Saturday, May 7, 2016

Book Review: Antarctica

Antarctica: An Intimate Portrait of a Mysterious Contintent
Gabrielle Walker
Science, geography

This is a really good book. It's both informative and well-written. Not only is Gabrielle Walker superbly evocative in describing the Antarctic landscape, she's got a gift for describing the people she interacts with--short yet memorable character portraits that make them come alive in the mind's eye. The only downside is that Walker wrote the book based, it seems, on some visits between the late '90s and the mid-'00s; having read the book, I really want to know what's happened more recently.

Naturally, in a book on Antarctica, the subject of climate change comes up. It's not that I disbelieve the science on this, but I've read a lot of books with a lot of hand-wringing on this particular subject. Walker's take is more fact-driven than most, which is nice.

Antarctica is even good enough to have induced in me a desire to visit. (I lay down and ate snack food until it passed.) Seriously, read this one. Have a hot drink handy when you do.

Walker's cabin-mate on one trip was Mary Roach. That must have been a good cruise.

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