Are you participating in Adult Summer Reading and stuck on this bingo square? We’ve got some suggestions for you! Links go to Hoopla so you can borrow the materials!
First things first, Hoopla is awesome! This web and mobile library media streaming platform provides access to audiobooks, comics, e-books, movies, music, and TV – all without waitlists. You can download or stream three items each month!
Need help getting started? Check out our eGuides!
In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments
From beloved, award-winning poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil comes a debut work of nonfiction-a collection of essays about the natural world, and the way its inhabitants can teach, support, and inspire us.
As a child, Nezhukumatathil called many places home: the grounds of a Kansas mental institution, where her Filipina mother was a doctor; the open skies and tall mountains of Arizona, where she hiked with her Indian father; and the chillier climes of western New York and Ohio. But no matter where she was transplanted-no matter how awkward the fit or forbidding the landscape-she was able to turn to our world’s fierce and funny creatures for guidance.
“What the peacock can do,” she tells us, “is remind you of a home you will run away from and run back to all your life.” The axolotl teaches us to smile, even in the face of unkindness; the touch-me-not plant shows us how to shake off unwanted advances; the narwhal demonstrates how to survive in hostile environments. Even in the strange and the unlovely, Nezhukumatathil finds beauty and kinship. For it is this way with wonder: it requires that we are curious enough to look past the distractions in order to fully appreciate the world’s gifts.
Warm, lyrical, and gorgeously illustrated by Fumi Nakamura, World of Wonders is a book of sustenance and joy.
The inspiration for The Durrells in Corfu, a Masterpiece production on public television: A naturalist’s account of his childhood on the exotic Greek island. When the Durrells could no longer endure the gray English climate, they did what any sensible family would do: sold their house and relocated to the sun-soaked island of Corfu. As they settled into their new home, hilarious mishaps ensued as a ten-year-old Gerald Durrell pursued his interest in natural history and explored the island’s fauna. Soon, toads and tortoises, bats and butterflies-as well as scorpions, geckos, ladybugs, praying mantises, octopuses, pigeons, and gulls-became a common sight in the Durrell villa. Uproarious tales of the island’s animals and Durrell’s fond reflections on his family bring this delightful memoir to life. Capturing the joyous chaos of growing up in an unconventional household, My Family and Other Animals will transport you to a place you won’t want to leave. This book features an illustrated biography of Gerald Durrell including rare photos from the author’s estate.
When Julia Zarankin saw her first red-winged blackbird at the age of thirty-five, she didn’t expect that it would change her life. Recently divorced and auditioning hobbies during a stressful career transition, she stumbled on birdwatching, initially out of curiosity for the strange breed of humans who wear multi-pocketed vests, carry spotting scopes and discuss the finer points of optics with disturbing fervour. What she never could have predicted was that she would become one of them. Not only would she come to identify proudly as a birder, but birding would ultimately lead her to find love, uncover a new language and lay down her roots.
Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder tells the story of finding meaning in midlife through birds. The book follows the peregrinations of a narrator who learns more from birds than she ever anticipated, as she begins to realize that she herself is a migratory species: born in the former Soviet Union, growing up in Vancouver and Toronto, studying and working in the United States and living in Paris. Coming from a Russian immigrant family of concert pianists who believed that the outdoors were for “other people,” Julia Zarankin recounts the challenges and joys of unexpectedly discovering one’s wild side and finding one’s tribe in the unlikeliest of places.
Zarankin’s thoughtful and witty anecdotes illuminate the joyful experience of a new discovery and the surprising pleasure to be found while standing still on the edge of a lake at six a.m. In addition to confirmed nature enthusiasts, this book will appeal to readers of literary memoir, offering keen insight on what it takes to find one’s place in the world.
Julia Rothman’s illustrated Anatomy series takes a deep dive into the wonders of the sea with Ocean Anatomy. Follow Rothman’s inquisitive mind and perceptive eye along shorelines, across the open ocean, and below the waves for an artistic exploration of the watery universe. Through her drawings, discover how the world’s oceans formed, why the sea is salty, and the forces behind oceanic phenomena such as rogue waves. Colorful anatomical profiles of sea creatures from crustacean to cetacean, surveys of seafaring vessels and lighthouses, and the impact of plastic and warming water temperatures are just part of this compendium of curiosities that will entertain and educate readers of all ages.
Also available in this series: Nature Anatomy, Farm Anatomy, Food Anatomy, and Nature Anatomy Notebook
ON MORE THAN 25 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR LISTS: including TIME (#1 Nonfiction Book), NPR, O, The Oprah Magazine (10 Favorite Books), Vogue (Top 10), Vanity Fair, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Seattle Times, San Francisco Chronicle (Top 10), Miami Herald, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Minneapolis Star Tribune (Top 10), Library Journal (Top 10), Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Slate, Shelf Awareness, Book Riot, Amazon (Top 20).
The instant New York Times bestseller and award-winning sensation, Helen Macdonald’s story of adopting and raising one of nature’s most vicious predators has soared into the hearts of millions of readers worldwide. Fierce and feral, her goshawk Mabel’s temperament mirrors Helen’s own state of grief after her father’s death, and together raptor and human “discover the pain and beauty of being alive” (People). H Is for Hawk is a genre-defying debut from one of our most unique and transcendent voices.
Sy Montgomery’s popular 2011 Orion magazine piece, “Deep Intellect,” about her friendship with a sensitive, sweet-natured octopus named Athena and the grief she felt at her death, went viral, indicating the widespread fascination with these mysterious, almost alien-like creatures. Since then Sy has practiced true immersion journalism, from New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, pursuing these wild, solitary shape-shifters. Octopuses have varied personalities and intelligence they show in myriad ways: endless trickery to escape enclosures and get food; jetting water playfully to bounce objects like balls; and evading caretakers by using a scoop net as a trampoline and running around the floor on eight arms. But with a beak like a parrot, venom like a snake, and a tongue covered with teeth, how can such a being know anything? And what sort of thoughts could it think? The intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees was only recently accepted by scientists, who now are establishing the intelligence of the octopus, watching them solve problems and deciphering the meaning of their color-changing camouflage techniques. Montgomery chronicles this growing appreciation of the octopus, but also tells a love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about consciousness and the meeting of two very different minds.
How the lives of wild honey bees offer vital lessons for saving the world’s managed bee colonies.
Humans have kept honey bees in hives for millennia, yet only in recent decades have biologists begun to investigate how these industrious insects live in the wild. The Lives of Bees is Thomas Seeley’s captivating story of what scientists are learning about the behavior, social life, and survival strategies of honey bees living outside the beekeeper’s hive-and how wild honey bees may hold the key to reversing the alarming die-off of the planet’s managed honey bee populations.
Seeley, a world authority on honey bees, sheds light on why wild honey bees are still thriving while those living in managed colonies are in crisis. Drawing on the latest science as well as insights from his own pioneering fieldwork, he describes in extraordinary detail how honey bees live in nature and shows how this differs significantly from their lives under the management of beekeepers. Seeley presents an entirely new approach to beekeeping-Darwinian Beekeeping-which enables honey bees to use the toolkit of survival skills their species has acquired over the past thirty million years, and to evolve solutions to the new challenges they face today. He shows beekeepers how to use the principles of natural selection to guide their practices, and he offers a new vision of how beekeeping can better align with the natural habits of honey bees.
Engagingly written and deeply personal, The Lives of Bees reveals how we can become better custodians of honey bees and make use of their resources in ways that enrich their lives as well as our own.
Outdoor educator and field researcher Sara Dykman decided to do something no one had ever done before-pedal along with monarch butterflies over the entire length of their 10,201-mile migratory journey. She did it alone, on a hand-built bicycle, through three countries. In Bicycling with Butterflies, Dykman recounts her incredible journey and the adventurous ups and downs of her ride-follow her along through a Midwestern thunderstorm, a field of zombie corn, and multiple trips across the border. Along the way, we meet a cast of characters that includes devoted citizen scientists, skeptical bar patrons, farmers, and fellow bicyclists. Dykman weaves a tale full of humility and grace, all while sharing the science that underlies the urgency of saving the monarchs and why we all should care. Bicycling with Butterflies deftly combines memoir, travel, and popular science. It is a must-read debut if you are looking for an uplifting story filled with optimism, energy, and hope.
FIND MORE ANIMAL AUDIOBOOKS HERE!
CREATURES OF THE DEEP
Tiger Predator Shark Revealed
Infamous for its unmistakable stripes and indiscriminate appetite, the tiger shark is one of the most ferocious sharks in the sea. Now, get closer than ever for a most intimate glimpse of this fearsome yet fascinating predator. Witness spectacular shark’s-eye views of the underwater action through the lens of National Geographic’s revolutionary Crittercam, which has been attached to a free-swimming tiger shark.
Killer whales are beloved, majestic, friendly giants, yet infamous for their capacity to kill viciously. Blackfish unravels the complexities of this dichotomy, employing the story of the notorious performing whale Tilikum, who, unlike any orca in the wild, has taken the lives of several people while in captivity. Blackfish expands on the discussion of keeping such intelligent creatures in captivity.
A Legend Returns to Yellowstone
This classic, beloved National Geographic special was four years in the making and this amazing film invites you to run with the pack for a wolf’s-eye-view. Witness the unfolding saga of hardships and affection, losses and triumphs, and the controversy surrounding the decision to reintroduce wolves back into the heart of the West.
Birding offers direct contact with one of our primary treasures of wildlife. Learn core elements of birding and methods for observing birds in the field. You’ll also take a panoramic look at the bird species of North America, and visit 23 of the top North American birding sites. These lectures are your doorway to an endlessly rewarding pursuit, and a lifetime of enjoyment and discovery.
Three years in the making, and from award-winning National Geographic cinematographers, Great Migrations takes viewers around the world on the arduous journeys millions of animals undertake to ensure the survival of their species.
Shot from land and air, in trees and cliff-blinds, on ice floes and underwater, Great Migrations tells the formidable, powerful stories of many of the planet’s species and their movements, while revealing new scientific insights with breathtaking high-definition clarity. Narrated by Alec Baldwin.
Cast James Nesbitt, Alison Tunnicliffe, Anna McVey
Directors Barry Hecker, Sue McGregor
Writers Alison Tunnicliffe, Anna McVey
Producers Molly Fry, Karen Partridge
Part of the Baby Planet series
Exploring maternal instinct, human intervention and saving species, “Baby Planet” confirms there is a future for the world’s endangered species.