Into the Underworlds

Book review: Underland, by Robert Macfarlane (Amazon / Book Depository) What happened here? The mouth of the chasm says nothing. The trees say nothing. Leaning over the edge of the sinkhole, I can see only darkness beneath me. British author Robert Macfarlane’s Underland is a difficult book to describe or do justice to. It’s more of a literary experience than anything easily summarized. At its core, it’s … Continue reading Into the Underworlds

A Forensic Ecologist on Life, Death, and Crime-Solving

Book review: The Nature of Life and Death, by Patricia Wiltshire (Amazon / Book Depository) Patricia Wiltshire is a botanist, forensic ecologist, and palynologist — what she defines as “one who studies pollen and other palynomorphs.” She works with the police in the United Kingdom, drawing on decades of experience and meticulous microscopic examinations to determine what pollen, fungi, microbes and all manner of plant … Continue reading A Forensic Ecologist on Life, Death, and Crime-Solving

The Man-Made Disaster of “The Deadliest Animal in History”

Book review: No Beast So Fierce, by Dane Huckelbridge (Amazon / Book Depository) Around 1900 in India and Nepal, a Royal Bengal tiger had gone “cannibal”. That’s the term author John Vaillant attributes to Russians in The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival, used for describing when a tiger preys on humans as its primary food source. The Champawat tiger would take 436 lives in … Continue reading The Man-Made Disaster of “The Deadliest Animal in History”

Nonfiction Classic: A “Young Writer’s Book” on the Natural World

Book review: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, by Annie Dillard (Amazon / Book Depository) I used to have a cat, an old fighting tom, who would jump through the open window by my bed in the middle of the night and land on my chest … And some mornings I’d wake in daylight to find my body covered with paw prints in blood; I looked as … Continue reading Nonfiction Classic: A “Young Writer’s Book” on the Natural World

How a World Meets Its End

Book review: At the End of the World, by Lawrence Millman (Amazon / Book Depository) In the winter of 1941, when most of the world was concerned with the Second World War raging in Europe, a different drama was unfolding on the remote Belcher Islands of Canada’s Hudson Bay. In a religious frenzy, three Inuit became convinced that two of them were the reincarnations of … Continue reading How a World Meets Its End