Tag Archives: nature

Cannibalism – Bill Schutt

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Cannibalism

A Perfectly Natural History

Bill Schutt

Genre: Science & Nature

Price: $12.99

Publish Date: February 14, 2017

Publisher: Algonquin Books

Seller: Workman Publishing Co., Inc.


“A masterful and compulsively readable book that challenges our preconceived notions about a behavior often sensationalized in our culture and, until just recently, misunderstood in the scientific world.” —Ian Tattersall, Curator Emeritus, American Museum of Natural History, and author of The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack For centuries scientists have written off cannibalism as a bizarre phenomenon with little biological significance. Its presence in nature was dismissed as a desperate response to starvation or other life-threatening circumstances, and few spent time studying it. A taboo subject in our culture, the behavior was portrayed mostly through horror movies or tabloids sensationalizing the crimes of real-life flesh-eaters. But the true nature of cannibalism–the role it plays in evolution as well as human history–is even more intriguing (and more normal) than the misconceptions we’ve come to accept as fact. In Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History , zoologist Bill Schutt sets the record straight, debunking common myths and investigating our new understanding of cannibalism’s role in biology, anthropology, and history in the most fascinating account yet written on this complex topic. Schutt takes readers from Arizona’s Chiricahua Mountains, where he wades through ponds full of tadpoles devouring their siblings, to the Sierra Nevadas, where he joins researchers who are shedding new light on what happened to the Donner Party–the most infamous episode of cannibalism in American history. He even meets with an expert on the preparation and consumption of human placenta (and, yes, it goes well with Chianti). Bringing together the latest cutting-edge science, Schutt answers questions such as why some amphibians consume their mother’s skin; why certain insects bite the heads off their partners after sex; why, up until the end of the twentieth century, Europeans regularly ate human body parts as medical curatives; and how cannibalism might be linked to the extinction of the Neanderthals. He takes us into the future as well, investigating whether, as climate change causes famine, disease, and overcrowding, we may see more outbreaks of cannibalism in many more species–including our own. Cannibalism places a perfectly natural occurrence into a vital new context and invites us to explore why it both enthralls and repels us.  

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Cannibalism – Bill Schutt

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Gifts of an Eagle – Kent Durden

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Gifts of an Eagle

The Remarkable Story of a Bird and Her Family

Kent Durden

Genre: Nature

Price: $7.99

Publish Date: September 11, 2012

Publisher: Open Road Media

Seller: OpenRoad Integrated Media, LLC


New York Times Bestseller: The “extraordinary” true story of a golden eagle adopted by a California ranching family, and how she changed their lives (Delia Ephron). In 1955, Ed Durden brought a baby golden eagle home to his ranch in California, where she would stay for the next sixteen years. As her bond with Ed and the Durden family grew, the eagle, named Lady, displayed a fierce intelligence and strong personality. She learned quickly, had a strong mothering instinct (even for other species), and never stopped surprising those who cared for her. An eight-week New York Times bestseller, Gifts of an Eagle is a fascinating up-close look at one of the most majestic creatures in nature, as well as a heartwarming family story and “an affectionate, unsentimental tribute” ( Kirkus Reviews ). “Superb . . . an outstanding story of one of the grandest creatures of nature, written with rare knowledge and understanding of the subject. It combines keen observation with a remarkable intimate relationship, so seldom found in studies of wild creatures. It should become a ‘classic.’” —Joy Adamson, author of Born Free  “A glad adventure into the fierce free world behind those golden eyes. Mr. Durden has found a way to hand us the friendship of a proud creature, and that’s a gift rarely given . . .” —Richard Bach, author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull Kent Durden (1937–2007) was a wildlife photographer, documentarian, and writer best known for his acclaimed book Gifts of an Eagle (1972), an account of his family’s sixteen years caring for a golden eagle named Lady. In a column for the Wall Street Journal ,Delia Ephron named the memoir among the five greatest books about animals. Durden also wrote the novel Flight to Freedom (1974) and the memoir A Fine and Peaceful Kingdom (1975). A native of Southern California, Durden toured with the Audubon Society for many years, giving lectures and screening his film about Lady, which included original footage of many of the events from the book. It is available at giftsofaneagle.com. His daughter, Krissy Durden, lives in Portland, Oregon, and contributed a new foreword to Open Road’s edition of Gifts of an Eagle .

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Gifts of an Eagle – Kent Durden

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A Book of Bees – Sue Hubbell

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A Book of Bees
Sue Hubbell

Genre: Nature

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: January 24, 2017

Publisher: Open Road Media

Seller: OpenRoad Integrated Media, LLC


A New York Times Notable Book: “A melodious mix of memoir, nature journal, and beekeeping manual” ( Kirkus Reviews ). Weaving a vivid portrait of her own life and her bees’ lives, author Sue Hubbell lovingly describes the ins and outs of beekeeping on her small Missouri farm, where the end of one honey season is the start of the next. With three hundred hives, Hubbell stays busy year-round tending to the bees and harvesting their honey, a process that is as personally demanding as it is rewarding.   Exploring the progression of both the author and the hive through the seasons, this is “a book about bees to be sure, but it is also about other things: the important difference between loneliness and solitude; the seasonal rhythms inherent in rural living; the achievement of independence; the accommodating of oneself to nature” ( The Philadelphia Inquirer ). Beautifully written and full of exquisitely rendered details, it is a tribute to Hubbell’s wild hilltop in the Ozarks and of the joys of living a complex life in a simple place. “The real masterwork that Sue Hubbell has created is her life.” — The New York Times   “Beautifully written.” — The Philadelphia Inquirer   “A latter-day Henry Thoreau with a sense of the absurd.” — Chicago Sun-Times   “Engaging . . . Satisfying . . . Ms. Hubbell’s piquant style is as enticing as blackberry blossoms to her bees.” — Winston-Salem Journal Sue Hubbell is the author of eight books, including A Country Year and New York Times Notable Book A Book of Bees . She has written for the New Yorker , the St. Louis Post-Dispatch , Smithsonian , and Time , and was a frequent contributor to the “Hers” column of the New York Times . Hubbell lives in Maine and Washington, DC.

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A Book of Bees – Sue Hubbell

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The Ends of the World – Peter Brannen

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The Ends of the World

Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth’s Past Mass Extinctions

Peter Brannen

Genre: Nature

Price: $14.99

Publish Date: June 13, 2017

Publisher: Ecco

Seller: HarperCollins


As new groundbreaking research suggests that climate change played a major role in the most extreme catastrophes in the planet's history, award-winning science journalist Peter Brannen takes us on a wild ride through the planet's five mass extinctions and, in the process, offers us a glimpse of our increasingly dangerous future Our world has ended five times: it has been broiled, frozen, poison-gassed, smothered, and pelted by asteroids. In The Ends of the World, Peter Brannen dives into deep time, exploring Earth’s past dead ends, and in the process, offers us a glimpse of our possible future. Many scientists now believe that the climate shifts of the twenty-first century have analogs in these five extinctions. Using the visible clues these devastations have left behind in the fossil record, The Ends of the World takes us inside “scenes of the crime,” from South Africa to the New York Palisades, to tell the story of each extinction. Brannen examines the fossil record—which is rife with creatures like dragonflies the size of sea gulls and guillotine-mouthed fish—and introduces us to the researchers on the front lines who, using the forensic tools of modern science, are piecing together what really happened at the crime scenes of the Earth’s biggest whodunits. Part road trip, part history, and part cautionary tale, The Ends of the World takes us on a tour of the ways that our planet has clawed itself back from the grave, and casts our future in a completely new light.

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The Ends of the World – Peter Brannen

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This Hill, This Valley – Hal Borland

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This Hill, This Valley

Hal Borland

Genre: Nature

Price: $9.99

Publish Date: January 14, 2014

Publisher: Open Road Media

Seller: OpenRoad Integrated Media, LLC


A classic country memoir—Hal Borland’s masterful story of one year spent immersed in nature on his New England farm After a nearly fatal bout of appendicitis, Hal Borland decided to leave the city behind and move with his wife to a farmhouse in rural Connecticut. Their new home on one hundred acres inspired Borland to return to nature. In this masterpiece of American nature writing, he describes such wonders as the peace of a sky full of stars, the breathless beauty of blossoming plants, the way rain swishes as it hits a river, and the invigorating renewal brought by the changing seasons. The delights of nature as Borland observes them seem boundless, and his sense of awe is contagious. “[Hal Borland is the] beloved spokesman for all of us who love the earth and who find sustenance in nature.” —Loren Eiseley Hal Borland (1900–1978) was a nature writer and novelist who produced numerous bestselling books including memoirs and young adult classics, as well as decades of nature writing for the  New York Times . Borland considered himself a “natural philosopher,” and he was interested in exploring the way human life was bound to the greater world of plants, animals, and natural processes. 

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This Hill, This Valley – Hal Borland

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Quakeland – Kathryn Miles

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Quakeland

On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake

Kathryn Miles

Genre: Nature

Price: $14.99

Publish Date: August 29, 2017

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.


A journey around the United States in search of the truth about the threat of earthquakes leads to spine-tingling discoveries, unnerving experts, and ultimately the kind of preparations that will actually help guide us through disasters. It’s a road trip full of surprises.   Earthquakes. You need to worry about them only if you’re in San Francisco, right? Wrong. We have been making enormous changes to subterranean America, and Mother Earth, as always, has been making some of her own. . . . The consequences for our real estate, our civil engineering, and our communities will be huge because they will include earthquakes most of us do not expect and cannot imagine—at least not without reading Quakeland . Kathryn Miles descends into mines in the Northwest, dissects Mississippi levee engineering studies, uncovers the horrific risks of an earthquake in the Northeast, and interviews the seismologists, structual engineers, and emergency managers around the country who are addressing this ground shaking threat. As Miles relates, the era of human-induced earthquakes began in 1962 in Colorado after millions of gallons of chemical-weapon waste was pumped underground in the Rockies. More than 1,500 quakes over the following seven years resulted. The Department of Energy plans to dump spent nuclear rods in the same way. Evidence of fracking’s seismological impact continues to mount. . . . Humans as well as fault lines built our “quakeland”. What will happen when Memphis, home of FedEx's 1.5-million-packages-a-day hub, goes offline as a result of an earthquake along the unstable Reelfoot Fault? FEMA has estimated that a modest 7.0 magnitude quake (twenty of these happen per year around the world) along the Wasatch Fault under Salt Lake City would put a $33 billion dent in our economy. When the Fukushima  reactor melted down, tens of thousands were displaced. If New York’s Indian Point nuclear power plant blows, ten million people will be displaced. How would that evacuation even begin? Kathryn Miles’ tour of our land is as fascinating and frightening as it is irresistibly compelling.

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Quakeland – Kathryn Miles

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The Secret World of Red Wolves – T. DeLene Beeland

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The Secret World of Red Wolves
The Fight to Save North America’s Other Wolf
T. DeLene Beeland

Genre: Nature

Price: $14.99

Publish Date: June 10, 2013

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press

Seller: Ingram DV LLC


Red wolves are shy, elusive, and misunderstood predators. Until the 1800s, they were common in the longleaf pine savannas and deciduous forests of the southeastern United States. However, habitat degradation, persecution, and interbreeding with the coyote nearly annihilated them. Today, reintroduced red wolves are found only in peninsular northeastern North Carolina within less than 1 percent of their former range. In The Secret World of Red Wolves , nature writer T. DeLene Beeland shadows the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s pioneering recovery program over the course of a year to craft an intimate portrait of the red wolf, its history, and its restoration. Her engaging exploration of this top-level predator traces the intense effort of conservation personnel to save a species that has slipped to the verge of extinction. Beeland weaves together the voices of scientists, conservationists, and local landowners while posing larger questions about human coexistence with red wolves, our understanding of what defines this animal as a distinct species, and how climate change may swamp its current habitat.

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The Secret World of Red Wolves – T. DeLene Beeland

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Of Wolves and Men – Barry Lopez

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Of Wolves and Men
Barry Lopez

Genre: Nature

Price: $9.99

Publish Date: May 31, 2016

Publisher: Open Road Media

Seller: OpenRoad Integrated Media, LLC


National Book Award Finalist: A “brilliant” study of the science and mythology of the wolf by the New York Times –bestselling author of Arctic Dreams ( The Washington Post ).  When John Fowles reviewed Of Wolves and Men , he called it “A remarkable book, both biologically absorbing and humanly rich, and one that should be read by every concerned American.” In this National Book Award–shortlisted work, literary master Barry Lopez guides us through the world of the wolf and our often-mistaken perceptions of another species’ place on our shared planet. Throughout the centuries, the wolf has been a figure of fascination and mystery, and a major motif in literature and myth. Inspiring fear and respect, the creature has long exerted a powerful influence on the human imagination. Of Wolves and Men takes the reader into the world of the Canis lupus and its relationship to humankind through the ages. Lopez draws on science, history, mythology, and his own field research to present a compelling portrait of wolves both real and imagined, dispelling our fear of them while celebrating their place in our history, legends, and hearts.  This ebook features an illustrated biography of Barry Lopez including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection. “A splendid, beautiful book.” — The Wall Street Journal “Fascinating. . . . A wealth of observation, mythology, and mysticism.” — The New York Times Book Review “Brilliant. . . . A work of intelligence, dedication, and beauty deserving the widest possible attention not only for the sake of wolves but also for the sake of men.” — The Washington Post Barry Lopez (b. 1945) is the author of thirteen books of essays, short stories, and nonfiction. He is a recipient of the National Book Award, the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and numerous other literary and cultural honors and awards. His highly acclaimed books include Arctic Dreams , Winter Count , and Of Wolves and Men, for which he received the John Burroughs and Christopher medals. He lives in western Oregon.     

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Of Wolves and Men – Barry Lopez

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The Demon-Haunted World – Carl Sagan

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The Demon-Haunted World

Science as a Candle In the Dark

Carl Sagan

Genre: Science & Nature

Price: $4.99

Publish Date: February 25, 1997

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Seller: Penguin Random House LLC


"A glorious book . . . A spirited defense of science . . . From the first page to the last, this book is a manifesto for clear thought." *Los Angeles Times "POWERFUL . . . A stirring defense of informed rationality. . . Rich in surprising information and beautiful writing." *The Washington Post Book World How can we make intelligent decisions about our increasingly technology-driven lives if we don't understand the difference between the myths of pseudoscience and the testable hypotheses of science? Pulitzer Prize-winning author and distinguished astronomer Carl Sagan argues that scientific thinking is critical not only to the pursuit of truth but to the very well-being of our democratic institutions. Casting a wide net through history and culture, Sagan examines and authoritatively debunks such celebrated fallacies of the past as witchcraft, faith healing, demons, and UFOs. And yet, disturbingly, in today's so-called information age, pseudoscience is burgeoning with stories of alien abduction, channeling past lives, and communal hallucinations commanding growing attention and respect. As Sagan demonstrates with lucid eloquence, the siren song of unreason is not just a cultural wrong turn but a dangerous plunge into darkness that threatens our most basic freedoms. "COMPELLING." *USA Today "A clear vision of what good science means and why it makes a difference. . . . A testimonial to the power of science and a warning of the dangers of unrestrained credulity." *The Sciences "PASSIONATE." *San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle From the Trade Paperback edition.

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The Demon-Haunted World – Carl Sagan

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Dawn Light: Dancing with Cranes and Other Ways to Start the Day – Diane Ackerman

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Dawn Light: Dancing with Cranes and Other Ways to Start the Day – Diane Ackerman

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