Sunday, May 12, 2024

Little Nature Books

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Earth & Space Science, Biodiversity, Biological Evolution, Astronomy, Cosmology, Paleontology, Wildlife, Nature

Ed Hessler

A standard office metaphor, now long gone, was "At the Watercooler" to denote meetings for conversation, gossip, and office news.

For Jim Williams. bird columnist for the Star Tribune it is "The Feeder" (May 4, 2024) where he described "four seriously little books (4 by 6 inches  or 10 by 15 cm), (about 160 pages each), with the information punch of bigger brothers, They are part of a series "Little Books of Nature (8)" Princeton University Press. The first four were released in April.

Williams mentioned 4 (Spiders, Butterflies, Beetles and Trees) The other 4 to be released this month are Whales, Fungi, Weather and Dinosaurs). Each is written by experts and Williams notes that they "are not ID guides, rather more a lifestyle examination, well illustrated, and absolutely beautifully made, with sewn bindings and linen covers."

Williams described them as books of facts which are beautifully illustrated, accessible "and enjoyable mini reference books." Williams received promo copies and found them exactly as described - " will beguile any nature lover."
This announcement made me think how much I would have enjoyed these growing up, even now. I also thought of another series, perhaps it is their pocket-size and same number of pages as well as, for the time of their publication, their lavish illustrations. 
The Golden Guides were different with an emphasis on identification. I have gotten rid of most of my books - I have some regrets but am glad I donated them to Books for Africa and to the annual neighborhood library sale. However, among those I saved I kept about a dozen of them which I often pick up and thumb through. If you click on the Wiki link, I think you will be surprised by their number as well as changing emphasis over the years. They are still beautiful.

I wish there was a peek inside of the new Princeton series which are described at Princeton University Press and at Amazon. I list Amazon because I suspect there will be verified reviews by customers who purchase them.  
John E. Riutta at The Well-read Naturalist has some comments which are worth reading.  On his recommended list.

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