Culture is Home: Becoming Wild: How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace

Guest book review by Gene Helfman. MacArthur Fellow Carl Safina established himself among the legion of environmental journalists with his first book, the award-winning Song for the Blue Ocean. In Song, he detailed the causes of and solutions to declining fish populations, especially those overharvested in commercial fisheries. In (also award-winning) Eye of the Albatross, he lamented the …

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Book Review: The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

Studies of animal intelligence have demonstrated the impressive cognitive abilities of certain animals: rhesus macaques, crows, bottlenose dolphins, border collies.  Recently, there is another animal gaining increasing recognition for its intelligence: the octopus. The Soul of an Octopus is, as its subtitle aptly describes, “a surprising exploration into the wonders of consciousness.”  Written by Sy …

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Book Review: The Meaning of Birds by Simon Barnes

In The Meaning of Birds, Simon Barnes traces the history of birds—as well as humans’ relationships and interactions with them—over several millennia and across multiple continents. Barnes is a UK-based nature writer, so North American readers will enjoy an opportunity to become more familiar with Britain’s backyard birds, such as the wood pigeon, the Scottish …

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Book Review: The Reign of Wolf 21

reign of wolf 21 cover

The Druid Wolf Pack of Yellowstone National Park has garnered international notoriety over the last 20 years. Established in the mid-1990s, the Druid Wolf Pack was at one point the largest recorded wolf pack in the world. And, luckily, park ranger and wolf expert Rick McIntyre has been present to record every excruciating detail of …

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Book Review: What It’s Like to Be a Dog: And Other Adventures in Animal Neuroscience

I am forever wondering what my dog, Galen, is thinking. Sometimes I go nose to nose with her, stare into her brown eyes, and ponder what’s happening in that little brain of hers. In those moments, I presume she thinks either, “Why have you thrust your face in mine?” or “How about you give me …

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Zoologies

Zoologies, On Animals and the Human Spirit (Milkweed Editions) By Alison Hawthorne Deming Every day, as I walk from house to barn, or go up the driveway to get the mail, I am closely monitored by the resident crows who glide from oak to oak, loudly discussing my movements amongst themselves. In a cacophony of …

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Book Review: The Soul of All Living Creatures by Vint Virga

Vint Virga’s The Soul of All Living Creatures: What Animals Can Teach Us About Being Human opens with a quote from Hippocrates: “The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different.” Following next is an author’s note in which Virga explains why he uses the pronouns “he” and …

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