Sloths: A Celebration of the World’s Most Misunderstood Mammal

William Hartson. Trafalgar Square, $14.95 (208p) ISBN 978-1-78649-425-2
Inspired by a YouTube video, Harston (A Brief History of Puzzles), a columnist for the U.K.’s Daily Express, resolved to learn more about sloths, and in this fast-paced, fact-filled book, he provides readers with his findings. Harston covers topics that range from sloth anatomy and reproduction to their appearances in myth and recent resurgence in pop culture. Replete with the energy and excitement of a new-found enthusiasm, the book relates a wide variety of informational nuggets, such as sloth eating habits—determined by their four-chambered stomach and month-long digestive process—and their unusual, and still mysterious, injury-recovery abilities. Harston also sets the record straight on sloths’ proverbial “laziness,” reporting scientists have found that they are merely energy-efficient. Quotations featuring sloths are interspersed throughout, but since these often perpetuate the mistaken conflation of the attribute of slothfulness with the animal in question (Harrison Ford: “The kindest word to describe my performance in school was Sloth”), these tend to seem like space fillers. While far from definitive, this zippy primer has a contagious sense of wonder. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 12/16/2019
Release date: 03/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 208 pages - 978-1-78649-422-1
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