Jim Williams’ fascinating new natural history book, Path of the Puma: The Remarkable Resilience of the Mountain Lion (Patagonia, $24.95), examines the seeming contradiction behind the current status of these striking, big cats. He explains that while wild animals — and especially large predators —...

David Quammen’s new book, The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life (Simon & Schuster, $30), explores the world of contemporary molecular biology and delves into the history of evolutionary theory, revealing how recent discoveries at the molecular level point toward a different and...

Yellowstone Migrations by Joe Riis (Braided River, $29.95) is a beautiful and ambitious illustrated study of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and more particularly of the migratory patterns of the animals that call the region home. Riis, a wildlife biologist and award-winning photojournalist and cinematographer, has...

American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee (Crown, $28) is a book about the famous Yellowstone wolves, specifically the uncommonly popular wolf known as O-Six. As with all books about the Yellowstone wolves, it is also a...

Thunder in the Mountains: Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard, and the Nez Perce War by Daniel J. Sharfstein (Norton, $29.95), is a hefty and thoughtful examination of the widely studied 1877 Nez Perce War. Sharfstein, a professor of law at Vanderbilt University, offers a nuanced...

Helena, Montana, native Maile Meloy’s new novel, Do Not Become Alarmed (Riverhead, $27), has been justly lauded in recent months as a must-read literary thriller. She deftly introduces scenarios and characters, offers sly foreshadowing and detailed backstories, and pokes at the motivations of the parents, siblings,...

Allen Morris Jones knows how to show you what’s in his characters’ heads even while letting them hide secrets small and large. More than that, Jones knows how to show you the worlds that his characters inhabit — from the lonely Wyoming cabin in his...

As summer approaches, there’s more than a little appeal in turning to books that celebrate the natural world and the people who protect it. These new books offer glimpses of the best that the West has to offer. They take us on trips into the...