And Now For Something Completely Different
Yes. NON-fiction. Not something I mention on here very often – for all sorts of reasons, mostly because the majority of non-fiction I read is for research. Which is no bad thing, and I’m certainly not making excuses for it. It’s just the way things are – I don’t have the time to read anywhere near as many books as I’d like to (and I do read a lot).
Anyway. Back to the point.
It’s written by author and naturalist, Scott Weidensaul
, and it chiefly deals with extinction; the definition of which I found particularly interesting ie. a species is considered extinct if it hasn’t been seen by a western scientist in x number of years. Not particularly watertight then. I’ll not go into too much detail (I wouldn’t want to ruin it for anyone and there’s a terrific review at Vulpes Libris here
) but much of the book is Scott’s accounts of searching for ‘extinct’ species.
It is fascinating.
Also fascinating (and sad, and terribly worrying) is the rate at which creatures are disappearing now – I’ll let you guess who’s to blame for an extinction rate close to that of the dinosaurs’ time. (There’s a quote I particularly like on this: “At least you can’t accuse a meteor of premeditated stupidity.”)
There are also terrific sections on the Crypto (mythical beasts and monsters, like Nessie), the big cats of Britain, and the Tasmanian Tiger. What stands out throughout the book is Scott’s passion for ecology and animals (and birds, and fish), his common sense and level-headedness, but also – and the most appealing to me – a burning hope; the light of which I, personally, would like everyone to see.
I should also mention that it is really nicely written, so along with finding interesting stuff out, you also get a great sense of what it’s like doing what he does.
I really loved it, and I’d recommend it in an instant.
Yes, shaking my head again at Blogger and how it thinks it knows best about formatting.