Our Native Bees (Paige Embry - 2018)
Our Native Bees is many things at once: a work on an important subject (one that everyone should know about), a fascinating read, and a coffee-table book full of cool bee closeups. The only thing it isn't is fiction, but actually it unfolds as a series of stories, told in a breezy way for a non-specialist audience. It's not meant to be comprehensive but rather provide a window into the subject, from the point of the author diving into the subject herself: we see not only the bees but also the people studying them, and the state of the ecology.
I hadn't known much about native bees before reading this, despite being obsessed with the product of (non-native) honeybees, and didn't know that native bees are in fact superior pollinators, contributing much to the pollination of both our crops and native plants. I especially enjoyed learning about the odd life cycles of certain bees.
Now that I have read this I would like there to be a companion volume, a tome with just bee pictures and descriptions of their lifestyles. In any case, here's a good book to gift to curious types.
Note: this was adapted from my original Goodreads review.