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Self study books?

Allyn Weaks allyn at u.washington.edu
Thu Sep 7 18:41:41 EST 1995

I have a background in physics and chemistry, and now that I have a house
and small yard that I want to turn into a wildlife garden, and a web site
to proselytize a bit :-), I need to start in on biology and ecology in a
more serious way.  I'd like to know a good survey text to start with, and
then good texts to delve deeper into botany, zoology and ecology, and
whatever else is important.  A friend of mine gave me a copy of Helena
Curtis _Biology_, 3rd edition, 1979 that looks ok from the table of
contents, but what do I know?  Is biology changing fast enough that a more
recent book would be better? (Money is a bit of an issue, text book prices
being what they are these days.)  If the Curtis book is reasonable, where
do I go from there?  Especially botany and ecology...

I'd also like some recommendations for good books for non-scientifically
oriented adults, perhaps at several levels, that are easier and more
entertaining to read than a text book, but which don't oversimplify to the
point of nonsense, and which are written by people who actually know
something about what they're talking about.  A definate plus if they're
written so well that people are likely to get hooked and want to read
another one.  An example might be _My Weeds_ and _Noah's Garden_ by Sara
Stein, which are fascinating, wonderfully written, and seem to be
reasonably correct from the spot checking I've been able to do.  One of
the not-so-hidden agendas of my web site is to try to get at least a few
people to make gardening and landscaping decisions (and maybe some voting
decisions) based on some knowledge rather than purely on emotions and
marketing droid propaganda, so I'd like to be able to offer a good
non-threatening general science reading list along with the other stuff.  

Thanks very much.
Allyn Weaks
allyn at u.washington.edu
PNW Native Wildlife Gardening: (under construction)

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