Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Do Bears REALLY Do That in the Woods?

  • My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell. the seminal book on the making of a naturalist and also a very funny look at one of the oddest families in literature. Set prior to WWII this is British humor at its best and also a peek into how a childhood love of nature can set you on your path for life.

  • Journey to the Ants: A Story of Scientific Exploration by Bert Holldobler and Edward O. Wilson. By weight, the world ant population equals the world human population, and represents half or more of the world's insect biomass. The authors give an amazing glimpse into the various species' ecology.

  • Digging Dinosaurs by John R. Horner and James Gorman. "I know of no better account of how paleontological fieldwork is conducted... Horner walks the reader up all these important avenues with delightful ease." -- Boston Globe. "Popular-science writing at its best." -- Los Angeles Times. "... a fascinating tale told with modesty and clarity." -- Booklist. Why is this book out of print??

  • "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" by Richard P. Feynman. "Richard Feynman was a great scientist, a winner of the Nobel Prize, remembered equally for his laboratory work on liquid helium and his wonderful, unquenchable vitality and sense of humor. His lighthearted approach to life made his lectures a delight and his scientific accomplishments all the more intriguing. Feynman was interested in everything. He painted, traded ideas with Einstein and Bohr, calculated odds with Nick the Greek, accompanied ballet on the bongos. Here is Feynman's astonishing life story -- a combustible mixture of high intelligence, unlimited curiosity, eternal skepticism, and raging chutzpah. Anyone who can read it without laughing out loud is crazy." -- Los Angeles Times Book Review

  • Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. A fascinating exploration of what happens to our bodies after we're dead whether we donate them to science or not. Roach writes with enough whimsy and humor to easily overcome the gross-out factor of her subject.

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