Staff Pick

Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers, an evolutionary biologist and science journalist, respectively, taught us a lot about animals, humans, and the diseases we share in their groundbreaking Zoobiquity. Again skirting the twin dangers of anthropomorphism—making animals too much like us—and anthopodenialism—missing the connections between us and animals—their new work looks at how both animals and humans experience adolescence. Shared by nearly all species, from insects and amphibians to birds and mammals, adolescence, or, as the authors term this pivotal developmental stage, Wildhood (Scribner, $28), is crucial to helping the young develop skill sets concerning safety, status, sexuality, and independence. Examining each life lesson in detail, the book tracks the experiences of a juvenile penguin leaving her Antarctic birthplace for the treacherous seas; a young male hyena, born at the low-end of his species’s totem pole; the complicated romantic history of a humpback whale; and a wolf who has to go off and survive on his own. Full of fascinating details about these four species and many others, these coming-of-age stories also bear profound similarities to those of their human counterparts. If teens seem maddeningly reckless, over-sensitive, and obsessed with status, this book shows that they are only behaving as evolution prepared them to.

Wildhood: The Astounding Connections between Human and Animal Adolescents Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781501164699
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Scribner - September 17th, 2019

Staff Pick

Richard Louv struck a nerve with his Last Child in the Woods, which diagnosed a host of physical and psychological ills as symptoms of nature-defi cit disorder. Simply put: if we get outside more, we’ll feel better. We’ll feel even better—and treat the planet better—Louv shows in Our Wild Calling (Algonquin, $27.95) if we cultivate relationships with animals. Making his case with stories buttressed by studies, Louv shows how bonds with animals have changed people’s lives, and often that of the animals as well. Moving and thought-provoking, these accounts—featuring dogs, foxes, crickets, turtles, elk, wounded birds, and others—illustrate how relationships with animals ease loneliness, connect us to something larger than ourselves, and stimulate empathy and generosity. This “magic” lies behind the increase in service and emotional support animals, and it will also serve as the foundation for new kinds of relationships with wild animals—to the point that we can stop  the crises of the Anthropocene and move instead into an era “where we advance through a deep sense of shared connection with other living things.” As reflected in new accommodations to animals in urban spaces, such as wildlife corridors and biophilic architecture, and even granting legal rights to rivers and land, we’re already taking the first steps.

 

Our Wild Calling: How Connecting with Animals Can Transform Our Lives—and Save Theirs Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781616205607
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Algonquin Books - November 5th, 2019

Staff Pick

Since discovering that “traveling…assuaged something in me,” Barry Lopez has gone all over the world; in his extraordinary Horizon (Knopf, $30) he revisits places that have meant the most to him in North and South America, Africa, Australia, and both poles. As he’s done in previous work, notably his classic Arctic Dreams, Lopez not only writes brilliantly about the natural world, he also refl ects on what life really means in particular locales. He considers things from an anthropological perspective, asking how the earliest native peoples might have experienced their land, sky, and sea, then struggles to do likewise. He combines insatiable curiosity with a profoundly moral sensibility, looking to ancient cultures for answers to today’s challenges, especially climate change, violence, and human rights. He deeply believes that the answers are there, and that if we listen carefully to our own and the planet’s past, we can rediscover what the elders of traditional cultures knew: “the wisdom of what works.” If this sounds naïve or superficial, read this book. Lopez grounds his ideas in specific places, and his descriptions of these deserts, seas, jungles, and coasts—and especially his near-mystical experiences while watching flamingos on the Galápagos and penguins on the Ross Ice Shelf--are heartstoppingly lucid and beautiful, and there’s no better definition of truth than that.

Horizon Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780394585826
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Knopf - March 19th, 2019

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