December 01, 2000 at 05:00 AM EST

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2000

Current Status
In Season
Houghton Mifflin
Nonfiction, Nature, Science and Technology
We gave it a B+

Sex, African gorillas, computer critique, and lots of infectious diseases: The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2000 offers an eclectic, provocative collection of articles encompassing everything from an elegiac meditation on the deadly power of white-water rapids to a hairy visit with wild dogs in Botswana. Particular delights include Oliver Sacks’ glowing memoir of his childhood passion for chemistry, an investigation into the earthworm regulations of Apalachicola National Forest, and a funny foray into the world of racing-camel breeding, complete with an excursion to the Camel Reproduction Centre in Dubai. As illustrated by some inhabitants of Antarctica’s South Georgia Island — dignified king penguins and lumbering elephant seals — the potentially eye-glazing pragmatism of science conceals plenty of whimsy. B+

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