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The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2003 (The Best American Series) Paperback – October 10, 2003
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Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book contains the same sort of writings seen in Discover. So readers of the other two magazines, the writings will be a few `step down' in terms of science. This book contains more science than the other `brand', The Best American Science Writings XXXX by Ecco Publishing. If you are on a tight budget, I recommend this book over Ecco's book. There are only about 3 articles that came from the magazines that I've listed above. So, you don't have to worry so much about rereading the same writings.
I have the same complaints every year against this book and of Ecco's books. That is, it's too fashionable, it lacks the illustrations that came with the original publication, and there is a complete omission of the Queen of Science, mathematics. When you finish this book, you will not be left with a `feeling' that you just read a great book. Naturally, it's just a collection of magazine articles. So if you are a science fan, then it's a marginal purchase. If you are from the "literary camp" then this is a good buy.
Now, let me discuss some of the contents of the book. (Also read further for some articles that should have made these books.) Because the articles are fashionable, we can already guess what the contents of the book will be. A great deal of pages are devoted to articles on global warming. There are a few articles on the archaeology of the middle east. And we have an article on dieting.
By far, the most memorable article in the book is an essay about the September 11th terrorist attack.Read more ›
"Science and Nature Writing" allows many subject options. Dawkins has chosen well and in a timely fashion for this anthology. It would be redundant to assess the writing styles - all of these pieces are compelling, informative and presented in a highly readable style. The subjects may have a scientific or technical foundation, but the information offered isn't buried in arcane terminology. For some of the articles, the style is designed to catch your attention over the destination of your tax dollars. Is the response to the 11 September World Trade Centre attacks rational? Is money being diverted to programs that might find better use and offer better security elsewhere? Clark Chapman and Alan Harris address the first part of the question, while Steven Weinberg in one article and Charles Mann in another look at the second part.Read more ›
So, read it for elucidation or inspiration. You will come away with a few previously-unfamiliar names firmly lodged in your head for future reference, like Ian Frazier. The end of his (quite literally sensual) ode to icebergs is so beautiful it almost hurts. Here it is in full:
"A lot of what is exciting about being alive can't be felt, because it's beyond the power of the senses. Just being on the planet, we are moving around the sun at 67,000 miles an hour; it would be great if somehow we could climb up to an impossible vantage point and actually feel that speed.
"All this data we've got piling up is interesting, but short on thrills. Time, which we have only so much of, runs out on us, and as we get older we learn that anything and everything will go by. And since it will all go by anyway, why doesn't it all go right now, in a flash, and get it over with? For mysterious reasons, it doesn't, and the pace at which it proceeds instead reveals itself in icebergs.
"In the passing of the seconds, in the one-thing-after-another, I take comfort in icebergs. They are time solidified and time erased again. They pass by and vanish, quickly or slowly, regular inhabitants of a world we just happened to end up on. The glow that comes from them is the glow of more truth than we can stand."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Part of what makes this collection so interesting and of lasting value is the wide range of topics addressed. Read morePublished on September 26, 2004 by J-Montana
Early in the forward, renown autthor/scientist Richard Dawkins writes " In a single glimpse of Andromeda, then, your eyes capture light that encompasses a span of 150,000... Read morePublished on May 5, 2004 by C Olson
There's little I can add to the reviews that the other reviewers haven't already said, and said well. Read morePublished on December 18, 2003 by email@example.com
This is a great series. This year the selection seemed to have more of an anti-religious and political tone, but most of the selections are still well-written, educational and... Read morePublished on December 4, 2003 by J. Israel