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The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2007 Paperback – October 10, 2007
The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more
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About the Author
TIM FOLGER is a contributing editor at Discover and writes about science for several magazines.
Top Customer Reviews
Paul Bennett - Rome is a paradise for archeology, where an archeologist is present anytime a construction project involves excavation. Backhoe operators must stop immediately if something of interest is unearthed, making for constant work slowdowns. Recently a two foot marble head of Constantine was found blocking a sewer drain under the Roman Forum.
Susan Casey - In the northern Pacific, air and water currents create doldrum areas twice the size of Texas where plastic accumulates. This area contains six times as much plastic as it does plankton and there are four more ocean sites like it around the world. Every bit of plastic ever made still exists, and each year we churn out another 60 billion tons of it.
Richard Conniff - A memoir about Patricia Wright, the Jane Goodall of lemurs. An extinct lemur the size of a gorilla roamed Madagascar 350 years ago and the island still has 50 species left. Wright is responsible for preventing much deforestation in Madagascar and the creation of thousands of acres of national parks.Read more ›
This volume, with selections made by Richard Preston (The Hot Zone, The Demon in the Freezer), has a wide range of articles. The science essays clearly were the winners here (my favorites: Susan Casey's article on oceanic plastics, and Patricia Gadsby's on the chemistry of food... I've got to start experimenting with eggs). I was less enthused about Brian Doyle's essay on seeing a fisher, and Bill Sherwonit's bear story.
What I really like about this series is that all the articles are short and enlightening. I always feel smarter having read them. So I thank the authors for taking these complex topics and, through the magic of science writing, putting them into a language that even I can understand... like the mutation in the FOX2P gene, and what that means for humanity.
These are great books for trips, and for gifts.
Preston, author of "The Demon in the Freezer" and "The Wild Trees" demonstrates his editorial skills with this engaging collection. Covering such diverse topics as the human threats to the seas, the nature of violence and looking for the oldest light, this series of over two dozen articles - with more than four dozen hovering in the wings - conveys how deeply science is penetrating Nature's mysteries. The editor's own writing skills provide a fine standard for assessment and there is nothing either dull or arcane to make the reader stumble. Interests vary, and Preston's choices will meet everybody's requirements. More to the point the subjects chosen and the information provided will stir interest in new areas readers might wish to pursue further.
Each reader - and reviewer - will have particular articles to favour as they wend their way through the anthology. To this reviewer, "Plastic Ocean" by Susan Casey is a foremost choice. Not only is it a fine piece of writing, but the subject - how our plastic products are being gathered into a great oceanic dump, known as the Pacific Garbage Patch - is one of universal concern. Casey interviews yachting captain Charles Moore to understand the immensity of the problem.Read more ›
"...by weight, [the North Pacific subtropical gyre] contains six times as much plastic as it does plankton;" "...a 65-degree egg cooked for an hour should be quite safe.)" and soft boiling eggs at this temperature "...is becoming the rage with chefs in France;" "A twiffler...is a plate of intermediate in size between a dinner plate and a bread plate;" "...perhaps the thing that should worry you the least [should you wish to get a nuclear bomb] is the American government's war on terror;" "Given the pervasive presence of homosexuality throughout the animal kingdom, same-sex partnering must be an adaptive trait that's been carefully preserved by natural selection;" "A globule of yellow-streaked fat oozed through the gaping wound [of a gryllacridid]. It then curled its head down toward the leaking viscera and proceeded to consume its own entrails;" "The duck is the Trojan horse..." [of the bird flu virus], "...a car driven 10,000 miles a year with a fuel efficiency of 30 miles per gallon (mpg) emits close to 1 ton of carbon annually;" "...what you eat or smoke today could affect the health and behavior of your great-grandchildren."
Great writings on a large variety of science and nature related topics.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I purchased the book for my son. After scanning the book, I am to embarrassed to give it to him to read due to some of the content. Read morePublished on April 28, 2014 by Saralynn Rusher
whether technology or biology or revolving around the planets, this collection has the best of the journals providing you with only what you need and deleting the clutter!Published on July 7, 2013 by John S.
Very good collection. I subscribe to many of the magazines these articles come from and I still love this series. Very often reading about science can be laborious. Read morePublished on May 24, 2008 by Erebor