Down from the Mountain: The Life and Death of a Grizzly Bear by Bryce AndrewsWho is she? Millie, a 500-pound grizzly sow (and mother of two cubs) from Montana's Mission Valley.
What does she want? Corn! Montana's grizzly bear population is addicted to the crop, which lures them from their isolated habitats into more populous areas, resulting in conflicts with local farmers.
You might also like: Nate Blakeslee's American Wolf, which similarly explores tensions between humans and wildlife by recounting the life and death of a charismatic animal.
Why You Like It: The Science and Culture of Musical Taste by Nolan GasserWhat it's about: the science of music (what it is) and the sociology of musical taste (why we like what we like and what it says about us).
About the author: Musicologist Nolan Gasser is the architect of Pandora’s Music Genome Project.
Is it for you? Readers with some background in music theory or practice will get the most out of this eclectic and comprehensive book.
The Human Swarm: How Our Societies Arise, Thrive, and Fall by Mark W. MoffettWhat it's about: the development of human civilization from "individual recognition societies" characterized by small and intimate groups (think chimpanzees) to modern-day "collective marker" societies based on distinctions between in-groups and out-groups.
Further reading: For other recent perspectives on this topic, check out Edward O. Wilson's Genesis: The Deep Origins of Societies or Nicholas A. Christakis' Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society.
Wild at heart : America's turbulent relationship with nature, from exploitation to redemption
by Alice B Outwater
"In the tradition of The World Without Us, a beautifully written and ultimately hopeful history of our relationship with the natural world Nature on the brink? Maybe not. With so much bad news in the world, we forget how much environmental progress has been made. In a narrative that reaches from Native American tribal practices to public health and commercial hunting, Wild at Heart shows how western attitudes towards nature have changed dramatically in the last five hundred years. The Chinook gave thanksfor King Salmon's gifts. The Puritans saw Nature as a frightening wilderness, full of "uncooked meat." With the industrial revolution, nature was despoiled and simultaneously celebrated as a source of the sublime. With little forethought and great greed,Americans killed the last passenger pigeon, wiped out the old growth forests, and dumped so much oil in the rivers that they burst into flame. But in the span of a few decades, our relationship with nature has evolved to a more sophisticated sense of interdependence that brings us full circle. Across the US, people are taking individual action, planting native species and fighting for projects like dam removal and wolf restoration. Cities are embracing nature, too. Humans can learn from the past, and ourchoices today will determine whether nature survives. Like the First Nations, all nations must come to deep agreement that nature needs protection. This compelling book reveals both how we got here and our own and nature's astonishing ability to mutuallyregenerate"
Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe by Steven StrogatzWhat it is: an applied mathematician's surprisingly accessible guide to calculus, which outlines its basic concepts while recounting its history.
Food for thought: "If anything deserves to be called the secret of the universe, calculus is it."
You might also like: Mathematician Amir Alexander's similarly engaging Infinitesimal, which also explores a world-changing concept.
Adventures in Human Being: A Grand Tour From the Cranium to the Calcaneum by Gavin FrancisWhat it is: a head-to-toe survey of the human body by a physician.
Want a taste? "I was nineteen years old when I first held a human brain. It was heavier than I had anticipated; grey, firm, and laboratory-cold."
For fans of: the blend of medical writing and memoir in Henry Marsh's Do No Harm; the philosophical tone of F. Gonzalez-Crussi's Notes of an Anatomist.
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah HarariThe big question: So now that we've mitigated the effects of famine, plague, and war, what's next for human beings?
About the author: Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari is the author of the bestselling Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.
Is it for you? Believers in the march of human progress should be aware that Home Deus forecasts several possible futures for our species, most of them downright dystopian.
Human Errors: A Panorama of Our Glitches, From Pointless Bones to Broken Genes by Nathan H. LentsWhat it is: an offbeat and entertaining catalog of the design flaws and anatomical oddities of the human body, courtesy of natural selection.
Such as? Knees ill-adapted to bipedal locomotion; DNA riddled with errors, redundancies, and extraneous material; and reproductive processes as scattershot as they are hazardous...to name just a few.
Words of wisdom: "Evolution is a constant game of trade-offs. Most innovations come at a cost."
Intimate universe : the human body
by Anthony Smith
Full-color illustations, drawings, diagrams, and micro-photographs highlight a fascinating companion to the forthcoming cable-TV series that explores the complexities of human life from birth to death, documenting the physical workings of the body at each stage from conception to the end of life. TV tie-in. 25,000 first printing.
Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. SapolskyWhat it is: an interdisciplinary study of human behavior by neurobiologist and primatologist Robert Sapolsky.
What it does: Behave explores human behavior by taking a single (re)action and examining what's going on in the brain and body in the seconds, minutes, hours, days, and even years before it occurs.
Don't miss: the author's top ten strategies for reducing violence in our species.
Contact your librarian for more great books!