Staff Picks

Animal Companions

Animals offer us a touch of wildness and a connection to our planet as one living whole. As Anatole France said, "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."

Keith C.
A Naturalist and Other Beasts     A Naturalist and Other Beasts    
George Schaller
    590 Sch

One of the last explorer-naturalists, Schaller has led an  amazing life studying wildlife: he's studied tigers in India, snow leopards in  Nepal, lions in Africa and pandas in China and that's only a partial listing.  This anthology provides a broad look at wildlife and what steps people are  taking for conservation.

Adventures Among Ants     Adventures Among Ants    
Mark Moffett
    595.7961 Mof

Intrepid international explorer, biologist, and photographer Mark W. Moffett, "the Indiana Jones of entomology," takes us around the globe on a strange and colorful journey in search of the hidden world of ants. In tales from Nigeria, Indonesia, the Amazon, Australia, California, and elsewhere, Moffett recounts his entomological exploits and provides fascinating details on how ants live and how they dominate their ecosystems through strikingly human behaviors, yet at a different scale and a faster tempo.

Animals Make Us Human     Animals Make Us Human    
Temple Grandin
    636.0832 Gra

With sympathy and a detailed knowledge of what makes  animals tick, Grandin answers for cats, dogs, horses, cows, pigs, and even some  species of wildlife the question, "What does an animal need to have a good  life?" To evaluate whether zoo animals are happy she asks these questions: is  the animal acting normally, taking part in varied activities, does it appear  confident, and does it look relaxed while resting.

Blindsided: Surviving a Grizzly Attack and Still Loving the Great Bear     Blindsided: Surviving a Grizzly Attack and Still Loving the Great Bear    
Jim Cole
    599.784 Col

Although it describes in detail two bear maulings, Cole's  account is more of a natural history than an I-was-eaten-by-a-wild-animal-and-lived-to-tell-the-tale account.   The author ends the book with an impassioned call for conservation of this  great species that inhabits only truly wild places.

Bonobo Handshake     Bonobo Handshake    
Vanessa Woods
    599.884 Woo

Bonobos share 98.7% of our human DNA. This Australian  writer tells of her odyssey from wildlife writer to researcher of what some  primate researchers call the sexiest apes. Also included in this memoir is a  romance with a primatologist. Woods describes the difficulty of doing research  in war-torn Congo.

Destination Wildlife     Destination Wildlife    
Pamela Brodowsky
    590.723 Bro

Let's face it: the premise of this guide is depressing--1001  animals to see before their species is irrevocably lost, vanished forever from  earth. But if you want ideas of where to travel to see some magnificent animals  this source lists wildlife parks and sanctuaries where you can see incredible  wildlife.

Eels: An Exploration from New Zealand to the Sargasso     Eels: An Exploration from New Zealand to the Sargasso    
James Prosek
    597.43 Pro

OK. I agree it takes a certain kind of person to feel  touchy-feely good about an ugly fish who resembles a snake. Prosek traveled to  New York, New Zealand, Japan, Europe and Micronesia to discover more about  these fascinating creatures. Did you know that eels can walk across land to get  where they need to go? Prosek's wonderful line drawings make this book as  elegant as any 19th century natural history.

Hope for Animals and the World     Hope for Animals and the World    
Jane Goodall
    591.68 Goo

Although there have been more losses than gains, and many  more species will go extinct in this century, naturalist Goodall and her two  co-authors celebrate awe-inspiring successes such as reintroducing wallabies  and Mongolian horses from captive breeding programs back into the wild. There's  also good news in our country for red wolves and California condors. The  authors show what successful reintroduction programs have in common.

Music of the Birds: A Celebration of Bird Song     Music of the Birds: A Celebration of Bird Song    
Lang Elliott
    598 El

Why do birds sing? In songbirds only males sing and usually  only during the spring and summer breeding season. Most people have been  enthralled by the beauty of the "dawn chorus." This book offers many rare  photographs of birds in song as well as an audio CD of their varied songs.

Shark Trouble     Shark Trouble    
Peter Benchley
    597.3 Be

Have you read lately too many accounts of shark/ human  encounters?  Adventurer and author of Jaws offers information here on which  sharks are most dangerous. He also tells how to swim safely in the sea. Be  reassured, according to the author, the odds of suffering a shark attack are  extremely small.

The Summer of Cecily     The Summer of Cecily    
Nan Lincoln
    599.7923 Lin

The author's family finds an abandoned baby harbor seal on  the rocks near their Mt. Desert Island home. They must decide whether to let it  die in nature or rescue it. They chose the latter path. After surviving its  first days when it had trouble feeding, the pup took to human life with alacrity.  Her interests included TV watching, mucking around in the garden and car and  wheelbarrow rides. In the end, the seal is weaned from this unnatural life and  taught how to survive in her natural habitat.

Voyage of the Turtle     Voyage of the Turtle    
Carl Safina
    597.928 Sa

The author calls leatherback turtles "the last warm-blooded  monster reptile" thus the title. He explores both scientific and cultural  information about turtles from both those researching them and those  worshipping them by travelling and reporting from Trinidad, Baja, Costa Rica.  the US, and New Guinea.

Zoo Story: Life in the Garden of Captives     Zoo Story: Life in the Garden of Captives    
Thomas French
    590.73 Fre

A captivating close-up examination of a zoo community  including both animal and human life. Especially interesting is the section on  introducing wild elephants for the first time to an American zoo including  their flight from Africa on a jet. Other intriguing zoo denizens include Herman  the chimp and Enshalla, a tiger that the author calls Queen.