Thursday, December 6, 2012

Book Report

In September, I picked out about 40 books from a collection that the Nature Center couldn’t continue to store. I wrote about the book collection in a previous blog post called Old Books.  Since September, I have read several of the books, and here are a few that you might also enjoy.

The title of Sally Carrighar’s book One Day on Beetle Rock is what first piqued my interest, and although there are no beetles in the story, the book is a very wonderful experience.  Beetle Rock is a high elevation valley that is home to the animal characters of the book.  Each chapter allows you to become a different animal as it forages, struggles to survive, and interacts with other animals over the course of one day.  Ms Carrighar helps you look at the world as the animal does with the senses that it relies upon to survive.  Some people may not like the human emotion that the author gives the animals, but I enjoyed connecting with the animal’s stories and lives even if it is fantasy. I also think this short book would be a great to read with children between he ages of 6 and 10.

Blue-wing Teal and many other water fowl were
effected by chemicals intended for insects.
Silent Springs brought awareness of the
widespread use of chemical pesticides.
Silent Spring is book that really opened America’s eye to the dangers of using chemical pesticides, and lead to many changes in policy and public thought about the use of chemicals.  I knew that Rachael Carson’s book was important, but I actually had no idea what it was about.  Since, I was born after the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts much of the book was a history lesson.  I couldn't believe that we sprayed thousands of acres year after year with such dangerous chemicals. It seem so unthinkable to kill everything with such far reaching chemicals.  Silent Springs is not a fun read, but I do recommend it as a history lesson and an example of positive change when people become aware of threats around them. 

William Beebe was an explorer in the early to mid 1900s. He was a naturalist who studied birds, explored jungles, pioneered sea diving, and wrote books of his adventures.  Beebe’s books are easy to read, very descriptive, and offer little glimpses of people who live in the wilderness he was exploring.  I like going with Beebe into the jungle or diving down in the ocean; his books are a lot of fun.  Since, Beebe’s work is old you can get many of his books for free for e-readers; barnes and nobles for nook, amazon for kindles, and project gutenberg has 2 William Beebe books.

What have you been reading?  What should I add to my reading list?