Tales from the Ant World by Edward O. Wilson is an engaging and entertaining read on the world of ants and ecology. The writing is scientific and educated, however with use of everyday language and explanation that talks to the reader in a tone that is as much for an expert as for someone new to the field of entomology. Included are a number of scientific drawings to illustrate a few of the species, as well as a glimpse into fieldwork in the world of ant scientists.
How to Die in Space: A Journey Through Dangerous Astrophysical Phenomena by Paul Sutter.
How to Die in Space is a fun, somewhat morbid, educational review of astrophysical phenomena written within a framework that is both a “traveler’s guide” and astrophysics lecture. The book is written in an engaging tone, with use of everyday language backed by scientific explanation. The chapters of the book are loosely related, each being a self contained lesson or lecture in itself which makes for easy reading.
Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees by Thor Hanson
Buzz is a book for the nature minded and science minded alike. It is an informative and humorous foray into the world of bees as well as their close cousins and look alikes. The language and writing that Hanson uses is scientific but with a naturalist outlook, making for an enjoyable and personable read. Hanson clearly has a love for the subject as well as knowledge and is also willing to share some personal experiences in both the scientific field of entomology as well as his own personal nature experiences with his own family exploring nature trails. Overall a great read.
We are the Streets by Ta-Nehisi Coates is a well written and beautifully illustrated graphic novel featuring Marvel’s Black Panther as well as a host of other prominent Marvel characters, all who are persons of color. The narrative of the story mostly follows Misty Knight with T’Challa (Black Panther) as more of a supporting role despite the title and this particular perspective is where the book really shines, featuring a black female police detective with no real super powers of her own other than a few high tech gadgets and her own wits and skills dealing with a crisis in New York City and the resulting fallout, which is very reminiscent of current social and political affairs. An entertaining read with a strong social message.
No Longer Human adapted to manga format by Junji Ito is a cathartic story of the spiraling downward of a man’s life in early 1900s Japan. This book is not for the faint of heart as it deals with some very heavy subject matter, often with the use of some very grotesque and morbid imagery. A great find for anyone into body horror or gothic horror, as well as anyone who likes a good story that goes into the fractured mind of a broken soul.
Retold by Lise Lunge-Larsen, Illustrated by Jim Madsen
This collection of Norse mythology is a nice set of tales beautifully illustrated by a well known children’s book illustrator. A few of the tales will be commonly known to adults reading this to a child, but a few are lesser known tales such as Stolen Thunder. A great read for children and adults alike.
Banned Book Club is a great true story about a subject I was initially unfamiliar with, the censorship of books in South Korea. The story is autobiographical, but still very in depth on the other characters and their lives, as well as the political climate around the characters. The story is honest, as a book written for the young adult crowd, it does keep the violence non-viserial, and much of the other trauma as implied without detracting from the seriousness of the risks they take to fight censorship.
The Last Book on the Left: Stories of Murder and Mayhem from History’s Most Notorious Serial Killers
by Ben Kissel
This book is written by the members of a well-known true crime/mystery podcast known as Last Podcast on the Left and is written in a similar style to the show. The stories within are a good mix of true crime serial killer stories and a look into their mindset but in a light enough fare for a quick read. The book does get into some visceral details from written police reports and testimony but does not actually contain any photographs or illustrations of the actual acts of the subjects being studied within. A nice foray into the macabre as well as true crime related to murder, with a nice dark comedic twist from the quips and jokes that are inserted by the writers between the information.
Moths: A Complete Guide to Biology and Behavior by David C. Lees and Alberto Zilli
Moths is a book about, well moths and their biology. The writing of Moths is not terribly technical in most parts of the book, and where it does get techical it explains the science behind the subject in a way that is both relatable and scholarly. I personally find this book to be a welcome introduction to those just wanting to learn about either moths in general or for those looking to research specific aspects of moth behavior or even if you just want to look at some wonderful and professional close up nature photography, this is the book for you. I would give this book five stars out of five but I have to deduct one due to some editing issues with a few of the photographs in the book being incorrectly labeled or simply duplicated from other pages. This issue aside, the book is overall a worthy read and excellent for the coming warm summer evenings that will bring many of these small friends to our backyards.