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Science & Nature from our 2020 Summer Newsletter

These titles were featured in our 2020 Summer Newsletter.

Cosmological Koans by Anthony Aguirre

UCSC Professor Anthony Aguirre covers cosmic questions from the nature of time to the origin of multiple universes, and shows how scientific giants from Aristotle to Heisenberg have grappled with them. “This unique and beautifully written masterpiece by a leading cosmologist transforms the deepest mysteries of our Universe into a captivating and accessible quest for personal enlightenment.” —Max Tegmark

Cosmological Koans: A Journey to the Heart of Physical Reality Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9780393358315
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 19th, 2020

Why Fish Don’t Exist A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life by Lulu Miller

Lulu Miller writes of chaos, of scientist David Starr Jordan, of the elegance that can come from putting everything in order (be it emotions, milestones in life, fish in jars). She intersperses her own story and personal reflections within history and true crime events, scientific discoveries and hidden horrors. I have raved about this book at multiple coworkers and added it to my small stack of “books I have hugged upon finishing.” It is dog-eared, something I never do (which I attribute to all the chaos in said book), and a book I’ll be recommending to as many folks as possible. 

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Why Fish Don't Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501160271
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - April 14th, 2020

Emperors of the Deep Sharks—The Ocean’s Most Mysterious, Most Misunderstood, and Most Important Guardians by William McKeever

Climate change is threatening the continued existence of one of the world’s oldest living species, sharks. Largely misrepresented and misunderstood, sharks are not nearly as dangerous as commonly perceived and they play a pivotal role in our oceans’ ecosystem. There is still so much we don’t know about sharks (like their mating habits and lifespan). In an effort to advocate for the species, McKeever travels the world, talking to experts and learning what our oceans would be like without sharks in them and why that would be very dire indeed. 

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Emperors of the Deep: Sharks--The Ocean's Most Mysterious, Most Misunderstood, and Most Important Guardians Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062880338
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperOne - May 26th, 2020

The Book of Eels Our Enduring Fascination with the Most Mysterious Creature in the Natural World by Patrick Svensson

When asked, my favorite genre will always be “nonfiction microhistory about weird stuff.” And when I find a book that fits into that wedge of my heart, I tell people to read it, even if it may seem a little odd at first. So please, read The Book of Eels. It’s that wonderful mix of memoir and science, nature writing and childhood experiences. There are rituals shared, passed down through generations of humans and eels, sometimes overlapping and always, it seems, tugging on opposite ends of the same line.

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The Book of Eels: Our Enduring Fascination with the Most Mysterious Creature in the Natural World Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780062968814
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - May 26th, 2020

Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake

Who better to engagingly inform about the breadth and depth of fungus than Merlin Sheldrake, the fungal biologist. This book features charming illustrations, drawn with a mushroom-derived ink, and anecdotes whose topics range from the jungles of Panama to mycology conferences in the Pacific Northwest to the work done in psychedelic research labs. Sheldrake embraces not knowing all the answers and poses many questions about the radical possibilities of fungi as agents of change in the realms of environment, mental health, biological research, and more. 

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Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780525510314
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - May 12th, 2020

The Language of Butterflies by Wendy Williams

Butterflies have entranced humans for hundreds of years. Why did this fascination begin? And what part do butterflies take in our ecosystem? Wendy Williams has carefully crafted a study about the fascinating history of humankind’s relationship with these delightful, colorful insects, as well as into butterflies’ evolution. A perfect addition to any naturalist’s collection and to that of the casual appreciaters of butterflies.

Europe: A Natural History by Tim Flannery

Scholarly, hilarious, and sometimes absurd, this interdisciplinary book is fascinating. I learned that Europe had been an archipelago, and that the apex predator of one island was a giant carnivorous hedgehog. And that such a thing as the giant winged and likely dinosaur-eating Transylvanian pterosaur Hatzegopteryx existed, described elsewhere as a “giraffe-sized, quadrupedal Panzer-stork.” No kidding, look it up. Sometimes it’s the ancient fauna that amaze; other times it’s the protopaleontologists that defy belief. This natural history is about as dry as albondigas soup.

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Europe: A Natural History Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780802148704
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - March 17th, 2020

Salmon: A Fish, the Earth, and the History of Their Common Fate by Mark Kurlansky

Kurlansky has long been praised for his all-encompassing microhistories of singular items with bestselling books like Salt and Cod but he has outdone himself here with this gorgeous, full-color, heavily-photographed gift book, Salmon: A Fish, the Earth, and the History of Their Common Fate from Patagonia. As always, his writing is thoughtful, personable, and knowledgeable. Kurlansky explores the history of this remarkable fish and our relationship with it across centuries and around the world, as well as the environmental issues that challenge it, presenting an engaging must-read that inextricably ties the survival of salmon to that of our planet. An astonishing call-to-arms.

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Salmon: A Fish, the Earth, and the History of Their Common Fate Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781938340864
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Patagonia - March 3rd, 2020

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