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Science & Nature from the 2016 Summer Newsletter

These titles were featured in our 2016 Summer Newsletter.


The Hour of Land by Terry Tempest Williams

I cannot think of a better person to commemorate the National Park Service on its 100th birthday. When Terry Tempest Williams writes, the personal blends with the political, the public and private meet, and truth spreads into layers of beautiful, ofttimes troubling complexity. The same can be said for the National Park Service. By exploring 12 national parks and monuments throughout the country, Williams creates both an intimate elegy to the land and a plea to see it for all its history and connection.



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The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374280093
Availability: Backordered
Published: Sarah Crichton Books - May 31st, 2016

Rise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt

One of the things that’s so frustrating about the lack of female representation in the hard sciences is that women have actually always been there. We just haven’t heard their stories. Rise of the Rocket Girls is the perfect antidote to this phenomenon, chronicling the women who tirelessly calculated, designed, and tested the machinery that brought humans to the moon. A must-read for anyone interested in women’s history and the history of spaceflight.  —Kat


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Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316338929
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown and Company - April 5th, 2016

Life by John Brockman

Founder and editor of Edge, John Brockman has brought together a dynamic team of scientific minds to talk about the latest and most compelling research in the field of biology. Some of the highlights of Life include futurist Ray Kurzweil’s exploration of the ever-expanding human lifespan; Harvard University’s Daniel Lieberman discussion of long-distance running and the evolution of the human body; and Pulitzer Prize–winner Edward O. Wilson’s in-depth look at the “superorganism” created by a colony of ants.  —Aric

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Life: The Leading Edge of Evolutionary Biology, Genetics, Anthropology, and Environmental Science Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062296054
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - April 19th, 2016

Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are by Frans de Waal

For far too long, scientists argued against giving animals human characteristics, believing that pet owners were reading too far into their pets’ ability to say goodbye or act ashamed. This book confirms what we knew to be true all along: animals’ intelligence ranges far. A wonderful look at the abilities and behaviors of critters, from octopuses and parrots to dogs and all kinds of primates.  —Rachel 

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Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393246186
Availability: Backordered
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 25th, 2016

The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Emperor of All Maladies) is a scientist driven to understand the unknown, and an author who strives to share his discoveries with the common person. Here, however, he is also pulled by his personal and family history, and intertwines those stories of recurrent mental illness with the history of the study of genetics and the knowledge we have accumulated about the human gene, that biological equivalent of fate. A personable, fascinating, important book.   —Jocelyn


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The Gene: An Intimate History Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476733500
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - May 17th, 2016

One Wild Bird at a Time by Bernd Heinrich

We tend to think about birds and their habits on the level of species, but I can’t think of any other book that looks so intimately at the lives of individual birds and what we might learn from them. Heinrich is one of the best nature writers working today, and this book in particular is such a treat. It made me look at my feathered neighbors in an entirely new way.  —Kat

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One Wild Bird at a Time: Portraits of Individual Lives Cover Image
ISBN: 9780544387638
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - April 12th, 2016

The Big Picture by Sean Carroll

“From the perspective of a vast, seemingly indifferent cosmos,” do our lives really matter? In The Big Picture, physicist Sean Caroll, author of The Particle at the End of the Universe, gives a sweeping new perspective on how human purpose and meaning naturally fit into a scientific worldview. “A brilliantly lucid exposition of profound philosophical and scientific issues in a language accessible to lay readers.” —Kirkus, starred review

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The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525954828
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dutton - May 10th, 2016

The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

Well known for predicting sports games and tasting yummy, octopuses (never octopi!) have firmly situated themselves in our culture. Sy Montgomery’s book explores another side of these remarkable creatures—their consciousness, memory, and emotions. While scientists have already begun establishing the intelligence of octopuses, the author pushes further, developing friendships with these creatures. Wonderful for any animal lover, it confirms what many of us already know, that all animals—including octopuses—express and feel love.  — Rachel

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The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness Cover Image
ISBN: 9781451697728
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - April 5th, 2016

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