Take a trip to Mars to learn about the Red Planet then learn about birds and their behavior. These four reads include planned missions to Mars, a look at the hivemind of our society, and ways to combat climate change.
by Stephen James O’Meara
Reaktion Books, 224 pages, $40.00
It’s no secret that Mars has a reputation for being the mysterious planet that has fascinated mankind since it was discovered. The planet is known for volcanoes that are larger in size than Mount Everest, canyons large enough that they would engulf America, and a landscape that is suspected to have contained water. Mars is a detailed resource that provides a vast history on the planet which includes dating back to the first that discovered the planet and those currently obsessed with Mars from filmmakers to radio broadcasters. O’Meara also includes the most recent information from the Curiosity rover, Mars mission plans, and critique on if the chances of these plans succeed.
What is a Bird? An Exploration of Anatomy, Physiology, Behavior, and Ecology
by Tony D. Williams
Princeton University Press, 368 pages, $35.00
Birds can be found all over the world with over 10,000 species that cover a wide variety which creates one of the most diverse groups in the animal kingdom. Among the species included in this book are the ostrich and the small species of bee hummingbird. This book explores every aspect of birds through an up-close look at their morphology, anatomy, behavior, and ecology. Hundreds of illustrations are provided which include common birds such as sparrows and exotic species such as birds of paradise. This is a must-have for birders and naturalists with a stunning exploration of bird history, a look at their ecology and behavior, and an insight into human connections with birds.
Hivemind: The New Science of Tribalism in Our Divided World
by Sarah Rose Cavanagh
Grand Central Publishing, 304 pages, $28.00
This provocative read takes a look at the way communities have shared ideas and learned their viewpoints from the groups we’ve selected for ourselves. As humans, we define ourselves through our social groups who are people that share our commonalities with such as shared tastes, faith, and heritage. This book takes an honest look at what happens when people only socialize with those like them, which could create a point where we can’t socialize with those outside our common interests, and what could occur when our chosen communities define our views versus expanding them. Human beings have always been a social species and this nature has given us the benefits of us being able to ward off the emotional and physical upheavals of being alone. Topics found within Hivemind include the Charlottesville riots, zombies, Facebook boardrooms, honeybees, and neuroscience. Cavanagh is a specialist in psychologist and emotion regulation who explores through Hivemind how the way we socialize has been reshaped through social technology. This book explores online tribalism as well as how our panic has dimmed towards using screens and our mental health and delves into our understanding of community.
The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet
by Michael E. Mann
PublicAffairs, 368 pages, $29.00
This book tackles the elephant in the room: climate change. Fossil fuel companies have spent years shifting the blame of their actions so The New Climate War tackles this topic with hard-hitting honesty while introducing ways to save the planet. Also included are examples of going against climate change by doing things such as eating less meat, flying less, and recycling. Current companies have deflected their actions and greenwashed as a way of handling their role in climate change. Mann delves into how companies have found ways to block efforts to regulate carbon emissions while discrediting PR campaigns and choosing to not accept responsibility for their role in the greater problem. A battle line has been drawn between the side of the people and the side of the various polluters which include in addition to fossil fuel companies, petrostates, and right-wing plutocrats. The plan outlined within the book shares an attainable approach to carbon pricing along with a look at renewable energy, discredited false narratives, and going up against the idea of doomism in regards to climate change.