Literature: Best Science and Nature Writing 2009

“…the reason science matters: it’s the one method we’ve found to test what we believe against the intractability of what is.” –editor Elizabeth Kolbert

Title: The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2009 // Editor: Elizabeth Kolbert // Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (Mariner Books) // Pub. Date: October 2009 // 352 p.

Best American Science and Nature Writing 2009I’ve never been disappointed by books from the Best American Series. As Houghton Mifflin says, this series is “the original showcase for the year’s finest writing since 1915.” And since these publications were released last month, this is an exciting time of the year for good reading. Although the series includes a number of books (best travel writing, best essays, best short stories, best non-required reading, best recipes?!), I tend to go for its Best American Science and Nature Writing, being the nature buff that I am. In this year’s edition, the topics range from psychology and biology to carbon footprints and electronic waste. Readers will find a lot of hope in these essays about developments in medicine, technology, and science. But, as most of the essays on topics of nature and environment reveal, we need more than hope to solve the global environmental crisis. Ultimately, these essays offer readers the information they need to begin making more informed choices about things such as waste disposal and carbon emissions, for starters. The only hope is in this area is that we start making more of the positive changes now, with this new information fresh on our fingertips. Final word: These writers exude passion for their subjects, and the essays they write will wow readers into a rapt state of reverence for all of the awe and wonder in the natural world.

Click here to read my more in-depth review of The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2009 on the About.com Contemporary Literature website.

Photo credit: Houghton Mifflin (Mariner Books)

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