by Helen Scales ‧ RELEASE DATE: July 6, 2021
A captivating nature tour and a convincing warning that “the deep needs decisive, unconditional protection.”
An investigative foray into the world of deep-sea waters with a veteran marine biologist.
“This is without a doubt a golden era for deep-sea exploration,” writes Scales in this beguiling journey into the ocean’s deep, a wondrous landscape full of mystery and adventure: “Here lie entire ecosystems shut away in the dark that are based around the chemical powers of microbes, where worms are nine feet long, crabs dance, and snails grow suits of shiny metal armor.” At the same time, however, the ever increasing knowledge of the abyss leads to further evidence that there is money to be made by harvesting the resources held there. Scales begins by describing the deep sea’s uniqueness and biodiversity. She examines many of its miraculous denizens, such as the “bone-eating snot flower,” found off the coast of Sweden; the ultra-black fish; and gossamer worms, which “wriggle elegantly in tight pirouettes through the water.” Scales also discusses such features as seamounts, coral beds, and hydrothermal vents as well as chemical reactions such as bioluminescence and chemosynthesis (the dark equivalent of photosynthesis). Tracking the massive circulatory patterns of the ocean currents, the author demonstrates how they are disrupted by the forces of climate change, and she looks into possible medical advances that could originate from the ocean floor, including chemotherapy ingredients, genetic-testing materials, and new antibiotics. As in her two previous books, Spirals in Time and Eyes of the Shoal, Scales offers crisp, engaging prose, linking everything together in an accessible, entertaining manner. With plenty of scientific research to back her up, the author displays legitimate concerns about a wide variety of maladies, including plastic waste, raw sewage, oil spills, radioactive elements, and deep-sea mining, which “pose[s] dangerous risks to biodiversity and the environment, on timescales and intensities that cannot yet be fully quantified but could be catastrophic and permanent.”A captivating nature tour and a convincing warning that “the deep needs decisive, unconditional protection.”
Pub Date: July 6, 2021
Page Count: 288
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly
Review Posted Online: May 18, 2021
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021
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by Walter Isaacson ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 12, 2023
Alternately admiring and critical, unvarnished, and a closely detailed account of a troubled innovator.
Awards & Accolades
Best Books Of 2023
New York Times Bestseller
A warts-and-all portrait of the famed techno-entrepreneur—and the warts are nearly beyond counting.
To call Elon Musk (b. 1971) “mercurial” is to undervalue the term; to call him a genius is incorrect. Instead, Musk has a gift for leveraging the genius of others in order to make things work. When they don’t, writes eminent biographer Isaacson, it’s because the notoriously headstrong Musk is so sure of himself that he charges ahead against the advice of others: “He does not like to share power.” In this sharp-edged biography, the author likens Musk to an earlier biographical subject, Steve Jobs. Given Musk’s recent political turn, born of the me-first libertarianism of the very rich, however, Henry Ford also comes to mind. What emerges clearly is that Musk, who may or may not have Asperger’s syndrome (“Empathy did not come naturally”), has nurtured several obsessions for years, apart from a passion for the letter X as both a brand and personal name. He firmly believes that “all requirements should be treated as recommendations”; that it is his destiny to make humankind a multi-planetary civilization through innovations in space travel; that government is generally an impediment and that “the thought police are gaining power”; and that “a maniacal sense of urgency” should guide his businesses. That need for speed has led to undeniable successes in beating schedules and competitors, but it has also wrought disaster: One of the most telling anecdotes in the book concerns Musk’s “demon mode” order to relocate thousands of Twitter servers from Sacramento to Portland at breakneck speed, which trashed big parts of the system for months. To judge by Isaacson’s account, that may have been by design, for Musk’s idea of creative destruction seems to mean mostly chaos.Alternately admiring and critical, unvarnished, and a closely detailed account of a troubled innovator.
Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2023
Page Count: 688
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online: Sept. 12, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2023
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A heartwarming and inspiring story for animal lovers.
The third volume in the Elephant Whisperer series.
In this follow-up to An Elephant in My Kitchen, Malby-Anthony continues her loving portrait of the Thula Thula wildlife reserve, which she co-founded in 1998 with her late husband, South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony, who published the first book in the series, The Elephant Whisperer, in 2009. Following his death in 2012, Malby-Anthony sought to honor his legacy by continuing his vision “to create a massive conservancy in Zululand, incorporating our land and other small farms and community land into one great big game park.” At the same time, the elephants gave her “a sense of purpose and direction.” In the Zulu language, thula means quiet, and though the author consistently seeks to provide that calm to her charges, peace and tranquility are not always easy to come by at Thula Thula. In this installment, Malby-Anthony discusses many of the challenges faced by her and her staff, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. These included an aggressive, 2-ton rhino named Thabo; the profound loss felt by all upon the death of their elephant matriarch, Frankie; difficulty obtaining permits and the related risk of having to relocate or cull some of their animals; the fear of looting and fire due to civil unrest in the region; and the ongoing and potentially deadly struggles with poachers. Throughout, the author also shares many warm, lighthearted moments, demonstrating the deep bond felt among the humans and animals at the reserve and the powerful effects of the kindness of strangers. “We are all working in unity for the greater good, for the betterment of Thula Thula and all our wildlife….We are humbled by the generosity and love, both from our guests and friends, and from strangers all around the world,” writes the author. “People’s open-hearted support kept us alive in the darkest times.”A heartwarming and inspiring story for animal lovers.
Pub Date: April 25, 2023
Page Count: 320
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online: Feb. 22, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2023
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