Most textbooks I’ve ever read were, with a few exceptions, not books I’d recommend. Often written by committees, they tend toward bland, tedious, and stylistically challenged. However, there are, as I noted, exceptions. I still recall a physical science textbook that I discovered in my junior high school library. It was filled with clever explanations of its subject material and illustrated with a host of quirky, funny, and highly effective illustrations. I still recall it fondly to this day.

Quickly perusing the newly arrived copy of David B. Rivers new Insects: Evolutionary Success, Unrivaled Diversity, and World Domination from Johns Hopkins University Press, I can’t help but suspect that it too may prove to be another delightful exception to the “stodgy textbook” rule. One early review has already praised it for being “fresh and relevant” as well as “ooz[ing] with an entomological swagger representing the passion of the insect world.”

Fresh, relevant, and oozing – now there are three descriptors for an entomology textbook that I’m indeed keen to discover if they prove justified.