Erik Graff's Reviews > The Silent World

The Silent World by Jacques-Yves Cousteau
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's review
Nov 25, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: sciences
Recommended to Erik by: Alfred & Mildred Hogle
Recommended for: scuba enthusiasts

During childhood summers spent along the lake at Grandmother's in SW Michigan I was effectively an only child, my brother Fin Einar not being born until I was seven and being pretty useless for years afterwards. There was only one other kid in the woods we called "Livingston Hills", Diane Werner, the daughter of Dad's childhood friend, Christian. We would see each other a lot over the years until she, maturing faster, started getting girlish around age twelve.

Diane and I had an arrangement whereby we played both indoors and outdoors on alternating days. Indoor days were hers. Then we would play house with dolls and stuff. Outdoor days were mine. Then we would play army, often as tank commanders patrolling the rutted, sandy roads in the woods. Of course, there were plenty of exceptions to this arrangement. Rarely, some adult would take us to town or rain might force us inside or there'd be another family with kids up at their summer house for us to visit.

Pretty much everybody in Livingston Hills stayed in a summer house. The Werners and the elderly Hogles who lived in a real house between ours' were the only year-round residents. Childless, Diane was like a daughter to them and doubtless spent much of their isolated winters with her at their home. During summers I was included, the two of us sometimes going over for dinner at the Hogle place and always feeling welcome to just drop by.

The Hogles had a real library in their house with built-in shelves and everything including a globe of the earth and another of the night sky. Alfred Hogle, noticing that I had an interest in reading, made the contents of this library available to me. Thanks to him I read C.S. Lewis and lots of nature and science books at an early age. One of the science books which made an impression was Jacques Cousteau's first work, The Silent World, in this hardcover edition. I think Mr. Hogle had been an engineer before his retirement because this and so many other of his books were substantially about technology. Unlike some of the engineering books he had, however, this one had a real story, some adventure and lots of interesting photographs.
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