Non-Fiction Roundup December

Owls book cover

Non-Fiction Round Ups are an opportunity for me to share what I’ve read with mini-reviews. Even though I enjoy non-fiction, I can’t always say as much about it as fiction. Enjoy.


jungle-of-stoneJungle of Stone: The True Story of Two Men, Their Extraordinary Journey, and the Discovery of the Lost Civilization of the Maya
William Carlsen
William Morrow, 2016

Non-Fiction, Historical
544 pages (hardcover)

Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Borrow: Worldcat

The extraordinary true story of the rediscovery of the Mayan civilization: In the tradition of The Lost City of Z and Empire of Ice, comes the forgotten tale of 19th century American John Lloyd Stephens’s quest to uncover and understand the ancient world’s most advanced civilization amid the jungles of Central America.

In 1839, when John Lloyd Stephens, a dashing U.S. special ambassador to Central America, and Frederick Catherwood, an acclaimed British architect and draftsman, set out into the unexplored jungles of the Yucatan, Charles Darwin was aboard the H.M.S.Beagle, the Bible was the basic template of history, and most people believed the world was less than 6,000 years old. Deep in the jungles, they stumbled upon the wondrous ruins of the Mayan civilization—an astonishing find that would change western understanding of human history.

In Jungle of Stone, William Carlsen uncovers the rich history of the ruins as he follows Stephens and Catherwood’s journey through present day Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. Drawing upon Stephens’s journals and Cather’s magnificent illustrations—which became the bestselling book Incidents of Travel in Yucatan—Carlsen artfully tells the enthralling story of two great voyagers and the world they discovered.

–Description from publisher

This is enjoyable book about an early documented discovery of the Mayan empire. The adventures of Stephens and Catherwood are a reminder of a time when more of the world was a mystery. As Stephens and Catherwood traipse through South American in search of ruins, they come into contact with the native population, are caught between warring factions, and experience various health issues due to the climate.

This is a great adventure story that includes drawings from the original explorers and modern day photographs from the author.

Who it’s for: Adventure readers, though really anyone who enjoys a good story.


owlsOwls: Our Most Charming Bird
Matt Sewell
Ten Speed Press, 2015

Non-Fiction, Birds
128 pages (hardcover)

Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Borrow: Worldcat

An enchanting illustrated guide to owl species of the world.

The owl is one of nature’s most captivating creatures. In this enchanting guide, artist Matt Sewell brings to life fifty species from around the world. From the adorable Eurasian Pygmy Owl, small enough to fit in your pocket, to the Great Gray Owl, celebrated for its size and elegance—these charming illustrations are sure to delight anyone intrigued by these wise and wonderful animals.

–Description from publisher


This book is adorable. The images are cute and hand-done. The descriptions are entertaining and have tidbits of information. The images and descriptions are less than scientific so if’s not the best option for research but its definitely worth the read.

Who it’s for: Anyone and everyone who loves owls.



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