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Broadsides from the Other Orders: A Book of Bugs

Hubbell, Sue Author

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Insects are, as E. O. Wilson says, "the little things that run the earth." Each is unique. Hubbell mixes science and poetry as only she can to bring insects from every order to life: butterflies, midges, gnats, ladybugs, longlegs, flies, bees, silverfish, katydids, dragonflies, crickets. It's essential reading if you want to know who is really running the earth.

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God, the English biologist J.B.S. Haldane once observed, has an inordinate fondness for beetles--and, for that matter, for all the other little bugs and insects that abound on the earth. Sue Hubbell, a beekeeper-turned-essayist, shares that fondness, and after reading her notes on camel crickets, gypsy moths, and water striders, among other creatures, you will as well. Hubbell's appreciation extends even to bugs that we find noxious ("Silverfish," she writes, "are gregarious, sociable animals, liking their own company so much that they often eat one another"), although she admits to harboring a few favorites among the innumerable insect orders, notably bees, of course, and daddy longlegs spiders, whose "otherness" she rightly prizes. --Gregory McNamee

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It's a big love poem to creepy-crawlies. Over 13 endearing, graceful, and witty essays, Hubbel delves into different orders of insects.

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