Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Birdbooker Report 118

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Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I’ll have a long beard by the time I read them.

~ Arnold Lobel [1933-1987] author of many popular children’s books.

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.


FEATURED TITLE:

  1. Fukuchi, Mitsuo and Harvey J. Marchant. Antarctic Fishes. 2006. Johns Hopkins University Press. Hardbound: 136 pages. Price: $45.00 U.S. [Amazon: $45.00].
    SUMMARY: This book describes the physical characteristics, habits, and distribution of fifty-four species of these fascinating fish. Each description is accompanied by a delicate full-page illustration executed in the unique gyotaku method as employed by master artist Boshu Nagase. The result is an impressive tribute to these little — known fishes. Antarctic Fishes is an important contribution to our knowledge of a unique environment and extraordinary species equipped with their own “antifreeze.” A book for anyone seeking to truly understand the diversity of fishes in the world, Antarctic Fishes will also find a welcome home among fans of Asian and nature art, as well as the growing number of gyotaku collectors.
    RECOMMENDATION: For those interested in marine fish and/or nature art.

New and Recent Titles:

  1. Alderfer, Jonathan and Jon L. Dunn. National Geographic Birding Essentials. 2007. National Geographic Society. Paperback: 224 pages. Price: $15.95 U.S. [Amazon: $10.85].
    SUMMARY: For beginning and intermediate enthusiasts, National Geographic Birding Essentials is a must. Comprehensive and authoritative, yet engaging and user-friendly, it teaches readers how to begin and improve their birding: what to look and listen for and how to make sense of what they see and hear. A unique visual component shows actual field guide pages and how to read them, while another compares the same bird in photography versus artwork and explains how to use both for species identification. National Geographic’s quality photography is a major highlight of the book, supplemented by pencil drawings and full-color maps to give birders a full range of visual information.
    RECOMMENDATION: A useful book for beginning and intermediate birders.
  2. Brinkley, Douglas. The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America. 2009. Harper Perennial. Paperback: 940 pages. Price: $19.99 U.S. [Amazon: $13.59].
    SUMMARY: From New York Times bestselling historian Douglas Brinkley comes a sweeping historical narrative and eye-opening look at the pioneering environmental policies of President Theodore Roosevelt, avid bird-watcher, naturalist, and the founding father of America’s conservation movement — now approaching its 100th anniversary.
    RECOMMENDATION: Now available in paperback.
  3. Reid, Fiona A. et al. The Wildlife of Costa Rica: A Field Guide. 2010. Cornell University Press. Paperback: 267 pages. Price: $29.95 U.S. [Amazon: $19.77].
    SUMMARY: This full-color field guide is an indispensable companion to the most popular neotropical ecotourism destination: Costa Rica. Featuring all the mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and arthropods that one is likely to see on a trip to the rainforest (as well as those secretive creatures such as the jaguar that are difficult to glimpse), The Wildlife of Costa Rica is the guide to have when encountering trogons, tapirs, and tarantulas. In addition to providing details for identifying animals along with interesting facts about their natural history, this guide offers tips for seeing them in the wild.
    RECOMMENDATION: For naturalists visting or living in Costa Rica.
  4. Wallace, Alfred Russel. The Malay Archipelago. 2008. Periplus. Paperback: 488 pages. Price: $24.95 U.S. [Amazon: $16.47].
    SUMMARY: The Malay Archipelago is an extraordinarily accessible book written by noted British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace. A century and a half after it was published, this book remains one of the great classics of natural history and travel, on par with Charles Darwin’s work. Full of a wealth of detail about pre-modern life in the Indonesian archipelago, The Malay Archipelago is a fascinating look at natural selection.
    RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in Victorian era science and travel writing.

You can read all the Birdbooker Reports in the archives on this site, and Ian now has his own website, The Birdbooker Report, 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!