Each week as part of SunLit — The Sun’s literature section — we feature staff recommendations from book stores across Colorado. This week, the staff from Poor Richard’s Books in Colorado Springs recommends books about nature, war heroes and Icelandic elves.
An Immense World
By Ed Yong
From the publisher: The Earth teems with sights and textures, sounds and vibrations, smells and tastes, electric and magnetic fields. But every kind of animal, including humans, is enclosed within its own unique sensory bubble, perceiving but a tiny sliver of our immense world. In “An Immense World,” Ed Yong coaxes us beyond the confines of our own senses, allowing us to perceive the skeins of scent, waves of electromagnetism, and pulses of pressure that surround us. We encounter beetles that are drawn to fires, turtles that can track the Earth’s magnetic fields, fish that fill rivers with electrical messages, and even humans who wield sonar like bats.
From Jeffery Payne, Books Department Coordinator: Here’s a new word for one’s vocabulary, “Umwelt,” an animal’s perceptual world. Through Yong’s insightful and entertaining narration, we are enlightened to many of nature’s players on how they sense their environment – I skipped through the part about spider’s eyes. We gain an understanding of the vast macrocosm and how incredibly important it is to safeguard the natural realm that surrounds us. The footnotes alone are worth a read by themselves!
The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line
By Mari K. Eder
From the publisher: From daring spies to audacious pilots, from innovative scientists to indomitable resistance fighters, these extraordinary women stepped out of line and into history, forever altering the world’s landscape. This page-turning narrative, crafted with meticulous historical accuracy by retired U.S. Army Major General Mari K. Eder, provides a fresh perspective on the integral roles that women played during WWII.
From Jeffery Payne, Books Department Coordinator: Uncompromising. Focus. Tenacity. Character. Strength.
The women in Mari K. Eder’s book have all those and so much more. The author shines a bright light upon the often-omitted accounts of women who took chances and succeeded. Each of the women’s stories chronicles their struggles to triumphs. Incredibly inspiring while giving us all a good dose of history we should all know and appreciate.
Looking for the Hidden Folk
By Nancy Marie Brown
From the publisher: Icelanders believe in elves. Why does that make you laugh? asks Nancy Marie Brown, in this wonderfully quirky exploration of our interaction with nature. Looking for answers in history, science, religion, and art — from ancient times to today — Brown finds that each discipline defines what is real and unreal, natural and supernatural, demonstrated and theoretical, alive and inert. Each has its own way of perceiving and valuing the world around us. And each discipline defines what an Icelander might call an elf.
From Jeffery Payne, Books Department Coordinator: Nancy Marie Brown clearly loves Iceland and its elves. With a wonderful blend of folklore, science and passion, Brown prods the reader into accepting the possibility of such beings who are caretaking the world around us. But this book is much more than believing in the little ones, it is about how we all could use that frame of mind to encourage a stronger connection between ourselves and the environment. I, for one, am a believer.