Unseen City: The Majesty of Pigeons, the Discreet Charm of Snails & Other Wonders of the Urban Wilderness by Nathanael Johnson
I enjoyed this book a great deal. No matter where we live, there are wonders that we walk past every day. Unseen City widens our perspective by allowing us to view the world from the high-altitude eyes of a turkey vulture and the distinctly low-altitude eyes of a snail. The blurb describes the book fairly accurately so there isn't much to write in that department. However, all the additional little tidbits about city animals (pigeons, crows, squirrels, snails, ants, trees etc) was interesting and provides a new perspective on nature and our immediate environment. The writing is beautiful and the personal anecdotes don't detract (they add) to the experience of the book.
This isn't a popular science book as such, this is a get in touch with the world around you and see what is really there type of book. While this book isn't meant for children, I think parents with young children could benefit from reading it and exploring the world (garden/suburb/city) with their children the way the author has with his daughter. The author has also provided a useful bibliography so you can find more information on the specific topics he covers.
"We tend to think of nature and civilization as being irreconcilably opposed: Civilization's gain is nature's loss. but in fact, cities have become prime habitat for speciation, hybridization, and in short, rebirth. Certainly, civilization has upended the status quo in nature, but it is also proving to be a vehicle for a natural renaissance."