This collection of essays is a fascinating look at Costa Rica's environment and its inhabitants. I read this in preparation for a trip to Costa Rica iThis collection of essays is a fascinating look at Costa Rica's environment and its inhabitants. I read this in preparation for a trip to Costa Rica in a couple of months, and reading this made me even more excited to go (if somewhat more wary of the terciopelo). I was especially enthralled with the essays that had introductory paragraphs that Ewing wrote from the point of view of animals. I think he did a good job of explaining the world how they must see it, without unnecessary anthropomorphization.
The essays mostly have a strong conservationist/environmentalist message, which I do agree with--but I feel the author is a touch heavy-handed with it sometimes. This can be overlooked, as the book is a collection of essays that were originally published elsewhere. I think that the essays are better read one at a time, rather than in one chunk....more
I was a fan of Lizzie Skurnick's Fine Lines column on Jezebel, and I was SO EXCITED when I found out there was going to be a book!
I read a good portioI was a fan of Lizzie Skurnick's Fine Lines column on Jezebel, and I was SO EXCITED when I found out there was going to be a book!
I read a good portion of the books written about in Shelf Discovery, and I remember seeing a lot of the ones I didn't at the library. My favorite thing about reading this was the relief I felt learning that I wasn't alone in drooling over the food descriptions in Wilder's Little House books or wishing I had a cormorant feather skirt like the one described in Island of the Blue Dolphins.
On the downside, there are some truly cringe-inducing homophone errors here, like the previously mentioned "first site of the island" and "cinnamon roles" (that one REALLY grates on me). A lot of these essays are great, but they are uneven. I'd rather that some essays be left out than be given only a page or page and a half of material. And were 2 pieces on Clan of the Cave Bear really necessary?
Problems aside, this was a great nostalgia trip. It makes me want to go back and reread a bunch of stuff, too....more