I picked up this book because I liked the title, and decided to buy it as soon as I saw the intro was written by W.H. Auden. Excellent decision… I was blown away by this book. Eiseley is a naturalist, anthropologist, scientist, environmentalist, historian, poet (and more), and his writing is fantastic! This is a collection of his favorite essays (and a few poems). He describes the natural world with wonder, beauty and spirituality. I read this book slowly, savoring every sentence.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Monday, May 28, 2007
This book is about a 1994 expedition to explore the Sistema Huautla, a cave system in Mexico, which – at ~35 miles long and almost 5,000 ft. deep - is the deepest cave in the Americas, and the 5th deepest in the world (as of 2002, when the book was published.) Think of mountaineering expeditions – but underground. There were 44 people on this expedition, who carried massive amounts of equipment into the caves, while doing some pretty hairy rappelling in and around waterfalls. They also spent significant amounts of time route-finding through flooded tunnels using a technology Stone had invented to allow them to recycle their own breath (rather than hauling huge numbers of scuba tanks with them.) The one “camp” sounded like it was hammocks hanging off bolts in the cave walls above an underground river. (Not a good place to be in a flash flood!). Stone and Ende lived underground for 44 days during this expedition. This is not something that’s on my list to do - but the book was interesting and engaging.
One of the better airplane books I’ve read in a while. A young aide is injured during an assassination attempt on the President, and a close friend of the President’s is killed. Eight years later, the aide sees the supposedly dead friend of the President – and then (of course), he has to figure out what’s going on. It’s engaging and entertaining.