American Eden

From Monticello to Central Park to Our Backyards: What Our Gardens Tell Us About Who We Are

Wade Graham

Harper: $35

How the American identity and its contradictions — democratic ideals and aristocratic pretensions — are reflected in our gardens, from Jefferson's Monticello to Martha Stewart's Turkey Hill. (now available)

Among Giants

A Life With Whales

Charles "Flip" Nicklin

University of Chicago Press: $40

The gentle beasts in the depths of the ocean receive their fair share in this visually stunning tribute. (June)

The Big Roads

The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways

Earl Swift

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: $27

Travelers hitting the highways this summer might better appreciate the asphalt beneath their tires thanks to this engrossing history of the creation of the U.S. interstate system. (June)

Boltzmann's Tomb

Travels in Search of Science

Bill Green

Bellevue Literary Press: $25