Multcolib My Librarian Tama: History of all kinds plus birds
Annotation:The author receives a letter from a severely ill friend asking if he might have a "green burial" at Heinrich's hunting camp, and the acclaimed biologist/author sets out to explore exactly how the animal world deals with the death-to-life cycle and what we can learn from the process, both ecologically and spiritually.
Annotation:In 1910 a gigantic wildfire was formed by the merger of several small wildfires in the Pacific Northwest. It would burn 3 million acres and five towns to the ground. It would kill 100 people. Incredible research into primary sources went into this book and it is narrative history at its best. Special bonus: Best buddies Gifford Pinchot and Teddy Roosevelt boxing in the White House wearing only their skivvies.
Annotation:This sweet book is not your average atlas. It has a lovely size, easy to hold at just 143 pages, and not concussion inducing if you fall asleep while reading in bed. Each island has its own two-page spread, one page devoted to a single paragraph about its history, the facing page a map of the island itself. For those interested, the text is a style called MVB Sirenne which I thought just gorgeous, and I don't often notice that sort of thing.
Annotation:This book's cover will give the impression that it's deadly dull. Nothing could be further from the truth. Who knows anything about James Garfield, our 20th President? Other than he was assassinated, I mean. The psychotic office-seeker who shot him may have actually fired the gun, but at a time when doctors in America doubted the existence of bacteria, who was it that actually killed Garfield? Narrative history at its finest.
Annotation:The story of the rediscovery of a poem by Lucretius, and with it, ideas considered dangerous - that everything we see is made up of particles, that universe functions without the aid of the gods, and that our goal should be the Epicurean ideal - a life of pleasure over pain. Makes an intriguing non-fiction parallel to The Name of the Rose. 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner. 2011 National Book Award winner.
Annotation:In the early 1960s a librarian and a postal worker fell in love and married. They loved art and began to collect what they could afford, living on her salary, buying with his. At the time what they bought was modern and conceptual art. It was cheap and many of the artists were starving. Now the artists are household names and the librarian and the postal worker own one of the largest and most important collections in the world. And they still live in their one-bedroom, rent controlled Manhattan apartment. Brilliant, sweet documentary.
Annotation:Harpy eagles are the most powerful birds of prey in the world. Standing three feet tall, with a six-foot wingspan and razor-sharp talons the size of bear claws, these birds are the heavyweight hunters of the South American rainforest. But scientists know very little about harpy eagles because their numbers are few, their habitat is large, they never soar above the trees, and they rarely come to the ground. And they can kill you with a single talon strike in the right place....that too.
Annotation:Set in murky swamps full of birders, scientists and reporters, the hunt for the ivory-billed woodpecker continues today, even though it's been presumed extinct for over 50 years. But is it? It was thought to be seen flying through the bayous of eastern Arkansas in 2004, and has been seen and heard numerous times since. And at 20 inches in length with a 30-inch wingspan, this bird would be hard to miss. So what's the deal? Is it still out there and hanging on by a thread?