Friday, December 31, 2010

The Nature of Arizona

Edited by: James Kavanagh

First line: James C. Rettie wrote the following essay while working for the National Forest Service in 1948. In a flash of brilliance, he converted the statistics from an existing government pamphlet on soil erosion into an analogy for the ages.

Why you should read this book: A handy little overview, this guide begins with a great description of the history of life in earth, then discusses evolution in general before delving into the specifics of the region's land and climate. The bulk of the book is color coded and divided by groups: mammals; birds; reptiles and amphibians; fishes; invertebrates; trees, shrubs, and cacti; and wildflowers, with short descriptive blurbs and color drawings of each species. Multiple appendices list attractions by region of the state, popular hikes, desert survival information, and more, making it a useful reference for tourists or newcomers to the state.

Why you shouldn't read this book: The size and scope of this book means that there is no depth to any entry, and that many species are omitted entirely.

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