Out Into the Wild!
It’s summer! Let these titles inspire you to go out into the wild!
Wild by nature: from Siberia to Australia, three years alone in the wilderness on foot by Sarah Marquis 613.69 MAR
Marquis’ 2010-13 trek from Siberia to Australia, described here, took two and half years and covered over 10,000 miles. Though she encounters many dangers including dehydration, harassment, illness, and in one hair-raising sequence, machine gun-toting drug smugglers in Laos-Marquis also experiences deep communion with nature. Marquis’s revelations of the size and beauty of the least-populated and most vast spaces of our planet convey a sense of wonder and gratitude.
The hidden half of nature: the microbial roots of life and health by David R. Montgomery and Anne Biklé 579.175 MON
A geologist and a biologist and environmental planner chronicle the transformation of their desolate Seattle backyard into a fertile garden and how they learned about the importance of beneficial microbes in their newly revived soil. The authors’ blending of science and history, combined with personal insights, keeps the balanced narrative moving at a rapid pace, while simultaneously integrating the dark story of American agriculture’s co-option by the chemical industry, the result of which is depleted soil with fewer microbes and an unsustainable food production system. Biklé describes her bout with cancer and the resulting changes she made to her garden and dietary habits.
The invention of nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s new world by Andrea Wulf 509.2WUL
Humboldt, writes the author “saw the earth as a great living organism where everything was connected, conceiving a bold new vision of nature that still affects how we understand the world.” His insights marked the end of the universal view (at least among scientists) of animals as soulless automatons and the belief that humans were lords of the Earth. The son of a wealthy Prussian aristocrat, he used his money to finance his iconic, grueling 1799-1804 expedition through the jungles and mountains of Latin America, ending with a long visit to President Thomas Jefferson, a lifelong correspondent. He eventually returned to Europe, wrote of his experiences in 34 bestselling volumes, and continued to travel, lecture, write, and excite artists, poets, scholars, and scientists for the remainder of a very long life.
Into the heart of our world: a journey to the center of the Earth: a remarkable voyage of scientific discovery by David Whitehouse 551.11WHI
Guided by the most up-to-date scientific findings, British science journalist Whitehouse commands an imagined voyage into Earth’s interior, presenting a quick synopsis of our current understanding of the Earth’s layers and then descending into the Earth’s crust as far as he is physically able. Filling his pages with curious facts, brief biographies, and scientific theories about Earth’s inner structure, Whitehouse proffers explanations of Earth’s formation, the origin of the Moon, and more. Whitehouse surveys the baffling nature of Earth’s solid core and concludes his work, fittingly, with discussions of the planet’s possible demise as well as that of other planets near and far.
Compiled by Ina Rimpau