In this 2018 New York Times Notable Book, Paige Williams "does for fossils what Susan Orlean did for orchids" (Book Riot) in her account of one Florida man's reckless attempt to sell a dinosaur skeleton from Mongolia--a story "steeped in natural history, human nature, commerce, crime, science, and politics" (Rebecca Skloot).
In 2012, a New York auction catalogue boasted an unusual offering: "a superb Tyrannosaurus skeleton." In fact, Lot 49135 consisted of a nearly complete T. bataar, a close cousin to the most famous animal that ever lived. The fossils now on display in a Manhattan event space had been unearthed in Mongolia, more than 6,000 miles away. At eight-feet high and twenty-four feet long, the specimen was spectacular, and when the gavel sounded, the winning bid was over $1 million.
Eric Prokopi, a thirty-eight-year-old Floridian, was the man who had brought this extraordinary skeleton to market. A onetime collegiate-level swimmer who spent his teenage years diving for shark teeth, Prokopi's singular obsession with fossils fueled a thriving business hunting, preparing, and selling specimens, to clients ranging from natural history museums to avid private collectors like actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicolas Cage.
But there was a problem. This time, facing financial strain, had Prokopi gone too far? As the T. bataar went to auction, a network of paleontologists alerted the government of Mongolia to the eye-catching lot. An international custody battle ensued, and Prokopi watched his own world unravel.
In the tradition of The Orchid Thief, The Dinosaur Artist is a stunning work of narrative journalism about humans' relationship with natural history and a seemingly intractable conflict between science and commerce. A story that stretches from Florida's Land O' Lakes to the Gobi Desert, The Dinosaur Artist illuminates the history of fossil collecting--a murky, sometimes risky business, populated by eccentrics and obsessives, where the lines between poacher and hunter, collector and smuggler, enthusiast and opportunist, can easily blur.
In her first book, Paige Williams has given readers an irresistible story that spans continents, cultures, and millennia as she examines the question of who, ultimately, owns the past.
When Ettlinger's young daughter asked him, What's polysorbate 60? he was at a loss--and determined to find out. The result is a fascinating, thoroughly researched exploration into the food industry that demystifies some of the most commonly processed food ingredients.
For millennia, fresh olive oil has been one of life's necessities--not just as food but also as medicine, a beauty aid, and a vital element of religious rituals. But this symbol of purity has become deeply corrupt. A superbly crafted combination of cultural history and food manifesto, Extra Virginity takes us on a journey through the world of olive oil, opening our eyes to olive oil's rich past as well as to the fierce contemporary struggle between oil fraudsters of the globalized food industry and artisan producers whose oil truly deserves the name "extra virgin."
We suffer today from food anxiety, bombarded as we are with confusing messages about how to eat an ethical diet. Should we eat locally? Is organic really better for the environment? Can genetically modified foods be good for you?Just Food does for fresh food what Fast Food Nation did for fast food, challenging conventional views, and cutting through layers of myth and misinformation. For instance, an imported tomato is more energy-efficient than a local greenhouse-grown tomato. And farm-raised freshwater fish may soon be the most sustainable source of protein. Informative and surprising, Just Food tells us how to decide what to eat, and how our choices can help save the planet and feed the world.
"Magnificent in its breadth and illustration." -- Booklist
Dinosaurus was published in 2003 and went on to sell 15,000 in hardcover and more in paperback. Now 13 years have passed during which there have been dozens of discoveries. At the same price and fully revised, this edition of Dinosaurus is simply too exceptional a value to pass up.
Many incredible discoveries made 2015 a banner year. For example:
- Yi qi ("ee chee", "strange wing"), the earliest known flying non-avian dinosaur
- The "Chicken from Hell," a bird-like beaked, clawed and feathered dinosaur that roamed the Dakotas
- Zhenyuanlong suni, a cousin of Velociraptor, suggests that this family has been inaccurately depicted. The new 5-foot-long dino more resembles a feathered poodle than the brute of Jurassic Park.
- "Superduck," at 5 tons and with a mate-attracting head crest it is thought to be a missing link between two other known duck-billed head-crested dinosaur species.
Perhaps most exciting is that in 2016 the American Museum of Natural History opened a new exhibition featuring the astonishing, newly discovered 122-foot-long titanosaur, yet to be named. The plant-eating colossus is the largest dinosaur ever found -- it weighed around 77 tons--as much as 14 or 15 African elephants
No other life-form captures the imagination like dinosaurs. Organized by the major dinosaur families, Dinosaurus identifies 500 species. It describes in detail and stunning illustrations what they looked like, what they ate and how they fought, lived and died.
The features include:
- Concise explanations of species' traits and habits
- Vivid full-color illustrations representing life among the dinosaurs
- Stunning color photographs of dinosaur discoveries
- Latin name, translation and pronunciation
- Height specifics and comparison to humans
- Diet and habitat
- Global distribution.
Brimming with research from digs in North America, Mongolia, Europe, China and elsewhere, Dinosaurus is an encyclopedic and vividly illustrated reference for all ages.
Mary Frances Fisher] has the extraordinary ability to make the ordinary seem rich and wonderful. Her dignity comes from her absolute insistence on appreciating life as it comes to her.
How wonderful to have here in my hands the essence of M.F.K. Fisher, whose wit and fulsome opinions on food and those who produce it, comment upon it, and consume it are as apt today as they were several decades ago, when she composed them. Why did she choose food and hunger she was asked, and she replied, 'When I write about hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth, and the love of it . . . and then the warmth and richness and fine reality of hunger satisfied.' This is the stuff we need to hear, and to hear again and again.
This comprehensive volume should be required reading for every cook. It defines in a sensual and beautiful way the vital relationship between food and culture.
In this eye-opening expos , acclaimed health journalist and National Geographic contributor Maryn McKenna documents how antibiotics transformed chicken from local delicacy to industrial commodity--and human health threat--uncovering the ways we can make America's favorite meat safer again.What you eat matters--for your health, for the environment, and for future generations. In this riveting investigative narrative, McKenna dives deep into the world of modern agriculture by way of chicken: from the farm where it's raised directly to your dinner table. Consumed more than any other meat in the United States, chicken is emblematic of today's mass food-processing practices and their profound influence on our lives and health. Tracing its meteoric rise from scarce treat to ubiquitous global commodity, McKenna reveals the astounding role of antibiotics in industrial farming, documenting how and why "wonder drugs" revolutionized the way the world eats--and not necessarily for the better. Rich with scientific, historical, and cultural insights, this spellbinding cautionary tale shines a light on one of America's favorite foods--and shows us the way to safer, healthier eating for ourselves and our children. In August 2019 this book will be published in paperback with the title Plucked: Chicken, Antibiotics, and How Big Business Changed the Way the World Eats.