Birdbooker Report 316

14 April 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. Bertozzi, Nick. Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey. 2014. First Second. Paperback: 128 pages. Price: $16.99 U.S. [Amazon UK; Amazon US].
    PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Ernest Shackleton was one of the last great Antarctic explorers, and he led one of the most ambitious Antarctic expeditions ever undertaken. This is his story, and the story of the dozens of men who threw in their lot with him -- many of whom nearly died in the unimaginably harsh conditions of the journey. It's an astonishing feat -- and was unprecedented at the time -- that all the men in the expedition survived.
    Shackleton's expedition marked the end of a period of romantic exploration of the Arctic and the Antarctic, and this is as much a book about the encroaching modern world as it is about travel. But Nick Bertozzi has documented this remarkable journey with such wit and fiendish attention to detail that it's impossible not to get caught up in the drama of the voyage. Shackleton is a phenomenal accompaniment to Bertozzi's earlier graphic novel about great explorers, Lewis & Clark.
    IAN'S RECOMMENDATION: For ages 12 and Up. An entertaining way to introduce older children to this chapter of polar exploration.
  2. Pratchett, Terry and Stephen Briggs. Turtle Recall: The Discworld Companion. . .So Far. 2014. Harper. Hardbound: 464 pages. Price: $27.99 U.S. [Amazon UK; Amazon US/kindle US].
    PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: The Discworld, as everyone knows, is a flat world balanced on the backs of four elephants which, in turn, stand on the shell of the giant star turtle, the Great A'Tuin, as it slowly swims through space.
    It is also a global publishing phenomenon with sales of nearly 85 million books worldwide (and counting). With 39 books in the canon, not including the various guides, maps, diaries, and other tie-in volumes, there's a lot of Discworld to keep track of—more than most fans can manage without magic.
    Turtle Recall is the ultimate authority on probably the most heavily populated—certainly the most hilarious—setting in fantasy literature and includes a guide to Discworld locales from Ankh-Morpork to Zemphis, as well as information to help you distinguish Achmed the Mad from Jack Zweiblumen and the Agatean Empire from the Zoons. Plus much, much more.
    Covering everything from The Colour of Magic, the first Discworld novel, through Snuff!, Turtle Recall: The Discworld Companion . . .So Far is the most up-to-the-minute encyclopedia of Terry Pratchett's extraordinary universe available.
    IAN'S RECOMMENDATION: This title was first published in Britain in 2012, so it doesn't include Raising Steam, but otherwise Discworld fans will want this book.
  3. Rivera-Sylva, Héctor E., Kenneth Carpenter, and Eberhard Frey (editors). Dinosaurs and Other Reptiles from the Mesozoic of Mexico. 2014. Indiana University Press. Hardbound: 216 pages. Price: $50.00 U.S. [Amazon UK; Amazon US/kindle US].
    PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: This overview of dinosaur discoveries in Mexico synthesizes current information about the geography and environment of the region during the Mesozoic when it was the western margin of the ancient continent of Pangea. The book summarizes research on various groups, including turtles, lepidosauromorphs, plesiosaurs, crocodyliforms, pterosaurs, and last but not least, dinosaurs. In addition, chapters focus on trackways and other trace fossils and on K/P boundary (the Chicxulub crater, beneath the Gulf of Mexico, has been hypothesized as the site of the boloid impact that killed off the dinosaurs). Dinosaurs and Other Reptiles from the Mesozoic of Mexico is an up-to-date, informative volume on an area that has not been comprehensively described until now.
    IAN'S RECOMMENDATION: A MUST have for anyone with an interest in the paleontology of Mexico.

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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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