Best Books 2012: Science & Technology

by Margaret Dominy

Design in nature Best Books 2012: Science & TechnologyBejan, Adrian & J. Peder Zane. Design in Nature: How the Constructal Law Governs Evolution in Biology, Physics, Technology, and Social Organization. Doubleday.
ISBN 9780385534611. $27.95; eISBN 9780385534628.
Learn, with the help of mechanical engineer Bejan and journalist Zane, how the mapping of repetitive models in nature—river basins, cardiovascular systems, and bolts of lightning—develops into a principle of physics. (LJ 2/15/12)

Halloran, Andrew R. The Song of the Ape: Understanding the Languages of Chimpanzees. St. Martin’s. ISBN 9780312563110. $29.99; eISBN 9781429933278.
This exploration of language by primatologist Halloran shows just how close chimpanzees’ wonderfully complex communication activities are to their human cousins. (LJ 2/1/12)

Kiser, Joy M. America’s Other Audubon. Princeton Architectural, dist. by Chronicle. ISBN 9781616890599. $45.
Look at nature through the eyes of a young Ohio woman, amateur 19th-century naturalist and painter Kiser, who captures what Audubon missed: these illustrations of nests and eggs will dazzle. (LJ 7/12)

Landers, Jackson. Eating Aliens: One Man’s Adventures Hunting Invasive Animal Species. Storey. ISBN 9781612120270. pap. $14.95; eISBN 9781603428859.
Follow Landers as he hunts down 12 invasive species and explains how to manage the growing population of non­native animals in North America by, well, eating them. (LJ 8/12)

Zickefoose, Julie. The Bluebird Effect: Uncommon Bonds with Common Birds. Houghton Harcourt. ISBN 9780547003092. $28; eISBN 9780547727424.
Artist and writer Zickefoose illustrates and reflects on 25 different species of common birds, sharing the intimate connections she has made with them, many of whom she has rescued. (LJ 3/15/12)

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