Natural History

The  Great  Auk

The Great Auk

$45.00
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Little Brown, Boston, 1963. 1st edition, 2nd printing. Author's first book, a fictional account of the demise of great auk, the only flightless bird in the North Atlantic, often referred to as the "Atlantic penguin." Dust jacket in protective cover; head of spine chipped; corners chipped; spine toned; blue cloth; head of spine faded; illustrated endpapers; binding good; text clean. G+/G
The Backyard Bird Chronicles

The Backyard Bird Chronicles

$35.00
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A gorgeous, witty account of birding, nature, and the beauty around us that hides in plain sight, written and illustrated by the best-selling author of The Joy Luck Club - With a foreword by David Allen Sibley

 

"Unexpected and spectacular" --Ann Patchett, best-selling author of These Precious Days

 

"The drawings and essays in this book do a lot more than just describe the birds. They carry a sense of discovery through observation and drawing, suggest the layers of patterns in the natural world, and emphasize a deep personal connection between the watcher and the watched. The birds that inhabit Amy Tan's backyard seem a lot like the characters in her novels." --David Allen Sibley, from the foreword

Tracking the natural beauty that surrounds us, The Backyard Bird Chroniclesmaps the passage of time through daily entries, thoughtful questions, and beautiful original sketches. With boundless charm and wit, author Amy Tan charts her foray into birding and the natural wonders of the world.

 

In 2016, Amy Tan grew overwhelmed by the state of the world: Hatred and misinformation became a daily presence on social media, and the country felt more divisive than ever. In search of peace, Tan turned toward the natural world just beyond her window and, specifically, the birds visiting her yard. But what began as an attempt to find solace turned into something far greater--an opportunity to savor quiet moments during a volatile time, connect to nature in a meaningful way, and imagine the intricate lives of the birds she admired.

PREORDER A SIGNED COPY! All Signed copies will be available at the CMNH event on 5/6/24 or in-store at Loganberry (or shipping) on 5/7/24 or later. Please state your preferred pickup location in the comments box at checkout!


The Bathysphere Book

The Bathysphere Book

$29.00
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"...one of the most fascinating and unusual new books I've read in some time."
--Benjamin Shull, The Wall Street Journal

"Hypnotic . . . Beautifully written and beautifully made."
--W. M. Akers, The New York Times Book Review

"...a weird and often beautiful fusion of science writing, history and poetry that explores our own relationship with the unknown..."
--Edward Posnett, The Guardian

"Mesmerizing . . . Original and often profound, [The Bathysphere Book] is a moving testament to the wonders of exploration."
--Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"Imbued with the adventurous spirit of science and exploration . . . [The Bathysphere Book is] an enchanting cabinet of curiosities."
--Kirkus Reviews


A wide ranging, philosophical, and sensual account of early deep sea exploration and its afterlives, The Bathysphere Book begins with the first ever voyage to the deep ocean in 1930 and expands to explore the adventures and entanglements of its all-too-human participants at a time when the world still felt entirely new.


In the summer of 1930, aboard a ship floating near the Atlantic island of Nonsuch, marine biologist Gloria Hollister sat on a crate, writing furiously in a notebook with a telephone receiver pressed to her ear. The phone line was attached to a steel cable that plunged 3,000 feet into the sea. There, suspended by the cable, dangled a four-and-a-half-foot steel ball called the bathysphere. Crumpled inside, gazing through three-inch quartz windows at the undersea world, was Hollister's colleague William Beebe. He called up to her, describing previously unseen creatures, explosions of bioluminescence, and strange effects of light and color.

From this momentous first encounter with the unknown depths, The Bathysphere Book widens its scope to explore a transforming and deeply paradoxical America, as the first great skyscrapers rose above New York City and the Great Plains baked to dust. In prose that is magical, atmospheric, and entirely engrossing, Brad Fox dramatizes new visions of our planetary home, delighting in tales of the colorful characters who surrounded, supported, and participated in the dives--from groundbreaking scientists and gallivanting adventurers to eugenicist billionaires.

The Bathysphere Book is a hypnotic assemblage of brief chapters along with over fifty full-color images, records from the original bathysphere logbooks, and the moving story of surreptitious romance between Beebe and Hollister that anchors their exploration. Brad Fox blurs the line between poetry and research, unearthing and rendering a visionary meeting with the unknown.

The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect

$27.95
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A fascinating, entertaining dive into the long-standing relationship between humans and insects, revealing the surprising ways we depend on these tiny, six-legged creatures.

Insects might make us shudder in disgust, but they are also responsible for many of the things we take for granted in our daily lives. When we bite into a shiny apple, listen to the resonant notes of a violin, get dressed, receive a dental implant, or get a manicure, we are the beneficiaries of a vast army of insects. Try as we might to replicate their raw material (silk, shellac, and cochineal, for instance), our artificial substitutes have proven subpar at best, and at worst toxic, ensuring our interdependence with the insect world for the foreseeable future.
Drawing on research in laboratory science, agriculture, fashion, and international cuisine, Edward D. Melillo weaves a vibrant world history that illustrates the inextricable and fascinating bonds between humans and insects. Across time, we have not only coexisted with these creatures but have relied on them for, among other things, the key discoveries of modern medical science and the future of the world's food supply. Without insects, entire sectors of global industry would grind to a halt and essential features of modern life would disappear. Here is a beguiling appreciation of the ways in which these creatures have altered--and continue to shape--the very framework of our existence.

The Feather Thief

The Feather Thief

$18.00
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As heard on NPR's This American Life

"Absorbing . . . Though it's non-fiction, The Feather Thief contains many of the elements of a classic thriller." --Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air

"One of the most peculiar and memorable true-crime books ever." --Christian Science Monitor

From the author of The Fishermen and the Dragon, a rollicking true-crime adventure and a captivating journey into an underground world of fanatical fly-tiers and plume peddlers, for readers of The Stranger in the Woods, The Lost City of Z, and The Orchid Thief.

On a cool June evening in 2009, after performing a concert at London's Royal Academy of Music, twenty-year-old American flautist Edwin Rist boarded a train for a suburban outpost of the British Museum of Natural History. Home to one of the largest ornithological collections in the world, the Tring museum was full of rare bird specimens whose gorgeous feathers were worth staggering amounts of money to the men who shared Edwin's obsession: the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying. Once inside the museum, the champion fly-tier grabbed hundreds of bird skins--some collected 150 years earlier by a contemporary of Darwin's, Alfred Russel Wallace, who'd risked everything to gather them--and escaped into the darkness.

Two years later, Kirk Wallace Johnson was waist high in a river in northern New Mexico when his fly-fishing guide told him about the heist. He was soon consumed by the strange case of the feather thief. What would possess a person to steal dead birds? Had Edwin paid the price for his crime? What became of the missing skins? In his search for answers, Johnson was catapulted into a years-long, worldwide investigation. The gripping story of a bizarre and shocking crime, and one man's relentless pursuit of justice, The Feather Thief is also a fascinating exploration of obsession, and man's destructive instinct to harvest the beauty of nature.
The Invention of Nature

The Invention of Nature

$20.00
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NATIONAL BESTSELLER - A biography of Alexander von Humboldt, the visionary German naturalist whose ideas changed the way we see the natural world--and in the process created modern environmentalism. - From the acclaimed author of Magnificent Rebels.

"Vivid and exciting.... Wulf's pulsating account brings this dazzling figure back into a dazzling, much-deserved focus." --The Boston Globe

Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) was the most famous scientist of his age, a visionary German naturalist and polymath whose discoveries forever changed the way we understand the natural world. Among his most revolutionary ideas was a radical conception of nature as a complex and interconnected global force that does not exist for the use of humankind alone. In North America, Humboldt's name still graces towns, counties, parks, bays, lakes, mountains, and a river. And yet the man has been all but forgotten.

In this illuminating biography, Andrea Wulf brings Humboldt's extraordinary life back into focus: his prediction of human-induced climate change; his daring expeditions to the highest peaks of South America and to the anthrax-infected steppes of Siberia; his relationships with iconic figures, including Simón Bolívar and Thomas Jefferson; and the lasting influence of his writings on Darwin, Wordsworth, Goethe, Muir, Thoreau, and many others. Brilliantly researched and stunningly written, The Invention of Nature reveals the myriad ways in which Humboldt's ideas form the foundation of modern environmentalism--and reminds us why they are as prescient and vital as ever.

The Planter of Modern Life: How an Ohio Farm Boy Conquered Literary Paris, Fed the Lost Generation, and Sowed the Seeds of the Organic Food Movement

The Planter of Modern Life: How an Ohio Farm Boy Conquered Literary Paris, Fed the Lost Generation, and Sowed the Seeds of the Organic Food Movement

$17.95
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Louis Bromfield was a World War I ambulance driver, a Paris expat, and a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist as famous in the 1920s as Hemingway or Fitzgerald. But he cashed in his literary success to finance a wild agrarian dream in his native Ohio. The ideas he planted at his utopian experimental farm, Malabar, would inspire America's first generation of organic farmers and popularize the tenets of environmentalism years before Rachel Carson's Silent Spring.

A lanky Midwestern farm boy dressed up like a Left Bank bohemian, Bromfield stood out in literary Paris for his lavish hospitality and his green thumb. He built a magnificent garden outside the city where he entertained aristocrats, movie stars, flower breeders, and writers of all stripes. Gertrude Stein enjoyed his food, Edith Wharton admired his roses, Ernest Hemingway boiled with jealousy over his critical acclaim. Millions savored his novels, which were turned into Broadway plays and Hollywood blockbusters, yet Bromfield's greatest passion was the soil.

In 1938, Bromfield returned to Ohio to transform 600 badly eroded acres into a thriving cooperative farm, which became a mecca for agricultural pioneers and a country retreat for celebrities like Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall (who were married there in 1945).

This sweeping biography unearths a lost icon of American culture, a fascinating, hilarious and unclassifiable character who--between writing and plowing--also dabbled in global politics and high society. Through it all, he fought for an agriculture that would enrich the soil and protect the planet. While Bromfield's name has faded into obscurity, his mission seems more critical today than ever before.

BOOK CLUB CHOICE! Read this with our Naturalist's Notebook discussion group May 15, 2022.

The Sixth Extinction

The Sixth Extinction

$18.99
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WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW'S 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST

A major book about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes

Over the last half-billion years, there have been Five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us.

In prose that is at once frank, entertaining, and deeply informed, New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert tells us why and how human beings have altered life on the planet in a way no species has before. Interweaving research in half a dozen disciplines, descriptions of the fascinating species that have already been lost, and the history of extinction as a concept, Kolbert provides a moving and comprehensive account of the disappearances occurring before our very eyes. She shows that the sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy, compelling us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.

The Soul of an Octopus

The Soul of an Octopus

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Finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction * New York Times Bestseller * A Huffington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of the Year * One of the Best Books of the Month on Goodreads * Library Journal Best Sci-Tech Book of the Year * An American Library Association Notable Book of the Year

"Sy Montgomery's The Soul of an Octopus does for the creature what Helen Macdonald's H Is for Hawk did for raptors." --New Statesman, UK

"One of the best science books of the year." --Science Friday, NPR

Another New York Times bestseller from the author of The Good Good Pig, this "fascinating...touching...informative...entertaining" (The Daily Beast) book explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus--a surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature--and the remarkable connections it makes with humans.

In pursuit of the wild, solitary, predatory octopus, popular naturalist Sy Montgomery has practiced true immersion journalism. From New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, she has befriended octopuses with strikingly different personalities--gentle Athena, assertive Octavia, curious Kali, and joyful Karma. Each creature shows her cleverness in myriad ways: escaping enclosures like an orangutan; jetting water to bounce balls; and endlessly tricking companions with multiple "sleights of hand" to get food.

Scientists have only recently accepted the intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees but now are watching octopuses solve problems and are trying to decipher the meaning of the animal's color-changing techniques. With her "joyful passion for these intelligent and fascinating creatures" (Library Journal Editors' Spring Pick), Montgomery chronicles the growing appreciation of this mollusk as she tells a unique love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about the meeting of two very different minds.

This Contested Land: The Storied Past and Uncertain Future of America's National Monuments

This Contested Land: The Storied Past and Uncertain Future of America's National Monuments

$24.95
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One woman's enlightening trek through the natural histories, cultural stories, and present perils of thirteen national monuments, from Maine to Hawaii

This land is your land. When it comes to national monuments, the sentiment could hardly be more fraught. Gold Butte in Nevada, Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks in New Mexico, Katahdin Woods and Waters in Maine, Cascade-Siskiyou in Oregon and California: these are among the thirteen natural sites McKenzie Long visits in This Contested Land, an eye-opening exploration of the stories these national monuments tell, the passions they stir, and the controversies surrounding them today.

Starting amid the fragrant sagebrush and red dirt of Bears Ears National Monument on the eve of the Trump Administration's decision to reduce the site by 85 percent, Long climbs sandstone cliffs, is awed by Ancestral Pueblo cliff dwellings and is intrigued by 4,000-year-old petroglyphs. She hikes through remote pink canyons recently removed from the boundary of Grand Staircase-Escalante, skis to a backcountry hut in Maine to view a truly dark night sky, snorkels in warm Hawaiian waters to plumb the meaning of marine preserves, volunteers near the most contaminated nuclear site in the United States, and witnesses firsthand the diverse forms of devotion evoked by the Rio Grande. In essays both contemplative and resonant, This Contested Land confronts an unjust past and imagines a collaborative future that bears witness to these regions' enduring Indigenous connections.

From hazardous climate change realities to volatile tensions between economic development and environmental conservation, practical and philosophical issues arise as Long seeks the complicated and often overlooked--or suppressed--stories of these incomparable places. Her journey, mindfully undertaken and movingly described, emphasizes in clear and urgent terms the unique significance of, and grave threats to, these contested lands.