs, illustrations and maps
  • Provides a lavishly illustrated introduction to many of Japan’s common and iconic mammals and birds
  • Takes readers on a naturalist’s journey to the key areas of Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku and Nansei Shoto, as well as the Izu, Ogasawara and Iwo islands
  • Introduces Japan’s geology, geography, topography, climate, habitats, biodiversity and much more
  • Explains where and how to watch and photograph wildlife in Japan, including whales

RECOMMENDATION: A MUST have for anyone with an interest in the natural history of Japan.


3) Parish, Roberta et al. (editors). Plants of the Inland Northwest and Southern Interior British Columbia. 1996 (2018). Lone Pine Publishing. Paperback: 463 pages. Price: $27.95 U.S.

PUBLISHER’S SUMMARY: This handy field guide features nearly 700 species of plants commonly found in the region from the crest of the Rockies west to the Coast Mountains, including the interior of Washington and Idaho. Detailed species descriptions are combined with precise drawings and excellent color photographs to make the plants of the region easy to identify. Highlights include information on edible plants and First Nations uses of plants, gardening with wild plants, a color photo guide to wildflowers, more than 1000 color photographs and more than 700 illustrations. Whether you are an avid naturalist or an armchair explorer, you are bound to find this beautifully illustrated guide an essential addition to your backpack or library.

RECOMMENDATION: This well liked field guide has recently been reprinted.


4) Evison, Jonathan. Small World: A Novel. 2022. Dutton. Hardbound: 480 pages. Price: $28.00 U.S.

PUBLISHER’S SUMMARY: Jonathan Evison’s Small World is an epic novel for now. Set against such iconic backdrops as the California gold rush, the development of the transcontinental railroad, and a speeding train of modern-day strangers forced together by fate, it is a grand entertainment that asks big questions.  

      The characters of Small World connect in the most intriguing and meaningful ways, winning, breaking, and winning our hearts again. In exploring the passengers’ lives and those of their ancestors more than a century before, Small World chronicles 170 years of American nation-building from numerous points of view across place and time. And it does it with a fullhearted, full-throttle pace that asks on the most human, intimate scale whether it is truly possible to meet, and survive, the choices posed—and forced—by the age.
      The result is a historical epic with a Dickensian flair, a grand entertainment that asks whether our nation has made good on its promises. It dazzles as its characters come to connect with one another through ti
me. And it hits home as it probes at our country’s injustices, big and small, straight through to its deeply satisfying final words.

RECOMMENDATION: If you liked the author's West of Here you will want to read this book!


5) Beil, Michael D.. The Swallowtail Legacy: Wreck at Ada's Reef. 2022. Pixel+Ink. Hardbound: 320 pages. Price: $17.99 U.S.

PUBLISHER’S SUMMARY: Punctuated with transcripts, letters, maps, black-and-white illustrations and more, The Swallowtail Legacy: Wreck at Ada's Reef is a vibrant contemporary mystery with a classic feel exploring righting past wrongs, redefining family, and finding yourself.

     Twelve-year-old Lark Heron-Finch is steeling herself to spend the summer on Swallowtail Island off the shores of Lake Erie. It's the first time that she and her sister will have seen the old house since their mom passed away. And while her stepfather and his boys are okay, the island's always been full of happy memories--and now everything is different.

     When Nadine, a close family friend, tells Lark about a tragic boat accident that happened off the coast many years before, Lark's enthralled with the story. Nadine's working on a book about Dinah Purdy, Swallowtails's oldest resident who had a connection to the crash, and she's sure that the accident was not as it appeared. Impressed by Lark's keen eye, she hires her as her research assistant for the summer.

     And then Lark discovers something amazing. Something that could change Dinah's life. Something linked to the crash and even to her own family's history with Swallowtail. But there are others on the island who would do anything to keep the truth buried in the watery depths of the past.
     A compelling and complex mystery with a classic feel,
Wreck at Ada's Reef is perfect for fans of The Parker Inheritance, Holes, The Westing Game, and anyone looking for a satisfying puzzle that stretches across decades.

RECOMMENDATION: For ages 8 - 12 years. This is the first book of the series, with book two due out in Spring 2023. As a birder, I like the ornithological background of this book!


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