Birdbooker Report 314

31 March 2014 by GrrlScientist, posted in Birdbooker Report

SUMMARY: Books, books, beautiful books! This is a list of biology, ecology, environment, natural history and animal books that are (or will soon be) available to occupy your bookshelves and your thoughts.


“Words in leather and wood”. Bookshelves in the “Long Room” at the old Trinity College Library in Dublin.
Image: Nic McPhee from Morris, MN, USA. 2007. (Creative Commons.)

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.

Compiled by Ian "Birdbooker" Paulsen, the Birdbooker Report is a weekly report that has been published online for years, listing the wide variety of nature, natural history, ecology, animal behaviour, science and history books that have been newly released or republished in North America and in the UK. The books listed here were received by Ian during the previous week, courtesy of various publishing houses.

New and Recent Titles:

  1. Fogden, Michael, Marianne Taylor, and Sheri L. Williamson. Hummingbirds: A Life-size Guide to Every Species. 2014. Harper Design. Hardbound: 400 pages. Price: $29.99 U.S. [Amazon UK; Amazon US/kindle US].
    PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Hummingbirds have always held popular appeal, with their visual brilliance, extraordinary flight dexterity, jewel-like color, and remarkably small size.
    This is the first book to profile all 338 known species, from the Saw-billed Hermit to the Scintillant Hummingbird. Every bird is shown life-size in glorious full-color photographs.
    Every species profile includes a flight map and key statistics, as well as information about behavior, plumage, and habitat.
    This authoritative guide has been annotated by the world's leading experts on hummingbirds and features a foreword by renowned birding author Pete Dunne.
    IAN'S RECOMMENDATION: The main problem I have with this book is that 76 out of 338 species aren't illustrated! Helm/Bloomsbury is working on a photographic guide of their own that's due out in the near future. I would recommend waiting for that book if you have a serious interest in hummingbirds.
  2. Pratchett, Terry. Raising Steam. 2014. Doubleday. Hardbound: 369 pages. Price: $26.95 U.S. [Amazon UK/Audible UK/AudiobookCD UK; Amazon US/kindle US/Audible US/AudiobookCD US].
    PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Steam is rising over Discworld, driven by Mister Simnel, the man with a flat cap and a sliding rule. He has produced a great clanging monster of a machine that harnesses the power of all of the elements—earth, air, fire, and water—and it’s soon drawing astonished crowds.
    To the consternation of Ankh-Morpork’s formidable Patrician, Lord Vetinari, no one is in charge of this new invention. This needs to be rectified, and who better than the man he has already appointed master of the Post Office, the Mint, and the Royal Bank: Moist von Lipwig. Moist is not a man who enjoys hard work—unless it is dependent on words, which are not very heavy and don’t always need greasing. He does enjoy being alive, however, which makes a new job offer from Vetinari hard to refuse.
    Moist will have to grapple with gallons of grease, goblins, a fat controller with a history of throwing employees down the stairs, and some very angry dwarfs if he’s going to stop it all from going off the rails . . .
    IAN'S RECOMMENDATION: Fans of the Discworld series should enjoy this book.

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This is a guest piece written by Ian "Birdbooker" Paulsen. Ian is an avid book collector who is especially well-known to the publishing world. He collects newly-published books about nature, animals and birds, science, and history, and he also collects children's books on these topics. Ian writes brief synopses about these books on his website, The Birdbooker Report.

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