cover image The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild

The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild

Lyanda Lynn Haupt. Little, Brown, $26 (352p) ISBN 978-0-316-17852-5

In this sparkling follow-up to Crow Planet, Haupt returns to the urban wilds, this time familiarizing the reader with the wildlife ecology within their own backyards. From the ubiquitous squirrel, to the seldom seen coyote, or the subterranean mole, Haupt seeks to demystify the lives of the animals that commonly surround us, even in the most urban and seemingly unnatural settings. Each chapter focuses on a specific species, allowing to Haupt thoroughly untangle the reasons why for example people tend to admire the cleverness and dexterity of the raccoon, yet revile the rat or the opossum. Why many fear coyotes, yet are tempted to feed bears. With a nod to mythology and folklore, she examines the habits and culture of each species, paying particular attention to points where their lives intersect with humanity. Packed with information yet conversational in style, this nature memoir invites backyard birdwatchers and amateur naturalists to take a moment to be still, observant, and to discover that the wild world really does extend into our own lives, and even still today, we are too a part of that wild. (Sept.)