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Life: Extraordinary Animals, Extreme Behaviour [Hardcover]

Martha Holmes , Michael Gunton , Rupert Barrington , Adam Chapman , Patrick Morris , Ted Oakes
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 42.87
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Book Description

Nov. 10 2009
Life, the spectacular companion volume to the new Discovery Channel/BBC series, tells a majestic and compelling story of survival and of the amazing behaviors animals and plants adopt to stay alive and pass their genes to a new generation. Beautifully written and illustrated with more than 300 high-definition color photographs, Life focuses on the most exciting examples of the millions of species to demonstrate the harrowing and very different challenges that all living things must overcome to prevail and to procreate. In 60 concise and captivating vignettes, intriguingly grouped in categories like Extraordinary Sea Creatures, Fabulous Fish, Irrepressible Plants, Hot-blooded Hunters, and Intellectual Primates, the authors provide the most up-to-date science. Each chapter parallels an episode of the television series, making the book a must-have addition to any interested viewer’s library. From the familiar to the rare—polar bears, Japanese snow macaques, monarch butterflies, and fish-catching bats, a mega-roost of 10 million fruit bats in Zambia, capuchin monkeys that use stone tools, marine life beneath and upon the ice of Antarctica, and tiny goby fish that climb Hawaiian waterfalls—this sumptuous volume brims with information and unforgettable images of the spectacular, the dangerous, and the bizarre.

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Life: Extraordinary Animals, Extreme Behaviour + Planet Earth: As You’ve Never Seen It Before
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Product Description


(Alaska Airlines Mag / Horizontal Air Mag 2010-06-01)

“Even the most casual reader will be awed by the beauty, complexity, and ingenuity of nature as celebrated here.” STARRED REVIEW
(Library Journal 2010-05-14)

“If you are looking for a wonderful gift for the animal lover on your list, this book is it.”
(San Francisco Book Review 2010-06-30)

“A volume over which a reader can linger with pleasure.”
(Richmond Times-Dispatch 2010-11-21)

“Enjoyable and educational.”
(Wildlife Activist 2011-06-20)

“A highly informative and compelling standalone volume in its own right . . . an excellent addition to anyone’s library.”
(John P. Roche Qtly Review Of Biology 2012-03-01)

“In 60 concise and captivating vignettes . . . the authors provide the most up-to-date science.”
(Living The Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted) 2010-07-09)

From the Inside Flap

If you've ever swooned over a bite of Beef Bourguignon or marveled at your mom's amazing pot roast, you'll love this mouthwatering collection of recipes from six-time best cookbook award winner Jean Anderson. You'll find a world of easy, economical meat dishes here so succulent they melt in your mouth and so good they're off-the-charts delicious.

In our rush to do everything on fast-forward, we forget the slow-and-low cooking methods that can turn the most common and affordable cut of meat into a supremely tender and tasty family meal. The toughest veal shank slowly simmered in broth is magically transformed into a fall-off-the-bone-tender Ossobuco. A bony beef tail stewed with vegetables becomes a deeply flavorful and nourishing Oxtail Soup. All over the world, the most satisfying and soulful meat dishes don't cost a lot of money—they just take a little more time (make that unattended time) and a little more love.

There's nothing like the aroma of an all-day stew or pot roast simmering in the kitchen as it grows more tender by the minute. Falling Off the Bone reminds you just how easy hearty home cooking can be with simple cooking instructions and basic ingredients, as well as gorgeous color photography to whet your appetite along the way. You'll find family favorites from around the world here, all made from the most affordable cuts of beef, veal, lamb, or pork.

Tuscan Veal Pot Roast in Lemon Sauce, Curried Lamb Shanks with Almond Pilaf, Onion-Smothered Chicken-Fried Steak, Spicy Braised Pork Belly with Glazed Carrots—these and oh so many more luscious family meals require just a few ingredients and a few hours of nurturing low heat. Cooked lazily in a stewpot, Dutch oven, or slow cooker, even the plainest, cheapest, most common cuts emerge more flavorful and, yes, more tender than the priciest steak at the fanciest butcher shop.

It's time to get back to the real food that brings the whole family to the table with ready smiles and eager appetites. Falling Off the Bone lets you rediscover melt-in-your-mouth meals that aren't just truly rich in taste but also easy on the budget—and even easier on the cook. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it Oct. 9 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It doesn't have too much in it, but as they explain at the beginning of the book, there's just not enough time to film and photograph all the animals on the planet. I recommend to nature and animal lovers of all ages.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful companion to the documentary July 15 2010
By Houston - Published on Amazon.com
Life: Extraordinary Animals, Extreme Behavior is one of only a handful of coffee-table books that I have ever enjoyed. I have found few books that strike the right balance between quality photographs and readability; Life does that beautifully.

As anyone who has seen the BBC documentary Life (narrated by David Attenborough) [Blu-ray] can attest, the imagery is stunning, and that holds true in the book. Featuring a mix of shots, from "portraits" to action to landscape, they are all amazing. In addition, the print quality is excellent, unlike some other books I've seen.

The book is divided into chapters along the same lines as the DVD. In my opinion, it is the narrative that sets Life apart from other similar books. Incredibly informative, it balances on that delicate line between too simple and overwhelming. Each chapter begins with smaller photos and a few pages of information, often a summary of the narrative from the film, (the version narrated by David Attenborough, not Oprah). Each of the larger photos in the chapter are then accompanied by a short paragraph explaining the who, what, where, and why. Finally, the index is particularly useful in finding specific photos because the organization is based more on behavior than animal type.

Anyone interested in nature, animals, or photography will enjoy this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent photobook, not a cover-to-cover read Aug. 14 2013
By NCstat - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The number of stars I give the book, depends on how I view its purpose. As a coffeetable book, it is lovely. Beautiful photos abound and a wide diversity of life is covered - including plants, insects, sea life, amphibians, reptiles, birds and various chapters on mammels. Many are of unusual animals most people will not be familiar with. With each is a short (generally 2-3 page) essay providing more information about the interesting animal (or plant). Some are fascinating. Everyone who has looked at it has enjoyed the photos, no matter their age. The text, however, is definetely aimed at adults.

I like to read books cover-to-cover, and for this purpose I would probably give it 3 stars (admittedly many people probably wouldn't buy the book with this objective). For one thing, because it's topic is 'life', a rather broad topic by any stretch (or as it is more covered in this book 'life that has unusual approaches to procreation or fighting/survival') it can't cover anything in depth and each essay is really more a stand-alone piece loosely connected together rather than a single narrative. Also, and this might not sound like a big deal, but if you plan to read it for any length of time believe me it is, the book is very large and very heavy with small font. That makes for fantastic photos as I mentioned above, but there was just no comfortable way to read it for any length of time. The best I was able to come up with was having it on a table and sitting at a desk like a student. Not my favorite way to read for enjoyment!

So, I recommend the book with the caveat that I recommend it to be enjoyed over the long term. Look at the pictures. Read an interesting essay or two and come back to it periodically rather than read through it like a novel.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Jan. 23 2011
By Spider Monkey - Published on Amazon.com
`Life' is the companion book to the BBC series of the same name and like the series it has amazing images and outstanding facts that will leave you amazed at the diversity and splendour of nature. Covering the same ground as the series this book is broken into various chapters focusing on various animals and habitats. These chapters are Introduction, Location Map, Extraordinary Sea Creatures, Fabulous Fish, Irrepressible Plants, Insect Ingenuity, Frogs, Serpents and Dragons, Brilliant Birds, Winning Mammals, Hot Blooded Hunters and Intellectual Primates. The photography is simply breath taking and make this worth the purchase price alone, before you factor in the informative and clear writing. The BBC makes exceptional nature documentaries and this was no exception and if you were a fan of the series then I can heartily recommend this book and if you have an interest in natural history and haven't yet seen the show then this would still make wonderful reading. Due to it's large hardback format this would make a great coffee table book, but to be honest you could just as easily enjoy this from cover to cover or dip in and out of it as the mood takes you. I can see this being a book I will come back to at various times in the future and will enjoy flicking through the images within it's pages. Stunning and fascinating, what more could you want?

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
5.0 out of 5 stars New Horizons Feb. 10 2013
By Alec Schrader - Published on Amazon.com
This volume is full of beautiful photographs and amazing information about some lesser known species and their bizarre behavior and/or characteristics.
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