In short: I’m sorry you feel like this; The Rise and Reign of Mammals; Glitter in the green – review | Books


Rebecca is waiting
Riverrun, £16.99, pp400

Sisters Alice and Hanna have spent their lives negotiating the mercurial tendencies of their manipulative mother. Hanna ran away overseas, while Alice honed the role of responsible girl. When Hanna returns home for their aunt’s funeral, the sisters are forced to deal with the dysfunctions of their family. Rebecca Wait’s highly entertaining fourth novel is a masterclass in family tensions, told with sharp dialogue, wit and emotional insight.

Steve Brusatte
Picador, £20, pp528

Following The rise and fall of dinosaurs, paleontologist Steve Brusatte is interested in mammals. Contrary to popular belief, they did not appear after the dinosaurs disappeared but coexisted alongside them and shared a common ancestor. Brusatte, who reveals the fascinating history of mammalian evolution and the history of paleontological discoveries, is a passionate guide and the result is very engaging popular work.

Jon Dunn
Bloomsbury, £10.99, pp336 (paperback)

Jon Dunn’s avian odyssey takes him across America, from Alaska (where hummingbirds arrived from Siberia via a land bridge) to Tierra del Fuego, in search of different types of hummingbirds. Part travelogue and part natural history guide, the book discusses the development of birds and their place in different cultures, as well as the future of species given humanity’s impact on their habitats. A beautifully rich account of one of nature’s miniature wonders.

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