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FW: July 25 Advertiser column [new Alabama bks]

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  • Amos J Wright
    fyi..ajwright@uab.edu ... From: Capitol Book [mailto:capitolbook@knology.net] Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 2004 9:01 AM To: Capitol Book Subject: July 25
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 28 7:06 AM
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      fyi..ajwright@...

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Capitol Book [mailto:capitolbook@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 2004 9:01 AM
      To: Capitol Book
      Subject: July 25 Advertiser column


      The Capitol Book & News Montgomery Advertiser Column 7/25/04

      Five amazing books arrived in the store in the past few weeks. None of
      them will sell very well, but we don't care about that. We only ordered
      a couple of copies of each of them, so there's no great investment of
      money or shelf space, but we like these books, and we really want to
      find them a good home. We'll have more fun selling a copy of one of
      these books than we did selling 30 copies of the Bill Clinton book, and
      you want to know something else? The few folks who buy these books from
      us, if anybody does, will be so thrilled to get them, and so happy to
      have them, that years from now they'll still be thanking us for putting
      the books in their hands. We know, because it's happened before. It's
      one reason we truly do love this business.

      Four of the books are actually a set, although you may purchase them
      individually. The set is entitled simply Alabama Wildlife, but there's
      nothing simple about what must have gone into their publication. All
      they do, over the course of the four volumes and 910 pages, is present
      the most current and detailed information about the known vertebrates,
      freshwater mussels, and snails in Alabama, and that means nearly every
      animal in the whole state, excluding insects.

      Volume One provides brief descriptions of each species, including
      scientific and common names, range, habitat, and level of conservation
      concern. It's the only one of the four volumes bound in a sort of
      flexible, weather resistant binding, so it's perfectly suitable for
      carrying into the field.

      Volumes Two and Three are heartbreaking. They are devoted to very
      detailed studies of every imperiled Aquatic Mollusk and Fish (Volume
      Two), and every imperiled Amphibian, Reptile, Bird, and Mammal (Volume
      Three) in the state, and there are hundreds of them. Each imperiled
      species gets at least a full page, including a habitat map and a color
      picture, and more information than you can believe they can fit on one
      page.

      Each of these three volumes is $19.95, and each is suitable for the
      general public, even though some of the information is a little
      technical, and so is some of the writing. But you could do a lot worse
      than to make a present of these to a young person interested in
      creatures. Maybe they'd grow up and someday get to write a much smaller
      book about the imperiled wildlife of Alabama.

      Volume Four is for the professional wildlife manager. You can safely
      skip that one, unless you know such a person, and then you'd have the
      perfect gift, and for only $24.95.

      Kudos in the extreme are due to the University of Alabama Press for
      publishing this remarkable set of books, and to the editor, Dr. Ralph
      Mirarchi of Auburn and his huge team of contributors

      But we said five books arrived, and we saved the best for last.
      Thousands of books come through our store every year, and when they
      arrive a very small percentage of them make us pause and leaf through
      them, and maybe once a year one comes along that brings the whole store
      to a stop, and that one came in about three weeks ago.

      It's called Fishes of Alabama. It's written by Herbert Boschung, Jr. and
      Richard Mayden. It's huge, 736 pages, a coffee table sized book. It has
      chapters on the history of ichthyology in Alabama, and on how to collect
      and study fish, and on something called "Nomenclature and the Modern
      Approach to Systematics." It has something we've never seen in a book
      like this: an explanation of the derivation and meaning of the Latin
      scientific names of each fish. It has every piece of information there
      possibly could be on every freshwater fish in Alabama. And it has the
      most "by God these are beautiful" illustrations of fish we've ever seen
      anywhere, hundreds of them, in full color that can only be called
      glorious, all painted by Joseph R. Tomelleri, who if we had anything to
      say about it, would be invited to have a showing of his paintings at the
      Montgomery Museum.

      The book might seem a little pricey at $55, but the right person will
      know it's a steal at that price, and we have no doubt that sometime
      around 2025 that person will visit us at the old folks home to reminisce
      about the day we sold them that great book about Alabama fish.


      ----------------------------------------------------
      Cheryl and Thomas Upchurch
      Capitol Book & News Company
      1140 E. Fairview Avenue
      Montgomery, AL 36106
      Voice 334.265.1473
      www.capitolbook.com
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