16 July 2010

Book Review

Unfortunately I am a slow reader due to the busy nature of my life. But I do eventually get them done. Here is the one that I just finished.

Flotsametrics and the Floating World by Curtis Ebbesmeyer and Eric Scigliano
"How one man's obsession with runaway sneakers and rubber ducks revolutionized ocean science"

I really enjoyed this book. It was part memoir and part oceanography text. This was Dr. Ebbesmeyer's journey to becoming an oceanographer and how he studied the currents of the sea. He was particularly interested in flotsam (all the junk/stuff/lost items/etc.. that travel on the ocean currents. There was a lot of description about all the items found from shipping containers of Nike shoes and bath toys that were lost in storms at sea. They would open and the contents would then be subject to the whims of the ocean currents. He followed them and predicted them. He also talked about his love of the ocean and a desire to clean the giant floating trash islands that are in the oceans. They are causing harm to the waters and the animals. They interfere with the shipping lanes and are generally unsightly. As I read the final chapters of this I could not help but think of how he would respond to the tragic oil spill in Gulf of Mexico occurring right now.

I would recommend this book to anyone that is interested in oceans, scientific memoirs, or environmental issues. It reads at about a 9th grade level (that is just my guess) and could be appropriate for children as young as 10 if they have a higher reading comprehension and an interest. Some of the science is a little involved for the younger children. In most cases I would probably wait until 12 or 13 to recommend it to your children.

I want to end this review with a quote from the last chapter of the book. “We will only save what we love, goes the classic conservationist syllogism. And we can only love what we know. Knowledge is power – the power to mend the world. This logic in some form or other drives and consoles the legions of scientists, naturalists, activist, and teachers who struggle, often in arduous conditions for meager compensation, to uncover and share the secrets of a natural world they see being assaulted and diminished daily.”

Hope someone enjoys this book as much as I have. Hopefully more reviews are to come.