PositiveBooklistMelillo pens a fascinating look at the role insects have played in human history, with a focus not on the depredations of pest insect species but on the stories of shellac, silk, and cochineal, insect-derived products which generated world commerce ... Stories of intrigue and the breaking of lucrative monopolies mix with natural history to forge an unusual history intertwining human and insect life and full of aha moments.
Jonathan C. Slaght
PositiveBooklistThe excitement of finding owl tracks in the snow (the owls fish for salmon along open stretches of rivers) and owl nests is intertwined with stories of camping, attaching transmitters to owls, and dealing with recalcitrant equipment and villagers. Slowly the owls reveal their secrets, and Slaght lets readers revel in the discoveries along with him.
RaveBooklist... involving, even addictive ... Safina writes with awe and wonder of what he observed and learned from the cultures of these remarkable animals, making us reconsider our sense of uniqueness.
PositiveBooklistRoberts conveys the majesty of the underwater world, and the often rough conditions for setting up research stations on inhospitable shores. In enthusiastic prose he describes corals, the fish, and other animals that live amongst the coral colonies, and the dangers these fragile worlds face in an age of global climate change. Spectacular color and black-and-white photographs entice us into a world most of us will never see but will grow to care about.
PositiveBooklistIn this fresh, insightful look, geographer and environmental historian Hennessy tracks the central role the tortoises have played in the natural, social, and global history of the Galapagos ... With the tortoises as the focus, Hennessy’s melding of human and natural history makes for thought-provoking reading.
RaveBooklist... a most intimate book ... readers learn not only quite a bit of blue-jay natural history, but also the tricks of wildlife rehabilitators as well as the mistakes to which Zickefoose wryly confesses. Just when Jemima reached independence, she contracted an eye disease common to house finches, and the ingenious ways the author was able to treat a free-flying bird are astounding. Mixing cute blue-jay stories with scientific facts, the author teaches readers lots of ornithology, and, by adding tales of the simultaneous turmoil her family was undergoing, she shows how nature and animals can heal heartbreak. Zickefoose has produced another hard-to-put-down winner!
PositiveBooklistThe horror of the zoo’s residents, caught in their cages and slowly starving, is well rendered by journalist Callaghan, as is Abu Laith’s resiliency and determination ... With the pacing of a thriller and touches of humor, Callaghan’s tale of animal-focused bravery under fire is both wrenching and charming.
RaveBooklist... fascinating ... In lyrical, sometimes mystical prose, [Louv] challenges our assumptions about how we relate to other species ... The importance of time spent with other species and the mutual acknowledgement and curiosity found in a shared interspecies gaze ultimately leads to an affirming sense of recognition between two beings.
Lloyd Spencer Davis
PositiveBooklist...Davis’ account of his quest to discover the real Levick, the story of why his manuscript was never published, and how Levick’s findings relate to Davis’ own research. An engaging detective story, Davis’ search for the truth also enfolds the social history of the Victorian era, changing theories in the fields of evolution and animal behavior, the human side of scientific research, and tales of Antarctica.
PositiveBooklistShell presents a world in which the elephant is a valued partner and, while not truly free, is protected.
RaveBooklist...a lyrical exploration of an attempt to accommodate two disparate goals—the dairy farmer’s need for the corn to feed his cattle and the grizzly’s need to eat and fatten up during the short Montana summer. The resulting saga of the fence, the bears, and the cruel tricks fate can play read like a grand Great Plains tragedy in the Faulknerian mode. Andrews’ empathic writing turns Millie’s story into the embodiment of modern compromise with apex predators.
Frans de Waal
RaveBooklistA captivating survey of animal and human emotions ... In de Waal’s engaging inquiry, we roam the animal kingdom (with emphasis on his favorite primate research subjects) as he makes his most important point: we animals share the same emotions, just as we share the same organs.
RaveBooklist[A] fascinating tale ... This multilayered approach to what is, at heart, the account of Corbett’s long-term hunt for the famous man-eater elevates Huckelbridge’s book above the sensational \'true tale\' to stand as a superb work of natural history.
PositiveBooklist\"In a wonderfully episodic book, perfect for slipping in and out of, Laufer travels the world in search of all things turtle ... Turtle rescue stories mix with tales of patrolling beaches to protect sea turtles and of catching smugglers, while tales of Fred, Laufer’s box turtle, provide an emotional connection.\
RaveBooklistWe follow Berger...radio-collaring moose in below-zero temperatures in Grand Teton National Park and comparing how bison mothers in areas with wolves, areas without wolves, and areas with new wolf packs react to wolf calls. Berger also bribes his way through customs in Vladivostok on his way to studying Russian moose and tries to get close to skittish guanacos in Argentina. The excitement and drudgery of fieldwork, combined with the author’s discoveries on how fear of predators changes the behavior of their prey, make for a book that teaches and thrills equally.
RaveBooklist OnlineWhat is it about whales that we find so fascinating? They are the largest animals that have ever lived on the planet, and humans have wondered about them for all of recorded history. Pyenson, an award-winning paleontologist and curator at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, takes a unique look at these enigmatic marine mammals ... Pyenson paints a history of how whales became the magnificent creatures they are today. Illustrated with beautiful line drawings, and heavily annotated, this is a hard-to-put-down quest to understand whales and their place on Earth.
PositiveBooklistMost people picture a clear, fast-moving creek with a narrow course and lots of rocks. This vision, award-winning environmental journalist Goldfarb informs us in this fresh, historically grounded look at North America’s largest rodent, is wrong ... Goldfarb traveled the country to observe researchers, beaver damage mitigators, county engineers, hydrologists, and wildlife biologists, all working with beavers and studying their positive effects on ecosystems from the western deserts to the replenishing forests of the east. Beavers are kind of magical, Goldfarb tells us: they can make wetlands appear.
PositiveBooklistBirkhead’s two passions, birds and the history of science, give him the perfect perspective for studying an ornithological pioneer. What he has produced is a delightful biography ... [an] insight into the difficulties and thrilling discoveries of science in the seventeenth century.
PositiveBooklistCooke covers 13 animals and the wildly creative theories that scientists, from the creators of early bestiaries to modern researchers, have come up with to explain their behavior ... Cooke puts scientific errors, some of them hilarious, into historical context.
RaveBooklist Online\"These two themes—the ever-evolving state of veterinary medicine and the bond between humans and animals—are explored in a series of chapters, each centering around a single case. The author also weaves in tales of her personal life, such as how adopting a cat gave her a new insight into feline medicine, or the fact that moving in with her boyfriend forced her to balance her constant drive for working with the needs of a new relationship. Fincham-Gray, who also has an MFA in creative writing, has created a wonderfully introspective look at the role of the veterinarian.\
PositiveBooklist...an insider’s view of the history of both dinosaurs and dinosaur science. With both dino-geek glee and science-writer exactitude, Brusatte travels the world as he tells the story of the rise of dinosaurs ... Superbly illustrated with photos and art, this is popular-science writing at its best.
PositiveBooklistAs he examines the lives of 10 seabirds, from the extinct great auk to the wandering albatross, and from the gulls to the cormorants, Nicolson quotes from sources as varied as Coleridge and other poets, scientific studies, memoirs, and local folks ... Nicolson writes lyrically of birds most of us only briefly notice when visiting a rocky shoreline, beings possessing extraordinary forms of understanding we have never shared.
RaveBooklistThe fight between federal and state control of Yellowstone’s wolves is embodied in O-Six’s story, told with great immediacy and empathy in a tale that reads like fiction. This one will grab readers and impel them into the heart of the conflict.
Richard O. Prum
PositiveBooklistWhile Prum’s inquiry is firmly based in scientific research, with notes and bibliography to match, his humor and personal anecdotes make for compelling reading.