Birdbooker Report 63

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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. Meltzer, David J. First Peoples in a New World: Colonizing Ice Age America. 2009. University of California Press. Hardbound: 446 pages. Price: $29.95 U.S. [Amazon: $19.77]. SUMMARY: More than 12,000 years ago, in one of the greatest triumphs of prehistory, humans colonized North America, a continent that was then truly a new world. Just when and how they did so has been one of the most perplexing and controversial questions in archaeology. The author presents an up-to-date summary of the latest research into how North America was colonized by humans during the Pleistocene.

New and Recent Titles:

  1. Bowler, Peter J. Monkey Trials and Gorilla Sermons: Evolution and Christianity from Darwin to Intelligent Design. 2009. Harvard. Paperback: 256 pages. Price: $17.95 U.S.[Amazon: $12.92]. SUMMARY: The author examines the conflict between Christians, especially the conservative ones and evolutionists. Bowler especially examines the less well known liberal theologians who try to reconcile Christian beliefs with evolution. This book provides a valuable alternative to accounts that stress only the escalating confrontation.
  2. Gilbert, Suzie. Flyaway: How a Wild Bird Rehabber Sought Adventure and Found Her Wings. 2009. Harper. Hardbound: 340 pages. Price: $25.99 U.S. [Amazon: $17.15]. SUMMARY: Gilbert chronicles her evolution as a wild bird rehabilitator. It started when she took a job at an animal hospital, were she worked with injured birds and started bringing home abused and unwanted parrots. She volunteered at a local rehabilitation facility for injured birds of prey. She finally opened a wild bird rehabilitation clinic, Flyaway, Inc. in her home.
  3. Kroodsma, Donald. Birdsong by the Seasons: A Year of Listening to Birds. 2009. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Hardbound: 366 pages. Price: $28.00 U.S. [Amazon: $18.48]. SUMMARY: This book is made up of 24 stories about birdsongs during a year. The stories begin with a Pileated Woodpecker on New Year's Day and end just before Christmas with a chorus of singing birds in Massachusetts. Includes a 2 CD set of birdsongs.
  4. Uglow, Jenny. Nature's Engraver: A Life of Thomas Bewick. 2009. University of Chicago Press. Paperback: 458 pages. Price: $18.00 U.S. [Amazon: $12.24]. SUMMARY: Thomas Bewick's (1753-1828) "History of British Birds" was the first illustrated field guide of its kind for ordinary people, filled with woodcuts of astonishing accuracy and beauty. The author tell Bewick's story on how he became one of Britain's greatest and most popular engravers.
  5. Whaley, Jo (photographer). The Theater of Insects. 2008. Chronicle Books. Hardbound: 128 pages. Price: $22.95 U.S. [Amazon: $15.61]. SUMMARY: Inspired by natural history dioramas of an earlier era of scientific discovery, Whaley stages her photographs of insects to emphasize their exquisiteness through color, texture, and lighting. Essays by entomologist Linda Wiener, photography curator Deborah Klochko, and Whaley herself complete this stunning volume.
  6. Wulf, Andrea. The Brother Gardeners: Botany, Empire and the Birth of an Obsession. 2008. Knopf. Hardbound: 356 pages. Price: $35.00 U.S. [Amazon: $23.10]. SUMMARY: The author explores the story of a small group of 18th century naturalists who made Britain a nation of gardeners and the epicenter of horticultural and botanical expertise. It's a story of a garden revolution that began in America.

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