Science & Technology Reviews | July 2013

Library Journal Reviews starred review D’Amato, Peter. The Savage Garden, Revised: Cultivating Carnivorous Plants. Ten Speed: Crown. Jul. 2013. 384p. illus. index. ISBN 9781607744108. $25.99; ebk. SBN 9781607744115. GARDENING

This long-awaited revision of an award-winning title is sure to entice more hobbyists into the world of carnivorous plants (CPs). Well indexed, the book is primarily a directory of the most popular insect-eating plants with details on their history, habitats, habits, and cultivation. But D’Amato (owner, California Carnivores) intrigues and entertains by recounting a false 1878 report of a man-eating tree, the plots of several horror movies, and information on important CP enthusiasts. He startles readers with rich descriptions of plants from around the world, more than 200 photos, and revelations that CPs lurk in sidewalk cracks of American cities and suburban lawns in Australia. Lengthier than the original, this revision includes numerous plants that have only recently been identified, cultivated, or registered. It has updated comments on conservation and innovations in matters such as lighting, fertilizer, and pest control. The final chapter discusses additional “savage” plants, including some aquatic carnivores and plants considered carnivorous in certain life stages. The book does not touch on the specialty of growing carnivorous fungi as does Wilhelm Barthlott’s The Curious World of Carnivorous Plants, a larger format title with a bibliography. VERDICT Highly recommended for anyone fascinated by carnivorous plants. Bonnie Poquette, Milwaukee

Library Journal Reviews starred review Withers, Pam & Cynthia Gill. Jump-Starting Boys: Help Your Reluctant Learner Find Success in School and Life. Viva Editions. Aug. 2013. 312p. notes. ISBN 9781936740390. pap. $16.95; ebk. ISBN 9781936740499.CHILD REARING

The academic woes of boys, particularly after the fourth grade, is well documented in studies over the last decade by authors such as Michael Gurian (The Mind of Boys), Leonard Sax (Boys Adrift), and Peg Tyre (The Trouble with Boys). This new volume by authors Withers (associate editor, Adventure Magazine) and Gill (curriculum developer and family therapist) offers tips and tools for parents, rather than teachers, demonstrating how home life can make a dramatic difference in performance and confidence levels at school. Topics include increasing boys’ interest in reading and writing, helping boys who are underachieving in math and science, identifying physical difficulties, and emphasizing the importance of male role models in boys’ lives, as well as how to find a role model for your son. The endnotes include extensive book and website lists for parents to peruse. VERDICT An excellent contribution to the existing body of literature, full of practical tips on how parents can help their sons achieve their best academically. Julia M. Reffner, Fairport, NY

Library Journal Reviews starred review Dawkins, Richard. An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist. Ecco: HarperCollins. Oct. 2013. 304p. photogs. index. ISBN 9780062225795. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062225818. SCI

In the first volume of a projected two-volume memoir, evolutionary biologist and ethologist Dawkins (fellow, emeritus, New College, Univ. of Oxford; The God Delusion) looks back on his life from childhood through the publication of his first and most famous book, The Selfish Gene, in 1976. It’s a mixture of lighthearted anecdote (when Richard was a young student, his French teacher wrote on his report card that he had “a wonderful facility in escaping work”), straightforward narrative, and the author’s opinions, of which Dawkins has never been short. On almost any issue—his sister’s comfort blanket, the fatuity of prayer, the fraudulence of the Book of MormonDawkins’s skeptical mind works away, laying out rationales for his judgments. Ultimately, this is a self-portrait of an intensely alive man whose radical positions are the logical outgrowth of his skeptical, science-based approach to almost everything. Dawkins does not paint himself as perfect, but he doesn’t let himself become mired in self-doubt—the book has a peppy, positive tone to it. His memoir is more about science than atheism, although both topics crop up. VERDICT Enjoyable from start to finish, this exceptionally accessible book will appeal to science lovers, lovers of autobiographies—and, of course, all of Dawkins’s fans, atheists and theists alike. [Dawkins was a member of LJ’s Day of Dialog panel, “The Art of Science Writing” (—Ed.] David Keymer, Modesto, CA

The following titles are reviewed in the July print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.


Baldwin, Debra Lee. Succulents Simplified: Growing, Designing, and Crafting with 100 Easy-Care Varieties. Timber. 2013. 272p. photogs. index. ISBN 9781604693935. pap. $24.95. GARDENING


Buhner, Stephen Harrod. Healing Lyme Disease Coinfections: Complementary and Holistic Treatments for Bartonella and Mycoplasma. Healing Arts. 2013. 512p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781620550083. pap. $19.95. HEALTH

Corkin, Suzanne. Permanent Present Tense: The Unforgettable Life of the Amnesic Patient, H.M. Basic Bks: Perseus. 2013. 384p. notes. index. ISBN 9780465031597. $28.99. MED

Library Journal Reviews starred review Sicherer, Scott H. Food Allergies: A Complete Guide for Eating When Your Life Depends on It. Johns Hopkins. 2013. 304p. index. ISBN 9781421408446. $45; pap. ISBN 9781421408453. $15.95; ebk. ISBN 9781421408989. HEALTH


Arndt Anderson, Heather. Breakfast: A History. AltaMira: Rowman & Littlefield. (Meals Series). 2013. 230p. ISBN 9780759121638. $45; ebk. ISBN 9780759121652. HOME ECON

Callan, Jamie Cat. Ooh La La! French Women’s Secrets to Feeling Beautiful Every Day. Citadel Pr. 2013. 208p. ISBN 9780806535579. pap. $16.95; ebk. ISBN 9780806535586. PERSONAL GROOMING

Heavey, Bill. It’s Only Slow Food Until You Try To Eat It: Misadventures of a Suburban Hunter Gatherer. Atlantic Monthly. 2013. 288p. ISBN 9780802119551. $25. HOME ECON

Miller, Adrian. Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time. Univ. of North Carolina. Aug. 2013. 368p. ISBN 9781469607627. $30. HOME ECON

Rawlings, Deirdre. Fermented Foods for Health: Use the Power of Probiotic Foods To Improve Your Digestion, Strengthen Your Immunity, and Prevent Illness. Fair Winds: Quayside. 2013. 208p. photogs. ISBN 9781592335527. pap. $21.99. HOME ECON

Robertson, Debora. Gifts from the Garden: 100 Gorgeous Homegrown Presents. Kyle: Kyle Cathie, dist. by National Bk. Network. 2013. 176p. ISBN 9781906868925. $24.95. COOKING

St. Clair, Diane. The Animal Farm Buttermilk Cookbook: Recipes and Reflections from a Small Vermont Dairy. Andrews McMeel. 2013. 224p. ISBN 9781449427535. $27.99. COOKING


Beeland, T. Delene. The Secret World of Red Wolves: The Fight To Save North America’s Other Wolf. Univ. of North Carolina. 2013. 272p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781469601991. $28. NAT HIST

Burtt, Edward H., Jr. & William E. Davis Jr. Alexander Wilson: The Scot Who Founded American Ornithology. Belknap: Harvard Univ. 2013. 450p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780674072558. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780674073739. NAT HIST

Churchland, Patricia. Touching a Nerve: The Self as Brain. Norton. Jul. 2013. 256p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780393058321. $26.95. SCI

Library Journal Reviews starred review Francis, Gavin. Empire Antarctica: Ice, Silence, and Emperor Penguins. Counterpoint. Oct. 2013. 304p. illus. notes. ISBN 9781619021846. $28. NAT HIST

Library Journal Reviews starred review Loxton, Daniel & Donald R. Prothero. Abominable Science! Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and Other Famous Cryptids. Columbia Univ. Aug. 2013. 424p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780231153201. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9780231526814. SCI

Rinzler, Carol Ann. Leonardo’s Foot: How 10 Toes, 52 Bones, and 66 Muscles Shaped the Human World.Bellevue Literary Press. 2013. 208p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781934137628. pap. $16.95; ebk. ISBN 9781934137635. SCI