In short: Love Untold; The modern bestiary; The Red Planet – the review | Books

unspeakable love
Ruth Jones
dwarf rooster, £20, pp416

The third novel by actress and author Ruth Jones tells the story of a conflict between four generations of Welsh women. Matriarch Grace has been estranged from her daughter, Alys, for decades. Alys abandoned her own daughter, Elin, years ago, and now Elin’s daughter, Beca, is also facing emotional dilemmas. Rich with warm, engaging characters and a judicious blend of humor and pathos for which Jones is renowned, this is a compassionate, wise and life-affirming book.

The Modern Bestiary: A Curated Collection of Wonderful Creatures
Joanna Bagniewska
Wildfire, £16.99, pp256

In a series of 100 short and accessible essays, zoologist and science communicator Joanna Bagniewska introduces us to some of the strangest and most fascinating creatures in the natural world. From jellyfish that can reverse the aging process, to tarantulas that keep frogs as pets, to bloody lizards and crazed siblicides, this is an illuminating compendium of weird and wonderful creatures.

The Red Planet: A Natural History of Mars
Simon Morden

Elliott and Thompson£9.99, pp256 (paperback)

With a doctorate in geology and a background as a science fiction writer, Simon Morden is well placed to write this fascinating story of Mars. Recognizing early on that some of the book will necessarily be guesswork, albeit based on his favorite scientific theories, the author asks questions about the Red Planet’s 4.5 billion year existence, including what happened to its water and whether it is possible that the planet once harbored life. Passionate and stimulating, it is a very readable popular work.

Colin L. Johnson