Science & Technology Reviews | November 1, 2013

redstar Anderegg, Zachary with Pete Nelson. Rescuing Riley, Saving Myself: A Man and His Dog’s Struggle To Find Salvation. Skyhorse. Nov. 2013. 208p. photos. ISBN 9781626361706. $24.95. PETS

When avid climber Anderegg ventured out into the desert for a routine descent into a narrow canyon, he expected the experience to be a challenge of endurance and a chance to gather his thoughts out in the wild. The former marine and animal advocate didn’t know that he was about to embark on a daring rescue mission that would test his every climbing skill, bring back painful memories, and forever link him to one amazing dog. He tells how, together, he and rescued dog Riley help each other heal after surviving unbelievable acts of cruelty. VERDICT Great for readers who enjoy titles such as Ted Kerasote’s Merle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog, Anderegg’s tale is one of triumph and, most of all, love. This heartwarming book is also for those who appreciate tales of adventure, overcoming adversity, and the strong relationships formed between dogs and their people.—Melissa Culbertson, ­Homewood, IL

Haupt, Lyanda Lynn. The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild. Little, Brown. 2013. 352p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780316178525. $26. NAT HIST

A medieval bestiary was an illustrated volume that presented moralistic human characteristics in the form of animal behavior. Haupt (Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness) here encourages readers to understand the creatures sharing our modern urban ecosystem—moles, squirrels, house sparrows, coyotes, and others—aiming to help city dwellers live with neighboring wildlife. She explores our perception of each species, its natural history, why it is well suited to urban backyards, and how to coexist, minimizing negative impacts. Haupt recommends practical tips such as bringing in pet food and water dishes at night to remove invitations for raccoon mischief. Readers learn more than expected about each animal; for example, Haupt explains that opossums have 50 teeth, the most of any mammal in North America. The author shares her immediate and personal experiences regarding peaceful coexistence between humans and urban animals. She exhorts us to observe nature around us, chronicle what we see, and harmonize ourselves with the surrounding wildlife. Verdict Nature lovers, gardeners, and birders will find this fascinating; those less connected to nature may have their eyes opened by some of Haupt’s reflections.—Sally Bickley, Del Mar Coll. Lib., Corpus Christi, TX

Condie, Jenny (text) & Alex Ramsay (photos). The Gardens of Venice and the Veneto. Frances Lincoln. 2013. 224p. photos. index. ISBN 9780711234048. $60. GARDENING

Venice is famous for its canals, but it has gardens, too. Condie, who lives there, teams with photographer Ramsay in a lively, detailed coffee-table book that showcases the eclectic range of horticultural treasures that exist within Venice and the surrounding countryside. After providing a concise history of landscape design in the region, Condie explores more than 20 gardens (almost all of which are open to the public), including the scientifically derived botanical gardens at the University of Padua and the Zen-like botanical beauty of the garden at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia. While Mariagrazia Dammicco’s Venetian Gardens looks at a greater number of public and private gardens, it gives less detail. Both Helena Attlee’s Italy’s Private Gardens: An Inside View and Kirsty McLeod’s The Best Gardens in Italy: A Traveller’s Guide have small chapters devoted to Venetian gardens, but their focus is broader. VERDICT Gardeners winging their way to Venice will find that Condie’s title offers a number of excellent sightseeing opportunities, while armchair gardeners and armchair travelers will enjoy savoring this entertaining mix of horticultural history and drool-worthy photographs from the comfort of home.—John Charles, Scottsdale P.L., AZ

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The following titles are reviewed in this month's print issue.
Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.


redstar American College of Veterinary Behaviors. Decoding Your Dog: The Ultimate Experts Explain Common Dog Behaviors and Reveal How To Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones. Houghton Harcourt. Jan. 2014. 384p. ed. by Debra Horwitz & others. photos. ISBN 9780547738918. $27. PETS

Bradshaw, John. Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet. Basic: Perseus. 2013. 304p. notes. index. ISBN 9780465031016. $27.99. PETS

Katz, Jon. The Second-Chance Dog: A Love Story. Ballantine. Nov. 2013. 288p. ISBN 9780345531179. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780345545558. PETS

New Yorker Magazine. The Big New Yorker Book of Cats. Random. 2013. 352p. illus. ISBN 9780679644774. $40; ebk. ISBN 9780679644781. PETS


Alschuler, Lise N. & Karolyn A. Gazella. The Definitive Guide to Thriving After Cancer: A Five-Step Integrative Plan To Reduce the Risk of Recurrence and Build Lifelong Health. rev. ed. Ten Speed: Crown. 2013. 224p. ISBN 9781607745648. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9781607745655. HEALTH

Levitt, Alexandra M. Deadly Outbreaks: How Medical Detectives Save Lives Threatened by Killer Pandemics, Exotic Viruses, and Drug-Resistant Parasites. Skyhorse. 2013. 256p. ISBN 9781626360358. $24.95. MED

Null, Gary. Reboot Your Brain: A Natural Approach to Fighting Memory Loss, Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Brain Aging, and More. Skyhorse. 2013. 448p. ISBN 9781626361232. $24.95. HEALTH

Perlmutter, David with Kristin Loberg. Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar—Your Brain’s Silent Killers. Little, Brown. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780316234801. $27. HEALTH

Stoler, Diane Roberts & Barbara Albers Hill. Coping with Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A Guide to Living with the Challenges Associated with Post Concussion Syndrome and Brain Trauma. Avery. Nov. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9781583334768. pap. $18. HEALTH


Peters, Erica J. San Francisco: A Food Biography. AltaMira: Rowman & Littlefield. (Big City Food Biographies). Nov. 2013. 256p. photos. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780759121515. $40; ebk. ISBN 9780759121539. HOME ECON

redstar Risen, Clay. American Whiskey, Bourbon & Rye: A Guide to the Nation’s Favorite Spirit. Sterling Epicure. Nov. 2013. 304p. photos. index. ISBN 9781402798405. $24.95. BEVERAGES

Timmermeister, Kurt. Growing a Feast: The Chronicle of a Farm-to-Table Meal. Norton. Jan. 2014. 288p. index. ISBN 9780393088892. $24.95. HOME ECON


The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013. Mariner: Houghton Harcourt. (Best American). 2013. 368p. ed. by Siddhartha Mukherjee. ISBN 9780544003439. pap. $14.95. SCI

redstar Cooper, Christopher. Our Sun: Biography of a Star. Race Point. 2013. 224p. illus. index. ISBN 9781937994198. $30. SCI

Gardner, Martin. Undiluted Hocus-Pocus: The Autobiography of Martin Gardner. Princeton Univ. 2013. 272p. illus. index. ISBN 9780691159911. $24.95. SCI

Gregg, Justin. Are Dolphins Really Smart? The Mammal Behind the Myth. Oxford Univ. Dec. 2013. 296p. notes. index. ISBN 9780199660452. $24.95. NAT HIST

Lockwood, Jeffrey. The Infested Mind: Why Humans Fear, Loathe, and Love Insects. Oxford Univ. Nov. 2013. 224p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780199930197. $24.95. SCI

Streshinsky, Shirley & Patricia Klaus. An Atomic Love Story: The Extraordinary Women in Robert Oppenheimer’s Life. Turner. 2013. 280p. notes. index. ISBN 9781618580207. $27.95. SCI