Books About Insects on The Point

Who knew that this month’s book show topic on The Point with Mindy Todd would bring us so many listeners calling and emailing to tell us about their favorite books about insects?! Of course, every month I do the book show, and every month I prepare as if  not a single person will call us, as we want to be able to fill an hour of air time if no one calls. So, as usual, I had a pile of books about insects, and today’s co-booktalker, Dennis Minsky, had a pile of books about insects, never imagining that this would be the book topic for which, apparently, the listeners of the book show deeply care about! The titles were arriving so fast and furious that Mindy and I are not even sure that we have all the suggested titles written down! If we happened to have missed yours, do send us a note, and we will be happy to add your title to our list. 

Because there were so many titles that neither Dennis nor I had time to talk about, our lists this month include everything that we brought along even if we didn’t actually get a chance to say anything about the book. I did have a moment to mention the spectacular digital Biodiversity Heritage Library, and I recommend you all take a look! Thanks so much for all of your suggestions, and it looks like we clearly will need to do another show on insects sometime in the not too distant future!

Mindy’s Picks

The Smaller Majority: the hidden world of the animals that dominate the tropics by Piotr Nasrecki. (A shout out to the Edgartown Public Library, as the only library in CLAMS that owns this title! Do remember you can request books, using your CLAMS card (or whatever network your town belongs to) in order to request titles CLAMS does not own. Check out the Commonwealth Catalog, which you log into using your library card and your pin number, and they will send a book right to your library.)

Ant and Bee stories.

Dennis’s Picks

Journey to the Ants: a story of scientific exploration by Bret Holldobler and Edward Wilson
Honeybee Democracy by Thomas D. Seeley
The Mosquito: a human history of our deadliest predator by Timothy C. Winegard
The Last Butterflies: a scientist’s quest to save a rare and vanishing creature by Nick Haddad (Also only an Edgartown Public Library copy!)
Buzz Sting Bite: why we need insects by Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson
Bugged: the Insects who rule the world and the people obsessed with them by David MacNeal
An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles by Arthur V. Evans and Charles L. Bellamy
The Infested Mind: why humans fear, loathe and love insects by Jeffrey A. Lockwood
Ant Encounters: interaction networks and colony behavior by Deborah M. Gordon

Jill’s Picks

The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden, illustrated by Garth Williams
Sex on Six Legs: lessons on life love & language from the insect world by Marlene Zuk
Edible: an adventure into the world of eating insects and the last great hope to save the planet by Daniella Martin
The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: how Maria Merian’s art changed science by Joyce Sidman
Archy and Mehitabel by Don Marquis (also a listener pick!)
Joyful Noise: poems for two voices by Paul Fleischman
The Collector by John Fowles
Nabokov’s Butterflies edited and annotated by Brian Boyd and Robert Michael Pyle
Thoreau’s Animals by Henry David Thoreau, eduted by Geoff Wisner (which includes lots of insects!) 
Angels & Insects by A.S. Byatt
Bug Music: how insects gave us rhythm and noise by David Rothenberg

Listener Picks

The Dancing Bees: an account of life and senses of the honey bee by Karl von Frisch
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
A Field Guide to the Ants of New England by Aaron M. Ellison
Ants of North America: a guide to the genera by Brian L. Fisher
For Love of Insects by Thomas Eisner
The Songs of Insects by Lang Elliot and Wil Hershberger
The City Under the Back Steps by Evelyn Sibley Lampman
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
Bringing Nature Home by Douglas W. Tallamy
The Fisherman and His Wife: a brand new version by Rosemary Wells and illustrated by Eleanor Hubbard
Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo (which is a film)
The Cockroach by Ian McEwan

2 comments on “Books About Insects on The Point

  1. Wayne Smith says:

    Dear Mindy, I was terrifically interested to hear this show on insects. The enthusiasm of both Dennis and Jill with their picks was contagious and I now have a LONG reading list. I have long wanted you to do a show on insects, perhaps an author who is just out with a book on insects. Insects obviously have different senses than we do and I find them fascinating. How do the ants find their way all they way up my deck and the post that my hummingbird feeder hangs from to drink in the nectar? Why do I find earwigs consistently under the lid of my bird feeder? How do potato beetles consistently find and ruin my potato crop? What the heck are slugs all about? Thank you for another wonderful show.

    1. Jill Erickson says:

      Hi Wayne, We’re so glad you enjoyed the insect book show! Thanks so much for sending your comment, and I’ll be sure to share it with Mindy & Dennis.


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