Birkhead, Tim & others. Ten Thousand Birds: Ornithology Since Darwin. Princeton Univ. 2014. 544p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780691151977. $45. NAT HIST
This is the best history of ornithology ever. Most others are dated, focus on a limited period, or concern defined geographical areas. Birkhead (zoology, Univ. of Sheffield; Fellow of the Royal Society; Bird Sense), Jo Wimpenny (postdoctoral research associate, Univ. of Sheffield) and Bob Montgomerie (biology, Queens Univ., Ont.) explain the often complex, theoretical, or detailed schools of thought and research about birds in entertaining and authoritative ways. Their four-and-a-half-pound monograph is richly illustrated and thoroughly referenced. Chapters deal with evolution, ecology, anatomy, physiology, behavior, breeding, population studies, etc. Colorful full-page time lines have illustrations and citations with images of key scientists in those various fields. An appendix has thumbnail information about 500 ornithologists with photographs of 54. Discussions of personalities, controversies, research methods, and honors make the text a lively read. There are numerous autobiographical sketches, each several pages. Hundreds of these remarkable scientists receive consideration, including Jared Diamond, Konrad Lorenz, Roger Tory Peterson, and E.O. Wilson. What might have been a clunky, laborious catalog of often arcane academic endeavors is instead very readable and comprehensible, as well as comprehensive. VERDICT Most highly recommended for academic and larger public libraries and for all interested in nature and science.
Chapman, Baylor (text) & Paige Green (photos). The Plant Recipe Book: 100 Living Arrangements for Any Home in Any Season. Artisan. 2014. 272p. ISBN 9781579655518. $24.95. GARDENING
Whether your botanic tastes run to formal with straight lines or wispy and loose with a woodland feel, there is something that will appeal to you in this groundbreaking collection. Chapman (founder, Lila B. Design) arranges the book in two sections—a general overview of living arrangements and “how-to”: selecting containers, preparing vessels, and installing the plants. This latter section features 100 “recipes” with accompanying photographs by Green. A helpful ingredient chart will enable the novice to understand better the patterns behind the designs featured and allow for the development of individual designs. The book would have benefited from a resources section to help the beginner navigate the small-plant marketplace and have some clue as to how to find the materials that make the beautiful arrangements throughout. VERDICT Recommended as an inspiration for both the gorgeous photographs and accompanying descriptions of these 100 floral combinations.
McCarthy, Joy. Joyous Health: Eat and Live Well Without Dieting. Pintail. May 2014. 304p. illus. index. ISBN 9780143190738. pap. $20; ebk. ISBN 9780143190790. HEALTH
McCarthy, cofounder of Eat Well, Feel Well and creator of the Joyous Health blog (joyoushealth.ca/blog), here shares recipes and tips for better living through improved nutrition. It is more of a lifestyle book than a cookbook, with reference charts for chemical food preservatives and hormone-disrupting toxins in beauty products to avoid and superfoods to stock in the pantry. The recipes both reinvent “health food” and revamp traditional comfort foods with healthier ingredients. Moreover, most ingredients are common in many markets, though some (coconut flour and coconut butter) may require seeking out a specialty grocer or ordering online. In some instances, the author suggests substitutions for certain recipe components, which helps make these menu choices more accessible. McCarthy also provides reasons for switching off of dairy, gluten, refined sugar, and other common food sensitivity triggers. VERDICT Many of us start to think about losing our winter poundage now; this lifestyle book is one way to do so without feeling nutritionally deprived. McCarthy’s goal of providing readers with the means to make healthy changes in their lives is writ large on every page. [See Prepub Alert, 11/10/13.]
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Collins, Ace. Man’s Best Hero: True Stories of Great American Dogs. Abingdon. Jun. 2014. 224p. illus. ISBN 9781426776618. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9781426787386. PETS
Darke, Rick & Doug Tallamy. The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden. Timber. Jun. 2014. 352p. illus. index. ISBN 9781604694086. $39.95. GARDENING
Diblik, Roy. The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden. Timber. 2014. 216p. illus. bibliog. notes. index. ISBN 9781604694949. $34.95; pap. ISBN 9781604693348. $24.95. GARDENING
Health & Medicine
Fitzgerald, Matt. Diet Cults: The Surprising Fallacy at the Core of Nutrition Fads and a Guide to Healthy Eating for the Rest of Us. Pegasus. May 2014. 320p. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9781605985602. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9781605985954. HEALTH
Angus, Julie. Olive Odyssey: Searching for the Secrets of the Fruit That Seduced the World. Greystone. May 2014. 344p. notes. ISBN 9781553655145. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9781771000062. COOKING
Pollak, Suzanne & Lee Manigault. The Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits: A Handbook of Etiquette with Recipes. Stewart, Tabori & Chang. 2014. 216p. illus. index. ISBN 9781617690860. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9781613125991. HOME ECON
Gaudet, John. Papyrus: The Plant That Changed the World—From Ancient Egypt to Today’s Water Wars. Pegasus. Jun. 2014. 320p. illus. maps. notes. ISBN 9781605985664. $28.95. SCI
Nestor, James. Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us About Ourselves. Eamon Dolan. Jun. 2014. 272p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780547985527. $27. SCI
Williams, Paul & others. Bumble Bees of North America: An Identification Guide. Princeton Univ. 2014. 208p. illus. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780691152226. pap. $24.95. NAT HIST
Wood, Gillen D’Arcy. Tambora: The Eruption That Changed the World. Princeton Univ. May 2014. 312p. illus. ISBN 9780691150543. $29.95. SCI
Wright, Rick (text) & Brian E. Small (photos.). Field Guide to Birds of New Jersey. Scott & Nix. (American Birding Assn.). 2014. 368p. photos. maps. index. ISBN 9781935622420. pap. $24.95. NAT HIST