Writing with experience and thoughtfulness, Jevning gives an intriguing glimpse into the mystery of Sasquatch.




Jevning’s book makes the case for the existence of Sasquatch, also known as Bigfoot, through a variety of sources, from historical to anecdotal.

Jevning divides his book into two parts; the first section relaying the history and first attempts to track Sasquatch, the second concentrating on modern anecdotal accounts and scientific evidence. The idea of simian animals living in North America dates back more than 400 years; Native American peoples have long told stories of hairy, manlike creatures in the woods. Since then, there have been hundreds of similar reports in newspapers, ranging from the 1800s to the present. Jevning has collected many of these stories and presents research he has conducted on several of the “major” incidents, such as the famous 1967 film footage of a walking Sasquatch. From this point, Jevning talks about his sighting a Sasquatch at a young age, his involvement in the Sasquatch-tracking community and his personal field research and findings from the last 40 years. While Jevning would be the first to agree that there is no hard evidence supporting the creatures’ existence, the sheer amount of personal accounts and historical research he has culled is impressive. Newspaper stories from the late 1800s and early 1900s not only give weight to his case, they also provide a fascinating look at how such incidents were responded to by the media of the day. In cases of incidents occurring after the 1950s, Jevning has located and interviewed the people involved. These interview portions of the book (written in a question and answer format), while informative, can be meandering and make the book’s pacing a bit rocky at times. While Jevning is clearly a believer and enthusiast, his tone is always evenhanded, addressing incidents that he believes to be faked and giving as much factual information as he can to back up his claims. The latter half of the book, chronicling his experiences alongside some of the first people to investigate Sasquatch, effectively pieces together the physical character of these creatures, as well as what their habits may be.

Writing with experience and thoughtfulness, Jevning gives an intriguing glimpse into the mystery of Sasquatch.

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2011

ISBN: 978-1452848013

Page Count: 290

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2011

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An authoritative, engaging study of plant life, accessible to younger readers as well as adults.


A neurobiologist reveals the interconnectedness of the natural world through stories of plant migration.

In this slim but well-packed book, Mancuso (Plant Science/Univ. of Florence; The Revolutionary Genius of Plants: A New Understanding of Plant Intelligence and Behavior, 2018, etc.) presents an illuminating and surprisingly lively study of plant life. He smoothly balances expansive historical exploration with recent scientific research through stories of how various plant species are capable of migrating to locations throughout the world by means of air, water, and even via animals. They often continue to thrive in spite of dire obstacles and environments. One example is the response of plants following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Three decades later, the abandoned “Exclusion Zone” is now entirely covered by an enormous assortment of thriving plants. Mancuso also tracks the journeys of several species that might be regarded as invasive. “Why…do we insist on labeling as ‘invasive’ all those plants that, with great success, have managed to occupy new territories?” asks the author. “On a closer look, the invasive plants of today are the native flora of the future, just as the invasive species of the past are a fundamental part of our ecosystem today.” Throughout, Mancuso persuasively articulates why an understanding and appreciation of how nature is interconnected is vital to the future of our planet. “In nature everything is connected,” he writes. “This simple law that humans don’t seem to understand has a corollary: the extinction of a species, besides being a calamity in and of itself, has unforeseeable consequences for the system to which the species belongs.” The book is not without flaws. The loosely imagined watercolor renderings are vague and fail to effectively complement Mancuso’s richly descriptive prose or satisfy readers’ curiosity. Even without actual photos and maps, it would have been beneficial to readers to include more finely detailed plant and map renderings.

An authoritative, engaging study of plant life, accessible to younger readers as well as adults.

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-63542-991-6

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Other Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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Jahren transcends both memoir and science writing in this literary fusion of both genres.

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Award-winning scientist Jahren (Geology and Geophysics/Univ. of Hawaii) delivers a personal memoir and a paean to the natural world.

The author’s father was a physics and earth science teacher who encouraged her play in the laboratory, and her mother was a student of English literature who nurtured her love of reading. Both of these early influences engrossingly combine in this adroit story of a dedication to science. Jahren’s journey from struggling student to struggling scientist has the narrative tension of a novel and characters she imbues with real depth. The heroes in this tale are the plants that the author studies, and throughout, she employs her facility with words to engage her readers. We learn much along the way—e.g., how the willow tree clones itself, the courage of a seed’s first root, the symbiotic relationship between trees and fungi, and the airborne signals used by trees in their ongoing war against insects. Trees are of key interest to Jahren, and at times she waxes poetic: “Each beginning is the end of a waiting. We are each given exactly one chance to be. Each of us is both impossible and inevitable. Every replete tree was first a seed that waited.” The author draws many parallels between her subjects and herself. This is her story, after all, and we are engaged beyond expectation as she relates her struggle in building and running laboratory after laboratory at the universities that have employed her. Present throughout is her lab partner, a disaffected genius named Bill, whom she recruited when she was a graduate student at Berkeley and with whom she’s worked ever since. The author’s tenacity, hope, and gratitude are all evident as she and Bill chase the sweetness of discovery in the face of the harsh economic realities of the research scientist.

Jahren transcends both memoir and science writing in this literary fusion of both genres.

Pub Date: April 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-101-87493-6

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2016

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