A fragile balance: New science books

Life tilts on a fragile balance and we as a society can impact this both for the good and the bad. A number of this month’s new science books delve into this delicate balance. In Hunt for the Shadow Wolf, Derek Gow takes a look at the history of wolves in Britain and the hope of their return, and in The Last of its Kind Gisli Palsson examines the extinction of the Great Auk bird. Browse below to see what else is new!

Hunt for the shadow wolf : the lost history of wolves in Britain : and the myths and stories that surround them / Gow, Derek
“Renowned rewilder Derek Gow has a dream: that one day we will see the return of the wolf to Britain as it has already returned elsewhere. With bitingly funny but also tender stories, Hunt for the Shadow Wolf is Derek’s quest to uncover the true nature of this creature because, as we seek to heal our landscape, we must reconcile our relationship with it. Before we can even begin to bring the wolf back, we need to understand it.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The last of its kind : the search for the great auk and the discovery of extinction / Gísli Pálsson
“The Great Auk is one of the most tragic and documented examples of extinction. A flightless bird that bred primarily on the remote islands of the North Atlantic, the last of its kind were killed in Iceland in 1844. Blending a richly evocative narrative with rare, unpublished material, The Last of Its Kind reveals how the saga of the Great Auk opens a window onto the human causes of mass extinction.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The ethnobotanical : a world tour of indigenous plant knowledge / Edwards, Sarah
The Ethnobotanical shines a spotlight on this traditional knowledge through the stories of plants from across the globe. The Ethnobotanical offers a unique perspective on plants and the interconnectedness of plants and culture, which benefits biodiversity, the natural world and humankind, too.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Heart stood still : a conversation about belonging / Sharland, Miriam
Heart Stood Still is an eco-memoir and a lyrical portrait of Manawatū, Aotearoa. Through a series of quiet and contemplative personal essays that follow the pattern of the seasons, Sharland weaves reflections on her life and family history with observations on the native and introduced plants and animals about her; all tinged with her experience as ‘an unsettled settler’ in Aotearoa.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Alien earths : the new science of planet hunting in the cosmos / Kaltenegger, Lisa
“Riveting and timely, a look at the research that is transforming our understanding of the cosmos in the quest to discover whether we are alone. As our witty and knowledgeable tour guide, Dr. Kaltenegger shows how we discover not merely new continents, like the explorers of old, but whole new worlds circling other stars and how we could spot life there. Worlds from where aliens may even be gazing back at us. What if we’re not alone?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Extinctions : how life survives, adapts and evolves / Benton, Michael
“In this vast sweep of our Earth’s history, Michael Benton brings the deep past to life as never before. This expert retelling of scientific breakthroughs allows us to link long-ago upheavals to our modern crises. As today’s climate scientists and political leaders grapple to understand these processes and our planet enters the sixth great extinction, these insights from the past may hold the key to survival.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Deep water : the world in the ocean / Bradley, James | audiobook available
“The ocean has shaped and sustained life on Earth from the beginning of time. Its vast waters are alive with meaning and connect every living thing on Earth. Deep Water is a hymn to the beauty, mystery and wonder of the ocean. Weaving together science, history and personal experience, it offers vital new ways of understanding not just humanity’s relationship with the planet, but our past and perhaps most importantly, our future.” (Catalogue)

The beauty of falling : a life in pursuit of gravity / Rham, Claudia de | ebook available
“Claudia de Rham has been playing with gravity her entire life. In The Beauty of Falling, de Rham shares captivating stories about her quest to gain intimacy with gravity, to understand both its feeling and fundamental nature. Her life’s pursuit led her from a twist of fate that snatched away her dream of becoming an astronaut to an exhilarating breakthrough at the very frontiers of gravitational physics.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

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