The Insect Epiphany

How Our Six-Legged Allies Shape Human Culture

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Pub Date Oct 15 2024 | Archive Date Oct 15 2024

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From entomologist Barrett Klein comes a buzz-worthy exploration of the many ways insects have affected human society, history, and culture

Insects surround us. They fuel life on Earth through their roles as pollinators, predators, and prey, but rarely do we consider the outsize influence they have had on our culture and civilization. Their anatomy and habits inform how we live, work, create art, and innovate. Featuring nearly 250 color images—from ancient etchings to avant-garde art, from bug-based meals to haute couture—The Insect Epiphany proves that our world would look very different without insects, not just because they are crucial to our ecosystems, but because they have shaped and inspired so many aspects of what makes us human.

From entomologist Barrett Klein comes a buzz-worthy exploration of the many ways insects have affected human society, history, and culture

Insects surround us. They fuel life on Earth through their...

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ISBN 9781643261362
PRICE $35.00 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

The insect epiphany gives an in-depth view of how insects have shaped our world, from the products we cannot make without them to the inspiration we took from them. The main focus isn't the insects themselves, but the things they brought us.

The book focuses on influences from all around the world. It often talks about non-Western cultures.

Although I found the text to be a bit dense for casual reading, I can see others using it for their research or strong interest in a discussed subject. I appreciate that the author was able to add a personal touch to the writing while still maintaining a serious approach.

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This is the perfect gift for the Bug and Book lovers in your life!

I’m embarrassed to admit, but the only insect facts I knew came from Blathers, the owl who owns the museum in Animal Crossing. In my hopes to read more Non-Fiction, I came across this book, drawn in by the cover's beautiful illustrations, and I was met with an abundance of knowledge on insects and their important role in our ecosystems, fabrics, food, and culture. This is a text heavy book, but the vibrant pictures and descriptive writing is what keeps your interest throughout.

I recommend pairing this with your next visit to your local insectarium!

Thank you to NetGalley and Timber Press for this ARC.

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The Insect Epiphany by Barrett Klein is quite simply one of the most beautifully illustrated books I have ever had the good luck to encounter, let alone the absolutely fascinating content within

Most people cringe at the thought of creepy crawlies, and that is ok, we are essentially programmed to as a natural species outselves, However, many have not shied away from insects and in fact, whole industries have been built from them. Silk, Wax, Honey, Lacquer, Colour, Paper, Chitin, even poisons (and the cure therof), food, medicine and so much more.

The species that has without comparison or competition the highest populations in the natural world (and some of them have been domesticated, like the revered silk worm) have not only contributed immensely to trade, industry and science, but also culture and art.

The Genesis section contains perhaps one of my favourite pieces of information from the book. This section explores how we as humans have mimicked the exoskeleton, structures and mechanics of insect mobility and protection in making minute machines, links, robots, spyware and architecture. But the most stunning example are the samurai Helmets with the emblems of the dragonfly and cicada made from mixed materials. While not essentially mimicking the mechanical efficacy of these insects, the helmets are absolutely gorgeous

The theme of emulating and mimicking insects continues to the final section, that of metamorphosis, which explores fighting styles, behaviour, even fashion

The book incorporates poetry, imagery and a very well written, immersive narrative that is easy to read and highly engaging. A must for budding entomologists, biologists and anyone with a love and fascination of nature. Simply stunning!

Thank you very much to Netgalley, Timber Press and the fantastic author Barrett Klein for this insightful and very enjoyable ARC. My review is left voluntarily and all opinions are my own

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I started reading “silent spring” so this book caught my eye. Interesting details on history of insects and how humans use them. Would make a good reference book for the insect lover in the family. Would recommend.

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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

This was lovely, and anyone who used to read books like the Eyewitness nonfiction series as a kid would probably like this, as it has a similar vibe. All about insects (and spiders too!), this book describes insects in relation to humanity throughout history, from their use as sources of colors, food, and engineering inspiration, art, and even clothing. Accompanied by tons and tons of beautiful color photos and illustrations, this was a joy to read!

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This book offers an excellent exploration of insects and their significance to humans. It delves into the impact on our food supply, the benefits to our nutrition, and our very existence due to insects. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in environmental topics.

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This was a really amazing book with interesting, engaging text and stunning images.

I enjoyed the way the author, Barrett Kelin, worked to help people understand the importance of insects while showing the ways in which insects have been entwined with our lives and culture for centuries.

The text is beautifully written and well worth a read, but the images alone are worth picking this book up. They are beautiful, varied, and provide an interesting look at the way people and insects interact.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in insects, nature, and culture.

Thanks to Net Galley and Timber Press for an advanced reader copy of this gorgeous book.

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