Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wading Through My Wishlist



Recent additions to the Great Monstrosity that is my wishlist....

I just realized that all of the books in this post come from Eva of A Striped Armchair. We tend to have similar reading tastes, and she picks the BEST literature. I love her blog. Seriously, check it out if these books sound interesting to you :)


In The Hedgehog’s Dilemma, Warwick gets to the bottom of the sudden boom in hedgehog popularity and examines the relationship between the hedgehog and man, covering both the mammal’s natural and un-natural evolution, from despised vermin to much-beloved beast. A historical and cultural exploration of the hedgehog, this is an engaging, informative, and charming look at the fascinating world of hedgehogs.
For more than twenty years, Hugh Warwick has tracked hedgehogs across the globe in the slim hopes of coming across the hedgehog’s tiny, but unmistakable, pawprints. Warwick isn’t alone in his endeavors. In England and Wales, the Environment Agency, Great Britain’s leading environmental group, recently selected the hedgehog as its new mascot; while in America, which lacks a native hedgehog species, fanciers flock to the biannual Mile High Hedgehog Show to celebrate en masse the little spiny urchin. But why does the hedgehog seem to have such universal appeal?



Juno McKay is thrilled when her best friend Christine returns to their upstate New York college, Penrose, to give a lecture about the stained-glass window Juno will be restoring. Christine shocks her audience when she theorizes that Augustus Penrose, the college's founder, depicted his sister-in-law, Clare, not his wife, Eugenie, in the window. After the lecture, Juno finds Christine somewhat troubled and worries about her after she boards her train home. A week later, Juno and her 15-year-old daughter, Bea, kayak on the Hudson River to the Penrose estate, Astolat, where they discover a body: Christine. Heartbroken by her friend's death, which appears to be a suicide, Juno tries to find out what could have driven her over the edge. The search leads Juno in unexpected directions, one of which involves her handsome ex-husband, Neil, who has been a patient in the local asylum for 14 years, ever since he tried to drown himself, Juno, and Bea. Goodman is spot-on at developing a creepy, gothic atmosphere and delivering a compelling, tightly plotted mystery.



Although Gabrielle Walker, author of Snowball Earth (2003), holds a Cambridge doctorate in chemistry, her ear for storytelling is perfect for popular science. One critic praises her lyrical style; others praise her use of detail, anecdote, and science that wouldn't be out of place in Meteorology 101. Critics inevitably compare Walker to Dava Sobel, one of the genre's most popular writers. Walker has honed her skills as a contributing editor of Scientific American, and her breezy tone fits her subject perfectly. Even though her choice to start from square one may frustrate readers with some previous knowledge in the area, Walker has penned an engaging, readable book-nothing too heavy, and worth the reader's every breath.

3 comments:

bermudaonion said...

Those all look good! Eva is an amazing reader. I'm in awe of her, so I can understand you getting ideas for your wish list from her.

Eva said...

You just made me blush! And I turn bright red, none of that maidenly pink stuff! So I'm sitting on my couch looking like a tomato. :p And I almost put The Hedgegog's Dilemma on hold at my library earlier this week! It's on the top of my list for next year's science books. :) I"ve read two other novels by Goodman, and they're both great gothic fun. And I've read Walker's Snowball Earth, which I loved! (Why am I telling you this when you already know I want to read these books?! lol I guess I'm just waay too talkative.)

Cleverly Inked said...

The drowning Tree looks good. I alway love finding good reads

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