The Glitter in the Green: In Search of Hummingbirds by Jon DunnWhat it's about: a photographer and avid birder's pole-to-pole quest to observe hummingbirds in their natural habitats.
Why you might like it: This "wondrous globe-trotting pilgrimage" (Publishers Weekly) interweaves natural history, folklore, and vivid accounts of hummingbird sightings.
You might also like: Sy Montgomery's The Hummingbirds' Gift: Wonder, Beauty, and Renewal on Wings.
Rescuing the Planet: Protecting Half the Land to Heal the Earth by Tony Hiss; introduction by E.O. WilsonThe big idea: protecting 50 percent of Earth's land by 2050 will help avert mass extinction caused by climate change.
How it might work: Admitting there's no silver bullet, former New Yorker staff writer Tony Hiss meets with activists and conservation groups to explore possible solutions including wildlife corridors, Indigenous Protected Areas, green reserves, and more.
For fans of: E.O. Wilson's Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life.
The God Equation: The Quest for a Theory of Everything by Michio KakuWhat it's about: Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku describes the search for a "theory of everything" that will explain the physical universe, ideally in the form of a mathematical equation.
Reviewers say: "an illuminating mini-history of physics" (Kirkus Reviews).
For another perspective: Try Sabine Hossenfelder's Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray.
A Brief History of Earth: Four Billion Years in Eight Chapters by Andrew H. KnollWhat it is: Harvard geologist Andrew Knoll's concise and accessible survey of Earth's 4.6 billion year history.
Deep time: In this "expert primer" (Kirkus Reviews) complex organisms don't show up until the halfway point of the narrative, while humans appear only in the closing section.
A Most Remarkable Creature: The Hidden Life and Epic Journey of the World's Smartest... by Jonathan MeiburgIntroducing: the caracara, a.k.a. "Johnny rook," an endangered South American falcon relative with a reputation for being "curious, social, and brave, with many interests and few skills."
Best known for: attempting to steal Charles Darwin's hat, inspiring Victorian naturalist (and Green Mansions author) William Henry Hudson.
About the author: When he's not out in the field researching caracaras, Jonathan Meiburg is a member of the band Shearwater.
Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest by Suzanne SimardWhat it's about: Forest ecologist Suzanne Simard describes how trees utilize extensive mycorrhizal (fungal) networks in order to communicate and cooperate with one another.
For fans of: Peter Wohlleben's The Hidden Life of Trees.
Did you know? Author Richard Powers based a character in his Puliter Prize-winning novel The Overstory on Simard.
Genesis: The Story of How Everything Began by Guido TonelliWhat it is: a history of the universe in seven chapters.
About the author: Italian particle physicist Guido Tonelli was part of the team that confirmed the existence of the Higgs boson.
For fans of: concise and accessible introductions of physics such as Carlo Rovelli's Seven Brief Lessons on Physics or Neil deGrasse Tyson's Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.
Pipe Dreams: The Urgent Global Quest to Transform the Toilet by Chelsea WaldWhat it's about: the flush toilet, the aging and inefficient wastewater infrastructure that supports its existence, and the innovations that may usher in a new era of safe sanitation.
Did you know? That more than two million people in the United States live without running water and basic indoor plumbing?
Further reading: Rose George's The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters; Catherine Coleman Flowers' Waste: One Woman's Fight Against America's Dirty Secret; or Lezlie Lowe's No Place to Go: How Public Toilets Fail Our Private Needs.
A World on the Wing: The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds by Scott WeidensaulWhat it's about: the science of bird migration, the technologies that are advancing field research, and the uncertain fate of migratory birds as humans destroy the planet.
Read it for: "evocative passages and immersive scenes" (The New York Times) that place readers in the middle of the action.
About the author: Scott Weidensaul is the author of Living on the Wind, which was shortlisted for a Pulitzer Prize.
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