How Far the Light Reaches, by Sabrina Imbler

Staff Pick

Growing up as a biracial and Queer person, Imbler, a science journalist, always felt like a fish out of water—so it’s exactly right that they turned to the sea to understand their own life. Writing with a sure instinct for metaphor, Imbler sees their search for warmth in a cold city reflected in the Yeti crabs that engage in the “radical act of choosing what nourishes” them by living on undersea vents, where life was thought to be impossible; explores hybridity via the butterfly fish, a creature studied for its “difference” not for its own sake, much as they are dogged by the question “what are you?” as if they're an object; and examines their mother’s eating disorders and self-sacrifice in the light of a brooding octopus that goes years without food for the sake of her offspring. Each essay is grounded in deep empathy and studded with memorable phrases and vivid descriptions; they’re also remarkable for their balance, telling us as much about whales, salps, and immortal jellyfish as about Imbler’s relationships to men and women, family, the wider community of Queers, and their own body.



How Far the Light Reaches: A Life in Ten Sea Creatures By Sabrina Imbler Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316540537
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown and Company - December 6th, 2022

Aesop's Animals, by Jo Wimpenny

Staff Pick

Wimpenny, a zoologist, first learned about animals through reading Aesop’s fables as a child. But what did she learn: facts or fictions? Wondering how the ancient tales stack up against the modern science, she assesses the fabulist’s presentations of creatures from crows, wolves, and foxes, to dogs, lions, and grasshoppers. She finds his record mixed, with his depictions of lone wolves, for instance, missing the complex social nature of the packs, while his appreciation for the wiliness of foxes accurately conveys the adaptability that has allowed these cat-like creatures to thrive. Her lively and often surprising book (male lions are good fighters but poor hunters and can lie inert for 20 hours a day) is also a fascinating look at Man the Experimenter, detailing the work that has given us insight into animal behavior. And where popular, but misguided notions still prevail—that ants plan ahead (a skill more likely with corvids), or that donkeys are dumb brutes fit only to be beasts of burden (they are much more complex and interesting than they get credit for)—she lays out centuries of cultural history, tracing our fascinating and essential relationships with our fellow creatures.

Aesop’s Animals: The Science Behind the Fables By Jo Wimpenny Cover Image
ISBN: 9781472966919
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Bloomsbury Sigma - November 2nd, 2021

Why Fish Don't Exist, by Lulu Miller

Staff Pick

NPR science reporter and podcaster Lulu Miller grew up with a scientist father who believed that, in the cosmic scheme of things, human lives were meaningless. Wrestling with this idea, she became fascinated with scientist David Starr Jordan, who in the late 19th and early 20th centuries catalogued more fish species than any other researcher and then withstood professional catastrophes that destroyed years of his work. Probing Jordan’s resilience amid professional tragedy led Miller to a more worrisome discovery: later in life, Jordan became a rabid eugenicist whose racist beliefs exposed a darker side of scientific research. Miller tackles the contradictions of Jordan’s career as she examines the evolution of her own life--and the years she has spent reckoning with how to find meaning and purpose in an inherently chaotic world.


Why Fish Don't Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life By Lulu Miller Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501160349
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Simon & Schuster - April 6th, 2021