Molecules

MoleculesIn his highly anticipated sequel to The Elements, Theodore Gray demonstrates how the elements of the periodic table combine to form the molecules that make up our world.

Everything physical is made up of the elements and the infinite variety of molecules they form when they combine with each other. In Molecules, Theodore Gray takes the next step in the grand story that began with the periodic table in his best-selling book, The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe. Here, he explores through fascinating stories and trademark stunning photography the most interesting, essential, useful, and beautiful of the millions of chemical structures that make up every material in the world.

Gray begins with an explanation of how atoms bond to form molecules and compounds, as well as the difference between organic and inorganic chemistry. He then goes on to explore the vast array of materials molecules can create, including: soaps and solvents; goops and oils; rocks and ores; ropes and fibers; painkillers and dangerous drugs; sweeteners; perfumes and stink bombs; colors and pigments; and controversial compounds including asbestos, CFCs, and thimerosal.

Big, gorgeous photographs, as well as diagrams of the compounds and their chemical bonds, rendered with never before seen beauty, fill the pages and capture molecules in their various states.

As he did in The Elements, Gray shows us molecules as we’ve never seen them before. It’s the perfect book for his loyal fans who’ve been eager for more and for anyone fascinated with the mysteries of the material world.

The Secret Language of Animals

SecretLanguageAnimalsThe Secret Language of Animals: A Guide to Remarkable Behavior by Janine M. Benyus

Humans have always pondered what makes us different from animals. After all, many species exhibit behaviors that resemble our own (or is it the other way around?). This informative volume covers 20 of the world’s most well-known animals, including African elephants, flamingos, giant pandas, Nile crocodiles, and polar bears.

Divided by geographical regions (“African Jungles, Plains, and Waterways”; “Asian Forests”; “Warm Oceans”; “North America”; and “The Poles”), the chapters cover some of the basic habits and behaviors of a particular animal, such as elimination, self-grooming, and sleeping. Social behaviors, from friendly to threatening, are discussed, as are sexual and parental interactions. Numerous sidebars showcase vital stats on each animal, quirky facts, and trivia. Each chapter ends with a list of behaviors for readers to look for at the zoo or in the wild. Plentiful introductory material highlights zoo conditions and habitat simulation and includes a lengthy overview of how animals behave in general. Noted nature illustrator Barberis supplies artful line drawings. The narrative is extremely accessible, and readers of all ages will enjoy learning something new about their favorite zoo animals.

Latin for Bird Lovers

Latin Latin for Bird Lovers: Over 3,000 Bird Names Explored and Explained by Roger Lederer & Carol Burr

In every scientific discipline there is an official language formed of words derived from Latin. Ornithology is a perfect example of how these words can be illuminating. Take “Anas acuta,” better known as the Northern Pintail, whose scientific name means duck and refers to the male bird’s tail. Or pelagic (meaning of, related to, or occurring in sea), an important term for ocean-focused bird lovers. Latin for Bird Lovers explores and explains over 3,000 Latin words used to describe birds. It is information that is invaluable to birdwatchers worldwide: the words help define the identity and relationships among the nearly 10,000 known bird species; they can also define the species names by color, pattern, and size, help identify parts of the body, refer to the name of the ornithologist who discovered the bird, show where the bird is found, and even detail a specific behavior. The book also profiles twelve great ornithologists, has in-depth features on 20 beloved birds, and is gorgeously illustrated. Latin for Bird Lovers is for birdwatchers, nature lovers, and anyone interested in the words about birds.

War of the Whales

WarWhalesWar of the Whales: A True Story by Joshua Horwitz

Two men face off against an all-powerful navy – and the fate of the ocean’s most majestic creatures hangs in the balance.

“A gripping, brilliantly told tale of the secret and deadly struggle between American national security and the kings of the oceans.” –Bob Woodward

War of the Whales is the gripping tale of a crusading attorney who stumbles on one of the US Navy’s best-kept secrets: a submarine detection system that floods entire ocean basins with high-intensity sound – and drives whales onto beaches. As Joel Reynolds launches a legal fight to expose and challenge the Navy program, marine biologist Ken Balcomb witnesses a mysterious mass stranding of whales near his research station in the Bahamas. Investigating this calamity, Balcomb is forced to choose between his conscience and an oath of secrecy he swore to the Navy in his youth.

When Balcomb and Reynolds team up to expose the truth behind an epidemic of mass strandings, the stage is set for an epic battle that pits admirals against activists, rogue submarines against weaponized dolphins, and national security against the need to safeguard the ocean environment. Waged in secret military labs and the nation’s highest court, War of the Whales is a real-life thriller that combines the best of legal drama, natural history, and military intrigue.

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

SixthExtinctionBy Elizabeth Kolbert

A major book about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes

Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In The Sixth Extinction, two-time winner of the National Magazine Award and New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert draws on the work of scores of researchers in half a dozen disciplines, accompanying many of them into the field: geologists who study deep ocean cores, botanists who follow the tree line as it climbs up the Andes, marine biologists who dive off the Great Barrier Reef. She introduces us to a dozen species, some already gone, others facing extinction, including the Panamian golden frog, staghorn coral, the great auk, and the Sumatran rhino. Through these stories, Kolbert provides a moving account of the disappearances occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up through the present day. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind’s most lasting legacy; as Kolbert observes, it compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.

Primates

PrimatesPrimates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas

Written by Jim Ottaviani & Maris Wicks, illustrated by Maris Wicks

Jim Ottaviani returns with an action-packed account of the three greatest primatologists of the last century: Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas. These three ground-breaking researchers were all students of the great Louis Leakey, and each made profound contributions to primatology – and to our own understanding of ourselves.

Tackling Goodall, Fossey, and Galdikas in turn, and covering the highlights of their respective careers, Primates is an accessible, entertaining, and informative look at the field of primatology and at the lives of three of the most remarkable women scientists of the twentieth century. Thanks to the charming and inviting illustrations by Maris Wicks, this is a nonfiction graphic novel with broad appeal.

Honeybee: Lessons from an Accidental Beekeeper

HoneybeeBy Marina Marchese

New in paperback!

“Surpassing the predictable “how I changed careers” memoir of finding the good life, Marchese’s informative guide is packed with facts about everything from pollination to harvesting, life cycles to historical lore, nutritional benefits to gourmet flavor combinations, medical applications to unusual varieties.” —Booklist

In 1999, Marina Marchese fell in love with bees during a tour of a neighbor’s honeybee hives. She quit her job, acquired her own bees, built her own hives, harvested honey, earned a certificate in apitherapy, studied wine tasting in order to transfer those skills to honey tasting, and eventually opened her own honey business. Today, Red Bee Honey sells artisanal honey and honey-related products to shops and restaurants all over the country.

More than an inspiring story of one woman’s transformative relationship with honeybees (some of nature’s most fascinating creatures), Honeybee is also bursting with information about all aspects of bees, beekeeping, and honey including life inside the hive; the role of the queen, workers, and drones; pollination and its importance to sustaining all life; the culinary pleasures of honey; hiving and keeping honeybees; the ancient practice of apitherapy, or healing with honey, pollen, and bee venom; and much more.

Recipes for food and personal care products appear throughout. Also included is an excellent, one-of-a-kind appendix that lists 75 different honey varietals, with information on provenance, tasting notes, and food-and-wine pairings.

The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks

Drunken BotanistBy Amy Stewart

Sake began with a grain of rice. Scotch emerged from barley, tequila from agave, rum from sugarcane, bourbon from corn. Thirsty yet? In The Drunken Botanist, Amy Stewart explores the dizzying array of herbs, flowers, trees, fruits, and fungi that humans have, through ingenuity, inspiration, and sheer desperation, contrived to transform into alcohol over the centuries.

Of all the extraordinary and obscure plants that have been fermented and distilled, a few are dangerous, some are downright bizarre, and one is as ancient as dinosaurs but each represents a unique cultural contribution to our global drinking traditions and our history. This fascinating concoction of biology, chemistry, history, etymology, and mixology with more than fifty drink recipes and growing tips for gardeners will make you the most popular guest at any cocktail party.

Tree of Life: The Incredible Biodiversity of Life on Earth

By Rochelle Strauss, illustrated by Margot Thompson

If every known species on Earth were a leaf on a tree, that tree would have 1,750,000 leaves. Since humans count for just one leaf on the tree, we have a lot to learn about the millions of other forms of life with which we share the world. A dazzlingly illustrated and child-friendly introduction to biodiversity, Tree of Life shows how living things are classified into five kingdoms – and how each has much to tell us about all aspects of life on our planet. Tree of Life is part of CitizenKid: A collection of books that inform children about the world and inspire them to be better global citizens.

American Grown

By Michelle Obama

Through telling the story of the White House Kitchen Garden, First Lady Michelle Obama explores how increased access to healthful, affordable food can promote better eating habits and improve health for families and communities across America.

Mrs. Obama describes how Sasha and Malia were the catalysts for change for their family’s eating behavior which inspired her national initiative to address childhood obesity and resulted in the idea to plant a vegetable garden on the South Lawn, the first since Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden. American Grown is inspirational and instructive and will provide ideas for readers to get involved and join the movement to create community gardens, support local farmers markets, create school gardens, and start urban gardens, as well as other ways that they can make small changes to achieve big results and create healthy eating habits.

Since entering the White House, Mrs. Obama has emerged as a passionate advocate for healthful eating and exercise. In February 2010 she launched “Let’s Move!,” a nationwide initiative to address the epidemic of childhood obesity by empowering parents and caregivers with information, improving food quality in schools, increasing access to healthy, affordable food, and encouraging increased physical activity.

American Grown speaks to these issues which Mrs. Obama has strongly advocated for – in particular, making better food choices. It also includes practical ideas, recipes, and resources as well as tips on how to begin a garden of any size, anywhere and how to support local farmers’ markets.

Filled with gorgeous full-color photography, American Grown includes stunning photos of the White House garden and Mrs. Obama throughout the seasons, as well as other community and school gardens from around the country.

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