Staff Picks by Tag

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The Devil's Element: Phosphorus and a World Out of Balance By Dan Egan Cover Image
ISBN: 9781324002666
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 7th, 2023

Perhaps the greatest environmental catastrophe you've never heard of, Dan Egan details our tumultuous relationship with phosphorus over the years.

From its discovery through human waste in labs, to its destruction of our waterways during the 50's and 60's due to our need to be sudsy clean, up to our current crisis with agriculture's obsession with it.

The Devil's Element is concise, easily readable, and compelling. A lovely delight!

Review by Zack

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Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World By Marcia Bjornerud Cover Image
ISBN: 9780691202631
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Princeton University Press - February 11th, 2020

Timefulness includes a feeling for distances and proximities in the geography of deep time. Focusing simply on the age of the Earth is like describing a symphony in terms of its total measure count. Without time, a symphony is a heap of sounds; the duration of notes and re-occurrence of themes gives it shape. Similarly, the grandeur of Earth’s story lies in the gradually unfolding, interwoven, rhythms of its many movements, with short motifs scampering over tones that resonate across the entire span of the planet’s history.' (Marcia Bjornerud)

This is the book that solidified my obsessive interest in geology. Marcia Bjornerud's book is a gift to the amateur, a blessing for anyone in the philosophical and scientific study of our 4.6 billion year old planet. Existential, accessible, and framed within deep time and climate change, this book changed my life and opened my days to a new preoccupation (rocks).

Review by Spencer R.

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The Truth About Animals: Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales from the Wild Side of Wildlife By Lucy Cooke Cover Image
ISBN: 9781541674080
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Basic Books - April 30th, 2019


With suggestive humor and a bit of orneriness, Cooke clears up crazy misconceptions about some of the world’s more mysterious and underappreciated species. Throughout, she dissects these past theories for signs of human superiority, a binary physical understanding, and a little too much of the woodsy musk from a beaver's “gonads.” What’s left: Hyenas are avid feminists, Eels keep their coitus quiet, and Sloths are pretty much the ultimate survivalists. You can devour this all at once or savor each chapter as an individual essay, but you will be amazed by the truth (and bestiary sketches) either way.

Review by Katelynn