the Amazing World of Nature
Time, Inc. edited by Robert Sullivan
I read quite a few magazines, but I never thought of writing about one on my blog before. We have subscriptions to National Geographic and Tropical Fish Hobbyist and I sometimes collect back issues of Amazonas or Aquarium Fish International. So often when there\’s a long gap here between book reviews, it\’s because I\’m reading a pile of magazines!
This particular one felt more like a book, though. I was leafing through it with interest when visiting my parents once, and my dad let me bring it home. I originally intended to sketch from the stunning photographs- a collection of quality images from major microstock sites. But I ended up actually reading the volume. It\’s basically a showcase of amazing and curious wildlife and plants from across the world. Neatly divided, the first half of the publication shows plants, and the second half animals. The biggest, the smallest, the ugliest, most beautiful, strange, bizzare and downright dangerous. Whatever makes something stand out. I was familiar with most of the living things presented in these pages- giant sequoias, lionfish, aspen groves, sundews and pitcher plants, even the surprisingly maternal poison dart frog, unbelievably durable tardigrade and shockingly odiferous corpse flower. But I had never heard of the yareta- a tiny plant from Peru that grows in huge masses, which remind me of a mineral specimen in my husband\’s collection called mottramite! I didn\’t know about the megamouth shark, the Barbados threadsnake, or the smallest lizard- a dwarf gecko from the Dominican Republic. So there were quite a few things I looked up online to learn more about. The writing is brief, and a bit corny- I guess the humorous asides comparing things to popular culture and sports was intended to appeal to a broad audience, but it made me wonder at the age of this publication- I was a bit surprised to look and find it was written just three years ago. My six-year-old looked at the pictures with me, but she found the image on the last page disturbing- of a preserved two-month human fetus within a membrane.
Oh, and Giant George is in here.
Rating: 3/5 Vol 13 No. 24 Dec 2013