An adventurous and frequently dazzling look at our planet's most massive habitat.

DEEP

FREEDIVING, RENEGADE SCIENCE, AND WHAT THE OCEAN TELLS US ABOUT OURSELVES

Nestor (Get High Now (without drugs), 2009, etc.) takes readers around the world as he explores the ocean’s mysterious and revealing depths—and what the deep might reveal about mankind’s origin and future.

We’ve all seen documentary footage of strange deep-sea creatures, trundling along a hazy ocean floor, maybe even glowing in the dark. But how much do we really know about these ecosystems, and how much have we forgotten about our own profound connection to the ocean? With verve and humor, the author describes his own risk-taking attempts to understand the ocean's ancient secrets and future potential and the daring and brilliant people who have dedicated their lives to probing deeper. Take free diving, for example: Historical accounts suggest that humans have been diving hundreds of feet deep for centuries, with no equipment and holding just one breath of air. Our bodies are capable of withstanding the crushing pressure in deep water, and we have a built-in instinct called the “master switch of life” that activates to give human bodies amphibious skills. Nestor goes into great detail about his own free-dive training, and his writing is sharp, colorful and thrilling. Equally magnetic is the account of his adventure in a deep-sea submarine, a cramped contraption that dove to 2,600 feet below the surface, where light can’t penetrate the water but a variety of organisms thrive. Perhaps the most memorable chapter covers the author’s experience diving with sperm whales, whose enigmatic vocalizations may be the most complex language we can imagine. Throughout, scientific mini-lessons and lively character profiles give context to the author's anecdotes, bringing the ocean to life from a research perspective as well as a human one.

An adventurous and frequently dazzling look at our planet's most massive habitat.

Pub Date: June 24, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-547-98552-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A tiny book, not much bigger than a pamphlet, with huge potential impact.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 15

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

NO ONE IS TOO SMALL TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

A collection of articulate, forceful speeches made from September 2018 to September 2019 by the Swedish climate activist who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Speaking in such venues as the European and British Parliaments, the French National Assembly, the Austrian World Summit, and the U.N. General Assembly, Thunberg has always been refreshingly—and necessarily—blunt in her demands for action from world leaders who refuse to address climate change. With clarity and unbridled passion, she presents her message that climate change is an emergency that must be addressed immediately, and she fills her speeches with punchy sound bites delivered in her characteristic pull-no-punches style: “I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.” In speech after speech, to persuade her listeners, she cites uncomfortable, even alarming statistics about global temperature rise and carbon dioxide emissions. Although this inevitably makes the text rather repetitive, the repetition itself has an impact, driving home her point so that no one can fail to understand its importance. Thunberg varies her style for different audiences. Sometimes it is the rousing “our house is on fire” approach; other times she speaks more quietly about herself and her hopes and her dreams. When addressing the U.S. Congress, she knowingly calls to mind the words and deeds of Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy. The last speech in the book ends on a note that is both challenging and upbeat: “We are the change and change is coming.” The edition published in Britain earlier this year contained 11 speeches; this updated edition has 16, all worth reading.

A tiny book, not much bigger than a pamphlet, with huge potential impact.

Pub Date: Nov. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-14-313356-8

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Penguin

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2019

Did you like this book?

The book is not entirely negative; final chapters indicate roads of reversal, before it is too late!

SILENT SPRING

It should come as no surprise that the gifted author of The Sea Around Us and its successors can take another branch of science—that phase of biology indicated by the term ecology—and bring it so sharply into focus that any intelligent layman can understand what she is talking about.

Understand, yes, and shudder, for she has drawn a living portrait of what is happening to this balance nature has decreed in the science of life—and what man is doing (and has done) to destroy it and create a science of death. Death to our birds, to fish, to wild creatures of the woods—and, to a degree as yet undetermined, to man himself. World War II hastened the program by releasing lethal chemicals for destruction of insects that threatened man’s health and comfort, vegetation that needed quick disposal. The war against insects had been under way before, but the methods were relatively harmless to other than the insects under attack; the products non-chemical, sometimes even introduction of other insects, enemies of the ones under attack. But with chemicals—increasingly stronger, more potent, more varied, more dangerous—new chain reactions have set in. And ironically, the insects are winning the war, setting up immunities, and re-emerging, their natural enemies destroyed. The peril does not stop here. Waters, even to the underground water tables, are contaminated; soils are poisoned. The birds consume the poisons in their insect and earthworm diet; the cattle, in their fodder; the fish, in the waters and the food those waters provide. And humans? They drink the milk, eat the vegetables, the fish, the poultry. There is enough evidence to point to the far-reaching effects; but this is only the beginning,—in cancer, in liver disorders, in radiation perils…This is the horrifying story. It needed to be told—and by a scientist with a rare gift of communication and an overwhelming sense of responsibility. Already the articles taken from the book for publication in The New Yorker are being widely discussed. Book-of-the-Month distribution in October will spread the message yet more widely.

The book is not entirely negative; final chapters indicate roads of reversal, before it is too late!  

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 1962

ISBN: 061825305X

Page Count: 378

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1962

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more