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A History of Life in 100 Fossils

by Paul D Taylor and Aaron O’Dea

Washington DC: Smithsonian Books, 2014. 224 pages.

According to reviewer David R. Schwimmer, “overall, this is a very good, beautiful book, which illustrates vividly many of the greatest stories in the history of life.” He explained, “The text is readable at any level of knowledge, and although some discussions wander a bit widely, most of the highlighted fossil subjects are clearly annotated. From a near-lifetime looking at fossils, I have become jaded to pictures of exciting fossils, but many of the images here amazed me.”

Evolution and Medicine

by Robert L Perlman

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. 162 pages.

“Robert Perlman’s Evolution and Medicine is packed with technical details, current research, and important discussions of a number of areas of concern in evolutionary medicine,” writes reviewer Wenda Trevathan, although she warns, “It is not an ‘easy read,’ however, and potential readers must be prepared to pay attention.” In the end, she concludes, “It is an excellent resource for those desiring to understand evolutionary medicine beyond the more generalized and popular writings and will be especially useful to physicians and medical students.”

My Beloved Brontosaurus

by Brian Switek

New York: Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013. 272 pages.

“Switek’s latest book, My Beloved Brontosaurus, is aptly titled,” writes reviewer Andrew A Farke. “It really is a love letter, to the dinosaurs of his youth as well as the dinosaurs revealed by the latest scientific discoveries. Switek adeptly navigates the treacherous waters between childhood enthusiasm for overwrought monsters and the living animals of reality. ... I strongly recommend this book for anyone, dinosaur fan or not, who wants to experience a deeply personal and engaging exploration of the latest dinosaur science.”

Nature’s Oracle: The Life and Work of W. D. Hamilton

by Ullica Segerstrale

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. 336 pages.

Describing it as “highly readable,” reviewer Marlene Zuk praises Segerstrale’s biography of “probably the most famous evolutionary biologist you have never heard of,” appreciating the details about Hamilton’s personal life and his theories, “though the intricacies of the latter can be difficult to follow from someone without a background in biology.” “[A]lthough she sometimes comes close, Segerstrale never falls into the trap of assuming that any characteristic of Hamilton’s was necessarily a herald, or an essential indicator, of his brilliance.”

Reading Darwin in Arabic, 1860-1950

by Marwa Elshakry

Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013. 448 pages.

For the relatively few academics who study the history of biology in the modern Middle East, Marwa Elshakry’s long-awaited debut monograph Reading Darwin in Arabic, 1860–1950 (2013) is cause for celebration," writes reviewer Elise K. Burton. "Her book will also draw a great deal of interest from the general public, not least due to the increasing awareness of and attention given to expressions of creationism in the Middle East and the “Muslim world” in English-language media."

The Big Golden Book of Dinosaurs

by Robert T. Bakker, illustrated by Luis V. Rey

New York: Golden Books, 2013. 64 pages.

 “I have mixed feelings about The Big Golden Book of Dinosaurs,” reviewer Daniel Loxton concludes. “I feel that it calls for a certain amount of caution, but I long to recommend it for its energy, and the depth of its ideas, and the poetry of its storytelling. Kids could do much worse than to dig into a book that so eloquently describes the place of the dinosaurs in the broader tapestry of animal life and geologic time.”

The Princeton Guide to Evolution

edited by Jonathan B Losos

Princeton (NJ): Princeton University Press, 2013. 880 pages.

The Princeton Guide to Evolution is intended for undergraduate and graduate students, scientists in fields related to evolutionary biology, and others with a serious interest in evolution,” writes reviewer Marvalee H Wake. “[I]t will enhance the libraries of all who teach, at almost any level; students who want to know more about particular topics of interest; and the public, which has long deserved an authoritative and objective presentation of the many facets of evolutionary biology. … I look forward to the next edition!”