Book Talk: The Language of Butterflies by Wendy Williams

In this fascinating book from the New York Times bestselling author of The Horse, Wendy Williams explores the lives of one of the world’s most resilient creatures—the butterfly—shedding light on the role that they play in our ecosystem and in our human lives.

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About the Book

Butterflies are one of the world’s most beloved insects. From butterfly gardens to zoo exhibitions, they are one of the few insects we’ve encouraged to infiltrate our lives. Yet, what has drawn us to these creatures in the first place? And what are their lives really like? In this groundbreaking book, New York Times bestselling author and science journalist Wendy Williams reveals the inner lives of these “flying flowers”—creatures far more intelligent and tougher than we give them credit for.

Monarch butterflies migrate thousands of miles each year from Canada to Mexico. Other species have learned how to fool ants into taking care of them. Butterflies’ scales are inspiring researchers to create new life-saving medical technology. Williams takes readers to butterfly habitats across the globe and introduces us to not only various species, but to the scientists who have dedicated their lives to studying them.

Coupled with years of research and knowledge gained from experts in the field, this accessible “butterfly biography” explores the ancient partnership between these special creatures and humans, and why they continue to fascinate us today. Touching, eye-opening, and incredibly profound, The Language of Butterflies reveals the critical role they play in our world.

Reviews and What Readers Say

“ Butterflies are even more fascinating than they are beautiful. Wendy Williams’ reporting on these otherworldly insects stuns on every page. Read this book and you'll metamorphose into an even greater fan of these amazing animals. I loved this book!"

—Sy Montgomery, author of The Soul of an Octopus

“ A merry jaunt through the past, present, and future of butterfly pop science...To keep the science and history accessible rather than overwhelming, Williams wisely selects key characters, transformational moments, and illustrative species...Williams paces a geological event like an action movie, and her animated storytelling skills, coupled with her orientation toward universal themes like the nature of beauty, will appeal to a broad audience....Expect this book to awaken the dormant butterfly enthusiast within."

—Kirkus Reviews

“ The butterfly’s life cycle has always symbolized transformation. In this awe-inspiring book, Williams shows us how these animals can also transform whole ecosystems, scientific disciplines and human hearts."

—Abigail Tucker, New York Times bestselling author of The Lion in the Living Room

“ William’s tale skips and hovers as lightly as the insects that fascinate her, revealing how very little we knew about them until a young German woman in the 17th century did what no one else had done—watch them. It’s what we all should learn to do, if we are to save and protect these fragile beings who as pollinators help feed us and who give us the simple joy of delight as they flutter by like colored petals on a breeze. A must read for all.” —Virginia Morrell, New York Times bestselling author of Animal Wise

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The Language of Butterflies: How Thieves, Hoarders, Scientists, and Other Obsessives Unlocked the Secrets of the World's Favorite Insect by Wendy Williams

240 pages

ISBN 978-1501178061

Note: To order, please click here

Science journalist Wendy Williams has spent her life outdoors, either on the back of a horse, on skis, or on her own two feet. She has spent a great deal of time in a variety of countries in Africa, walking in the fields and forests of Europe, and exploring North American mountain chains and prairies. She lives on Cape Cod in Massachusetts with her husband and her Border Collie Taff. She is the author of The Horse and The Language of Butterflies.

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