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Vesper Flights

Author : Helen Macdonald
Publisher : Grove Press
Release : 2020-08-25
Category : Nature
ISBN : 9780802146694

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Book Vesper Flights Description/Summary:

From the New York Times bestselling author of H is for Hawk and winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize for nonfiction, comes a transcendent collection of essays about the natural world. Animals don’t exist in order to teach us things, but that is what they have always done, and most of what they teach us is what we think we know about ourselves. Helen Macdonald’s bestselling debut H is for Hawk brought the astonishing story of her relationship with goshawk Mabel to global critical acclaim and announced Macdonald as one of this century’s most important and insightful nature writers. H is for Hawk won the Samuel Johnson Prize for Nonfiction and the Costa Book Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction, launching poet and falconer Macdonald as our preeminent nature essayist, with a semi-regular column in the New York Times Magazine. In Vesper Flights Helen Macdonald brings together a collection of her best loved essays, along with new pieces on topics ranging from nostalgia for a vanishing countryside to the tribulations of farming ostriches to her own private vespers while trying to fall asleep. Meditating on notions of captivity and freedom, immigration and flight, Helen invites us into her most intimate experiences: observing the massive migration of songbirds from the top of the Empire State Building, watching tens of thousands of cranes in Hungary, seeking the last golden orioles in Suffolk’s poplar forests. She writes with heart-tugging clarity about wild boar, swifts, mushroom hunting, migraines, the strangeness of birds’ nests, and the unexpected guidance and comfort we find when watching wildlife. By one of this century’s most important and insightful nature writers, Vesper Flights is a captivating and foundational book about observation, fascination, time, memory, love and loss and how we make sense of the world around us.

Vesper Flights

Author : Helen Macdonald
Publisher : Penguin
Release : 2020-08-25
Category : Biography & Autobiography
ISBN : 9780735235519

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Book Vesper Flights Description/Summary:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER From the bestselling author of H is for Hawk, a brilliant and insightful work about our relationship to the natural world Our world is a fascinating place, teeming not only with natural wonders that defy description, but complex interactions that create layers of meaning. Helen Macdonald is gifted with a special lens that seems to peer right through it all, and she shares her insights--at times startling, nostalgic, weighty, or simply entertaining--in this masterful collection of essays. From reflections on science fiction to the true story of an Iranian refugee's flight to the UK, Macdonald has a truly omnivorous taste when it comes to observations of both the banal and sublime. Peppered throughout are reminisces of her own life, from her strange childhood in an estate owned by the Theosophical Society to watching total eclipses of the sun, visits to Uzbek solar power plants, eccentric English country shows, and desert hunting camps in the Gulf States. These essays move from personal experiences into wider meditations about love and loss and how we build the world around us. Whether more journalistic in tone, or literary--even formally experimental--each piece is generous, lyrical, and speaks to one another. Macdonald creates a strong thematic undertow that quietly takes the reader along piece to piece and sets them down, finally, at a place they've never been before.

Vesper Flights

Author : Helen Macdonald
Publisher : Random House
Release : 2020-08-27
Category : Nature
ISBN : 9781448130733

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Book Vesper Flights Description/Summary:

'Thrilling dispatches from a vanishing world' Observer Animals don't exist to teach us things, but that is what they have always done, and most of what they teach us is what we think we know about ourselves. From the bestselling author of H is for Hawk comes Vesper Flights, a transcendent collection of essays about the human relationship to the natural world. Helen Macdonald brings together a collection of her best-loved writing along with new pieces covering a thrilling range of subjects. There are essays here on headaches, on catching swans, on hunting mushrooms, on twentieth-century spies, on numinous experiences and high-rise buildings; on nests and wild pigs and the tribulations of farming ostriches. Vesper Flights is a book about observation, fascination, time, memory, love and loss and how we make the world around us. Moving and frank, personal and political, it confirms Helen Macdonald as one of this century's greatest nature writers. **CHOSEN AS A SUNDAY TIMES BOOK TO WATCH OUT FOR AND A NEW STATESMAN BOOK TO READ**

H Is for Hawk

Author : Helen Macdonald
Publisher : Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Release : 2015-03-03
Category : Biography & Autobiography
ISBN : 9780802191670

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Book H Is for Hawk Description/Summary:

One of the New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of the Year One of Slate's 50 Best Nonfiction Books of the Last 25 Years ON MORE THAN 25 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR LISTS: including TIME (#1 Nonfiction Book), NPR, O, The Oprah Magazine (10 Favorite Books), Vogue (Top 10), Vanity Fair, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Seattle Times, San Francisco Chronicle (Top 10), Miami Herald, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Minneapolis Star Tribune (Top 10), Library Journal (Top 10), Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Slate, Shelf Awareness, Book Riot, Amazon (Top 20) The instant New York Times bestseller and award-winning sensation, Helen Macdonald's story of adopting and raising one of nature's most vicious predators has soared into the hearts of millions of readers worldwide. Fierce and feral, her goshawk Mabel's temperament mirrors Helen's own state of grief after her father's death, and together raptor and human "discover the pain and beauty of being alive" (People). H Is for Hawk is a genre-defying debut from one of our most unique and transcendent voices.

The House on Vesper Sands

Author : Paraic O'Donnell
Publisher : Tin House Books
Release : 2021-01-12
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9781951142254

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Book The House on Vesper Sands Description/Summary:

An Irish Times and Guardian Book of the Year A January Pick for Indie Next, Apple Books, and Library Reads London, 1893: high up in a house on a dark, snowy night, a lone seamstress stands by a window. So begins the swirling, serpentine world of Paraic O’Donnell’s Victorian-inspired mystery, the story of a city cloaked in shadow, but burning with questions: why does the seamstress jump from the window? Why is a cryptic message stitched into her skin? And how is she connected to a rash of missing girls, all of whom seem to have disappeared under similar circumstances? On the case is Inspector Cutter, a detective as sharp and committed to his work as he is wryly hilarious. Gideon Bliss, a Cambridge dropout in love with one of the missing girls, stumbles into a role as Cutter’s sidekick. And clever young journalist Octavia Hillingdon sees the case as a chance to tell a story that matters—despite her employer’s preference that she stick to a women’s society column. As Inspector Cutter peels back the mystery layer by layer, he leads them all, at last, to the secrets that lie hidden at the house on Vesper Sands. By turns smart, surprising, and impossible to put down, The House on Vesper Sands offers a glimpse into the strange undertow of late nineteenth-century London and the secrets we all hold inside us.

Hope in the Dark

Author : Rebecca Solnit
Publisher : Haymarket Books
Release : 2016-05-14
Category : Political Science
ISBN : 9781608465798

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Book Hope in the Dark Description/Summary:

“[A] landmark book . . . Solnit illustrates how the uprisings that begin on the streets can upend the status quo and topple authoritarian regimes” (Vice). A book as powerful and influential as Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things to Me, her Hope in the Dark was written to counter the despair of activists at a moment when they were focused on their losses and had turned their back to the victories behind them—and the unimaginable changes soon to come. In it, she makes a radical case for hope as a commitment to act in a world whose future remains uncertain and unknowable. Drawing on her decades of activism and a wide reading of environmental, cultural, and political history, Solnit argues that radicals have a long, neglected history of transformative victories, that the positive consequences of our acts are not always immediately seen, directly knowable, or even measurable, and that pessimism and despair rest on an unwarranted confidence about what is going to happen next. Now, with a moving new introduction explaining how the book came about and a new afterword that helps teach us how to hope and act in our unnerving world, she brings a new illumination to the darkness of our times in an unforgettable new edition of this classic book. “One of the best books of the 21st century.” —The Guardian “No writer has better understood the mix of fear and possibility, peril and exuberance that’s marked this new millennium.” —Bill McKibben, New York Times–bestselling author of Falter “An elegant reminder that activist victories are easily forgotten, and that they often come in extremely unexpected, roundabout ways.” —The New Yorker

Shaler's Fish

Author : Helen Macdonald
Publisher : Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Release : 2016-02-02
Category : Poetry
ISBN : 9780802190703

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Book Shaler's Fish Description/Summary:

“Devoted readers of H Is for Hawk will find Macdonald’s gift for stunning language, patient curiosity, and expansive wisdom on full display in her poems.”—Publishers Weekly From the naturalist and author of the New York Times bestseller H is for Hawk, which appeared on more than twenty-five Best Books of the Year lists, Shaler’s Fish is a collection of poetry that roams both the outer and inner landscapes of the poet’s universe, seamlessly fusing reflections on language, science, and literature with the loamy environments of the natural worlds around her. Moving between the epic (war, history, art, myth, philosophy) and the specific (CNN, Ancient Rome, Auden, Merleau-Ponty), Helen Macdonald examines with humor and intellect what it means to be awake and watchful in the world. These are poems that probe and question, within whose nimble ecosystems we are as likely to encounter Schubert as we are “a hand of violets,” Isaac Newton as a “winged quail on turf.” Nothing escapes Macdonald’s eye and every creature herein—from the smallest bird to the loftiest thinker—holds a significant place in her poems. “Macdonald is a poet of vision and sound, oracular one moment and playful the next, whose first love and only loyalty is to the music of words.” –O, the Oprah Magazine

Believers

Author : Lisa Wells
Publisher : Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release : 2021-07-20
Category : Nature
ISBN : 9780374716585

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Book Believers Description/Summary:

In search of answers and action, the award-winning poet and essayist Lisa Wells brings us Believers, introducing trailblazers and outliers from across the globe who have found radically new ways to live and reconnect to the Earth in the face of climate change We find ourselves at the end of the world. How, then, shall we live? Like most of us, Lisa Wells has spent years overwhelmed by increasingly urgent news of climate change on an apocalyptic scale. She did not need to be convinced of the stakes, but she could not find practical answers. She embarked on a pilgrimage, seeking wisdom and paths to action from outliers and visionaries, pragmatists and iconoclasts. Believers tracks through the lives of these people who are dedicated to repairing the earth and seemingly undaunted by the task ahead. Wells meets an itinerant gardener and misanthrope leading a group of nomadic activists in rewilding the American desert. She finds a group of environmentalist Christians practicing “watershed discipleship” in New Mexico and another group in Philadelphia turning the tools of violence into tools of farming—guns into ploughshares. She watches the world’s greatest tracker teach others how to read a trail, and visits botanists who are restoring land overrun by invasive species and destructive humans. She talks with survivors of catastrophic wildfires in California as they try to rebuild in ways that acknowledge the fires will come again. Through empathic, critical portraits, Wells shows that these trailblazers are not so far beyond the rest of us. They have had the same realization, have accepted that we are living through a global catastrophe, but are trying to answer the next question: How do you make a life at the end of the world? Through this miraculous commingling of acceptance and activism, this focus on seeing clearly and moving forward, Wells is able to take the devastating news facing us all, every day, and inject a possibility of real hope. Believers demands transformation. It will change how you think about your own actions, about how you can still make an impact, and about how we might yet reckon with our inheritance.

The Twelve Birds of Christmas

Author : Stephen Moss
Publisher : Random House
Release : 2019-10-31
Category : Nature
ISBN : 9781473569836

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Book The Twelve Birds of Christmas Description/Summary:

Naturalist Stephen Moss digs beneath the surface of some of our most popular Christmas carols in an ornithological celebration of the Festive Season. Using the structure of the carol as a jumping off point, he explores the place of twelve fascinating British birds in our history, culture and landscape. Some of the birds are obvious, there’s the swan and of course the partridge. Other chapters are loose interpretations of a verse: for drummers drumming he delves into the woodpecker's distinctive drumming tap. Woodpeckers, he explains, have special padded skulls to mitigate against using its head like hammer drills. They carefully select dead trees for the most hollow, sonorous sound. With brilliant anecdotes and insights, Stephen Moss weaves history, culture, bird behaviour and folklore into a compelling narrative for each species, tracing its fortunes over the past two centuries. PRAISE FOR STEPHEN MOSS: 'A superb naturalist and writer' Chris Packham 'Moss has carved out an enviable niche as a chronicler of the natural world' Daily Mail

The Poetics of Natural History

Author : Christoph Irmscher
Publisher : Rutgers University Press
Release : 2019-09-08
Category : Science
ISBN : 9781978805880

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Book The Poetics of Natural History Description/Summary:

Early American naturalists assembled dazzling collections of native flora and fauna, from John Bartram’s botanical garden in Philadelphia and the artful display of animals in Charles Willson Peale’s museum to P. T. Barnum’s American Museum, infamously characterized by Henry James as “halls of humbug.” Yet physical collections were only one of the myriad ways that these naturalists captured, catalogued, and commemorated America’s rich biodiversity. They also turned to writing and art, from John Edward Holbrook’s forays into the fascinating world of herpetology to John James Audubon’s masterful portraits of American birds. In this groundbreaking, now classic book, Christoph Irmscher argues that early American natural historians developed a distinctly poetic sensibility that allowed them to imagine themselves as part of, and not apart from, their environment. He also demonstrates what happens to such inclusiveness in the hands of Harvard scientist-turned Amazonian explorer Louis Agassiz, whose racist pseudoscience appalled his student William James. This expanded, full-color edition of The Poetics of Natural History features a preface and art from award-winning artist Rosamond Purcell and invites the reader to be fully immersed in an era when the boundaries between literature, art, and science became fluid.

The Goshawk

Author : T.H. White
Publisher : New York Review of Books
Release : 2012-04-25
Category : Nature
ISBN : 9781590175460

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Book The Goshawk Description/Summary:

The predecessor to Helen Macdonald’s H is for Hawk, T. H. White’s nature writing classic, The Goshawk, asks the age-old question: what is it that binds human beings to other animals? White, the author of The Once and Future King and Mistress Masham’s Repose, was a young writer who found himself rifling through old handbooks of falconry. A particular sentence—”the bird reverted to a feral state”—seized his imagination, and, White later wrote, “A longing came to my mind that I should be able to do this myself. The word ‘feral’ has a kind of magical potency which allied itself to two other words, ‘ferocious’ and ‘free.’” Immediately, White wrote to Germany to acquire a young goshawk. Gos, as White named the bird, was ferocious and Gos was free, and White had no idea how to break him in beyond the ancient (and, though he did not know it, long superseded) practice of depriving him of sleep, which meant that he, White, also went without rest. Slowly man and bird entered a state of delirium and intoxication, of attraction and repulsion that looks very much like love. White kept a daybook describing his volatile relationship with Gos—at once a tale of obsession, a comedy of errors, and a hymn to the hawk. It was this that became The Goshawk, one of modern literature’s most memorable and surprising encounters with the wilderness—as it exists both within us and without.

World of Wonders

Author : Aimee Nezhukumatathil
Publisher : Milkweed Editions
Release : 2020-09-08
Category : Nature
ISBN : 9781571319593

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Book World of Wonders Description/Summary:

From beloved, award-winning poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil comes a debut work of nonfiction—a collection of essays about the natural world, and the way its inhabitants can teach, support, and inspire us. As a child, Nezhukumatathil called many places home: the grounds of a Kansas mental institution, where her Filipina mother was a doctor; the open skies and tall mountains of Arizona, where she hiked with her Indian father; and the chillier climes of western New York and Ohio. But no matter where she was transplanted—no matter how awkward the fit or forbidding the landscape—she was able to turn to our world’s fierce and funny creatures for guidance. “What the peacock can do,” she tells us, “is remind you of a home you will run away from and run back to all your life.” The axolotl teaches us to smile, even in the face of unkindness; the touch-me-not plant shows us how to shake off unwanted advances; the narwhal demonstrates how to survive in hostile environments. Even in the strange and the unlovely, Nezhukumatathil finds beauty and kinship. For it is this way with wonder: it requires that we are curious enough to look past the distractions in order to fully appreciate the world’s gifts. Warm, lyrical, and gorgeously illustrated by Fumi Nakamura, World of Wonders is a book of sustenance and joy.

The Sea View Has Me Again

Author : Patrick Wright
Publisher : Watkins Media Limited
Release : 2020-12-08
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9781912248759

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Book The Sea View Has Me Again Description/Summary:

The story of Uwe Johnson, one of Germany's greatest and most-influential post-war writers, and how he came to live and work in Sheerness, Kent in the 1970s. Towards the end of 1974, a stranger arrived in the small town of Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent. He could often be found sitting at the bar in the Napier Tavern, drinking lager and smoking Gauloises while flicking through the pages of the Kent Evening Post. "Charles" was the name he offered to his new acquaintances. But this unexpected immigrant was actually Uwe Johnson, originally from the Baltic province of Mecklenburg in the GDR, and already famous as the leading author of a divided Germany. What caused him to abandon West Berlin and spend the last nine years of his life in Sheerness, where he eventually completed his great New York novel Anniversaries in a house overlooking the outer reaches of the Thames Estuary? And what did he mean by detecting a "moral utopia" in a town that others, including his concerned friends, saw only as a busted slum on an island abandoned to "deindustrialisation" and a stranded Liberty ship full of unexploded bombs? Patrick Wright, who himself abandoned north Kent for Canada a few months before Johnson arrived, returns to the "island that is all the world" to uncover the story of the East German author's English decade, and to understand why his closely observed Kentish writings continue to speak with such clairvoyance in the age of Brexit. Guided in his encounters and researches by clues left by Johnson in his own "island stories", the book is set in the 1970s, when North Sea oil and joining the European Economic Community seemed the last hope for bankrupt Britain. It opens out to provide an alternative version of modern British history: a history for the present, told through the rich and haunted landscapes of an often spurned downriver mudbank, with a brilliant German answer to Robinson Crusoe as its primary witness.

Silence of the Songbirds

Author : Bridget Stutchbury
Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release : 2009-05-26
Category : Nature
ISBN : 0802718809

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Book Silence of the Songbirds Description/Summary:

Wood thrush, Kentucky warbler, the Eastern kingbird-migratory songbirds are disappearing at a frightening rate. By some estimates, we may already have lost almost half of the songbirds that filled the skies only forty years ago. Renowned biologist Bridget Stutchbury convincingly argues that songbirds truly are the "canaries in the coal mine"-except the coal mine looks a lot like Earth and we are the hapless excavators. Following the birds on their six-thousand-mile migratory journey, Stutchbury leads us on an ecological field trip to explore firsthand the major threats to songbirds: pesticides, still a major concern decades after Rachel Carson first raised the alarm; the destruction of vital habitat, from the boreal forests of Canada to the diminishing continuous forests of the United States to the grasslands of Argentina; coffee plantations, which push birds out of their forest refuges so we can have our morning fix; the bright lights and structures in our cities, which prove a minefield for migrating birds; and global warming. We could well wake up in the near future and hear no songbirds singing. But we won't just be missing their cheery calls, we'll be missing a vital part of our ecosystem. Without songbirds, our forests would face uncontrolled insect infestations, and our trees, flowers, and gardens would lose a crucial element in their reproductive cycle. As Stutchbury shows, saving songbirds means protecting our ecosystem and ultimately ourselves.

Lot Six

Author : David Adjmi
Publisher : HarperCollins
Release : 2020-06-23
Category : Biography & Autobiography
ISBN : 9780062097019

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Book Lot Six Description/Summary:

“David Adjmi has written one of the great American memoirs, a heartbreaking, hilarious story of what it means to make things up, including yourself. A wild tale of lack and lies, galling humiliations and majestic reinventions, this touching, coruscating joy of a book is an answer to that perennial question: how should a person be?” — Olivia Laing, author of Crudo and The Lonely City In a world where everyone is inventing a self, curating a feed and performing a fantasy of life, what does it mean to be a person? In his grandly entertaining debut memoir, playwright David Adjmi explores how human beings create themselves, and how artists make their lives into art. Brooklyn, 1970s. Born into the ruins of a Syrian Jewish family that once had it all, David is painfully displaced. Trapped in an insular religious community that excludes him and a family coming apart at the seams, he is plunged into suicidal depression. Through adolescence, David tries to suppress his homosexual feelings and fit in, but when pushed to the breaking point, he makes the bold decision to cut off his family, erase his past, and leave everything he knows behind. There's only one problem: who should he be? Bouncing between identities he steals from the pages of fashion magazines, tomes of philosophy, sitcoms and foreign films, and practically everyone he meets—from Rastafarians to French preppies—David begins to piece together an entirely new adult self. But is this the foundation for a life, or just a kind of quicksand? Moving from the glamour and dysfunction of 1970s Brooklyn, to the sybaritic materialism of Reagan’s 1980s to post-9/11 New York, Lot Six offers a quintessentially American tale of an outsider striving to reshape himself in the funhouse mirror of American culture. Adjmi’s memoir is a genre bending Künstlerroman in the spirit of Charles Dickens and Alison Bechdel, a portrait of the artist in the throes of a life and death crisis of identity. Raw and lyrical, and written in gleaming prose that veers effortlessly between hilarity and heartbreak, Lot Six charts Adjmi’s search for belonging, identity, and what it takes to be an artist in America.

Black Skies

Author : Arnaldur Indridason
Publisher : Minotaur Books
Release : 2013-09-17
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9781250036841

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Book Black Skies Description/Summary:

Arnaldur Indridason, whom The Sunday Times calls "one of the most brilliant crime writers of his generation," has thrilled readers around the world with his series set in Reykjavik. In Black Skies, Indridason further cements his position as one of today's top international crime writers. A man is making a crude leather mask with an iron spike fixed in the middle of the forehead. It is a "death mask," once used by Icelandic farmers to slaughter calves, and he has revenge in mind. Meanwhile, a school reunion has left Inspector Erlendur's colleague Sigurdur Óli unhappy with life in the police force. While Iceland is enjoying an economic boom, Óli's relationship is on the rocks and soon even his position in the department is compromised. When a favor to a friend goes wrong and a woman dies before his eyes, Oli has a murder investigation on his hands. From the villas of Reykjavík's banking elite to a sordid basement flat, Black Skies is a superb story of greed, pride, and murder from one of Europe's most successful crime writers. "A sophisticated and complex thriller." --Kirkus

Notes from an Apocalypse

Author : Mark O'Connell
Publisher : Anchor
Release : 2021-03-23
Category : Psychology
ISBN : 9780525435310

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Book Notes from an Apocalypse Description/Summary:

"By the author of the award-winning To Be a Machine, a deeply considered look at the people and places in confrontation with the end of our days. We're alive in a time of worst-case scenarios: The weather has gone uncanny, volatile. Our old post-war alliances are crumbling. Everywhere you look there's an omen, a joke whose punchline is the end of the world. How are we to live in the shadow of such a grim future? What does the world hold for our children? What might it be like to live through the worst? And what is anybody doing about it? Dublin-based writer Mark O'Connell ("wryly humorous, cogently insightful"--NPR) is possessed by these questions. In Notes from an Apocalypse, he crosses the globe in pursuit of answers. He tours survival bunkers in South Dakota. He ventures to New Zealand, a favored retreat of billionaires banking on civilization's collapse. And he bears witness to those places where the future has already arrived--real-life portraits of the end of the world as we know it. In doing so, he offers us a unique window into our apocalyptic imagination. Part tour, part pilgrimage, Notes from an Apocalypse is an affecting and hopeful meditation on our alarming present tense. With insight, humanity, and wit, O'Connell leaves you to wonder: What if the end of the world isn't the end of the world?"--

The Dynamics of Disaster

Author : Susan W. Kieffer
Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company
Release : 2013-10-21
Category : Nature
ISBN : 9780393080957

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Book The Dynamics of Disaster Description/Summary:

Contrary to popular belief, humans have almost no control over Mother Nature. Yet we persist in building centers of civilization in places of past disasters. When they are destroyed again, we rebuild in the same place, believing that our technology will do better next time. But we rarely win these battles with the earth. Susan W. Kieffer has two goals for her unique book. The first is to show how the dynamics—the workings—of disasters are connected by a small number of natural laws. The second is to show how the greatest damage and loss of life are caused by unrecognized aspects of these events. For example, the heartwrenching destruction in Haiti was caused when an earthquake transformed the solid ground into something like quicksand. Only by deeply understanding the dynamics of natural disasters can we begin to institute engineering and policy practices to minimize their impact on our lives.

One Wild Bird at a Time

Author : Bernd Heinrich
Publisher : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release : 2016-04-12
Category : Nature
ISBN : 9780544386402

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Book One Wild Bird at a Time Description/Summary:

Unique encounters with wild birds from the acclaimed scientist and “a dedicated watcher happy to knock down the fourth wall of zoology” (The Wall Street Journal). In his modern classics One Man’s Owl and Mind of the Raven, Bernd Heinrich has written memorably about his relationships with wild ravens and a great horned owl. In One Wild Bird at a Time, Heinrich returns to his great love: close, day-to-day observations of individual wild birds. There are countless books on bird behavior, but Heinrich argues that some of the most amazing bird behaviors fall below the radar of what most birds do in aggregate. Heinrich’s “passionate observations [that] superbly mix memoir and science” lead to fascinating questions—and sometimes startling discoveries (The New York Times Book Review). A great crested flycatcher, while bringing food to the young in their nest, is attacked by the other flycatcher nearby. Why? A pair of Northern flickers hammering their nest-hole into the side of Heinrich’s cabin deliver the opportunity to observe the feeding competition between siblings, and to make a related discovery about nest-cleaning. One of a clutch of redstart warbler babies fledges out of the nest from twenty feet above the ground, and lands on the grass below. It can’t fly. What will happen next? Heinrich “looks closely, with his trademark ‘hands-and-knees science’ at its most engaging, [delivering] what can only be called psychological marvels of knowing” (The Boston Globe). “An engaging memoir of the opportunities for doing scientific research without leaving one’s own backyard.”—Kirkus Reviews

Falcon

Author : Helen Macdonald
Publisher : Reaktion Books
Release : 2016-11-15
Category : Nature
ISBN : 9781780236896

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Book Falcon Description/Summary:

Before best-selling author Helen Macdonald told the story of the goshawk in H Is for Hawk, she told the story of the falcon, in a cultural history of the masterful creature that can “cut the sky in two” with the “perfectly aerodynamic profile of a raindrop,” as she so incisively puts it. In talon-sharp prose she explores the spell the falcon has had over her and, by extension, all of us, whether we’ve seen them “through binoculars, framed on gallery walls, versified by poets, flown as hunting birds, through Manhattan windows, sewn on flags, stamped on badges, or winnowing through the clouds over abandoned arctic radar stations.” Macdonald dives through centuries and careens around the globe to tell the story of the falcon as it has flown in the wild skies of the natural world and those of our imagination. Mixing history, myth, and legend, she explores the long history of the sport of falconry in many human cultures—from Japan to Abu Dhabi to Oxford; she analyzes the falcon’s talismanic power as a symbol in art, politics, and business; and she addresses the ways we have both endangered and protected it. Along the way we discover how falcons were mobilized in secret military projects; their links with espionage, the Third Reich, the Holy Roman Empire, and space programs; and how they have figured in countless stories of heroism and, of course, the erotic. Best of all, Macdonald has given us something fresh: a new introduction that draws on all her experience to even further invigorate her cherished subject. The result is a deeply informed book written with the same astonishing lyrical grace that has captivated readers and had everyone talking about this writer-cum-falconer.