Book Reviews: Why I Write Them, How I Find Them

I’ve read thousands of mainly non-fiction books over the past 40 years.

Why I write Book Reviews

I write book reviews for a number of reasons — to give my brain a “workout”, as a source of information for my own book about the decline and fall of our fossil-fuel-based civilization, and to perhaps delay dementia.

Why Books?  Why not newspapers or science journals?

I read newspapers and subscribe to many magazines and newspapers: NewScientist, Science, Scientific American, Time, the New Yorker, the New York Times, National Geographic, Skeptic, etc. to keep up-to-date, but I find most media seldom covers the issues and topics that really matter.

Even when overpopulation, carrying capacity, peak energy, peak rare earth & platinum minerals, peak phosphorous, biodiversity loss, invasive species, decaying infrastructure, natural resources, cyber attacks & war, nuclear war and waste, superfund projects, chemical wastes, topsoil mining, monocropping and agricultural diseases, ecology, climate change, and other issues that do matter are covered, they’re approached and written about through the false filters of economics and politics.

If an important issue such as long-term disposal of radioactive waste makes the news, it’s short and about a specific power plant.  Complex and important topics can’t be covered in newspapers or magazines due to limited space, a time frame in the here and now, not enough space to give the greater context, or the history of what led up to this news item, and certainly not an in-depth analysis of why it matters.

How I find books to read

  • Science magazine’s “books received” list online (not in the print version)
  • Nature magazine’s book reviews
  • New York Times book review podcast
  • NPR book review podcast
  • Magazines & newspapers (listed above)
  • Other podcasts: Science Friday (NPR), Science Times (New York Times), WNYC Radio lab,  BBC Discovery, National Geographic Weekend, Nature magazine, Fresh Air (NPR), To the Best of Our Knowledge (NPR), This American Life, Skeptics Guide to the Universe, Stuff you should know, Stuff you missed in history class, Scientific American 60-second earth & science, Big Picture Science, Point of Inquiry

Then I look at the reviews on amazon, and then see which library has the book at the University of California Berkeley (UCB) library system and add it to my giant book list.  Then I thumb through the book to see if I actually want to read it.

If I’m interested in a topic such as cyber war, nutrition, jellyfish, or semiconductor manufactoring, I see what books the UCB library has and look at all the books in that section. UCB also has many online-only sources that are free to the public.

Lastly, there’s the New York Times book review and going to the few bookstores still surviving and randomly pulling books of the shelf to look through them.  In the past, but less so now, I discovered books in yahoo groups energyresources and runningonempty, private emails from scientists I’m in touch with, and these websites:

Peak Resources and the Preservation of Knowledge

Because there are no alternative resources of energy that can replace fossil fuels, our leaders ought to be looking at how to transition to a lower energy society — back to the past in as orderly a way as possible to prevent sudden discontinuities that throw us into world war, civil war, and to limit the number of deaths as we descend the net energy cliff and carrying capacity relentlessly declines.  PostCarbon’s website,, is dedicated to how to go about doing this from the bottom up, since for many reasons, our political and economic leaders can’t discuss peak oil and climate change.

Once society descends into chaos, a lot of libraries and books will be destroyed by fascistic or rigid fanatic religious leaders, or burned to provide energy to cook with or heat homes, by natural disasters, by insects, by aging (at most books last 500 years) — so the more books people buy (and of course, I’d like to see people buy the ones on my booklist), the greater the chance some books will make it through to the next Renaissance, where scholars can transcribe what they find the most useful to save and preserve knowledge.  Computers will be one of the first fossil-fuel produced products to go away, so all of the information being stored electronically will only last as long as the last computer and computer chip.

What books might I be reviewing in the future?

Obviously I only have the time to review a few of the ones below that I find the time to read.

To give you an idea of the books I have on my U.C. Berkeley library list right now (September 2013), here’s my “A” list, the most wanted (I have an even larger “B” list, as well as lists of books I’ve read, or that I didn’t want after I’d thumbed through them):

ANTH ED-P BF723.M55 H73 2009 Mothers and others : the evolutionary origins of mutual understanding
ANTH CC72.4 .Q44 2010 Questioning Collapse Human Resilience, Ecological Vulnerability, and the Aftermath of Empire
ANTH E99.M69 O78 1991 It Will Live Forever (processing acorns in the Yosemite Valley)
ANTH MORR F2520.1.Y3 C49 2013 Chagnon. Noble savages. My life among two dangerous tribes, the Yanomamö & the anthropologists
ANTH GN281 .D56 2010 Too smart for our own good : the ecological predicament of humankind
ANTH GT2850 .J66 Feast: Why Humans Share Food.
ANTH BUSI HM851 .O4 No Place to Hide
BIOS GE180 .H35 2013 Arming Mother Nature The Birth of Catastrophic Environmentalism
BIOS GF75 .S25 2011 Our Dying Planet: An Ecologist’s View of the Crisis We Face
BIOS GT2920.M55 V35 2011 Milk A Local and Global History
BIOS MAIN PS3623.I5788 A57 2010 Anthill: a novel  by E. O. Wilson
BIOS QC902.9 .S28 2012 Saving a million species : extinction risk from climate change
BIOS QC981.8.C5 P425 2011 Driven to Extinction The Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity
BIOS QH541.15.E25 N38 2011 Natural capital : theory & practice of mapping ecosystem services
BIOS QH541.5.S6 S6429 2012 Soil Ecology and Ecosystem Services
BIOS QH78 .M23 2013 The Great Extinctions What Causes Them and How They Shape Life
BIOS QK46.5.D58 N33 2009 Where Our Food Comes From: Retracing Nikolay Vavilov’s Quest to End Famine
BIOS QK570.2 .M6813 2013 Seaweeds Edible, Available, and Sustainable
BIOS QK603 .R57 2011 The Book of Fungi A Life-Size Guide to Six Hundred Species from Around the World
BIOS MORR QL122 .P73 2011 Prager. Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime The Oceans’ Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter
BIOS QL430.2 .W55 2010 Kraken The Curious, Exciting, and Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid
BIOS QL696.F32 V353 2011 Vulture
BIOS QL719.O7 V474 1998 Land Mammals of Oregon    David Herlocker recommends as best one
BIOS QL737.C432 H464 2011 Dolphin diaries : my 25 years with spotted dolphins in the Bahamas
BIOS QL737.R68 S68 2012 Squirrels of the World (all 285 species)
BIOS QL751 .A667 2013 Animal Personalities Behavior, Physiology, and Evolution
BIOS QL757 .H34 2011 Parasites in Ecological Communities: From Interactions to Ecosystems
BIOS QL757 .H67 2012 Host Manipulation by Parasites
BIOS QL84.2 .M66 2013 Wild ones: a dismaying, reassuring story about looking at people looking at animals in America
BIOS QP135 .M38 2012 Extreme measures : the ecological energetics of birds and mammals
BIOS MORR QP145 .R53 2013 Roach. Gulp Adventures of the Alimentary Canal
BIOS RA1231.C3 C33 2013 Cadmium From Toxicity to Essentiality
BIOS SD418.3.A53 H43 2010 The Fate of the Forest Developers, Destroyers, and Defenders of the Amazon
BIOS SF469 .J47 2013 Global Pigeon
BIOS TD299 .C47 2011 water: Asia’s new battleground
BIOS TX558.A3A12 B3 1985 Acorns as food, nutrient analysis
BIOS TX725.M628 O88 2012 Cookery section: Jerusalem : a cookbook  best hummus recipe
BUSI HD38.5 S896242 Supply chain management  also S877 and @3844
BUSI HD9135 .P76 2011 Golden holocaust : origins of the cigarette catastrophe and the case for abolition
BUSI HD9502.5.B542 G53 2009 The Biofuel Delusion The Fallacy of Large Scale Agro-Biofuels Production
BUSI MORR HE571 .G465 2013 George. Ninety percent of everything. inside shipping, the invisible industry that puts clothes
BUSI TS178.4 .N944 2013 America’s Assembly Line
EART GB5014 .G547 2008 Global Catastrophic Risks
EART GC190.2 .T39 2011 The Dance of Air and Sea How Oceans, Weather, and Life Link Together
EART QC903 .K56 2010 Hack the Planet: Science’s Best Hope-or Worst Nightmare-for Averting Climate Catastrophe
EART QC981 .R763 2005 c.2 Plows, plagues, and petroleum : how humans took control of climate
EART QE28.3 .Z35 2008 The Earth After Us What Legacy Will Humans Leave in the Rocks?
ED-P BF209.L9 H6413 2013 LSD My Problem Child. Insights/Outlooks
ED-P MORR BF531 .D33 2012 Davidson. The emotional life of your brain : how its unique patterns affect the way you think, feel, & live
ED-P MORR BF575.A886 H47 2012 Herz. That’s Disgusting Unraveling the Mysteries of Repulsion
ED-P BF575.C88 V56 2013 Why Only Humans Weep Unraveling the Mysteries of Tears
ED-P BF575.L3 H89 2011 Inside Jokes: Using Humor to Reverse-Engineer the Mind
ED-P BF637.H4 P38 2012 Pathological Altruism
ED-P BF698.9.I6 K38 2013 Ungifted Intelligence Redefined
ED-P BF714 .S66 2011 Situations Matter Understanding How Context Transforms Your World
ED-P MORR BF773 .S54 2011 Shermer The believing brain : from ghosts and gods to conspiracies–how we construct beliefs
ED-P HQ1206 .E956 2013 Evolution’s Empress Darwinian Perspectives on the Nature of Women
ED-P HV6721.L3 S38 2012 Addiction by Design Machine Gambling in Las Vegas
ED-P IN PROGRESS The Stressed Sex Uncovering the Truth About Men, Women, and Mental Health
ED-P LB1620 .F46 2012 Exam Schools Inside America’s Most Selective Public High Schools
ED-P ON ORDER Sibling Relationships in Childhood and Adolescence: Predictors and Outcomes
ED-P QL568.A6 P24 2013 The Spirit of the Hive The Mechanisms of Social Evolution
ED-P MORR QL696.P2367 M357 2012 MARZLUFF. Gifts of the crow: how perception, emotion, & thought allow smart birds to behave like humans
ED-P QL757 .K365 2010 What’s Eating You? People and Parasites
ED-P QL785.27 .B347 2011 The exultant ark : a pictorial tour of animal pleasure
ED-P QL785.27 .K56 2013 How Animals Grieve
ED-P QP376 .F46 2010 The Other Brain From Dementia to Schizophrenia, How New Discoveries About the Brain
ED-P QP376 .L563 2013 The Unpredictable Species What Makes Humans Unique
ED-P QP458 .S44 2012 Neurogastronomy : how the brain creates flavor and why it matters
ED-P RC555 .B555 2013 Bad Boys, Bad Men Confronting Antisocial Personality Disorder
electronic Floods in a Changing Climate Extreme Precipitation
ENGI EARTmp QE535.2.N6 T46 2011 Cascadia’s fault : the coming earthquake and tsunami that could devastate North America    MORR too
ENGI TD195.E49 F39 2012 Energy and the Environment Scientific and Technological Principles
ENGI MORR TD345.P77 2011 The ripple effect : the fate of freshwater in the twenty-first century
ENGI POK TD799.85 .G33 2011 Digital rubbish : a natural history of electronics
ENGI TD885.5.G73 J66 2011 Engineering strategies for greenhouse gas mitigation
ENGI TD898.118 .A45 2013 Too Hot To Touch The Problem of High-Level Nuclear Waste
ENGI TJ163.3 .F855 2012 Fundamentals of Materials for Energy and Environmental stability
ENGI TK7871.85.V36 Microchips  — any newer articles?
ENVD F869.S357 R83 2011 A Negotiated Landscape The Transformation of San Francisco’s Waterfront Since 1950
ENVD MORR G156.5.E58 B53 2012 Visit sunny Chernobyl : and other adventures in the world’s most polluted places
ENVD GE149 .R6313 2012 Bankrupting Nature: Denying Our Planetary Boundaries   DUE 2-20-2014
ENVD MORR HC108.D6 L44 2013 LeDuff. Detroit : an American autopsy
ENVD HD9539.P583 S62 2013 Plutopia : nuclear families, atomic cities, and the great Soviet and American plutonium disasters
ENVD HT166 .H535 2011 Urban code : 100 lessons for understanding the city
ENVD NA6230 .A83 2011 The Heights Anatomy of a Skyscraper
ENVD QC903.2.U6 K35 2012 Climate Change in California Risk and Response
ENVD QH353 .E53 2011 REFERENCE SECTION  Encyclopedia of Biological Invasions
ENVD QH541.15.B56 L588 2012 A world in one cubic foot : portraits in biodiversity
MAIN BF199 .P765 2012 Curious behavior: yawning, laughing, hiccuping, and beyond
MAIN BF575.H27 D57 2011 What makes your brain happy and why you should do the opposite
MAIN BF637.P76 P46 2012 The Art of Procrastination A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing
MAIN MORR BX1713 .M87 2012 God’s jury : the Inquisition and the making of the modern world
MAIN CT275.H62575 A5 2011 arguably essays by Christopher Hitchens
MAIN D247 .P37 2013 Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century
MAIN D923.B79 1992 Neither here nor there: travels in europe   Bill Bryson
MAIN HC79.E5 I51339 2012 Inclusive Wealth Report 2012 Measuring Progress Toward Sustainability
MAIN MORR PN1031 .O77 2011 ORR. Beautiful & pointless : a guide to modern poetry
MAIN MOFF/RR PN2287.F4255 A3 2012 bossypants
MAIN MORR PS3610.O3 O76 2012 Johnson. The orphan masters son (2013 fiction winner)
MOFF BD435 .P525 2012 How Science and Philosophy Can Lead Us to a More Meaningful LIfe
MOFF MORR D228 .M36 2011 Charles Mann 1493 : uncovering the new world Columbus created
MOFF D810.D57 G53 2013 The Deserters. A hidden history of world war II
MOFF GE155.M57 M67 2012 The Big Muddy : an environmental history of the Mississippi and its peoples
MOFF GE180 .P53 2013 Snail Darter and the Dam How Pork-Barrel Politics Endangered a Little Fish and Killed a River
MOFF GT2850 .M375 2009 Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly
MOFF HC260.W4 K56 2013 When the Money Runs Out The End of Western Affluence
MOFF HC79.D45 E23 2013 Economic Impacts of Natural Disasters
MOFF Q172 .O88 2011 Fool me twice fighting the assault on science in America
MOFF QH353 .T73 2013 Trash Animals How We Live with Nature’s Filthy, Feral, Invasive, and Unwanted Species
MOFF QL638.95.L3 C37 2005 The devil’s teeth a true story of obsession and survival among America’s great white sharks
MOFF QL85 .O46 2008 Made for each other the biology of human animal bond
MOFF QP572.A27 H64 2013 Adrenaline
MOFF RC443 .T67 2008 The Insanity Offense How America’s Failure to Treat the Seriously Mentally Ill Endangers Its Citizens
MOFF TJ808 .A449 2012 Sustainable Materials: with both eyes open
MORR BP605.S2 H55 2013 Miscavige. Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape
MORR D756 .A78 2013 Atkinson. The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 (Liberation Trilogy
MORR D810.S8 S535 2012 Mulley. The spy who loved : the secrets and lives of Christine Granville, Britain’s first female special age
MORR E897 .S33 2013 Scahill. Dirty Wars: The World Is A Battlefield
MORR GF75 .G88 2012 Guterl. The fate of the species. Why the human race may cause its own extinction
MORR HC110.E5 S363 2013 Sanderson. Terra Nova The New World After Oil, Cars, and Suburbs
MORR BUSI HC110.I5 N63 2012 Noah. The great divergence. America’s growing inequality crisis and what we can do about it
MORR HF1604 .C26713 2013 Cardenal. China’s silent army : pioneers, traders, fixers &workers remaking the world in Beijing’s image
MORR HG181 .K35 2013 Kaiser. Act of Congress how America’s essential institution works, and how it doesn’t
MORR HJ2381 .B375 2012 Bartlett. The benefit and the burden : tax reform–why we need it and what it will take
MORR JK1991 .N54 2013 Nichols. Dollarocracy. how the money-and-media election complex is destroying America
MORR KF229.C37 L43 2013 LEAMER. price of justice : a true story of greed and corruption  (about Massey Coal)
MORR PN145 .L67 2013 Lopate. To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction
MORR PN4874.H215 A6 2013 Hainey. After Visiting Friends: A Son’s Story
MORR PS3563.I4614 Z46 2013 Min. The Cooked Seed: A Memoir
MORR PS3569.E314 L47 2013 Sedaris. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls
MORR QB631.2 .C48 2012 Childs. Apocalyptic planet : field guide to the everending Earth
MORR QM495 .W55 2012 Williams. Breasts, a natural and unnatural history
MORR RA645.O23 L873 2012 Lustig Fat Chance beating the odds against sugar, processed food, obesity & disease
MORR RB125 .N388 2012 Natterson Zoobiquity : what animals can teach us about health and the science of healing
MORR RC569.5.V55 R35 2013 Raine. The Anatomy of Violence The Biological Roots of Crime
MORR RF290 .B58 2013 Bouton. Shouting Won’t Help Why I–and 50 Million Other Americans–Can’t Hear You
MORR T14.5 .C37 2012 Casti. X-events : the collapse of everything
MORR TR140.H44 H84 2013 Huffman. Here I Am: The Story of Tim Hetherington, War Photographer
MORR UA23 .M19 2013 Mazzetti. The way of the knife : the CIA, a secret army, and a war at the ends of the Earth
Physics QC774.E94 B97 2010 The Many Worlds of Hugh Everett III Multiple Universes
Physics Astronomy  QC6.4.C3 S74 2011 The fallacy of fine-tuning : why the universe is not designed for us
PUBL f N8223 .A53 2011 OVERSIZE The art of medicine : over 2,000 years of images and imagination
PUBL HM1101 .P763 2008 Catalog of Risks Natural, Technical, Social and Health Risks
PUBL QP RA RJ nutrition books
PUBL RA1231.M5 H54 2009 Diagnosis mercury : money, politics, and poison
PUBL RA427.3 .H43285 2009 Health, Risk, and Adversity
PUBL RA427.3 .W65 2008 Know Your Chances Understanding Health Statistics
PUBL RA638 .M675 2011 The panic virus : a true story of medicine, science, and fear
PUBL RA643 .S76 2011 Eradication : ridding the world of diseases forever?
PUBL RA644.8.D44 S53 2011 Sick societies. responding to the global challenge of chronic disease
PUBL RA793 .E67 2011 Changing Planet, Changing Health How the Climate Crisis Threatens Our Health and What We Can Do
PUBL RB152 .E963 2008 evolutionary medicine and health
PUBL RB153 .S78 2006 Exposure A Guide to Sources of Infections
PUBL RB155 .E96 2008 evolution in health and disease
PUBL RC183.1 .H66 2002 The Greatest Killer Smallpox in History
PUBL RC270.8 P43 2011 Why millions survive cancer : the successes of science
PUBL RC961 .H68 2008 Forgotten People, Forgotten Diseases The Neglected Tropical Diseases & Their Impact on Global Health
PUBL OPTOM RM216 .N8628 2006 Nutritional Health Strategies for Disease Prevention (2006 — 2012 electronic only)
PUBL TD195.C58 L63 2012 The silent epidemic : coal and the hidden threat to health
SOCW HV553 .P527 2008 Phoenix of Natural Disasters Community Resilience

And if I get through the above list and new books that I’m adding, these are my “B” list, second most wanted:

ANTH MOFF E99.K79 .N44 1983 Make Prayers to the Raven  A Koyukon View of the Northern Forest
ANTH F2520.1.M9 E94 2008 Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes  Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle
ANTH PUBL HQ766.5.C6 G74 2008 Just One Child Science and Policy in Deng’s China
ANTH P116 .B87 The Talking Ape. How Language Evolved.
ANTH QL737.P93 C43 Baboon metaphysics : the evolution of a social mind
ANTH RA649 .W25 2008 Contagious Cultures, Carriers, and the Outbreak Narrative
ANTH QL758 .H37 Man the Hunted Primates, Predators, and Human Evolution
BANC F912.G36 B76 2007 History of the Central Brooks Range Gaunt Beauty, Tenuous Life
BANC SH20.H35 A3 2010 North by Northwestern: A Seafaring Family on Deadly Alaskan Waters
BIOS \f\ QL451 .H553 2007 The Private Life of Spiders
BIOS \f\ QL82 .W545 Wildlife Spectacles
BIOS 546 .F667 2009 Dazzled and Deceived Mimicry and Camouflage
BIOS BL53 .N49 2006 Why We Believe What We Believe Uncovering Our Biological Need for Meaning, Spirituality,
BIOS F909 .M373 Alaska Wilderness Exploring the Central Brooks Range
BIOS HC 79 E5 G597145 Global Survival
BIOS MOFF HD1476.U5 P95 Raising Less Corn, More Hell The Case for the Independent Farm and Against Industrial Food
BIOS BUSI HD9415 .H67 Putting Meat on the American Table Taste, Technology, Transformation
BIOS HQ25 .J83 Dr. Tatiana’s advice to all creation
BIOS LB3479.U6 P55 2010 Free for All Fixing School Food in America
BIOS ML3830 .L38 2006 This Is Your Brain on Music
BIOS ON ORDER Vegetables I Asteraceae, Brassicaceae, Chenopodicaceae, and Cucurbitaceae
BIOS Q180 .C64 Stop Working and Start Thinking A Guide to Becoming a Scientist.
BIOS MOFF QE721.2.E97 E96546 Extinction : how life on earth nearly ended 250 million years ago
BIOS MOFF QE721.2.E97 H34 Catastrophes and lesser calamities: the causes of mass extinctions
BIOS QF75 b76 Feed or Feedback. AG, pop dynamics, and the state of the planet
BIOS QH104.5.G73 J64 Prairie Dog Empire A Saga of the Shortgrass Prairie [not yet, fairly dry]
BIOS QH105 NAT HISTORY OTHER: QH104.5 QH541  QK86 qk149 QL430 QL696 QL768 ps283 SD397
BIOS QH105.C2 B45 2006 California’s Frontier Naturalists
BIOS QH105.C2 C3 .90 Introduction to California Chaparral
BIOS QH105.O7 L87 1999 Hidden Forest The Biography of an Ecosystem
BIOS QH161 .T52 2007 Sacred Sea A Journey to Lake Baikal
BIOS QH31.L95 R65 The Lysenko Effect The Politics of Science
BIOS QH31.M4516 T63 2007 Chrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis
BIOS QH331 .S324 Scientists Debate Gaia The Next Century
BIOS QH353 .B555 2007 Biological Invaders in Inland Waters
BIOS QH353 .I598 2006 Invasive Species in the Pacific Northwest
BIOS QH366.2 .E847 Evolution
BIOS QH366.2 .J322 Evolution in Four Dimensions
BIOS QH367 .B35 The Ghosts of Evolution
BIOS QH431 .C474 2006 When a Gene Makes You Smell Like a Fish And Other Tales
BIOS QH45.2 .D38 2006 Threads from the Web of Life Stories in Natural History
BIOS QH45.2 .V47 2004 Nature An Economic History
BIOS QH450 .E649 2007 Epigenetics
BIOS QH456 .G58 2006 Mismatch Why Our World No Longer Fits Our Bodies
BIOS QH46.5 .A88 2007 Amazing Rare Things The Art of Natural History in the Age of Discovery
BIOS QH51 .A73 2009 The Nature Study Movement  The Forgotten Popularizer of America’s Conservation Ethic
BIOS QH510 .S63 2008 Energy in Nature and Society
BIOS QH541 .T49 Theoretical Ecology Principles and Applications.
BIOS QH541.5.P7 G723 Grasslands. Developments Opportunities Perspectives.
BIOS QH541.5.S6 S87 Sustaining Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Soils and Sediments
BIOS QH541.5.S7 R54 2006 River and Stream Ecosystems of the World
BIOS QH545.P4 C37 2006 Pesticide Selectivity, Health and the Environment
BIOS QH75 .M478 2006 The End of the Wild
BIOS QH76.5.W34 W57 2008 The American West at Risk Science, Myths, and Politics of Land Abuse and Recovery
BIOS QH84.8 .N36 2007 Life in the Soil A Guide for Naturalists and Gardeners
BIOS QH86 .F65 Forest Diversity and Function Temperate and Boreal Systems
BIOS QH91.1 .K37 2006 Sensuous Seas Tales of a Marine Biologist
BIOS QH96.57.A1 L3513 2007 Limnoecology The Ecology of Lakes and Streams.
BIOS QK46.5.D58 S86 2007 Measuring Plant Diversity Lessons from the Field
BIOS QK495.R78 B73 2009 the perfect fruit – good breeding, bad seeds
BIOS QK669 .L44 2007 Nature’s Palette The Science of Plant Color
BIOS QK911 .S45 2010 From Plant Traits to Vegetation Str Chance & Selection in the Assembly of Ecological Communities
BIOS QK926 .B835 The forgotten pollinators
BIOS QK96.B27 2008 Gods and goddesses in the garden Greco-Roman mythology and the scientific names of plants
BIOS QL463 .T87 2006 Flies in the Face of Fashion, Mites Make Right
BIOS QL496 .C67 2006 Other Insect Societies
BIOS QL505.5 .B43 2007 Cockroaches Ecology, Behavior, and Natural History
BIOS QL553.C67 M55 2006 100 Caterpillars Portraits from the Tropical Forests of Costa Rica
BIOS QL568.F7 M64 2010 Adventures among Ants: A Global Safari with a Cast of Trillions   DUE 7-29
BIOS QL696.A52 D832 Ducks, Geese and Swans
BIOS QL696.C52 K87 Herons.
BIOS QL696.P2367 C37 Noncooperative Breeding in the California Scrub-Jay
BIOS QL698.3 .H435 2010 The Nesting Season: Cuckoos, Cuckolds, and the Invention of Monogamy
BIOS QL698.3 .U4313 2006 Between the Wingtips the secret life of birds
BIOS QL737.C2 U73 2010 Urban Carnivores: Ecology, Conflict, and Conservation
BIOS QL737.C4 K434 2009 Watching Giants The Secret Lives of Whales
BIOS QL737.P93 M34 2007 Macachiavellian Intelligence How Rhesus Macaques and Humans Have Conquered the World
BIOS QL737.P96 H364 2007 Gorilla Society  Conflict, Compromise and Cooperation Between the Sexes
BIOS QL737.R68 T48 2006 Squirrels The Animal Answer
BIOS QL751 .C8825 Headless Males Make Great Lovers And Other Unusual Natural Histories.
BIOS QL754 .H63 2009 Animal Migration Remarkable Journeys in the Wild
BIOS QL756.5 .F665 2007 Foraging Behavior and Ecology
BIOS QL756.56 .E26 2008 The Ecology of Browsing and Grazing
BIOS QL757 .P2825 Parasitism and Ecosystems
BIOS QL759 .R89 Avoiding Attack The Evolutionary Ecology of Crypsis, Warning Signals, and Mimicry
BIOS QL761 .F46 2006 Female Infidelity and Paternal Uncertainty Evolutionary Perspectives
BIOS QL776 .S35 2005 The Evolution of Animal Communication Reliability and Deception in Signaling Systems
BIOS MOFF QL785 .B36 Animal Passions and Beastly Virtues Reflections on Redecorating Nature.
BIOS QL785 .M47 2007 Carrots and Sticks Principles of Animal Training
BIOS QL785 .R25 2006 Rational Animals
BIOS QL785 .W9525 Do Animals Think
BIOS MOFF QM26 .S58 2008 Your inner fish : a journey into the 3.5-billion-year history of the human body
BIOS QP251 .L56 The Case of the Female Orgasm Bias in the Science of Evolution
BIOS MOFF QP251 .R568 2008 Bonk The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex
BIOS QP376 .D697 2004 The Great Brain Debate Nature or Nurture
BIOS MOFF QP38 .S275 2005 Monkeyluv : and other essays on our lives as animals
BIOS QR185.95 .U55 2007 Defending Life The Nature of Host-Parasite Relations
BIOS RB127 .D67 2006 Worst of Evils The Fight Against Pain
BIOS RB155 .E96 2008 Evolution in Health and Disease
BIOS RC178.G72 L665 2004 Great Plague The Story of London’s Most Deadly Year
BIOS RC88.9.T47 M53 2006 Microorganisms and bioterrorism
BIOS RS61 .S637 Drug Discovery A History
BIOS S494.5.I5 O46 2008 Creating abundance : biological innovation and American agricultural development
BIOS S494.5.S86 D48 2006 Developing and Extending Sustainable Agriculture
BIOS S494.5.S86 R36 2006 Agricultural Sustainability Principles, Processes, and Prospects
BIOS S534.C2C275 S65 no.3485 The home orchard : growing your own deciduous fruit and nut trees
BIOS S534.C2C275 S65 no.3497 Watersheds, groundwater and drinking water : a practical guide
BIOS S589.7 .W647 2006 Introduction to Agroecology Principles and Practices
BIOS S589.757.M57 F76 2007 From the Corn Belt to the Gulf
BIOS S590.7 .S67 2006 Soils and Societies Perspectives from Environmental History
BIOS S596 .H55 2008 Soil in the Environment Crucible of Terrestrial Life
BIOS S605.5 .B46 Future Harvest: Pesticide-Free Farming
BIOS S605.5 .D87 Good Growing Why Organic Farming Works
BIOS S605.5 .O62 2006 Organic Agriculture A Global Perspective
BIOS SB113.3 .S96 Seed Fate Predation, Dispersal, and Seedling Establishment
BIOS SB123 .K554 2009 Hybrid the History and science of plant breeding
BIOS SB229.C9 F8613 2008 From Rainforest to Cane Field in Cuba An Environmental History since 1492
BIOS SB354.8 .R54 2006 Introduction to Fruit Crops     MAIN also — if and when you get property elsewhere – this section has many books on fruit/nuts
BIOS SB950 .A74 2008 Areawide Pest Management
BIOS SB950 .F57 1998 Pests of Garden & Small Farm A Grower’s Guide to Using Less Pesticide (FREE book in ajf/garden)
BIOS SB950.2 A1 M39 American Pests
BIOS SB950.3.D44 .U54 2007 Integrated Pest Management for Developing Countries
BIOS SD121 .P25 v.5:10 Home storage of vegetables  <1917>
BIOS SD383.3.U6 B69 Trees National Champions
BIOS SD391 .P97 2009 A Critique of Silviculture: Managing for Complexity
BIOS SD397.A48 F74 2007 American Chestnut The Life, Death, and Rebirth of a Perfect Tree
BIOS SD428.A2 W45 2006 This Land A Guide to Western National Forests
BIOS SF281 .D66 The Domestic Horse The Origins, Development, and Management of Its Behaviour
BIOS SF523 .W542 The Hive The Story of the Honeybee and Us
BIOS SH327.5 .C56 2004 The End of the Line How Overfishing Is Changing the World and What We Eat
BIOS SH327.7 .H46 2007 Fish Conservation A Guide to Understanding and Restoring Global Aquatic Biodiversity
BIOS MOFF SH334 .M55 2007 Swimming in Circles Aquaculture and the End of Wild Oceans
BIOS TC405 .P43 2006 When the Rivers Run Dry Water–The Defining Crisis of the Twenty-First Century
BIOS TD223.6 .W34 2003 Water and Climate in the Western United States
BIOS TD224.C3 G74 2007 Managing Water Avoiding Crisis in California
BIOS TP570 .B1827 2008 Grape vs. Grain A Historical, Technological, and Social Comparison of Wine and Beer
BIOS TX353 .F668 2007 Food The History of Taste
BIOS TX355 .L88 2005 Fashionable Food Seven Decades of Food Fads
BIOS TX601 .S69 Making the best of basics : family preparedness handbook
BIOS TX612.V4 C45 1980 Keeping the harvest : home storage of vegetables & fruits /
BIOS TX631 .M62 2010 Modern gastronomy A to Z : a scientific and gastronomic lexicon
BIOS TX715 .F685 2009 Food of a younger land: a portrait of American food before the national highway system
BUSI GF47 .H45 2007 Peak everything : waking up to the century of declines
BUSI HB3722 .L35 2010 I.O.U. Why Everyone Owes Everyone
BUSI HB3722 .P76 2009 It takes a pillage : behind the bailouts, bonuses, and backroom deals from Washington to Wall Street
BUSI MOFF HB95 .K54 2007 The Shock Doctrine The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
BUSI HB97.3 S56 2008 The mind of the market : compassionate apes, competitive humans, and other tales
BUSI HC79.E5 S6652 2008 The bridge at the edge of the world : capitalism, the environment, and crossing from crisis to sustainability
BUSI MORR HE199.A2 M39 2006 Uncommon Carriers (McPhee on drivers of vehicles)
BUSI HF5416.5 .P66 2010 Priceless The Myth of Fair Value (and How to Take Advantage of It)
BUSI HG5993 .S65 2009 Twilight of the bombs
BUSI T54 P47 1984 Normal Accidents Living with High-Risk Technologies
BUSI TD195.E5 T735 2007 Renewable Energy Cannot Sustain a Consumer Society
BUSI TN870 .H45 2006 The oil depletion protocol : a plan to avert oil wars, terrorism and economic collapse
CHEM QD39.7 .E47 2007 Better Looking, Better Living, Better Loving How Chemistry Can Help You Achieve Life’s Goals
EART GB1003.2 .Y68 2007 Groundwater in the Environment An Introduction
EART GC21 .E28 2009 The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean’s Are One
EART MOFF QC981.8.C5 C69 2007 Climate Change Biological and Human Aspects
EART QE522 .V8885 2005 Volcanoes and the Environment
EART TP995 .E54 Energy, Waste and the Environment A Geochemical Perspective
ED-P BF468 .N67 2006 Beyond 9 to 5 Your Life in Time
ED-P BF531 .E486 Emotion, Evolution and Rationality
ED-P BF531 .F69 2008 Emotion Science Cognitive and Neuroscientific Approaches to Understanding Human Emotions
ED-P BF575.L3 M27 2007 psychology of humor
ED-P BF575.L8 N48 2006 New Psychology of Love
ED-P BF633 .T385 Brainwashing The Science of Thought Control
ED-P BF637.P4 L48 2003 Power of Persuasion How We’re Bought and Sold
ED-P BF685 .B585 Basic Instinct The Genesis of Behavior
ED-P BF698.95 .R44 2007 evolutionary psychology as maladapted psychology
ED-P MOFF BF701 .B85 Adapting Minds Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent Quest for Human Nature
ED-P BF723.C5 G675 2009 philosophical baby what children’s minds tell us about truth, love, and the meaning of life
ED-P BF723.T53 K345 2004 The Long Shadow of Temperament
ED-P PUBL BF724.6 .H69 2004 How Healthy Are We? A National Study of Well-Being at Midlife
ED-P BL240.3 .G66 Scientific and Religious Habits of Mind Irreconcilable Tensions In the Curriculum
ED-P GN281 .G7 2010 Fatherhood Evolution and Human Paternal Behavior
ED-P GN482 .K66 2010 The Evolution of Childhood: Relationships, Emotion, Mind
ED-P HM1076 .H88 2008 Folk Psychological Narratives The Sociocultural Basis of Understanding Reasons
ED-P BUSI HV551.2 .C533 Terror and Catastrophe in the Popular Imagination.
ED-P HV5801 .H459 2009 Addiction A Disorder of Choice
ED-P LC40 .W93 2008 Family Ties Relationships, Socialization, and Home Schooling
ED-P N482 .K66 2010 The evolution of childhood : relationships, emotion, mind   Melvin Konner.
ED-P QP251 .F7613 2006 Lust and Love Is It More Than Chemistry?
ED-P MOFF QP376 .L577 The Accidental Mind
ED-P QP402 .B56 2006 Biology of Personality and Individual Differences
ED-P QP84 .H35 2006 Size Matters How Height Affects the Health, Happiness, & Success of Boys — & the Men They Become
ED-P RC439.5 .R4228 2005 Recovery in Mental Illness Broadening Our Understanding of Wellness
ED-P RC454.4 .F33 Origins of Psychopathology
ED-P RC455.4.E8 W38 2010 Crazy Like Us The Globalization of the American Psyche
ED-P RC514 .C658 2008 Cortical Deficits in Schizophrenia From Genes to Function
ED-P RC516 .M382 2007 Bipolar Expeditions Mania and Depression in American Culture
ED-P RC569.5.F3 W66 Women and Victimization Contributing Factors, Interventions, and Implications
ED-P RJ503 .T75 Treating & Preventing Adolescent Mental Health Disorders What We Know & What We Don’t Know
ED-P RM315 .R447 Intoxicating Minds How Drugs Work
ED-P RM315 .W46 2010 Your Brain on Food How Chemicals Control Your Thoughts and Feelings
ED-P RJ506.H9 B765 Attention Deficit Disorder The Unfocused Mind in Children and Adults
ENGI QH541.15.B56 B584 2007 Biodiversity Under Threat
ENGI TD1060 .N386 2008 Natural processes and systems for hazardous waste treatment
ENGI TD898 .H35 2008 Poison in the Well  Radioactive Waste in the Oceans at the Dawn of the Nuclear Age
ENGI TJ163.2 .F36 2004 Energy Technology and Directions for the Future
ENGI TJ163.9 .D3 Fundamentals of Renewable Energy Processes
ENGI TK9152.165 N38 2005 Safety Related Issues of Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage
ENGI TS161 .I58 Life-Cycle Assessment of Metals Issues and Research Directions
ENVI GT2846.G7 E93 2002 Bogs, baths and basins : the story of domestic sanitation
ENVI HT166 C73 2009 Car free design manual
ENVI SB319 .P38 2007 Fruits and Plains The Horticultural Transformation of America
ENVI TT197.5.B8 N861 Home Storage
MAIN B528 .I78 2009 A Guide to the Good Life The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy
MAIN BJ45 .M66 2008 Moral Psychology (several volumes)
MAIN BQ9288 .A967 2006 Zen-brain reflections : reviewing recent developments in meditation and states of consciousness
MAIN CB482 .S65 2010 Water The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization
MAIN MOFF D16.9 .S62 2008 On Deep History and the Brain
MAIN D56.52.H45 K3713 Travels with Herodotus (TRAVEL)
MAIN MOFF DA566.4.B79 1995 notes from a small island  bill bryson
MAIN DS206 .I2613 2008 A Traveller in Thirteenth-Century Arabia Ibn Al-Mujawir’s Tarikh Al-Mustabsir
MAIN DS63.2.U5 Y48 2008 The absence of grand strategy : the United States in the Persian Gulf, 1972-2005
MAIN DT333 .B46 White Gold (TRAVEL)
MAIN DT351.S9 J43 2007 Stanley : the impossible life of Africa’s greatest explorer
MAIN CMHE DU222.B8 M8 1967 The life and adventures of William Buckley, 32 years a wanderer amongst the aborigines
MAIN E101 .H77 2008 a voyage long and strange rediscovering the new world
MAIN F865.S93 H87 2006 John Sutter A Life on the North American Frontier
MAIN G540 .H37 A Sailor’s Life
MAIN G93.I24 D861 adventures of ibn battuta (TRAVEL)
MAIN GE160.G8 H84 Pan’s Travail: Environmental Problems of the Ancient Greeks & Romans
MAIN GV191.52.K58 M68 2007 Naked in the Woods Joseph Knowles and the Legacy of Frontier Fakery
MAIN HB991.A3 P78 2010 Prudence and Pressure Reproduction and Human Agency in Europe and Asia, 1700-1900
MAIN ANTH HM1111 .F68 Foundations of Human Sociality Econ Experiments
MAIN HN290.N6 A76 2004 Waiting for the Rain The Politics and Poetry of Drought in Northeast Brazil
MAIN HQ29 .D523 2008 Sexual Fluidity Understanding Women’s Love and Desire
MAIN JC481 .L595 2002 Fascism, breakdown of democracy, authoritarian and totalitarian regimes : coincidences and distinctions
MAIN JC481 .P3736 2004 The anatomy of fascism
MAIN JK468.E7 G56 2007 The American Lie Government by the People and Other Political Fables
MAIN JZ5675 G545 2010 The Global Politics of Combating Nuclear Terrorism
MAIN JZ5830 .I53 2007 Incapacitating Biochemical Weapons Promise or Peril?
MAIN KF228.S685 B37 2008 Side Effects A Prosecutor, a Whistleblower, and a Bestselling Antidepressant on Trial
MAIN KF373.C564 A3 2007 Justice and Science  Trials and Triumphs of DNA Evidence
MAIN P325 .H79 2007 Origins of Meaning  Language in the Light of Evolution
MAIN P96.P75 L63 2010 Eavesdropping An Intimate History
MAIN PN4784.T3 J68 2007 Journalism, Science and Society
MAIN MORR PR9387.9.A34354 H35 Half of a Yellow Sun  (Africa)
MAIN QC981.8.G56 H365 2009 Storms of my grandchildren : the truth about the coming climate catastrophe and our last chance to save
MAIN MOFF QH541.5.D35 K67 2007 The Silent Deep The Discovery, Ecology, and Conservation of the Deep Sea
MAIN RC443 .S395 2005 Madhouse A Tragic Tale of Megalomania and Modern Medicine
MAIN TN805.A5 G665 The Dirty Secret behind America’s Energy Future [get when you write about coal]
MAIN ENVI TT197.5.B8 S81 1975 Sunset ideas for storage
MOFF BC177 .B42 Logic Made Easy How to Know When Language Deceives You
MOFF BF 575.D4 I78 2006 On Desire Why We Want What We Want
MOFF DG311 .H43 2006 The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians
MOFF E98.F6 B9 Native American Stories
MOFF GB5014 .M3966 Surviving Armageddon Solutions for a Threatened Planet
MOFF HA29 .A88 2007 Super crunchers : why thinking-by-numbers is the new way to be smart
MOFF HD866.H5 Fanshen; a documentary of revolution in a Chinese village
MOFF HM1101 .S864 2007 Worst-Case Scenarios
MOFF HQ784.T4 G83 2007 Into the Minds of Babes How Screen Time Affects Children from Birth to Age Five
MOFF JC481 .P372 2002 Fascism   a very short introduction
MOFF Q1 .B47 2008 Best American Science and Nature Writing
MOFF Q162 .A59 2007 The canon   a whirligig tour of the beautiful basics of science
MOFF QA401 .B35 2008 The Numerati
MOFF QC926.32 .G67 Ice The Nature, the History, and the Uses of an Astonishing Substance
MOFF QH545.C545 N38 Nature in Fragments The Legacy of Sprawl.
MOFF R723.5 .G75 2007 How doctors think
MOFF R724 .E385 2010 White Coat Black Hat Adventures on the Dark Side of Medicine
MOFF SF538.3.U6 J33 2008 Fruitless Fall The Collapse of the Honey Bee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis
MOFF TD763 .S557 2010 Dirty Water One Man’s Fight to Clean Up One of the World’s Most Polluted Bays
MORR ENVD GT165.5 .B79 2010 At home : a short history of private life / Bill Bryson.
MORR HV4504 .W96 2010 Mark Wyman    Hoboes : bindlestiffs, fruit tramps, and the harvesting of the West
PHYS QC791 .M33 Fusion The Energy of the Universe
PUBL QH541.15.B56 S96 2008 Sustaining Life  how human health depends on biodiversity
PUBL QP141.A1 W66 v.93 Nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics
PUBL RA1229 .M53 2008 Doubt is their product : how industry’s assault on science threatens your health
PUBL RA395.A3 R66 2006 Are We Ready? Public Health Since 9/11
PUBL RA395.A4 O749 2007 Just Don’t Get Sick Access to Health Care in the Aftermath of Welfare Reform
PUBL RA401.A3 P43 Pharmacy and the U.S. Health Care System
PUBL RA410.5 .F38 2008 Who Owns Your Health?  Medical Professionalism and the Market State
PUBL RA418.3.E85 B37 2006 The great stink of Paris and the nineteenth-century struggle against filth and germs
PUBL RB151 .B64 2002 evolving health the origins of illness
PUBL RB152 .T56 The Poison Paradox Chemicals as Friends and Foes.
PUBL RC268.25 .S74 1997 Living Downstream An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment
PUBL RC268.5 .F63 2007 Dynamics of Cancer Incidence, Inheritance, and Evolution
ZZZZ Infrastructure Civil Engineering (through May 2007)
ZZZZ Infrastructure JAWRA   Journal of the Water Resources Assoc
ZZZZ Infrastructure PE The magazine for professional engineers
ZZZZ Infrastructure Journal of Energy Engineering ASCE
ZZZZ Infrastructure Natural Hazards Review
ZZZZ Infrastructure Waste and Resource Management
ZZZZ Infrastructure Green Source   The magazine of sustainable design
ZZZZ Infrastructure Water Environment research (editorials)
ZZZZ Infrastructure W&WT  Water & Wastewater Treatment
ZZZZ Infrastructure American Water Works Assoc
ZZZZ Infrastructure   Water Environment Federation
ZZZZ Infrastructure Water Environment & Technology
ZZZZ Infrastructure Water Pollution Control
ZZZZ Infrastructure Waste Age  (garbage)
ZZZZ Infrastructure ASHRAE Journal
ZZZZ Infrastructure Modern Power Systems
ZZZZ Infrastructure  Power business & tech for the global generation
ZZZZ Infrastructure Journal of Energy Resources Technology
ZZZZ Infrastructure Journal of Solar Energy Engineering
ZZZZ Infrastructure IET Renewable Power Generation
ZZZZ Infrastructure Institution of Engineering & Technology

About Alice

I've milled and baked with whole grains for many years, because whole grains are delicious, and white flour is missing the nutrition that protects you from cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes and many other diseases. Plus it's a good emergency food.
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2 Responses to Book Reviews: Why I Write Them, How I Find Them

  1. Hamlet Jones says:

    Hiya Alice,
    I always enjoy your book reviews.

    Right now, I am reading “The Dead Hand”. It’s about the cold war.
    I seem to recall you reviewed a book about the nuclear waste in the USA, especially arms waste. Do you have any recommendations along the lines of nuclear, weapons, war remnants/waste?

    Is this you’re only hangout, or do you have another blog/webpage?


    • Alice says:

      Dear Hamlet,
      I’ve read your posts at the various energy forums for a decade now, at least. I’ve read a lot about nuclear war, weapons, etc but the only review I’ve written is this one (the beginning is below, the full article is at

      A book review by Alice Friedemann of:

      Too Hot to Touch: The Problem of High-Level Nuclear Waste by William M. Alley & Rosemarie Alley. 2013. Cambridge University Press.
      Introduction to Nuclear Waste Disposal

      After Yucca Mountain was thrown out as a nuclear waste site in 2009 after 25 years and $10 billion in studies — to help Senator Majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) get re-elected in 2010 — there is nowhere to put nuclear waste. Not much, if anything, is being done to find a new place, and there’s no chance an ideologically divided Congress would agree on a new site anyhow.

      Meanwhile, 70,000 tons of spent nuclear reactor fuel and 20,000 giant canisters of defense-related high-level radioactive waste is sitting at 121 sites across 39 states, with another 70,000 tons on the way before nuclear power plants reach their end of life. All of this waste is now, and for millions of years, exposing future generations and is vulnerable to terrorists, tsunamis, floods, rising sea levels, hurricanes, electric grid outages, earthquakes, tornadoes, and other disasters.

      Spent fuel pools in America at 104 nuclear power plants, have an average of 10 times more radioactive fuel stored than what was at Fukushima, and almost no safety features such as a backup water-circulation systems and generators.

      About 75% of spent fuel in America is being stored in pools, many of them so full they have four times the amount they were designed to hold.

      The National Academy of Sciences published a report that stated terrorists could drain the water from spent fuel storage, causing the fuel rods to self-ignite and release large quantities of radioactivity, or they could steal nuclear waste to make a (dirty) bomb.

      Not making a choice about where to store nuclear waste is a choice. We will expose future generations to millions of years of toxic radioactive wastes if we don’t clean them up now.

      This book has a complete history of nuclear waste and what to do with it, the many issues, how we arrived at doing nothing, and has outstanding explanations of difficult topics across many fields (i.e. nuclear science, geology, hydrology, etc), as well as explaining the even more difficult political and human issues preventing us from disposing of nuclear wastes in a permanent geological repository.

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