cloth, 430 p., $65
A magnificent book, Hotspots makes a compelling argument for concentrated conservation activities in 25 specific and special places in the world. These locales range from Madagascar to the Caucasus, from Polynesia to the Karoo. This coffee-table sized book includes hundreds of color photographs, many in stunning full-page or double-page format. If you can find a way to pull yourself away from the photographs, the content gives you plenty of information, in the form of tables, maps and well-written text, created by over 60 experts from around the world.
Each "hot spot" section provides a general description of the region under examination, flagship species in that area, threats to those species and recommendations for conservation. This book will certainly educate millions about biodiversity; if you buy only one book for your coffee table this year, make it this one!
— Edward J. Valauskas, Manager, Library and Plant Information, School of the Chicago Botanic Garden.