Books

Category archives for Books

I remember finding out about the Tethys Sea and being really excited. I was just beginning my studies of Old World prehistory, Africa, and Human Evolution. What I learned about was the remnant sea separating Africa and Eurasia called Tethys, though it is much more than that (see below). Imagine a Eurasia with no Alps,…

The Power of The Sea

On June 6th, 1944, some 160,000 soldiers aboard about 5,000 boats of diverse design crossed the English Channel and carried out the Invasion of Normandy, one of the more important events in recent history. Many of the soldiers were so sick from choppy seas that leaving the boats and walking or running into German gunfire…

The Jewel Hunter by Chris Goodie is the story, generally chronological, of one man’s quest to observe, in nature, every known species of a rare and typically elusive bird: the Pittas. Oh, and all in one year. For a birder, this is the rough equivalent of buying some impossible to pay for sports car as…

When I was in 5th grade one of my classmates announced that she and her family (they were a family of singing folksingers) planned to take a trip in a boat they had built around the continent. In that class were were all required to give talks on various topics of our choosing, and she…

How to draw birds

Tired of merely watching birds? Ever consider trying to draw them? There’s a method to do so. John Muir Laws is very good at this and he’s written a book that can help you get started, maybe even become good at it yourself: Laws Guide to Drawing Birds. In case you were wondering, Laws’ name…

The Hobbit and Science

The Hobbit, the movie, opens tomorrow in a theater near you. This is based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s book, The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, which chronicles the adventure of Bilbo Baggins. To many, this constitutes a prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which many read (or saw in movie form) before finding…

This is a summary of several of the better books I’ve had the opportunity to review here, organized in general categories. This is written from a North American perspective since most of my readers are North American (though many of you live to the west of the “Eastern Region” … but you probably know that).…

Masters of the Planet

Yesterday I wrote about Chris Stringer’s modified version of human evolution. Today, let’s have a look at Ian Tattersall’s new book, Masters of the Planet: The Search for Our Human Origins (Macsci). Tatersall’s boo, like Sringer’s, is a good overview of the newer evidence in the constantly changing field, but he goes back earlier and…

The Evolution of Modern Humans

Chris Stringer’s new book, Lone Survivors: How We Came to Be the Only Humans on Earth, attempts to reconcile the age-old conflict between the “Multiregional” and “Out of Africa” hypotheses of Modern Human origins. Stringer has long been identified with the “Out of Africa” hypothesis, and his criticism of the Multiregional model pretty much still…

Carl Safina: The View From Lazy Point

Carl Safina is in some ways a modern Rachel Carson, an ecologist who writes excellent stuff about ecology. The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World is his latest work. I saw him recently at the Gustavus Nobel conference where he gave this talk (the actual talk starts at about 9:00,…