Losing Eden: Our Fundamental Need for the Natural World and Its Ability to Heal... by Lucy JonesWhat it is: a British journalist's exploration of how mental health is intertwined with nature and why preserving and expanding green spaces is critical to balancing humanity's relationship with the earth.
Read it for: the mix of personal experience and scientific research that bolsters the book's arguments.
Did you know? Digging in the dirt is good for you. Not only can it boost your mood, but bacteria in soil can be beneficial to the human microbiome.
The Arbornaut: A Life Discovering the Eighth Continent in the Trees Above Us by Margaret LowmanGo climb a tree: A trailblazer in canopy ecology expounds on the wonders of the "eighth continent" of the earth, the world's treetops.
What's inside: an engaging account of author Margaret Lowman's life, including richly detailed descriptions of her discoveries in the canopies of Australia, India, Scotland, Ethiopia, and more.
About the author: While Lowman was teaching at Williams College, she led the construction of North America's first canopy walkway, an elevated pedestrian path through the treetops, in Myakka River State Park in Florida.
Disasterology: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the Climate Crisis by Samantha MontanoWhen disaster strikes: author Samantha Montano, professor of emergency management, knows what to do. A volunteer trip she took as a teenager to post-Katrina New Orleans inspired her to pursue a career in disaster preparedness.
Why you might like it: This sobering book provides incisive accounts of inadequate government response to disasters as well as a call to action for mitigation of future disasters and improved recovery efforts.
Reviewers say: "painful but essential reading" (Kirkus Reviews).
Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law by Mary RoachWhat's inside: an investigation into the curious conflicts between humans and wildlife, featuring stories from animal-attack forensics investigators and Vatican workers using lasers to battle birds set on destruction.
The elephant in the room: was not a metaphor when author Mary Roach visited a tea plantation in West Bengal, India. Read the book to find out why!
Read it for: Roach’s signature wit and the practical suggestions of how to ethically deal with wildlife problems in everyday life.
Below the Edge of Darkness: A Memoir of Exploring Light and Life in the Deep... by Edith WidderA light in the dark: This thought-provoking memoir about researching ocean bioluminescence begins with author Edith Widder's temporary loss of eyesight, an incident that sparked her fascination with light.
About the author: Marine biologist and MacArthur Fellow Widder earned the nickname "the Squid Whisperer" when she captured the first video footage of the elusive giant squid in its natural habitat.
Further reading: Bill Streever's In Oceans Deep, Dana Staaf's Monarchs of the Sea, and Helen Scales' The Brilliant Abyss.
Seven and a Half Lessons about the Brain by Lisa Feldman BarrettWhat it is: seven concise and accessible essays (plus one small story) clarifying the cutting edge of neuroscience research, such as the brain's methods of constructing social reality.
Read it for: the dismantling of popular myths and misconceptions, like the existence of the "lizard brain."
Fun fact: A drink of water immediately relieves thirst despite the water taking 20 minutes to reach the bloodstream because the brain makes a prediction and preemptively "turns off" thirst.
Imagination: The Science of Your Mind's Greatest Power by Jim DaviesImagine me and you: With topics ranging from hallucinations and lucid dreaming to memories and migraines, this thought-provoking and well-researched book delves into the science of imagination.
What sets it apart: the hard science made tangible with frequent nods to pop culture.
For fans of: engaging writing about the curiosities of mind, like Daniel C. Dennett's From Bacteria to Bach and Back or the works of Oliver Sacks, such as Hallucinations.
Livewired: The Inside Story of the Ever-Changing Brain by David EaglemanWhat it's about: This incisive work about neuroplasticity, the brain's ability to reconfigure itself under new circumstances, explores the cooperation and competition within the mysterious computational organ.
Don't miss: the enthusiastic exposition on the intersection of neuroscience and technology, which promises new therapies to restore sensory damage or loss.
About the author: Author David Eagleman is a Stanford University professor, a CEO, and the host of the PBS documentary series The Brain with David Eagleman.
Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting by Lisa GenovaYou must remember this: Blending science and self-help, this accessible and engaging volume elucidates the science of memory formation, retention, and recall.
Forget me not: Author and neuroscientist Lisa Genova, known for her novel Still Alice, also explains how everyday instances of forgetfulness are not necessarily cause for alarm.
So how can you remember the name of that person you just met? The handy appendix includes tips to improve recall.
Divergent Mind: Thriving in a World that Wasn't Designed for You by Jenara NerenbergWhat it is: a reframing of how to understand women with autism, ADHD, and other neurological differences. The author argues these differences have long been overlooked and undertreated due to how the symptoms present in women and girls.
Who it's for: women who've always felt "different," or anyone interested in a broader understanding of neurodiversity.
Reviewers say: This incisive book is "an extraordinary, jaw-dropping take on a topic with which many women will identify" (Library Journal).
Contact your librarian for more great books!
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