Book Roundup Wednesday: Animals in Nature
Every Wednesday, we review a selection of new and upcoming books addressing a specific aspect of environmentalism. This week we’re recommending books that take you to the homes of wild animals around the world.
The Lion's Eye: Seeing in the Wild (by Joanna Greenfield, $19, Little, Brown and Company, 2009): In her twenties, Joanna Greenfield was offered the opportunity to travel to East Africa to follow one of the world's last-known populations of wild chimpanzees. The Lions Eye is the result of that trip, and the book is a rare and intimate lens into East African wildlife. Greenfield and a team of Ugandan explorers begin as timid observers and ended up as members of the untamed tribe, and documented every detail.
Mammals of India (by Vivek Menon, $26, Princeton University Press, 2009): Vivek Menon, executive director of the Wildlife Trust of India, is an authoritative voice on the nation's animals. Menon provides descriptive particulars about India's more than 400 mammals, hundreds of photographs of animals in their homes, and color-coded maps showing where each animal lives.
Cougar: Ecology and Conservation (by Maurice Hornocker and Sharon Negri, $33, University of Chicago Press, 2009): Hornocker and Negri combined 20 separate scientific perspectives and a wealth of photos to create this essential component of any conservationist's bookshelf. Hornocker began researching cougars in 1964, which inspired further study of why the cougar, which used to prowl the globe, is now facing a speedily shrinking habitat.
Arachnids (by Jan Beccaloni, $27, University of California Press, 2009): With its up-close photos of multi-legged invertebrates, this fascinating and educational book will prop goosebumps onto your arms and shoot chills down your spine. But brave the shiver-inducing images and you'll gain a wealth of knowledge about this category of animals, from eating habits to body parts. Arachnids aren't just spiders, so you'll read about ticks, scorpions, mites, and others that have surely deprived us of sleep at first suspicion of their presence.
Deadly Kingdom: The Book of Dangerous Animals (by Gordon Grice, $27, Random House, 2010): An unfiltered, unsettling perspective of how humans fit in to the cycle of natural order, this book uses dark humor at times to verbally endanger readers, exposing them to some of the world's most deadly creatures. How do they kill, why do they kill, what do they do to humans? Keep turning pages to find out.