IT COMES OUT IN LATE OCTOBER, but the new Dan Flores book is worth the wait. In Wild New World: The Epic Story of Animals & People in America (W.W. Norton), the Santa Fe–based author delivers epic  descriptions of human impact on the living beings among us. His engaging prose includes visits to familiar sites in New Mexico—and elsewhere—as he ambles across the landscapes of millennia. The decline of creatures like bison and wolves and the disappearance of others stands, in his view, as an indictment of humanity, one leavened by our efforts to leave a fainter footprint. Call your favorite local bookstore and put it on order today.

Read more: Researchers are investigating thousands of footprints left by Ice Age animals and prehistoric humans at White Sands National Park to uncover rich stories about our past.