Today, the once-flourishing art of taxidermy is adrift. Museums have eliminated taxidermy departments, few if any taxidermists can make a living on taxidermy alone, and many leave the profession in frustration. Yet, through taxidermy we are able to see creatures large and small that are now extinct or that exist in another part of the world. To understand this unusual profession, Milgrom, a freelance journalist who has written for the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, talks to some of the best taxidermists currently working in the United States and Britain; attends the World Taxidermy Championships and visits museums; looks at taxidermy history, especially its high period from the Victorian age to World War II; spends time with British artist Damien Hirst, who incorporates preserved animals in his art; and eventually tackles a taxidermy project of her own. Verdict While this reviewer would have liked a little more detail on how taxidermists work, Milgrom’s lively account will appeal to readers who enjoyed Mary Roach’s quirky science books (Stiff; Spook; Bonk).

—Library Journal