Thursday, May 8, 2014

Kate recommends "The Thing with Feathers"

In his nonfiction book The Thing with Feathers, author Noah Strycker explores a variety of fascinating bird behaviors and compares them to human thoughts, emotions, and actions.  Believe it or not, it’s a real page-turner!  From Bowerbirds that spend months decorating their nests to impress the females to apparent altruism expressed by wrens, the author makes bird watching seem like an incredibly stimulating and rewarding hobby.  Though the book has no pictures, the author references several YouTube videos that show exactly the birds and actions he is describing.  This book can make a person view the birds they see around them every day in a startling new light.

Recommended for adults and young adults.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Beth recommends: "The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History"

There have been five major extinctions in the history of our planet, eliminating large percentages of species each time.  Natural history writer and reporter Elizabeth Kolbert traveled around the world to observe and document a sixth extinction in the making.  The cause this time?  Us.  Human beings.  With our existence, mobility, creativity, appetites - as well as greed and careless use of resources -  we are changing the environment faster than evolution can keep pace.  It is fascinating being out in the field with Kolbert, whether it is searching for golden frogs in Panama, climbing a mountain in the Amazon, marveling at a coral reef, or visiting a bat cave – but the scientific observations of the researchers she spends time with are sobering and disturbing.  I highly recommend this book for its wealth of interesting information and its insight into the losses we can expect in the future if we don’t make significant changes now.

Recommended for adults, young adults