Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Birdbooker Report 86

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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. Eccleshare, Julia (general editor). 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up. 2009. Universe. Hardbound: 960 pages. Price: $36.95 U.S. [Amazon: $24.39]. SUMMARY: This book lists 1001 children’s book by age group (0-3, 3+, 5+,8+, 12+) that everyone should read. Each book is given a half page to whole page for its description. Any reader will want this book!

New and Recent Titles:

  1. Bartlett, Allison Hoover. The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession. 2009. Riverhead Books. Hardbound: 274 pages. Price: $24.95 U.S. [Amazon: $16.47]. SUMMARY: This true life crime book follows the criminal career of book thief John Charles Gilkey, who wanted to impress the world by gathering together the best and most complete library of rare books, and the man who caught him. Anyone who loves books, crime stories or tales of obsession will like this book. GrrlScientist comment: After hearing an interview on WNYC radio with the author, I immediately wrote to the publisher asking for a review copy of this book. I hope they send one to me!
  2. Chilton, Glen. The Curse of the Labrador Duck: My Obsessive Quest to the Edge of Extinction. 2009. Simon and Schuster. Hardbound: 305 pages. Price: $25.00 U.S. [Amazon: $16.50 ]. SUMMARY: The author travels throughout North America and Europe to track down every known specimen of the extinct Labrador Duck. He relates these (mis)adventures in a way that is often humorous. Plus there’s an interesting twist in the epilogue! Anyone interested in extinct birds and travel will like this book.
  3. Finlayson, Clive. The Humans Who Went Extinct: Why Neanderthals died out and we survived. 2009. Oxford University Press. Hardbound: 273 pages. Price: $29.95 U.S. [Amazon: $25.50]. SUMMARY: The author examines the downfall of the Neanderthals and the rise of our species. He thinks our rise was due more to luck than from the intelligence of humans. Anyone with an interest in prehistoric humans will want to read this book.

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!