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Books: 669

by | Jan 14, 2021 | Books, Featured - Home Page, Our Affairs | 0 comments

The Disappearance of Butterflies
Joseph H. Reichholf
Polity
$35

Evolutionary Biologist Reichholf has estimated a near 80% decrease in Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) since 1959, when he first started counting as a schoolboy in Germany. With enthusiastic and accessible prose and 43 color photographs, Reichholf introduces chosen individuals to the reader describing their specific habits and habitats. He moves on to the main causes of decline. Predictably, increasing maize monoculture and the use of pesticides necessary to maintain it, is the main culprit. Global warming and light pollution play damaging roles. (Ironically, urban areas are now more Lepidoptera-hospitable than rural). An optimist, Reichholf offers some solutions, then, fittingly, from a scientist with a lifelong passion, his concluding chapter, “The Beauty of Moths and Butterflies. A charming, chilling, clear-eyed account of our winged fellow sojourners.

You Will Love What You Have Killed
Kevin Lambert trans. Donald Winkler
Biblioasis
$14.95

Chicoutimi, Quebec, in narrator Faldistoire’s monstrous memoir of his childhood, is a suffocating prison, where children are consumed by indifferent adults through rape, snow machine, gunshot, suffocation, and more. Cruelty pervades; Croustine’s grandfather makes him wear slippers made from his dead pet. But the power of children prevails, their ghosts will not be subdued; they return to live among the adults, shouldering the burdens of their former lives while plotting apocalyptic revenge. Adult Kevin Lambert–the killer, not the author–weaves through the pages and through Faldistoire’s incandescent life (before and after). Don’t analyze; think “Dick and Jane in the Bardo,” considering as you go that Kevin Lambert –the writer, not the killer–was raised in Chicoutimi, and must know whereof he speaks. Mustn’t he?

He Lands in Palm Springs
John Shekleton
Mo Keijuk Press
$9.99

In 2011, Father Tierney Stumbles. Now “Joe” and HIV positive Tierney flee the Midwest for a gay-friendly start-over in Palm Springs. Through old friend Edward, Joe’s obtained maintenance work in an exclusive gay resort. Coworker Luis, fearful for his own job, reports all to boss, Cy, who pulls the strings—including Joe’s and young Oscar’s. Oscar survives by handing his card to older gentlemen. Cy engineers a visit for ex Kevin and new love in a suite Joe must clean. Edward has moved to Palm Springs to be close to Joe. Joe and Edward join with Oscar and devise a philanthropic plan, of which Cy gets wind. Knowing the “throuple” (Palm Springlish for threesome) needs money, Cy sets a trap for Joe baited with cash…

Mephisto Waltz: A Max Liebermann Papers Mystery
Frank Tallis
Pegasus Crime
$15.95

If you met Max Lieberman only in the Vienna Blood TV series, there are seven of author Tallis’s Liebermann Papers novels concerning Max and colleague Inspector Oscar Rheinhardt’s cases. Pre-war (1904) Vienna offers a lush canvas: young officers display dueling scars, Herr Doktor Freud’s following includes Max, Gustav Mahler composes and conducts. Thrilling, but darkness falls. Max and Oscar inspect a corpse seated in a chair in an abandoned piano factory, its face destroyed; three chairs arrayed before it. Fruitlessly, the duo spirals from the heights to the sewer’s depths where dwell the disenfranchised. The name “Mephistopheles” is whispered. A phantom with an agenda: the cataclysmic destruction of the city itself…and beyond. Max applies psychology, Oscar fights hobbling bureaucracy in an edge-of-the-seat race against time.

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