Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Birdbooker Report 75

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“How does one distinguish a truly civilized nation from an aggregation of
barbarians? That is easy. A civilized country produces much good bird
–Edgar Kincaid

The Birdbooker Report is a special weekly report of a wide variety of science, nature and behavior books that currently are, or soon will be available for purchase. This report is written by one of my Seattle birding pals and book collector, Ian “Birdbooker” Paulsen, and is edited by me and published here for your information and enjoyment. Below the fold is this week’s issue of The Birdbooker Report which lists ecology, environment, natural history and bird books that are (or will soon be) available for purchase.


  1. Mayr, Gerald. Paleogene Fossil Birds. 2009. Springer. Hardbound: 262 pages. Price: $189.00 U.S. [Amazon: $189.00 or you can purchase it chapter by chapter from the publisher]. SUMMARY: This book presents the first detailed review of the Paleogene avian fossil record on a worldwide scale. Included in the book are several black-and-white photos of the actual fossil specimens. Anyone with an interest in avian or Paleogene paleontology will want this book! GrrlScientist comment: MUST READ AND REVIEW THIS BOOK for my blog!

New and Recent Titles:

  1. Avise, John C. Clonality: The Genetics, Ecology, and Evolution of Sexual Abstinence in Vertebrate Animals. 2008. Oxford University Press. Hardbound: 237 pages. Price: $49.95 U.S. [Amazon: $49.95]. SUMMARY: The author examines the biology of the approximately 100 species of vertebrate animals that can reproduce asexually. This book is divided into four parts: Background: Like Begets Like, Unisexual Clonality in Nature, Sexual Clonality in Nature and Clonality in the Laboratory. Those with an interest in reproductive biology will find this book useful. GrrlScientist comment: Another must-read for me, especially since I studied the reproductive biology of birds for part of my dissertation work and I taught comparative anatomy as well as reproductive biology courses in college.
  2. Mooney, Chris and Sheril Kirshenbaum. Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future. 2009. Basic Books. Hardbound: 209 pages. Price: $24.00 U.S. [Amazon: $16.32]. SUMMARY: This thought provoking, if not controversial, book examines the increasing gaps in science literacy in America. The authors briefly examine these gaps and what can be done to bridge them. People in the education fields and scientists should read this book, even though they might not agree with its conclusions. GrrlScientist comment: There is a copy of this book waiting in my PO Box for my return to NYC from Finland, and I am eagerly looking forward to reading and reviewing it for you (I might get lucky and manage to pitch a review to one of the big science journals, so stay tuned).

You can read all the Birdbooker Reports in the archives on this site, and Ian now has his own website, The Birdbooker’s Bookcase, where you can read his synopses about newly published science, nature and animal books. But Ian assures me that he still loves us here, so he’ll still share his weekly Birdbooker Reports with us!