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Top 10 environmental books of 2009

By: Jessica Knoblauch on Jan. 7, 2010, 8 a.m.
The Dangerous World of Butterflies: The Startling Subculture of Criminals, Collectors, and Conservationists by Peter Laufer

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"The Dangerous World of Butterflies" by Peter Laufer

Weary after a long stint of reporting on gloom and doom, author Peter Laufer jokingly tells an audience one night that his next book will be about butterflies and flowers. Much to his surprise, Laufer’s nose for news soon leads him on a harrowing journey of discovery into the inner workings of the butterfly industry and the underground world of collectors. Along the way, he meets a number of idiosyncratic characters with a common obsession — the butterfly — and whose stories will give readers a whole new perspective on the sometimes rare but always beautiful species.