Nature, Unsettling of America, How to be Idle and Breakfast of Biodiversity-All rolled up in one

Peter Coates’ book Nature was terrible.  The content could have been astounding, however the tone and the way the book was written, almost as a machine, just ruined the whole experience for me.  As a whole i thought the ideas he put forth were very similar to those authors which we have read previously, and I will not be recommending this book to future classes or any one I know (perhaps replace it with Aldo Leopolds’ A Sand County Almanac, Awesome!) 

Wendell Berrys’ book The Unsettling of America also will not be on my favourite books list.  Again the ideas presented were quality yet the manner in which they were presented left a bad taste in my mouth.  I would not suggest this book to future classes. 

Changing things around now, Hodgkinsons’ How to be Idlewas a marvelous book.  It is extremely readable and hard to put down.  I would be hard pressed to find another peice of writing that so eloquently illustrates the quest for idleness and non-productivity.  I would absolutely suggest this book to future classes. 

Breakfast of Biodiversity was also a good book.  It presents intellectual thought about the rain-forests’ destruction as well as presenting scientific information in a readable manner.  The first person accounts of the authors, Perfecto and Vandeermere, also help to illustrate the problems in the rain-forested regions of the globe.  I would suggest reading this book to future classes.    

Joe Berlyoung

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