Monday, April 16, 2012

The Best Science And Nature Writing, Edited by Mary Roach and Tim Folger

Each year, a series of best of writing books are released in various categories such as travel, short stories, mystery, etc.  This year's edition of the science and nature writing genre was edited by Mary Roach and Tim Folger.  Mary Roach has made the focal point of her writing life in the science field, popularizing the research into fields such as sex, death and various other topics.  Tim Folger is a contributing editor at Discover magazine and is familiar with a wide range of scientific fields.

The articles range across many scientific fields of inquiry.  There are articles about the problem of space debris, the emergence of bears as pest animals into residential areas with the disappearance of their natural habitats, the issue of organ transplants.  There are more difficult articles such as ones on the space-time continuum and discoveries in that area.  Introduced species that later become predators, crowding out the native animals, get an article, focusing on a species of fish that nature scientists are trying to prevent from reaching the Great Lakes.  There is an interesting article on face-blindness, a condition in which people never become familiar with the faces around them daily and who don't recognize people they deal with daily. 

The series is well done.  The articles are written to educate but the reading level is such that anyone can read and understand the concepts.  There are a wide range of topics, spanning the various areas of scientific inquiry.  This is an anthology that can be dipped into for food for thought, a way to expand understanding of the natural world around us.  This book is recommended for readers interested in how the world works and the discoveries made by scientists.

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