The Control of Nature - Now Reading

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29 February, 2008

There are a lot of great book recommendation threads on Ask Metafilter, and I have a long list of books highlighted there that sounded interesting. The Control of Nature came up in two or three threads, so I requested it from the library.

This is a great book. John McPhee is such a wonderful writer. Right from the start of the book, when he described a pianist's fingers reaching to different keys to evoke the movements of a river as it seeks the sea, I fell in love with his metaphors, his anecdotes, his vivid evocations of the people he meets, the meanders when he steps back into his own life (the lengthy recollection of a swamp journey from the deck of a riverboat, the half-sentence mention of finding names in an Iceland phone book). It's delightful stuff.

I'm about halfway through; I'm reading about the volcano in Iceland now. I imagine I'll finish around the middle of next week.

I suspect I'll be requesting all the rest of his books from the library soon.