“How does one distinguish a truly civilized nation from an aggregation of
barbarians? That is easy. A civilized country produces much good bird
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.
- Jobling, James A. Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. 2010. Christopher Helm. Hardbound: 432 pages. Price: 40.00 GBP (about $61.90 U.S.). [Amazon: assorted sellers].
SUMMARY: Many scientific bird names describe a bird’s habits, habitat, distribution or a plumage feature, while others are named after their discoverers or in honour of prominent ornithologists. This extraordinary work of reference lists the generic and specific name for almost every species of bird in the world and gives its meaning and derivation. In the case of eponyms brief biographical details are provided for each of the personalities commemorated in the scientific names. This fascinating book is an outstanding source of information which will both educate and inform, and may even help to understand birds better.
RECOMMENDATION: For anyone with a technical interest in birds!
New and Recent Titles:
- Dilworth, Craig. Too Smart for Our Own Good: The Ecological Predicament of Humankind. 2010. Cambridge University Press. Paperback: 530 pages. Price: $29.99 U.S. [Amazon: $29.99].
SUMMARY: We are destroying our natural environment at a constantly increasing pace, and in so doing undermining the preconditions of our own existence. Why is this so? This book reveals that our ecologically disruptive behavior is in fact rooted in our very nature as a species.Drawing on evolution theory, biology, anthropology, archaeology, economics, environmental science and history, this book explains the ecological predicament of humankind by placing it in the context of the first scientific theory of our species’ development, taking over where Darwin left off.
RECOMMENDATION: A semi-technical review of human-caused environmental destruction.
- Martin, Joel W. The Prism and the Rainbow: A Christian Explains Why Evolution Is Not a Threat. Due out: May 2010. Johns Hopkins University Press, Hardbound: 184 pages. Price: $20.00 U.S. [Amazon: $13.60].
SUMMARY: God or Darwin? It is one of the most contentious conflicts of our time. It is also completely unnecessary, according to Joel W. Martin, an evolutionary biologist and ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church USA. In this slim but powerful book, Martin argues that it is not contradictory to be a practicing, faithful Christian who accepts the science of evolution.
RECOMMENDATION: An interesting take on the Evolution/Creationism debate from a Christian point of view.
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!