Birdbooker Report 27

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“One cannot have too many good bird books”
–Ralph Hoffmann, Birds of the Pacific States (1927).

Here’s this week’s issue of the Birdbooker Report by Ian “Birdbooker” Paulsen, which lists ecology, environment, natural history and bird books that are (or will soon be) available for purchase. This edition is absolutely packed with book titles that you will want to read!


  1. James, Jamie. The Snake Charmer: A Life and Death in Pursuit of Knowledge. 2008. Hyperion. Hardbound: 260 pages. Price: $24.95 U.S. [Amazon: $16.47]. SUMMARY: Follows the life and untimely death of herpetologist Joe Slowinski (1962-2001). GrrlScientist comment: This looks like an absolutely gripping story (and who isn’t fascinated by venomous snakes?), and I am going to try to get a review copy of it.

New and Recent Titles:

  1. Joyce, Rosemary A. Ancient Bodies, Ancient Lives: Sex, Gender, and Archaeology. 2008. Thames and Hudson. Hardbound: 152 pages. Price: $29.95 U.S. [Amazon: $17.43]. SUMMARY: The author shows how archaeologists learn about the lives of men and women in the past. GrrlScientist comment: Another fascinating title that I’d love to review on my blog!
  2. Kardong, Kenneth V. An Introduction to Biological Evolution (Second Edition). 2008. McGraw-Hill. Paperback: 352 pages. Price: $90.63 U.S. [Amazon: $87.07]. SUMMARY: An introductory textbook on evolution. GrrlScientist comment: And another fascinating title that I’d bet is a textbook for many science classes around the country.
  3. Lebo, Lauri. The Devil in Dover: An Insider’s Story of Dogma v. Darwin in Small-town America. 2008. The New Press. Hardound: 238 pages. Price: $24.95 U.S. [Amazon: $16.47]. SUMMARY: An insider’s account of the 2005 “Intelligent Design” trial in Dover, Pennsylvania. GrrlScientist comment: This sounds like essential reading for everyone interested in the legal and social aspects of a small but vocal minority attempting to force society to accept religious dogma as truth. I would love to review this title on my blog as well.
  4. Peterson, Roger Tory. Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America. 2008. Houghton Mifflin. Paperback: 528 pages. Price: $26.00 U.S. [Amazon: $17.16]. UPDATE: This title is now available! GrrlScientist comment: My review of this title will appear shortly.

About GrrlScientist

grrlscientist is the pseudonym of an evolutionary biologist and ornithologist who writes about evolution, ethology, and ecology, especially in birds. After earning a degree in microbiology (thesis focus: virology) and working at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, she earned her PhD in zoology from the University of Washington in Seattle, where she studied the molecular correlates of testosterone and behaviour in white-crowned sparrows. She then worked a Chapman Postdoctoral Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where she studied the speciation and distribution of lories and other parrots throughout the South Pacific Islands. A discarded scientist, she returned to her roots: writing. Formerly hosted by The Guardian (UK), she now writes about science for Forbes and for the non-profit think tank, the Evolution Institute and she writes podcasts for BirdNote Radio. An avid lifelong birder and aviculturist, she lives with a flock of songbirds and parrots somewhere in Germany.
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0 Responses to Birdbooker Report 27

  1. biosparite says:

    Following up on THE SNAKE CHARMER, a reader might like to try Craig Nova’s novel, UNIVERSAL DONOR, which kicks off with a rare and highly venomous snake’s biting a researcher, all against the background of the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles. Re RTP, I grew up on his field guides. The Peterson field guide to Atlantic, Gulf-Coast and Caribbean seashells is very useful in doing the taxonomy at least to genus and often to species on Pleistocene and Pliocene fossils shells of Florida since my library on Florida mollusk paleontology is somewhat lean.

  2. John Scanlon FCD says:

    In fiction, a snakebite is paired with LA riots; in reality, Joe Slowinski’s death was overshadowed by other distant events occurring at the same time, on September 12th in Burma (Sept 11 in the US), 2001. After a couple of email exchanges I was looking forward to working with him; not sure if I could bear to read the book, though.