"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.
- McKay, George (editor). The Encyclopedia of Animals: A Complete Visual Guide. 2004. University of California Press. Hardbound: 608 pages. Price: $39.95 U.S. [Amazon: $26.37].
SUMMARY: This book includes an introductory overview of animal evolution, biology, behavior, classification, habitats, and current conservation issues. An extensive encyclopedic survey of the animals follows, with special attention given to endangered and vulnerable species. Included in this title are 475 color photographs, 1,700 color illustrations, 950 maps, and 125 tables.
RECOMMENDATION: This book would be an ideal introduction to zoology for school and public libraries.
New and Recent Titles:
- Henderson, Carrol L. Woodworking for Wildlife: Homes for Birds and (other) Animals (3rd revised edition). 2010. University of Texas Press. Paperback: 164 pages. Price: $19.95 U.S. [Amazon: $15.56].
SUMMARY: This book features thirty designs for nest boxes and platforms that will accommodate forty-six species of wildlife. It provides easy-to-follow diagrams for assembling these boxes and platforms. This book also includes over three hundred color photographs.
RECOMMENDATION: For anyone interested in attracting wildlife to a given area.
- Holmes, Martha and Michael Gunton. Life: Extraordinary Animals, Extreme Behaviour. 2009. University of California Press. Hardbound: 312 pages. Price: $39.95 U.S. [Amazon: $26.37].
SUMMARY: This book is the companion volume to the new Discovery Channel/BBC series, which tells a majestic and compelling story of survival and of the amazing behaviors animals and plants adopt to stay alive and pass their genes to a new generation. In 60 concise and captivating vignettes, intriguingly grouped in categories like Extraordinary Sea Creatures, Fabulous Fish, Irrepressible Plants, Hot-blooded Hunters, and Intellectual Primates, the authors provide the most up-to-date science.
RECOMMENDATION: Fans of the series will want this book!
- McDougall, Christopher. Born To Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen. 2009. Knopf. Hardbound: 289 pages. Price: $24.95 U.S. [Amazon: $14.58].
SUMMARY: The reclusive Tarahumara Indians of Mexico's Copper Canyons are custodians of a lost art. For centuries they have practiced techniques that allow them to run hundreds of miles without rest and chase down anything from a deer to an Olympic marathoner while enjoying every mile of it. The author was able not only to uncover the secrets of the Tarahumara, but also to find his own inner ultra-athlete.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with a serious interest in the sport of running.
- Williams, Glyn. Arctic Labyrinth: The Quest for the Northwest Passage. 2010. University of California Press. Hardbound: 440 pages. Price: $34.95 U.S. [Amazon: $25.51].
SUMMARY: The elusive dream of locating the Northwest Passage -- an ocean route over the top of North America that promised a shortcut to the fabulous wealth of Asia-- obsessed explorers for centuries. While global warming has brought several such routes into existence, until recently these channels were hopelessly choked by impassible ice. Voyagers faced unimaginable horrors -- entire ships crushed, mass starvation, disabling frostbite, even cannibalism -- in pursuit of a futile goal. In Arctic Labyrinth, Glyn Williams charts the entire sweep of this extraordinary history, from the tiny, woefully equipped vessels of the first Tudor expeditions to the twentieth-century ventures that finally opened the Passage.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in arctic and/or maritime history.
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!