Science

Exotic animal drama microhistories are my favorite subject, and this fits the bill perfectly. In her hunt for arowanas, a grotesque, ancient-looking fish that can command up to $150,000 for a single specimen, Voight finds herself searching through dark jungles, convention halls, and New York apartments. - Rachel

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The Dragon Behind the Glass: A True Story of Power, Obsession, and the World's Most Coveted Fish Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781451678956
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - May 9th, 2017

My favorite part of this book is the layout: a bamboo-eating panda paired with a ribboned seadragon, leafy green—bits mimicking each other. Or the asymmetrical mirroring of corals and wasps, Asian elephants and an elephant shrew. Sartore beautifully balances each animal’s individuality while showing how interwoven we all are on this planet. - Rachel

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National Geographic the Photo Ark: One Man's Quest to Document the World's Animals Cover Image
By Joel Sartore, Harrison Ford (Foreword by), Douglas H. Chadwick (Introduction by)
$35.00
ISBN: 9781426217777
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: National Geographic Society - March 7th, 2017

While many folks are familiar with symbiotic buddies like the clowfish/anemones and rhinos/oxpeckers, Gottlieb delves into the lesser known colleagues of the natural world. With gorgeous watercolor art and clean snarky language, it's one of my new favorites, both to casually browse and to buy for others. - Rachel

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Natural Attraction: A Field Guide to Friends, Frenemies, and Other Symbiotic Animal Relationships Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781632171016
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sasquatch Books - May 23rd, 2017

Donovan Hohn was teaching English in New York City when a student tipped him off to the tantalizing story of a shipping container lost at sea that “liberated” 28,800 bath toys into the Pacific Ocean. Hohn left his teaching job to embark on a hysterical series of adventures—to Alaska, China, and the Arctic Circle—to track down the origins and fates of these plastic duckies (and turtles and beavers and frogs). His investigation unfolds as an accessible introduction to oceanography and the serious issue of plastics in our oceans. Hohn is a lovingly literary narrator with a self-deprecating sense of humor. This book contained some of the most fun and informative science journalism I’ve read.—Emily

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Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143120506
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - February 28th, 2012

Finally in paperback! Blending science, history, and horticultural legend, this brilliant exploration of California trees changed my understanding of our state. First lesson: Forget gold! In early California, trees were the movers and shakers. Rare coastal trees were sold worldwide as status symbols, foreign trees swarmed west in the arms of overzealous arborists, and California was transformed. - a.c.

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Trees in Paradise: The Botanical Conquest of California Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781597143929
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Heyday Books - March 10th, 2017

Mozart had a starling, and so does Lyanda Lynn Haupt, who stole hers from a soon-to-be-destroyed nest while watching for errant soccer players. Carmen was meant to be a research aid, a connection to Mozart’s pet. She soon came to be much more, the bright spot of love and delight at the center of this book that explores history, science, music theory, linguistics, astrophysics, and yes, Mozart. Delightful, informative, playful, and cosmic, Mozart’s Starling connects humanity to a natural, harmonious order, starting with a starling. - Jocelyn

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Mozart's Starling Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316370899
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Brown and Company - April 4th, 2017

I know we are told not to judge a book by its cover, but how can anyone not be drawn to this one, which features astronaut Leland Melvin being kissed by his two dogs? A former wide receiver for the Detroit Lions and now an engineer and a NASA astronaut, Melvin has a story for anyone who has wanted to drastically shift their life from the fields below to the stars above. A good pick for those wondering what a persevering spirit can merit someone at NASA. - Ian

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Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780062496720
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Amistad Press - May 23rd, 2017

Joel Sartore’s life mission is to bear witness to every animal on the planet, particularly those among the last of their species, by capturing their magnificence while they’re still here. He has now taken gorgeous studio-style portraits of more than 6,000 animals, illuminating their beauty, uniqueness, and worth. My only hope is that this book does not become a visual elegy for what we’ve lost, but stands as a stunning call to action now. - Melinda

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National Geographic the Photo Ark: One Man's Quest to Document the World's Animals Cover Image
By Joel Sartore, Harrison Ford (Foreword by), Douglas H. Chadwick (Introduction by)
$35.00
ISBN: 9781426217777
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: National Geographic Society - March 7th, 2017

Lanham has written an unforgettable memoir about growing up in rural Edgefield County, South Carolina, a “rich refuge for wild things.” With gorgeous (and sometimes heartbreaking) prose, he describes the full-sensory experience of the natural world around him—the same land that his ancestors were forced to toil. “In me, there is the red of miry clay, the brown of spring floods, the gold of ripening tobacco. I am, in the deepest sense, colored.” As an African American ornithologist and wildlife ecology professor, Lanham not only searches for rare birds, but is one. His essays on identity and belonging are powerful, and his passion for the natural world is inspiring. Without an emotional connection to nature, how can we possibly be fully committed to saving it? - Stef

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The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781571313508
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Milkweed Editions - June 13th, 2017

Please freeze, scream a little in the back of your throat, dance wildly, and rejoice with me over Robert Sapolsky’s new book on human behavior! A Stanford professor, lauded neuroendocrinologist, and one of the most brilliant minds in modern psychology, Sapolsky earned renown studying the physiological effects of stress. Now he tackles the big why: Why do you do what you do? - a.c.

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Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781594205071
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - May 2nd, 2017

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