Natalie Angier writes about science for The New York Times. She is the author of The Beauty of the Beastly: New Views on the Nature of Life, among other books. (May 2019)

IN THE REVIEW

Serengeti on the Seine

Robert Farren: Life in the Jurassic Sea ‘Duria Antiquior’ (An Earlier Dorset), circa 1850

Europe: A Natural History

by Tim Flannery, with Luigi Boitani
Alytes obstetricans, the common midwife toad, may be as small as a bar of hotel soap with skin as drab as leaf litter, yet its life story is, quite simply, one for the ages. The job that lends the toads their informal name is done by the male. Come breeding …

The Killer Cats Are Winning!

A tropical bird and a tabby cat, Herowana, Papua New Guinea, 1993

Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer

by Peter P. Marra and Chris Santella
Free-roaming domestic cats, a new book argues, are an environmental menace of staggering and still-escalating proportions. They are “cuddly killers” that butcher tens of billions of songbirds, small mammals, reptiles, and lizards each year and push vulnerable species toward extinction.

The Bear’s Best Friend

Coca-Cola for sale at the Western Navajo Nation Fair, Tuba City, Arizona, October 2015; photograph by Larry Towell

Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning)

by Marion Nestle, with a foreword by Mark Bittman and an afterword by Neal Baer
About eight years ago, faced with dwindling sales of Coke, Sprite, Barq’s Root Beer, and other candied and generally carbonated beverages in the Coca-Cola Company’s vast product line, Chris Dennis, a director of product management, retreated to a basement with a small team of engineers and related personnel to come …