For mysteries I loved Elizabeth Peters’s books, also under the name of Barbara Michaels.
Recently read Tristan Gooley’s How to Read a Tree. It is a fascinating read on the nature of trees from leaves to branches, trunk and bark, and roots. How wind and growth habit shape trees and indicate direction. He also has a website worth more than a glance.
Her books for adults are written under T. Kingfisher and for kids under Ursula Vernon. Her Hamster Princess series is very funny and would be fun to read with an elementary school kid (or alone). I also enjoyed Castle Hangnail.
I’ve been simultaneously reading Joseph Leidy: The Last Man Who Knew Everything and Bone Sharp: The Life of Edward Drinker Cope. I think reading them together has enhanced the experience, especially when I’m reading them near a lot of their old haunts.
You will never think the same about anything around you after reading the Electric Rainbow.
My first question was, have entomologists eliminated the possibility that beetle & moth antennae are picking up electromagnetic frequencies? There is such a material bias to our world and especially the scientific community.
If you like that book, this paper will blow you away:
It’s a review of what is known about interactions between animals & plants and the “electrical ecology.”
Wildlings by Mary Leister (savor these essays by an observant naturalist & gifted writer)
An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles by Arthur Evans & Charles Bellamy
Painterly Plants by Clare Foster (on the history of plant species as found in historical art)
For the Love of Insects by Thomas Eisner
Much Ado About Mothing by James Lowen (you don’t have to love moths to love Lowen’s richly descriptive, prosaic passion re: his year-long hunt for the rare moths of Britain)
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Last Chance to See was quite a read: combining Douglas Adams’ signature sense of humor (he is the author of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) with the sad poignancy that these are species on the brink of extinction.
I finally got around to reading Last Chance to See a few months ago. I really enjoyed it but it was hard to see that some of the species had gone extinct since it was published. On the other hand a few of them are also a bit further along the long road to recovery
“Sentient: How Animals Illuminate the Wonder of Our Human Senses”
by Jackie Higgins
The author presents animals with extraordinary abilities/senses and compares them with our senses. She writes about past research and current studies to explain how scientists tried to understand how animals/humans perceive the world.
I thought this was going to be a simple book on our five senses but, it is SO much more. Examples: Our sight is more than just seeing color and shapes, and rods and cones. We have a “sense of our body”. What I mean by this is: close your eyes and bring your finger to your nose. You “know” where every part of your body is. More in the book.
I don’t want to give any more spoilers but, I will say that, we have more than five senses and, they work in extraordinary ways. And, there are animals out there that experience the world in ways we can only imagine.
Edith Holden’s “diary” (and other works), if only for the pleasant drawings.
Her untimely death should figure prominently in this thread.