What We Are Reading Today: Wildlife of India by Bikram Grewal

What We Are Reading Today: Wildlife of India by Bikram Grewal
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Updated 22 May 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Wildlife of India by Bikram Grewal

What We Are Reading Today: Wildlife of India by Bikram Grewal

The Indian subcontinent is exceptionally rich in wildlife because of its wide variety of habitats and climates, ranging from the ocean to the Himalayas and from the Rajasthan desert to Mawsynram in Meghalaya, one of the wettest places on earth. This diversity supports a huge range of charismatic species, from the iconic tiger to clouded leopards, crocodiles to king cobras, hornbills to eagles. 

The guide begins with an overview of India’s climate and geography, its wildlife habitats and how to enjoy them, and threats to wildlife. The main part of the book includes concise species descriptions of 770 birds, 114 mammals, 72 butterflies and other insects, 54 reptiles, and 54 plants, each accompanied by a photograph. The book concludes with a section on wildlife-watching in the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.


What We Are Reading Today: Transfixed by Prehistory

What We Are Reading Today: Transfixed  by Prehistory
Updated 01 July 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Transfixed by Prehistory

What We Are Reading Today: Transfixed  by Prehistory

Author: Maria Stavrinaki

Prehistory is an invention of the late 19th century. In that moment of technological progress and acceleration of production and circulation, three major Western narratives about time took shape.

One after another, these new fields of inquiry delved into the obscure immensity of the past: First, to surmise the age of the Earth; second, to find the point of emergence of human beings; and third, to ponder the age of art.

Maria Stavrinaki considers the inseparability of these accounts of temporality from the disruptive forces of modernity. She asks what a history of modernity and its art would look like if considered through these three interwoven inventions.


What We Are Reading Today: An Immense World

What We Are Reading Today: An Immense World
Updated 29 June 2022

What We Are Reading Today: An Immense World

What We Are Reading Today: An Immense World

Author: Ed Yong

In An Immense World, author and acclaimed science journalist Ed Yong coaxes us beyond the confines of our own senses, allowing us to perceive the skeins of scent, waves of electromagnetism, and pulses of pressure that surround us. Because in order to understand our world we don’t need to travel to other places; we need to see through other eyes.

In the book, we encounter beetles that are drawn to fires, turtles that can track the Earth’s magnetic fields, fish that fill rivers with electrical messages, and humans that wield sonar like bats.

We also get to listen to stories of pivotal discoveries in the field, while looking ahead at the many mysteries which lie unsolved.


What We Are Reading Today: Flying Snakes and Griffin Claws

What We Are Reading Today: Flying Snakes and Griffin Claws
Updated 28 June 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Flying Snakes and Griffin Claws

What We Are Reading Today: Flying Snakes and Griffin Claws

Author: Adrienne Mayor 

Adrienne Mayor is renowned for exploring the borders of history, science, archaeology, anthropology, and popular knowledge to find historical realities and scientific insights —glimmering, long-buried nuggets of truth — embedded in myth, legends, and folklore.

Combing through ancient texts and obscure sources, she has spent decades prospecting for intriguing wonders and marvels, historical mysteries, diverting anecdotes, and hidden gems from ancient, medieval, and modern times.

Flying Snakes and Griffin Claws is a treasury of fifty of her most amazing and amusing discoveries.


What We Are Reading Today: A General Theory of Visual Culture

What We Are Reading Today: A General Theory of Visual Culture
Updated 27 June 2022

What We Are Reading Today: A General Theory of Visual Culture

What We Are Reading Today: A General Theory of Visual Culture

Author: Whitney Davis 

What is cultural about vision —  or visual about culture? In this ambitious book, Whitney Davis provides new answers to these difficult and important questions by presenting an original framework for understanding visual culture.

Grounded in the theoretical traditions of art history, A General Theory of Visual Culture argues that, in a fully consolidated visual culture, artifacts and pictures have been made to be seen in a certain way; what Davis calls “visuality” is the visual perspective from which certain culturally constituted aspects of artifacts and pictures are visible to informed viewers.


What We Are Reading Today: Stochastic Thermodynamics

What We Are Reading Today: Stochastic Thermodynamics
Updated 27 June 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Stochastic Thermodynamics

What We Are Reading Today: Stochastic Thermodynamics

Authors: Luca Peliti and Simone Pigolotti

Stochastic thermodynamics is a well-defined subfield of statistical physics that aims to interpret thermodynamic concepts for systems ranging in size from a few to hundreds of nanometers, the behavior of which is inherently random due to thermal fluctuations.

This growing field therefore describes the non equilibrium dynamics of small systems, such as artificial nano devices and biological molecular machines, which are of increasing scientific and technological relevance.

This textbook provides an up-to-date pedagogical introduction to stochastic thermodynamics, guiding readers from basic concepts in statistical physics, probability theory, and thermodynamics to the most recent developments in the field.