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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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22 09, 2014

Review: Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You by Dan Riskin, Ph.D.

By | September 22nd, 2014|Categories: Animals, Biological Sciences, Nature, Nonfiction, Science & Math|Tags: , , , |3 Comments

Rating:

mothernatureistryingtokillyouReviewed by Carrie Ardoin

I was initially quite excited to read Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You because from the way the synopsis made it sound, it was supposed to be about all the devices (be they animal, weather, disease, etc.) that nature has waiting around every corner to lead to your possible demise. After I got past the introduction, in which the author describes the experience he had with a botfly larvae living in his scalp, it became clear that this wasn’t really what the book was about at all.

The author lays out each of his chapters with a theme. The theme is “the seven deadly sins”, so there are chapters on greed, lust, envy, and so on. Within each chapter, the author showcases several animal behaviors that reflect on the specific chapter title. For example, in the chapter on lust,

19 03, 2014

Review: The Thing with Feathers by Noah Strycker

By | March 19th, 2014|Categories: Animals, Nature, Nonfiction|Tags: , |5 Comments

Rating:

71W8wQViiuLReviewed by Poppy Johnson

The Thing with Feathers: The Surprising Lives of Birds and What They Reveal About Being Human is one of the most fascinating books that I have ever read about animals–birds in this case. Don’t let the plain bird silhouette cover fool you because reading this book is so much fun and interesting that you will not want to put it down (not even for one minute). The Thing with Feathers, by Noah Strycker is a book reference for bird lore with information on bird habits and insanely revealing groups of stories about real birds we see every single day. The book is divided into three parts of a bird, which includes chapters on the body, mind and spirit of birds. Each chapter highlights one type of bird (such as owls, turkeys, vultures, penguins, etc.) and then thoroughly explains

1 03, 2014

Review: Mother of God by Paul Rosolie

By | March 1st, 2014|Categories: Biological Sciences, Memoirs, Nature, Nonfiction, Science & Math, Travel|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

Rating:

mother_of_god_select_7.11Reviewed by Lauren Cannavino

In a society where everyone is told to get and education and get a good job, Paul Rosolie never felt much at home. School was a struggle and at times the relationship with his parents was strained. The only place that Paul felt content and alive was in nature and in the presence of animals. Once he reached the point of realizing that a conventional education was not for him, Paul, with the support of his parents, took his GED and began taking college courses and working. During this time, he contacted countless researchers, environmental organizations and scientists with the hope that a team would take an inexperienced kid with the love of the wild on. Luckily for Paul, one did. This incredible chance lead Paul into the heart of the Amazon in Peru.

Once in the Amazon, Paul

18 02, 2012

Review: Wildlife Photographer by Chris Gomersall

By | February 18th, 2012|Categories: Coffee Table Books, Gift Ideas, Nature, Nonfiction, Photography|Tags: , , |4 Comments

Rating:

Reviewed by Caleb Shadis

When I first opened Wildlife Photographer: A Course in Creative Photography by Chris Gomersall, I was merely expecting a nice coffee table book with lots of pretty pictures. What I got was so much more. Gomersall has spent the better part of 30 years photographing wildlife and nature, though birds are his speciality. I must say that his experience shows through every page. Yes, he has wonderful photos to share, but he also provides plenty of good advice.

Gomersall doesn’t go into all the technical details of setting up each shot. He describes what he did and what he was looking for and covers the basics. He instructs with stories and explains that the photos should be telling stories of their own. I enjoyed reading Wildlife Photographer; Gomersall has an easy way with words. It is obvious that he

10 01, 2012

Review: Close to Paradise by Robert Fisher

By | January 10th, 2012|Categories: Coffee Table Books, Gift Ideas, Nature, Nonfiction, Photography, Travel|Tags: , , , , , , , , |4 Comments

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Reviewed by F. Scott

When I win the lottery . . . I’ll take Close to Paradise, by Robert Fisher, with me to go house-hunting around the Bay of Naples. A picture book with plenty of text also, its main title is correct, but the subtitle isn’t quite accurate—it really is just as much if not more about the residences and their residents/caretakers, past and present, as about the gardens themselves.

Fisher starts us off just north of Naples on this tour of houses and gardens, which are in the “Italian language with an English accent.” The English are responsible for many of these spots from about the mid-nineteenth century on, having discovered them on grand tours. Many of the little Edens go back 2,000 years to Roman times, or, as Fisher over-repeats himself, to Homer’s Odysseus and the songs of

18 12, 2010

Review: The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean by Susan Casey

By | December 18th, 2010|Categories: Current Events, Gift Ideas, Mathematics/Science, Nature, Non Fiction, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |3 Comments

Rating:

Reviewed by Caitlin B.

The Wave alternates between anecdotes from legendary big wave surfer Laird Hamilton, harrowing tales of cargo ships lost at sea, and the adventures of wave scientists attempting to define the ocean’s behaviors.

Hamilton is known as an extreme among extremists. He and his crew all but invented the sport of two-in surfing when they began using Jet Skis to surf waves unreachable by typical paddle-in surfing. (For a history of big wave and tow-in surfing, the film Riding Giants is an excellent starting point.) Sooner than later, Hamilton and company were dropping down the faces of 50-foot waves in places unfamiliar to most other surfers. The risks have always been high, but science and experience point to ever-increasing peril generated by random forces: freak or rogue waves.

Modern-day wave scientists seek the ability to