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$10.46 $8.00 list($13.95)
61. The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye
$69.95 $66.45
62. Real Process Improvement Using
$116.25 $112.05
63. Forest Measurements
$12.21 $6.39 list($17.95)
64. Natural Capitalism: Creating the
$13.57 $9.89 list($19.95)
65. The Sibley Field Guide to Birds
$20.37 $19.70 list($29.95)
66. Marine Fishes: 500+ Essential-To-Know
$36.29 $21.91
67. Trees: Their Natural History
$16.32 list($24.95)
68. Gemstones of the World, Revised
$23.07 $18.50 list($34.95)
69. Natural Reef Aquariums: Simplified
$213.60 $181.54 list($240.00)
70. Environmental Engineering
$72.21 $60.60 list($84.95)
71. The Reef Aquarium: A Comprehensive
$85.00 $80.00
72. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants
$99.95 $97.92
73. Introduction to Insect Biology
$102.00 $59.82
74. Elements of Ecology (5th Edition)
$10.85 $6.00 list($15.95)
75. Birds of North America : A Guide
$16.47 $13.50 list($24.95)
76. The Golden Spruce: A True Story
$52.00 $30.10
77. A Field Guide to the Birds of
$29.95 $29.50
78. Weeds of the Northeast
$35.66 list($41.95)
79. Our Global Environment : A Health
$83.60 $74.20 list($95.00)
80. Wetlands

61. The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World
by MICHAEL POLLAN
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375760393
Catlog: Book (2002-05-28)
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Sales Rank: 2421
Average Customer Review: 3.95 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Every schoolchild learns about the mutually beneficial dance of honeybees and flowers: The bee collects nectar and pollen to make honey and, in the process, spreads the flowers’ genes far and wide. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a
similarly reciprocal relationship. He masterfully links four fundamental human desires—sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control—with the plants that satisfy them: the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato. In telling the stories of four familiar species, Pollan illustrates how the plants have evolved to satisfy humankind’s most basic yearnings. And just as we’ve benefited from these plants, we have also done well by them. So who is really domesticating whom?
... Read more

Reviews (95)

5-0 out of 5 stars A good read, and very informative
I read this book after hearing a talk by Pollan on New Dimensions radio (in their "Bioneers" series), and I found it (like his talk) perfectly delightful. I don't agree that his use of science is misleading: he's done his homework and researched his subjects pretty thoroughly, and if he takes sides on an issue (e.g., anti-pesticide and anti-genetic-engineering), it's a reasoned conclusion rather than an unthinking bias. The book is anecdotal and impressionistic, not a closely-reasoned scientific argument, but I felt that its rather loose structure worked well: it's a fun read, he kept me interested all the way through, and I learned a surprising amount about history, botany, and horticulture. I've read several accounts of the Potato Famine, but Pollan's "take" on it was intriguing: he sees it as the world's most ghastly example of the dangers of monoculture, and I agree that it's a lesson we all need to take to heart. (But it's also a case of How A Fungus Changed The World: if the potato blight hadn't dispersed the Irish all over the world, many countries -- in Latin America, as well as the obvious contenders, Australia and the U.S. -- would be very different today.) The book is easy to read and amusing, but he also makes some important points, and I have no hesitation in recommending it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Conversational prose, brimming with allusions
I just finished this lovely little book,and would highly reccommend it. If nothing else, this book prepares one for many interesting conversations. I am now knowledgable about the true Johnny Appleseed, the tulip craze of Holland, the highly specialized marijuana culture, and new developments in the genetic engineering of potatoes. (To name a few!)
The fact that Pollan is not a scientist, but an avid gardener and researcher, among other things, should be considered an asset to the reader. He avoids esoteric scientific terminology, but the text remains sophisticated because his allusions prove huge amounts of research. Each part of the book, each "desire", has its own special charm. I would be hard pressed to choose a favorite. This book truly opens one's eyes to "a plant's-eye view of the world". Though by no means the be-all-end-all on this topic, it is a beautiful natural history.

4-0 out of 5 stars How passionate are you about plants?
Pollan's book was pleasurable and engaging to read. It is a book that got me to think and expanded my perspective. It places our relationship with plants in specific contexts, with a unique hybrid of sociological and genetic prose. Recommended highly for those passionate about gardening, nature, or food.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nature and Culture from a Gardener's Perspective
While you probably wouldn't want to use "The Botany of Desire" for scientific research purposes, this excellent nonfiction book effectively combines elements of science with those of history, cultural theory and mythology (from the early Greek to the Frontier American varieties). The tone is casual, not scholarly. Pollan is also a gardener, and his passion for growing things and his curiosity about life from the plant's-eye view shines through his text.
"The Botany of Desire" is a nonfiction book with an innovative structure: instead of telling a straight chronological story of the domestication of plants, Pollan instead selects four plants and tells each of their stories in turn, describing how their progress through the world has been shaped by human desires -- and the changes in those desires through history.
This book is also a travelogue of sorts: Pollan journeys through the Midwest in search of Johnny Appleseed's true life story, to Holland for the Cannabis Cup and the historical sites of "tulipomania," and to corporate factory forms to learn about genetic modification of the potato.
Most importantly, Pollan shows us around his own garden and introduces us to the plants that live there. Each of the four historical narratives begins and ends with the plant's history in his own backyard. As a host and a travel guide, Pollan takes on a fascinating journey through time, nature and culture.

I highly recommend this book to plant lovers and gardeners of all varieties, and to those who are interested in the shaping of nature by cultural forces (and vice versa). If this isn't you, it would still probably make a great gift for someone you know.

5-0 out of 5 stars fascinating page turner
Wildly Enthusiastic Recommend: Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan
This book is really different from your average reading fare. It's a delightful mix of facts both scientific and historical, fantastical meanderings, and just plain fun. The catching premise is that plants have co-opted man into promoting their prosperity. Pollan uses four plants to illustrate this premise: apples, tulips, marijuana, and potatoes. Each chapter is a wonderfully readable story about the plant and its history intertwined with its relationship to man. The apple chapter has amazing information about Johnny Appleseed, and because as a child I wanted to be Johnny Appleseed, I found this fascinating. It reinforced my belief that I had good instincts as a kid. Then the tulip chapter gives you the details of tulip-mania in the Netherlands in the 1600s (think Internet bubble), making it seem amazing that this sort of thing keeps happening. The marijuana chapter is the funniest and most sinister in that it makes you want to get some good stuff, now. The potato chapter is the scariest - genetically modified foods. ... Read more


62. Real Process Improvement Using the CMMI
by Michael West
list price: $69.95
our price: $69.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0849321093
Catlog: Book (2004-02-25)
Publisher: Auerbach Publications
Sales Rank: 145758
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This book presents readers with non-academic, real-world approaches to process improvement using the CMMI. The author provides concepts and techniques for CMMI-based process improvement which are as effective as they are innovative. Professionals at all levels - from system engineers to CEOs - will find a wealth of practical guidance and new ways to look at model-based process improvement that have already benefited large and small organizations in a variety of environments. Using plain language and enlightening illustrations, the author identifies the most critical concepts of the CMMI, and how to turn those concepts into real process improvement.This book provides readers with key information that will significantly benefit all CMMI process improvement efforts including:"How to discover and understand the business goals and drivers for a successful process improvement initiative"An understanding of the structures and practices many organizations already have in place that can accelerate process improvement, even before they begin using the CMMI"Planning and managing the process improvement project"Innovative, untraditional yet highly effective and proven strategies for CMMI-based process improvement"A thorough debunking of many of the costly and wasteful myths surrounding CMMI-based improvement ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Gutsy and Honest approach to Process Improvement!
Finally, a refreshingly honest approach to CMMI and process improvement. Michael has an uncanny ability to see into the heart of organizational psychology and points out the real reasons for attempting any improvement or organizational change. He strips away the hype surrounding CMMI and focuses on what's really important...obtaining results and improving the bottom line. It might be considered contrarian or even heretical by those making a living by selling CMMI, but I call it practical, gutsy and honest. A must read by any organization considering change regardless of the model chosen.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unexpected gem - read before leaping!
If you're expecting a book that shows how to implement the CMMI, or even one that gushes about its benefits you're in for a surprise. Yes, this book does show how to achieve process improvement by using the CMMI as a model, but it differs greatly from the recipe approaches of similar books that will have you marching over a cliff instead of improving your organization. The author does this by uncovering fallacies and the blind paths the CMMI (or any process improvement initiative) represents.

Here's what to expect from this book, and why you should read it cover-to-cover before embarking on a CMMI implementation or other process improvement initiative. How to spot and avoid common pitfalls such as:

- focusing on the process instead of the benefits, which of course, can be counterproductive when the process itself is applied blindly and without regard for real efficiency.

- avoiding the 'when all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail' effect; i.e., attempting to apply the CMMI to everything

- mis-diagnosing problems with the process and applying the wrong solution; for example, scope creep in a project causes a reaction that often results in claims that the requirements management process is broken when the real problem is a lack of discipline or standards (not the same as a process)

Besides showing what does not work, and forcing you to look at your real goals before embarking on a CMMI implementation or process improvement initiative, the author leads you through a realistic appraisal of your goals and objectives, and shows you how to accomplish them. He is a strong proponent of using a systems view, and shows how to apply systems thinking principles to achieving your goals and objectives. This is the real value of this book, and why it's a sanity check for any organization that is about to embark on any improvement initiative.

Of course, if you are going to implement the CMMI, in whole or relevant parts to improve your capability, this book provides a clear roadmap for doing just that. Do not let my previous remarks lead you to believe that this book is anti-CMMI because it's not. It's merely anti-unrealism.

Regardless of your end goals, much of the material in this book applies to any activity, from strategic planning to process improvement to embracing a methodology. It's one of the best books I've read, and one that anyone contemplating CMMI should read before they read anything else about that model. ... Read more


63. Forest Measurements
by Thomas EugeneAvery, HaroldBurkhart
list price: $116.25
our price: $116.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0073661767
Catlog: Book (2001-06-07)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Science/Engineering/Math
Sales Rank: 381585
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Book Description

This text is intended for introductory courses in forest measurements. Emphasis is on the measurement of timber, with detailed coverage on measuring products cut from tree boles, measuring attributes of standing trees, inventorying volumes of forest stands, and predicting growth of individual trees and stands of trees. Background information on statistial methods, sampling designs, land measurements, and use of aerial photographs is also provided. An introduction to assessing range, wildlife, water, and recreation resources associated with forested lands comprises the last chapter. The measurement principles and techniques discussed apply to any inventory that includes assessment of the tree overstory, regardless of whether the inventory is conducted for timber, range, wildlife, watershed, recreation, or other management objectives. ... Read more


64. Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution
by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, L. Hunter Lovins
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316353000
Catlog: Book (2000-10-12)
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Sales Rank: 4103
Average Customer Review: 4.35 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (49)

5-0 out of 5 stars Natural Capitalism is a MUST READ for MBA's, CEO's, Politici
Throughout this extensively researched book, the three authors (Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins and Hunter Lovins) eloquently describe the mind-set required of businesses that wish to evolve their models of business successfully into the next millennium.

By providing a mix of real-world examples, coupled with logical extensions to the philosophies that have dominated main stream economic theories for the majority of the 20th century - the authors allow us to peak through the curtain - to catch a glimpse of what the world will be like in 50 years time.

Natural Capitalism espouses a vision of a world where long term profit is the driving force behind global strategy, where 'whole system thinking' dominates rather than simplistic compartmentalised agendas.

We have only just discovered the technologies that allow us to assess the impact of the techno-industrial systems which we have grown over the past 150 years. With a little imagination, and a lot of logic Natural Capitalism gently points out the way forward. Toward a trajectory where the (re)application of such systems can construct a new environment, together with the economic opportunities and rewards that come from such an evolution...

This a must read book for all entrepreneurs, businessmen, politicians, researchers, economists, environmentalists, educationalists in fact just about anybody who wishes to live both comfortably, profitably and in harmony during the next century. It argues for an extension to the economic theories that pervade organisational thinking, for a more realistic assessment of the life cycle costs involved in business processes, and above all for a more realistic assessment of the value of natural resources.

This book will help you think. This book will help you live. This book will help you work. This book will help add value to your life... READ IT!

5-0 out of 5 stars Beyond Darwin
As this new century begins, if there is only one book which everyone on the planet should read, it would be Natural Capitalism. Why is it so important? In my opinion, because it provides the most convincing, the most compelling argument in support of Wendell Berry's assertion that "what is good for the world will be good for us." Darwin's concept of natural selection becomes irrelevant if there is no environment in which such selection can occur. The authors introduce us to "The Next Industrial Revolution" with all oif its emerging possibilities. In subsequent chapters, they continue to examine natural capitalism in terms of "four central strategies": radical resource productivity, biomimicry, service and flow economy, and investment in it. According to the authors, natural capitalism "is about choices we can make that can start to tip economic and social outcomes in positive directions. And it is already occurring -- because it is necessary, possible, and practrical." For me, the information provided in Chapter 3 was almost incomprehensible in terms of the nature and extent of waste. Of the $9 trillion spent every year in the United States, at least $2 trillion is wasted annually. How? For example: Highway accidents ($150 billion), highway congestion ($100 billion in lost productivity), total hidden costs of driving (nearly $1 trillion), nonessential/fraudulent healthcare ($65 billion), inflated and unnecessary medical overhead ($250 billion), and crime ($450 billion). All of this waste can and should be reduced, if not eliminated. What the authors present, in effect, is a blueprint for the survival of the planet. All manner of statistical evidence supports their specific recommendations. Unless "The Next Industrial Revolution" succeeds in implementing those recommendations, natural capitalism will eventually be depleted ...and no one left to regret its loss.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not the environmental economics bible people seem to think
Natural Capitalism suffers some fatal flaws, while not a complete waste of time, not a book to read if you want great ideas that can make it out of the ivory tower. While claiming to provide a path for evnvironmental and social justice, this book blithely ignores the actual impacts of its ideas on the lower classes as well as the prevalence and tenacity of international monetary and banking organizations. While touting that having people pay for rental on material goods, or pay for the service they supply, rather than purchasing the item(such as washing machines) will reduce the number of them in landfills each year, he is ignoring that ultimately someone is going to be owning the machines and therefore holding the capital investment. Those who pay for the service(sound a lot like going to the laundrymat?) will simply be throwing their money into the maintenance of the company's capital investment. The authors further ignore that most countries outside the first world have their economics and politics dictated by international monetary regulations. While this book does present some instances of environmentally friendly ideas and archtecture, such as a banking building in Amsterdam, they do not provide the scripture that most people seem to feel they do. Further, they are basing environmental sustainability off technology such as photovoltaic cells, which do provide cleaner energy by process than oil or coal, but contain heavy metals that are put back into the environment as toxins and require large scale mining and smelting technology to produce. Ultimately, I thought this book was geared more toward engineering social response through the pocketbook, which the U.S. government already does, than a study in environmental econimics within the capitalist framework.

1-0 out of 5 stars Nothing new Here
I find that this book fails to live up to expectations as
the authors are treading old water. Their idea of
Radical Resource Productivity, is already happening and
is a natural progression, sometimes taking longer than
we would hope, but nonetheless inevitable. They seem more
interested in Social Engineering than Economics, and simply
make observations about things already taking place, while
sprinkling in some projections for good measure.

If you're looking for ideas read Fuller's Critical Path, written
in 1981. His ideas are original and groundbreaking for the
time. Reading Natural Capitalism, I honestly felt like I was
attending a lecture given by people lauding mother nature.

I agree with their ideals and think that by and large many of the
methods can be implemented, over time, but the book isn't ground
breaking, and it fails to truly discuss economic factors, which
are so crucial to the success or failure of these methods. The
bottom line is there isn't enough practical discussion of the
factors holding these methods back. If there were it might be
possible for the authors to cut through them. Too often there are
economic factors holding companies back from making improvements
they may be fully aware would help them. That is one reason these
changes take time, lack of capital (not natural).

I think the authors are dreaming of a future that could
not possibly unfold as easily and seamlessly as they entail.

5-0 out of 5 stars A new lease on life
Paul Hawken and the Lovins have teamed up to provide one of the best overall books on "Natural Capitalism" which offers a whole new approach to the way in which we do business. For too long we have taken natural capital for granted, squandering our natural resources and unleashing an unhealthy array of by-products which have further contaminated our world. It is time to add natural capital to the ledger sheets, properly balancing our record books. But, far from being a screed the book is meticulously researched with extensive notes and references to help guide your own research into the subject.

Everything from the Toyota Production System, which offered a leaner, much less wasteful approach to auto manufacturing, to the Hypercar which offers a hybrid-electric propulsion engine which would result in much greater fuel effeciency are illustrated. It is this lean thinking which the authors think will revolutionize the industrial sector, making for the greatest breakthroughs since the microchip revolution.

What is most heartening is that major companies such as Ford Motor Company and Carrier Air Conditioning are adopting these practices and making them work. They are doing so because it saves money and provides them with endless growth possibilities. The authors support the lease-use system which puts the onus on the manufacturer to produce better products and maintain them throughout their service to the user, the so called "cradle to cradle" concept. New materials are resulting in much lighter and more efficient components that would reduce our dependency on foreign oil, and in time phase out petroleum products all together.

Too good to be true you might say, but this is the shape of things to come once we get past the tired old dogmas that have greatly limited our economic potential. The authors show how regressive tax policies and federal subsidies have greatly handicapped our productivity and they encourage political leaders to rethink the way we hand out incentives for better business practice. This book will give you a whole new lease on life, and encourage you to rethink the way you live. ... Read more


65. The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America
by DAVID ALLEN SIBLEY
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679451218
Catlog: Book (2003-04-29)
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 1582
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Sibley Guide to Birds has quickly become the new standard of excellence in bird identification guides, covering more than 810 North American birds in amazing detail. Now comes a new portable guide from David Sibley that every birder will want to carry into the field. Compact and comprehensive, this new guide features 703 bird species plus regional populations found west of the Rocky Mountains. Accounts include stunningly accurate illustrations—more than 4,600 in total—with descriptive caption text pointing out the most important field marks. Each entry contains new text concerning frequency, nesting, behavior, food and feeding, voice description, and key identification features. Accounts also include brand-new maps created from information contributed by 110 regional experts across the continent.

The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America
is an indispensable resource for all birders seeking an authoritative and portable guide to the birds of the West.
... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Exceptional
The larger Sibley field guide caused quite a stir but it was also a bit of a bear, in terms of size. The smaller guides that focus on east and west, are much easier to carry. Everything about them is, really, as good as it gets: the paintings, the maps, the descriptions - a top quality product.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent followup to the Sibley Guide to Birds
My main problem with the original Sibley Guide to Birds has been its size. While it is an excellent and comprehensive reference, it is just too bulky to carry in the field. Sibley found the answer in coming out with separate guides for East and West. The new western guide, a wonderful addition to the Sibley family, contains updated nomenclature and range maps. Also, it contains only western birds and those eastern birds that have have shown up in the west as accidentals. It leaves out the eastern birds that have never been seen in the west before, thus saving time when using the book to ID a bird in the field. The biggest advantage is the smaller size which actually makes it feasible to carry in the field without nearly as much difficulty. Although there is a loss of detail compared to the original Sibley guide, this is a small price to pay for the portability of the smaller size. For the serious birder I would recommend getting both this book (for the field) and the originaly Sibley Guide to Birds (for a reference), but otherwise this book (or its eastern counterpart depending on where you live) is definitely the way to go for a comprehensive, portable field guide.

4-0 out of 5 stars Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western NA
Overall a very good book. Species maps are on the same pages as the species accounts so there is no extra flipping to find the map. However, I have noticed that many colors in this guide are very muted. I work at several bird-banding stations and have held live birds up to the color pictures and notice quite a difference. Sibley's colors are not nearly as vibrant as the reall thing, giving an inaccurate impression of some of the colors.

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally a pocket sized Sibley
This guide is well layed out,provides excellent pictures and text and is the perfect in the field answer to The Sibley Guide To Birds.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Quite Peterson!
Sibley has done a great job of putting pictures, text and maps together in this guide. Regrettably, though, all that info. on 1/2 a page (2 species per page) makes it difficult to see/read; especially with older eyes.

In addition, I still think Peterson's paintings are the best in presenting the birds in a manner closest to how they look in the field. Sibley's paintings are a bit stark compared to the real thing. On a recent trip to Madera Canyon, I noted this when looking, in particular, at a Lazuli Bunting, and a Rufous-Winged Sparrow.

Sibley's new guide is very good, but I still keep "Roger" in the fanny pack, and Sibley back in the car as reference.

Good birding. ... Read more


66. Marine Fishes: 500+ Essential-To-Know Aquarium Species (The Pocketexpert Guide Series for Aquarists and Underwater Naturalists, 1)
by Scott W. Michael
list price: $29.95
our price: $20.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1890087386
Catlog: Book (1999-11-01)
Publisher: Microcosm Ltd
Sales Rank: 6203
Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

---Comprehensive: 500+ species photographs, covering all popular and commonly available aquarium species ---Authoritative: expert advice on feeding and captive care ---Informative: aquarium suitability ratings for every species ---Easy to use: complete species name and common name indexes ... Read more

Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Really Great Reference.
I love this book. So far it contained all the fishes that I have seen at my local fish store and the best feature of the book is that it rates each fish from 1 to 5 where 5 indicates that it is an easy fish to keep alive in the aquarium, and 1 means it is hard to keep alive in an aquarium... This is great for me because I don't have the best track record with keep my fish alive and want to only buy fish which are easy to keep. The notes about each fish are really good to. It is like having 20 aquarium guru's giving you their experiences with each fish. Also, if you have a reef setup, it tells you if each fish is reef safe.

4-0 out of 5 stars Value for your aquarium dollar
Interested in setting up a Fish Only Marine aquarium? Concerned about fish that will be compatible with the invertebrates in your Reef aquarium? Want to expand your knowledge beyond the 10 basic marine fish that your local aquarium store has in stock? Then this is a good book to consider. Loaded with full color pictures (on glossy paper)of marine fish, the book gives a concise summary of hundreds of these salt water inhabitants. The book itself is easier to handle than the smaller dimension Baensch Atlas and the print is larger. And the price is good value for your aquarium dollar. Bring this book with you to the aquarium store, and when you see that incredibly beautiful marine fish that you have never seen before, a quick read in this book will give you some of the information you will need to make an informed decision as to whether this fish will fare well in your aquarium at home.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Picky Specifics Need Work
This book has some very good features and will almost certainly be useful to beginning and even intermediate marine aquarists. It has entries on most of the fishes likely to be found in the average aquarium retail shop accompanied by truly excellent photos for each species. The book's best feature is its reef compatibility entry which details which fishes are totally reef safe, which will eat soft corals or Large Polyped Stony corals but not Small Polyped Stony corals, and which will simply devour every invertebrate in the tank. I also like the rating (from 1 to 5) of each species' ease of maintenance in the captive environment, though the reader must always keep in mind that this is a general rating and that numerous variables (collection methods, shipping speed, water quality and live food availability, etc., etc.) can alter such a rating considerably. As a marine hobbyist, I would say this is a good book. As a marine biologist, however, I would caution the reader to beware of some misspelling of scientific names (the genus Macolor is listed as Malcolor, and there are a few others), the fact that the "maximum lengths" listed for many of the species are rather small according to other sources (also keep in mind that healthy fishes never truly stop growing), and the very general home range listed for each species (the "Indo-Pacific" is rather vague, to my mind). That said, I have gotten much use out of this book, and find it a good reference when the cautions mentioned above are held in mind.

5-0 out of 5 stars Start here!
This book is a great start when trying to decide what marine fish to buy. It is handy to take with you to the fish store. There are certainly other great sources of more comprehensive & definitive information about specific fish, but anyone looking to buy saltwater fish should start here.

The author, Scott W. Michael, is a renowned expert in this field. He has more than 25 years experience as an aquarist and diver. He has written several other books and contributes regularly to Aquarium Fish Magazine.

I'm sure lokking forward to Ron Shimek's invetebrate guide. It should be a great companion to this one, having also been written by an expert on that topic. Unfortunately, it has been "coming soon" for more than a year.

3-0 out of 5 stars Keep in mind it is a pocket guide.
As long as you keep in mind that the book is under the PocketExpert Guide series then you will know what you are getting. The book does have over 500 + popular marine species but doesnt give more than very general information about each species. There are also some listings with no other information than it's photo, scientific name and its tank suitablity rank. In conclusion, its a good general book but I'll probably look for another fish book. ... Read more


67. Trees: Their Natural History
by P. A. Thomas
list price: $36.29
our price: $36.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 052145963X
Catlog: Book (2001-01-15)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 70791
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Trees are vital to the healthy functioning of the global ecosystem and unparalleled in the range of materials they provide for human use. This volume is a comprehensive introduction to the natural history of trees, with information on all aspects of tree biology and ecology in easy-to-read and concise language.Peter Thomas uncovers fascinating insights into these ubiquitous plants, addressing in an illuminating way questions such as how trees are designed, how they grow and reproduce, and why they eventually die. Written for a nontechnical audience, the book is nonetheless rigorous in its treatment and a valuable source of reference for beginning students as well as interested lay readers. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Learn 1,000 new things!!!
This is an amazing book!! Every page expands what you thought you knew. How do they get that water up 100+ feet? Why are trees deciduous? (Better questions are how many ways they are deciduous, and why, and what does deciduous really mean anyway?) This will make any hike you take more interesting, any tree rings you inspect simply fascinating.

4-0 out of 5 stars Root and branch!
Trees: Their Natural History by Peter Thomas is a significant book for any student of trees or enthusiast for dendrology. The structure, function and life-cycle of trees is covered with warmth, perception and with authority. The writing is accessible although there are perhaps a few too many jokes. Despite this drawback the book is full of good reference material, thankfully lacking the homey philosophy and proselytizing of other writers in aboriculture. ... Read more


68. Gemstones of the World, Revised Edition
by Walter Schumann
list price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0806994614
Catlog: Book (2000-10-01)
Publisher: Sterling Publishing
Sales Rank: 23650
Average Customer Review: 4.93 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

With a million copies in print, here comes an even larger, more up-to-date version of the most complete reference book ever published on the subject. All the gemstones ever discovered are treated in their many variations. More than 1,500 full-color photos showcase each precious and semiprecious stone in all its singular glory--in both its rough natural state and its polished and cut renditions. Each entry offers complete information on a gemstone's formation and structure, physical properties and characteristics, methods of working, cutting, and polishing.Learn about the best known, including amethyst and diamond. Find full treatments of lesser-known gems, from andalusite to vesuvian. A special section is devoted to rocks as precious stones, including alabaster, onyx, obsidian, and fossils. Organic gem materials are also covered, such as coral, ivory, amber, and pearl, plus new on the market stones like charcoite.Everything is covered, including imitations, synthetics, and combined stones. Charts and tables help you identify unknown gemstones and, when you're in the market, how to check for genuineness. This is truly the ultimate one-volume book every hobbyist, jeweler, jewelry maker and rockhound will ever need!

"Invaluable to rockhounds of all ages."--Science Teacher.

"One of the 100 outstanding Sci-Tech books of the year."--Library Journal.

"Anyone interested in minerals and gems will want a copy of this beautifully-illustrated book."--Science Books & Films.
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Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best compact Gemstone reference book in the world!!!
A gemologist friend of mine introduced me to this book, and I had to have one. It is the best Gemstone reference book, especially at it's price. It includes color pictures and shows the gem in both the rough and finished state, and includes information on synthetic gemstones. Get this book for a REAL education on Gemstones.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fantastic book for those interested in gemstones
This book is a wonderful reference for anyone that has in interest in gemstones or geology. The book has three main parts. The first is an introduction into the terminology that is used in the gemology industry. I found this section to be very inclusive and easy to understand. This section covers everything from the types of crystal structures to cutting techniques and density. This is a great section for those that are new in the world of gemology and would like a more in depth explanation of gemstones.
The next major section deals with well known gemstones. Every stone you can think of from diamond to emerald is covered in this section. The section is reserved for stones that most everyone has heard of and are readily available at any store. This section is layed out in a field guide type format as opposed to an in depth paragraph discussion. Each stone has a description of its characteristics and colored photos of multiple examples. The photos are beautifully done with several different examples of each stone shown.
The final section is reserverd form more uncommon gemstones. This section will be sure to surprise you. For example petrified wood is shown as a more uncommon gemstone. Even the most experienced gemologist will learn something new in this section..The pictures and layout of this section are the same as in the previous section.
I highly recommend this book to people with an interest in geology or gemology. This book is not a book that is best read cover to cover. It is better used as a reference because of its layout and abundance of information. No matter what you use it for you will be fascinated with the information and captivated by the photography. A wonderful book that will keep you entertained for hours.

5-0 out of 5 stars Most useful of all my gemstone/ jewelry books so far
For decades I wore only white diamonds (nothing colored of any kind) simply because they went with everything and to me they were the easiest gems for the layperson buyer to become 'intelligent' about. Having recently found an excellent jeweller who's also a goldsmith and graduate gemologist, I'm now venturing into the world of colored gems, including colored diamonds. Very confusing! This book has helped enormously, though. For each gem there's all the usual basic info such as Mohs' scale hardness, along with other stuff that'll make your jeweller sit up and take proper notice of ya! : chemical composition, refractive index, density, fluorescence, double refraction and pleiochroism (if any), and so on and so forth. Not to worry, those are all explained in separate sections. There's also : info on all the colors each particular stone comes in, plus useful pictures ; a section for each stone on which others look similar enough to be confused with it ; sections on various treatments (usually for color enhancement) and on created & artifical stones ; and much much more. Simply packed with useful, well-organized info, very well laid out and easy on the eyes despite being fairly small for a hardbound book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gem Identification Guide To Gems & Precious Stones
I do jewelry appraisals and gem identifications and this book has helped me more than any other. It is a MUST for buying and selling (does not list prices). I have worn mine out and have just ordered a new one. I have had it for approximately ten or more years. You will be fascinated even if you are not buying or selling. Peruse it and enjoy!!!
Katherine Beasley G.G., A.J.P. (GIA)

5-0 out of 5 stars great little book
I have learned a lot from this book and find it very beneficial as someone who is new to gemstones. It has great pictures, hardness scales and a lot of valuable information. I would recommend it. ... Read more


69. Natural Reef Aquariums: Simplified Approaches to Creating Living Saltwater Microcosms
by John Tullock, John H. Tullock
list price: $34.95
our price: $23.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1890087009
Catlog: Book (1997-11-01)
Publisher: Microcosm Ltd
Sales Rank: 14581
Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Debunking the myth that reef aquariums need to be wildly expensive and technologically complex, John Tullock offers a new, radically simple approach to producing beautiful, captive microcosms.

Using live rock and live sand as part of a natural filtration system, the home aquarist can now create vibrant reef tanks that are biologically stable and simple to maintain.

With Tullock’s suggestions, the reefkeeper can now mimic natural habitats such as a Florida Keys Lagoon, a Caribbean Turtle Grass Flat, an Indo-Pacific Deep Cave, or a Red Sea Patch Reef. With more than 200 color photographs and illustrations, Natural Reef Aquariums provides inspiration for both beginning and expert marine reef hobbyists. ... Read more

Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars Full of detailed information
I have several reef aquarium books and so far this is the best one. The systems for reef aquariums have changed over the past several years. The thing I like about this book is that it is really up-to-date and talks about the 3 different set-up techniques. There are lots of colorful pictures of everything from equipment, to fascinating corals and fish. You get the sense that the author is a real expert on the topic.

2-0 out of 5 stars BAIT AND SWITCH
I bought this book with great anticipation after having read Tullock's "First Marine Aquarium" published by Barrons. This "Natural Reef Aquarium" was a huge disappointment, and I liken the experience to having a student write a 5 page paper for an "A" and then expanding the same topic to a 20 page paper for a "C". This book rambles and meanders with far less focus and precision than Tullock's "First Marine" book. Gone are the useful charts and lists of different animals needs and compatibilities. ALso, he never seems to make a clear distinction between his own version of keeping an aquarium and that of the Berlin method developed by others. Tullock's "First Marine" book was inspirational, and was written with such conviction to really convey the radical departure of his methods. This book is full of filler, and major themes are tied together with the weakest of threads. My advice, buy the "First Marine" book, you'll get all the basic information and a lot more passion for the hobby.

2-0 out of 5 stars Pretty book but misrepresented
This book represents itself as a low-tech simplified reef-keeping guide. Instead the author suggests almost every gadget out there. Including calcium reactors, RO/DI, etc.

I guess is was wishful thinking on my part that there truly exists a simple way to keep reef aquariums.

It does have great pictures and is nice for inspirational purposes.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent work
This book is a must have for anyone interested in starting a reef aquarium. It covers everything you need to know. One of the best books on the subject.

5-0 out of 5 stars troy
This book is very well written and a bargain at the price. It gives very good descriptions and lets you know that there are more than one way to do a reef aquarium. It is a little much for someone just trying to get into the hobby but I would recomend it to anyone that is trying to get into the hobby as a second book and get one geared a little more for the beginner as the first book. ... Read more


70. Environmental Engineering
by Joseph A. Salvato, Nelson L. Nemerow, Franklin J. Agardy
list price: $240.00
our price: $213.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471418137
Catlog: Book (2003-03-07)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 228836
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

* Includes new chapters on soil and groundwater remediation, water filtration system technology, and bottled water supplies; plus new sections on food safety and environmental security.
* Features new expert contributors such as Nelson Nemerow, Franklin Agardy, George Tehachangolow, Pier Armenante, and Anthony Walbarst.
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Reviews (4)

1-0 out of 5 stars Environmental Engineering and Sanitation
I am trying to find out who signed for isbn#047141813. We never got this book.

Please respond Diane Leathers

5-0 out of 5 stars GREATEST ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING BOOK
GREAT!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars 94 S: Excellent Resource, Environmental Health professionals
I have just reviewed the ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING AND SANITATION 1994 SUPPLEMENT, by Joseph A. Salvato and Joe E. Beck. It's a great resource for professionals seeking a broader vision of environmental health practice areas and where we are heading. Prof. Beck obviously put a lot of work into conceptualizing this volume and working with the distinguished contributors. It shows. In particular, I found the first chapter, Stakeholder Focused Interactive Planning (SFIP)by Joe Beck and Steven Ison to be a brilliant piece on the desirability of (indeed, the imperative for our profession to) include the public in problem-solving and planning. I have used this process and mediated disputes ranging from siting controversies (haz. waste facility siting in Massachusetts) to determining future land use options at Hanford in the nuclear weapons complex. I commend both Beck and Ison for their clear portrayal of the paradigm as well as the steps one undertakes in conducting such planning. Federal government engineers and planners have been learning the hard way about what happens when decisions are made without public input and without regard to the values, interests, and expectations of so-called stakeholders. At Hanford, more than $20 billion in appropriations has yielded preciously little in terms of actual cleanup: one may wonder if Congress will continue to appropriate the substantial $6 billion a year for the Dept. of Energy's Environmental Management Program without consensus of the public on #1) the benefits or #2) the ameliorated risks from present expenditures. Current stakeholders come from a wide range of public interest groups and they do not get along particularly well. They do not have current programs or projects that reflect the use of the SFIP and researchers should be asking themselves, "Why not?" (Resources for the Future [RFF] has an on-going research project that tackles public participation in environmental decision making).

I would also like to comment on Ch. 6 "The Institutional Environment: Biosafety" by Darly Rowe. The importance of Dr. Rowe's conclusion that we must rely on consultation and working with the client on biosafety issues cannot be overstated. I also like the typology which places biosafety issues in proper perspective. We seem to be deluged with risks and risk information, and his approach is clear, concise and elegant. In sum, I believe that environmental health professionals can apply the insights in this series of articles in a way that will help supplant the "command-and-control" mentatlity that has battered so many of our colleagues and public health/environment inspectors, and baffled decision makers in the past two decades. Asst. Prof. R. Steven Konkel, Ph.D., EKU

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference book with questionable publisher support
This text is one of the most definitive AND USEFUL shelf references for the environmental health sciences. Detailed, accurate, wide-ranging on topics of immediate interest to the practicing sanitarian, engineer or the very interested non-practitioner. Support from the publisher has been poor. For two years after the announcement of the current addendum, the publisher "disavowed knowledge" of an addendum. When published, the addendum had the same ISBN number as the complete text -- creating the unture appearance of a "reduced" price complete addition. Salvato, could for the price of this text, be on a more current update of information contained in some chapters (2-3 year cycle). The scope of this work would justify numerous consulting authors. While it is one of the best shelf references and "learning texts" it could still be improved and be better supported by a publisher that sometimes seems to have insulated itself from the buying public. ... Read more


71. The Reef Aquarium: A Comprehensive Guide to the Identification and Care of Tropical Marine Invertebrates (Volume 1)
by J. Charles Delbeek, Julian Sprung, Charles Delbeek
list price: $84.95
our price: $72.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1883693128
Catlog: Book (1994-09-01)
Publisher: Ricordea Publishing
Sales Rank: 30447
Average Customer Review: 4.93 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This book is the "bible" on the subject of Reef Aquarium keeping, covering the biology of coral reefs and relating it to the biological, chemical, and physical parameters considered when creating a reef aquarium. The book details how to successfully cultivate corals in captivity and also features the identification and care of numerous coral and giant clam species. Diseases and parasites, and methods for controlling algae are also featured. The book finishes with an exciting section of photographs demonstrating successful reef aquariums. ... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Reef Reference Book there is!
As a reef aquarist I am always looking for good resources on how to be successful in this rewarding and very challenging hobby. This book covers all of the methods of reef keeping and allows the reader to decide which method is best for them. It also contains extensive chapters on the care and propogation of stony corals as well as giant clams. This is the best single resource a reef aquarist can add to their aquatic library. The authors have a tremendous amount of experience as reef keepers and both contribute regularly to such magazines as Freshwater and Marine Aquarium Magazine, and Aquarium Fish Magazine. It's an expensive book, but it's well worth the price. Reviewed by Brian Fox

4-0 out of 5 stars The Reef Aquarium Vol. 1
I keep a 30 gallon reef aquarium in my apartment and I am blessed with having a considerable amount of success for my first attempt at the hobby. I have purchased a couple of clams in the past, both of which turned out to be failures. Through word of mouth this book was recommended to me for the animals that I currently keep and the animals I would like to keep (SPS corals and clams). This book is full of information ranging from algea control to water quality to even identifying different species of SPS corals and clams. My only dissappointment was that I was hoping for a very detailed list of compatible organisms. I understand that certain corals tend to send out stinging tenticles that can harm recessive corals. Although this phenomenon is mentioned in the book it fails to give the specific list that I was hoping for. But don't let this negativity dissuade you from this purchase. There is so much other information in it I feel that it is critical for everyone who is new to the hobby to regard this book as their bible. Even the experienced may have something to learn from this literature.

5-0 out of 5 stars Helpful books
In some reviews the two volumes of "The Reef Aquarium" have been named "the bible of reef aquarists". This makes you expect a lot, but my expectations have not been disappointed in any way. Describing the natural habit at in the coral reef, explaining the established reef aquarium systems or introducing the suitable aquarium inhabitants - in these two books I found it all. Even here in Germany those two books are known as a German translation, and they're successful.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Questions Are Answered
This book should be an example by which all other marine and reef aquarium books follow. Current and relavant information from cover to cover. This is the stuff you need to know if you are serious about being successful in this hobby. Great book but a great group of people.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must
This book is a must if you are serious about doing it right. Full of excellent, hard to find information. It is heavy reading, but even the beginner can benefit from the tank set-up instructions that will help you do it right the first time. ... Read more


72. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California
by James C. Hickman
list price: $85.00
our price: $85.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0520082559
Catlog: Book (1993-04-01)
Publisher: University of California Press
Sales Rank: 132121
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

First published in 1925, Willis Linn Jepson's Manual of theFlowering Plants of California has been a standard reference for teachers,students, and naturalists. Since that time, hundreds of new species have beenidentified and botanical investigation has become more sophisticated. NowJepson's philosophy of making such information available to all is againrealized in this new volume, which includes a wealth of material accumulatedover the past decades. With contributions from two hundred botanists across North America, this is themost comprehensive resource and identification guide to nearly eight thousandvarieties of native and naturalized California plants. The means to identifyplants (using key traits and illustrations) is accompanied by specialinformation such as horticultural requirements, endangerment, toxicity, weedstatus, and notes on the management of sensitive species. Identification keyshave been designed for ease of use, and terms have been simplified andillustrated, making the new Manual the most authoritative field guide for theexpert and amateur alike. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Technical Review of California Plants
There is no easy way to identify a plant to species, but if it is in California it is far easier to use this volume than the others. Although it was written in 1925, the line drawings are for me priceless. Be advised that names change in 75 years even if plants do not, you will need a modern flora to reference the old name. HIGHLY recommended, but technical.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Reference and Learning Guide
This is an excellent guide. Very comprehensive, however you must have formal education in botany and plant ID in order to effectively use the guide to key plants to genus and or species. Not recommended for the average person. Just people who are plant nerds!

5-0 out of 5 stars Not for the uninitiated
This book is an excellent botanical key listing a huge number of plants. It is not your average "audubon" guide, since it requires you to key out the plant in question using botanical systematics. Definitely a good reference book, but hard to use casually to find out what that tree is in your front yard!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but not for beginners
This is an excellent book covering thousands of species of flowering plants of California. The book does contain a brief introduction to keying plants and a glossary of plant terms, but despite these features, I believe that the beginner would find this book difficult to use. It's size and complexity can be intimidating, and without color pictures (which aren't always accurate, but helpful for the beginner) it can be a frustrating experience for the novice.

5-0 out of 5 stars from what i've seen of this book i would like to buy one.
I really haven't had a chance to read this book, but what I've seen so far it is very informative. I work for USDA FOREST SERVICE and this book is here at work. The problem is I would like to have one of my own, so I'm now in the process of looking for it at our book store in town. If they do not have it, possibly they could order it for me. If not I will travel to the next larger town to accomplish my mission. I will get this book one way or another. ... Read more


73. Introduction to Insect Biology and Diversity
by Howell V. Daly, John T. Doyen, Alexander H. Purcell, Barbara Boole Daly
list price: $99.95
our price: $99.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195100336
Catlog: Book (1998-02-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 355875
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Book Description

This book offers an in-depth treatment of insect biology and classification, covering all insect orders and providing keys to over four hundred families of insects. This second edition is enhanced by new chapters on population biology, insects and microbes, and methods for developing an insect collection. It is illustrated with numerous line drawings and photographs, including color plates. ... Read more


74. Elements of Ecology (5th Edition)
by Robert L. Smith, Thomas M. Smith
list price: $102.00
our price: $102.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0321068785
Catlog: Book (2002-07-29)
Publisher: Benjamin Cummings
Sales Rank: 180920
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This book provides readers with a popular modular organization and an easy-to-read writing style that explains the basics of ecology. The authors have updated the Fifth Edition to reflect the current emphasis on the physical environment, global environmental change, and adaptation/evolution. As a result, there are new chapters, a new structure, and new topics found in the table of contents. These changes provide readers with an understanding of the principles governing the relationships between plants, animals, and other living organisms within their environment, and give them skills to critically evaluating public issues related to ecology. Abundant real-life examples illustrate and clarify the book's emphasis on understanding ecological patterns within an evolutionary framework.For instructors and students, or anyone interested in ecology. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars very good text
a very readable text...interesting, well written, and full of colorful diagrams. a good introduction to a discipline i had taken for granted. ... Read more


75. Birds of North America : A Guide To Field Identification, Revised and Updated (Golden Field Guide from St. Martin's Press)
by Chandler S. Robbins, Bertel Bruun, Herbert S. Zim
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1582380902
Catlog: Book (2001-04-14)
Publisher: Golden Guides from St. Martin's Press
Sales Rank: 7408
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Spot the silhouette of a Northern Goshawk in flight. Identify the raucous call of the Red-winged Blackbird. Discover the secret of picking out a Chipping Sparrow from its look-alike cousins. It's simple with this classic field guide, a treasured favorite among amateur bird lovers and exacting professionals. Recognized as the authority on bird identification, this invaluable resource provides:

-All of North America in one volume
-Over 800 species and 600 range maps
-Arthur Singer's famous illustrations featuring male, female, and juvenile plumage
-Sonograms that picture sound for easy song recognition
-Migration routes, feeding habits, and characteristic flight patterns
-American ornithologists' classifications
-Convenient check boxes to record birds you have identified
-Color tabs for quick references
... Read more

Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars This is the BEST bird book out there!!
The Golden Guide to Field Indentifcation of Birds of North America is a handy, not to mention effective, guide to the birds. Accidentals, rarities, stragglers, and casuals are all covered, along with the common birds. This guide includes full color illustrations of birds were and how they are most often spotted, whether gliding over the ocean or perching in dense underbrush, as well as winter, summer, eclipse, immature, chick, juvenile, adult, male, female, breeding, non-breeding, molting, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd winter plumages, if need be. Any bird spotted can quickly be indentified quickly and easily with this guide.

5-0 out of 5 stars The definitive North American Bird Guide
I first purchased this guide as a 13 year old back in 1971, graduating from the introductory Zim/Gabrielson "Golden Guide" and the Chester A. Reed classic on eastern birds. This book became my birding companion for years to come, and successive copies became dog-eared and worn out with extensive use. As a teenager growing up in southern Ontario, I used to marvel at the "Carolinian" species - those species which reached the very northern limit of their distributions in the area I grew up - on the pages of this wonderful book. Singer's renditions of Orchard Orioles, Carolina Wrens, Cerulean and Blue-Winged Warblers, amongst the other 700+ species illustrated with such precision and described in exquisite detail by Bruun, Robbins and Zim are painstakingly accurate, and not only defined my youthful birdwatching days but evoke many memories of growing up in the Canadian countryside. I have lived in Europe since 1983, but this guide accompanies me on every return trip I make to North America.

5-0 out of 5 stars great buy
This guide is wonderful. The pictures are very descriptive and make it easy to identify different birds.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best
I actually have the 1983 expanded, revised edition. I like photos more than a book with drawings but these drawings are almost photo quality. What I like about this book is that simular birds are pictured together on one page. Diane

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Great Book but this Edition Needs Improvement
No one has captured the real look of birds the way Singer has. Singer's paintings are really a major creative event.
HOWEVER, St. Martin's doesn't seem to have the reverence for these illustrations that it should. Instead of remastering the originals and providing the book with the best reproduction of the paintings, St. Martin's has cheaply reproduced them in such a way that colors are noticeably faded and washed out -- to the point of possibly affecting identification in a few places. Also, terns and other white birds often seem to vanish into the page.
When the original edition came out many years ago, it changed the look of all field guides for the better. People were also impressed with the value they got. Even the cover was not some rehashed illustration from the interior of the text, but a specially-painted scene of three buntings. That piece of art has now been tossed out entirely and replaced with a rather dreary and photographic-like illustration of two bald eagles perched together with an immature -- obviously their offspring (except that they are both males).
My copy has the birds' wing tips, tails, feet, and sonagrams cut off at the bottom of many pages. This is very annoying.
Also, the broad-billed hummingbird is mistakenly labeled "broad-bellied" on page 191. I spotted the broad-billed the other day and couldn't figure out what was going on in the text!
Where are the check boxes in the index? That's a huge omission!
I still highly recommend this book. No other captures the look of birds in the field as well.
St. Martin's would be well advised to never throw out any of Singer's art. That's kind of a crime and they need to appreciate that fact before they diddle with this great book anymore! The publisher needs to lose the current cover and replace it with the old -- or a redesigned cover with the original art. The edition should be redone with improved reproductions of Singer's fabulous paintings.
If you don't have this book, buy it anyway! It's great and the price has always made the book a steal. ... Read more


76. The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness, and Greed
by John Vaillant
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393058875
Catlog: Book (2005-05-09)
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 9535
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A tale of obsession so fierce that a man kills the thing he loves most: the only giant golden spruce on earth.

As vividly as Jon Krakauer put readers on Everest, John Vaillant takes us into the heart of North America's last great forest, where trees grow to eighteen feet in diameter, sunlight never touches the ground, and the chainsaws are always at work.

When a shattered kayak and camping gear are found on an uninhabited island, they reignite a mystery surrounding a shocking act of protest. Five months earlier, logger-turned-activist Grant Hadwin had plunged naked into a river in British Columbia's Queen Charlotte Islands, towing a chainsaw. When his night's work was done, a unique Sitka spruce, 165 feet tall and covered with luminous golden needles, teetered on its stump. Two days later it fell.

The tree, a fascinating puzzle to scientists, was sacred to the Haida, a fierce seafaring tribe based in the Queen Charlottes. Vaillant recounts the bloody history of the Haida and the early fur trade, and provides harrowing details of the logging industry, whose omnivorous violence would claim both Hadwin and the golden spruce. 16 pages of illustrations. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars John Vaillant, The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madn
On January 20, 1997, Grant Hadwin cut down a conifer (see pp. 127 ff.). Unfortunately, this was not just any tree, but a near unique golden Sitka spruce in British Colombia's Queen Charlotte Islands, some 165 feet tall and over three hundred years old. The tree was sacred to the Haida tribe, who believed that it was a transformed youth(see pp. 155-57). Hadwin, who subsequently perished while crossing Hecate Strait- or disappeared before his court date, depending upon which story you choose to believe (see pp. 159-81)- was ironically an environmentalist who wished to draw attention to the destruction of the region's forests.
My pet peeve first. Where is a picture of the tree? It is inconceivable that no view of the book's subject, either before or after its felling, is available, and yet (with the doubtful exception of the picture on the cover) none of the sixteen pictures in the book deals with the object which "stands" at its epicenter. In a way, this absence is a fitting symbol for the larger work. There is no question that Mr. Vaillant can write; he brings logging alive in a way that lesser craftsmen could not. We find out why the Queen Charlotte Islands are termed the "Canadian Galapagos" (at p. 28) at the same time that British Colombia is referred to as the "Brazil of the North" (at p. 100). We are introduced to a specialized argot, with terms such as "nurse logs" (at p. 8), "spruce flats" (at p. 16), "logger's smallpox" (at p. 76), "highballing" (at p. 77), "widowmakers" (at p. 129), and "pig's ears" (at p. 132). Vaillant, not content with this "forest" of information, discusses ecological problems, Haida culture, and intercultural relations. The void left by the fall of the Golden Spruce, however, is paralleled by a lack of in-depth information about Grant Hadwin. While Vaillant appears to have made, well, valliant efforts to interview those connected with the incident and indeed acknowledges "those members of the Hadwin familywho shared their memories and insights with me" (at p. [xi]), no specific citations appear to be listed in the Endnotes (see pp. [243]-50). This lack of information prevents us from more fully understanding Hadwin and his motive, and that in turn leaves only a gap in space where the real object once existed.
The Golden Spruce should be read both for the information it imparts and for the quality of Vaillant's prose. Ultimately, however, it does not break the log-jam of facts and speculations surrounding this hopefully unique (but see pp. 140-41, 213) occurrence.

Samuel Pyeatt Menefee

5-0 out of 5 stars COMPELLING AND VISIONARY
John Vaillant conjures the mystery of the Pacific Northwest coast where hundred-foot waves wash fish into the limbs of trees and diving birds fly underwater, a land where the Haida people collaborate in their own near destruction through exploitation of the otter trade, a place where an indestructible and brilliant logger becomes a zealous, misguided environmentalist.The rainforest is a place of myth and transformation.If you dare to enter, you will be changed.And if you enter the world of this magical book, where trees grow 300 feet tall and live 500 years, you will be transfigured by what you know.John Vaillant has exposed a compelling story, a murder mystery where the victim is a rare spruce with brilliant golden needles.Without sentimentality, with complete reverence for the tree as a tree, Vaillant illuminates the terrible loss, and the deeper loss it represents: the desecration of old growth forests.Mr. Vaillant has done his research and rendered his tale with suspense and energy, with great beauty, in a language that approaches poetry. ... Read more


77. A Field Guide to the Birds of Hawaii and the Tropical Pacific
by H. Douglas Pratt, Phillip L. Bruner, Delwyn G. Berrett
list price: $52.00
our price: $52.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0691023999
Catlog: Book (1987-06-01)
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Sales Rank: 94154
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars The indispensible Tropical Pacific field guide.
Pratt, Bruner, and Dickinson have produced a superb field guide completely covering all the islands of the tropical Pacific from Hawai'i west through Micronesia. This is a true field guide: it gives the field marks of every species, notes problems in identification with special emphasis on distinguishing similar species, and wastes no space on matters not related to identification. (The exception is that Pratt, a significant ornithologist as well as an expert in identification, summarizes controversies in classification whre appropriate.)

The text is organized by order and family, not by region, so the flycatchers of Tahiti appear next to the flycatchers of Palau rather than near other Tahitian birds. But the illustrations are grouped by region: Samoan land birds appear together, regardless of relationships. This greatly facilitates use in the field.

The illustrations are paintings, not photographs, which allows the authors to show similar birds in identical poses as well as eliminating the accidental marks which appear in even the best photographs and can confuse the user.

The authors have chosen to include the extinct birds of the region as well as the living ones. This puts a certain amount of "deadwood" on the illustration pages, which may be detrimental. But, considering that more than one "extinct" bird has been found after being missing for nearly a hundred years, it is probably worth the minor inconvenience.

I have used the book extensively in Hawai'i and believe it to be the best guide Hawai'i's birds. I would not consider being without it anywhere in its area of coverage. ... Read more


78. Weeds of the Northeast
by Richard H. Uva, Joseph C. Neal, Joseph M. Ditomaso
list price: $29.95
our price: $29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0801483344
Catlog: Book (1997-04-01)
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Sales Rank: 26942
Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Here, at last, is a lavishly illustrated manual for ready identification of 299 common and economically important weeds in the region south to Virginia, north to Maine and southern Canada, and west to Wisconsin. Based on vegetative rather than floral characteristics, this practical guide gives anyone who works with plants the ability to identify weeds before they flower.A dichotomous key to all the species described in the book is designed to narrow the choices to a few possible species. Identification can then be confirmed by reading the descriptions of the species and comparing a specimen with the drawings and photographs.A fold-out grass identification table provides diagnostic information for weedy grasses in an easy-to-use tabular key. Specimens with unusual vegetative characteristics, such as thorns, square stems, whorled leaves, or milky sap, can be rapidly identified using the shortcut identification table.The first comprehensive weed identification manual available for the Northeast, this book will facilitate appropriate weed management strategy in any horticultural or agronomic cropping system and will also serve home gardeners and landscape managers, as well as pest management specialists and allergists. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Weeds of the Northeast
I help identify weeds in Texas and this is one of my most used books to check an ID after Keying out a plant or for taking a quick look through a recognized family. Very few books concentrate on weeds so this type of book is much needed. Excellent photography and good information. This is so well done, I wish the authors would do it again with 175 different weeds. Thanks for a truely great book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Weeds of the Northeast
Great book for the homeowners and horticulturalists. Great pictures and descriptions. The weed "Bible".

5-0 out of 5 stars Certainly one of the best "weed" books ever!
This book is a treasure. I own and use many dozens of "weed" and plant books and this is one of the most comprehensive and useful. The written presentation for each plant includes information on its propagation, seedlings, roots, flowers and fruits and habitat, and more. The photographs are excellent and show the habit, seedling, leaves, flowers/fruits and seeds. Some grasses are also included.

I hope that the authors will eventually expand the geographical coverage and the number of species. I'll be first in line to buy a new edition!

4-0 out of 5 stars Recommended!
Very fine, with great pictures and identification tables in the back that help you tell the difference between similar varieties of weeds. In fact, it's the best book I've found for identifying weeds. My only complaints are that it's a bit scientific and dry, and garlic mustard - a very destructive weed - is not included.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome weed book!
This is one of the best weed books I have come across. It has very clear descriptive text and the photos are all clear and crisp. But what really thrilled me is that in addition to this the authors have included photos of seedlings and seeds of each species! Who hasn't been out in the field only to be stumped on a plant's identification because the plant is only in the seedling stage? Me, for one... lots of times. The book even has a section on common weed tree seedlings. Wow! I would recommend this book to any professional or amatuer botanist. I hope to see more from these authors. ... Read more


79. Our Global Environment : A Health Perspective
by Anne Nadakavukaren
list price: $41.95
our price: $35.66
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1577660986
Catlog: Book (2000-05-15)
Publisher: Waveland Press
Sales Rank: 326918
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A tradition of excellence established in multiple editions! Dr. Nadakavukaren has crafted an up-to-date, comprehensive survey of the major environmental issues facing the world today. Its dual approach describes the ecological impact of various human activities combined with specific issues of personal and community health, emphasizing the interrelatedness of the two. Clear, engaging writing imparts readers with a sense of how various environmental issues affect their own lives, and makes them aware of opportunities to participate in the decision-making processes that will influence health and environmental quality in years to come. Our Global Environment, 5/E features new and updated material on a wide array of exciting topics, the liberal inclusion of effective photographs, numerous charts and tables that help clarify information and identify trends, and dozens of carefully chosen "boxed" items within chapters that highlight relevant, current, and illustrative issues and examples. Inserts include: Demographic Disaster in Russia, Fishing Down the Food Chain, New Hope for the Everglades, Microbial Killers, Quicksilver's Dangerous Allure, Black-Market Poison, Global Supermarket, Food Irradiation, Tragedy of the Radium Dial Painters, Nuclear Wastelands, CFC Smuggling, The Politics of Global Warming, Radon: A Hidden Menace in Your House?, and War Over Water?, and Fighting Smog with Reformulated Gasoline. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Reading
The book is well written with many important topics.

5-0 out of 5 stars I can't put it down!
Anyone who reads this book will find that it is wonderful. I have only read a few chapters of if for a college course that I am taking, and am looking forward to reading more of it. The information included in the text was so easy to grasp and to remember. The author thinks about every little aspect concerning the issue and draws on it clearly so as to make sure that the reader understands each and every issue involved. This surely is a book for anyone who is interested in environmental issues and what causese those issues to come about and how much of an impact that we humans have on the planet.

5-0 out of 5 stars I love it
I think that this book is very educational and successful in getting the point across to the readers. I would personally reccomend this book to anyone who is interested in evironmental issues because it is very thorough and easy to understand. ... Read more


80. Wetlands
by William J.Mitsch, James G.Gosselink
list price: $95.00
our price: $83.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 047129232X
Catlog: Book (2000-01-15)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Sales Rank: 122116
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Wetlands are ecosystems that help the environment process toxins, thereby maintaining its relative health. Mitsch and Gosselink's Wetlands is the professional reference, a longstanding bestseller that continues to set the standard for books on any type of ecosystem. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Wetlands Textbook
I first picked this book up to consider a career as a wetland scientist (among other things) and instantly dove into the heaps of information provided. It is well written and easy to read with nicely labelled sections. I found that it had all sorts of information on the subject. It is highly useful.

To date, this is THE book to get in the field. If you get any book on the subject, this is it. I was only mildly surprised after reading through much of it to find that it's the only textbook in my graduate class on wetland ecology and management and there appears to be no competition as a textbook.

In short, it's very readable and immensely useful: A combination you can't go wrong with.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Resource on Wetland Sciences!
This resource would be considered the "Bible" of wetland sciences. It is highly valuable for understanding the ecological systems involved in a wetland. A must for wetland regulators, scientists, and just interested people!

5-0 out of 5 stars Extremely useful
Mitsch and Gosselink have written an excellent text/reference book on wetland ecology and management. The book is perfect as a text for a wetlands ecology course in upper level or graduate courses. I use it as a reference that I pull from the shelf again and again. ... Read more


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