A lucid, engaging, authoritative guide.




Everything you ever wanted to know about raising goats but were afraid to ask is here in this handy and informative how-to primer.

Smart, a veterinarian who has raised her own goats, notes the titular animals are hardy, useful creatures—a source of cashmere and angora wool, low-lactose milk for those allergic to the bovine variety and lean meat for a wedding-feast shish kebab; when tethered to a post they even make serviceable “organic lawn-mowers.” But farmers trying to procure these goods and services profitably must pay close attention to the animals’ care and maintenance, a task made easier by this comprehensive, easy-to-follow manual. The author addresses every aspect of goat health and welfare. Goat forage and dietary supplements are covered in great depth, with step-by-step procedures for formulating feed rations that the critters will find nutritious and palatable. The text describes common diseases along with symptoms, treatments and tips on drug administration. A long chapter on goat breeding includes sections on hormone injections to manipulate the breeding season and commentary on the “unique odor and disgusting behavior” of bucks. The information Smart provides is exquisitely detailed—see “Procedures for Examining Manure for Parasites”—and summarized clearly in tables. (The book’s main deficit is its lack of drawings and diagrams, which would come in handy for sections on building shelters, castrating bucks and performing autopsies on goat carcasses.) She leavens the data and procedural with sprightly anecdotes on goat antics, including vignettes celebrating their preternatural climbing ability, skill at using their horns to escape confinement and destroy property and habit of fainting under pressure. Occasionally Smart takes a literary turn too many, as in this parasitology lesson rendered in soliloquy: “?‘I really don’t remember my life as an egg; once I was passed in the feces, I quickly turned into a first-stage larva.’?” But novice goat farmers and old hands alike will find here a wealth of expertise presented in a straightforward style.

A lucid, engaging, authoritative guide.

Pub Date: June 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4502-2620-2

Page Count: 116

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: Aug. 9, 2010

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Loads of good explaining, with reminders, time and again, of how much remains unknown, neatly putting the death of science...


Bryson (I'm a Stranger Here Myself, 1999, etc.), a man who knows how to track down an explanation and make it confess, asks the hard questions of science—e.g., how did things get to be the way they are?—and, when possible, provides answers.

As he once went about making English intelligible, Bryson now attempts the same with the great moments of science, both the ideas themselves and their genesis, to resounding success. Piqued by his own ignorance on these matters, he’s egged on even more so by the people who’ve figured out—or think they’ve figured out—such things as what is in the center of the Earth. So he goes exploring, in the library and in company with scientists at work today, to get a grip on a range of topics from subatomic particles to cosmology. The aim is to deliver reports on these subjects in terms anyone can understand, and for the most part, it works. The most difficult is the nonintuitive material—time as part of space, say, or proteins inventing themselves spontaneously, without direction—and the quantum leaps unusual minds have made: as J.B.S. Haldane once put it, “The universe is not only queerer than we suppose; it is queerer than we can suppose.” Mostly, though, Bryson renders clear the evolution of continental drift, atomic structure, singularity, the extinction of the dinosaur, and a mighty host of other subjects in self-contained chapters that can be taken at a bite, rather than read wholesale. He delivers the human-interest angle on the scientists, and he keeps the reader laughing and willing to forge ahead, even over their heads: the human body, for instance, harboring enough energy “to explode with the force of thirty very large hydrogen bombs, assuming you knew how to liberate it and really wished to make a point.”

Loads of good explaining, with reminders, time and again, of how much remains unknown, neatly putting the death of science into perspective.

Pub Date: May 6, 2003

ISBN: 0-7679-0817-1

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Broadway

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2003

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A tiny book, not much bigger than a pamphlet, with huge potential impact.

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A collection of articulate, forceful speeches made from September 2018 to September 2019 by the Swedish climate activist who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Speaking in such venues as the European and British Parliaments, the French National Assembly, the Austrian World Summit, and the U.N. General Assembly, Thunberg has always been refreshingly—and necessarily—blunt in her demands for action from world leaders who refuse to address climate change. With clarity and unbridled passion, she presents her message that climate change is an emergency that must be addressed immediately, and she fills her speeches with punchy sound bites delivered in her characteristic pull-no-punches style: “I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.” In speech after speech, to persuade her listeners, she cites uncomfortable, even alarming statistics about global temperature rise and carbon dioxide emissions. Although this inevitably makes the text rather repetitive, the repetition itself has an impact, driving home her point so that no one can fail to understand its importance. Thunberg varies her style for different audiences. Sometimes it is the rousing “our house is on fire” approach; other times she speaks more quietly about herself and her hopes and her dreams. When addressing the U.S. Congress, she knowingly calls to mind the words and deeds of Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy. The last speech in the book ends on a note that is both challenging and upbeat: “We are the change and change is coming.” The edition published in Britain earlier this year contained 11 speeches; this updated edition has 16, all worth reading.

A tiny book, not much bigger than a pamphlet, with huge potential impact.

Pub Date: Nov. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-14-313356-8

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Penguin

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2019

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