October 2, 2015

Gotta love a good thought experiment!

Some books that you read make you question everything. Alan Weisman's The World Without Us is definitely one of those books. The book seeks to answer the question 'What would happen to the world if humans were to disappear?' I've read books that look at it from the flip side of the coin where humans have destroyed the planet to such a degree that humanity can no longer be sustained. It was interesting to look at the reverse. Weisman looked at the issue from a variety of viewpoints. He looked at the evolution of humans and their impact on the megafauna and megaflora of the planet. His point there was that although much of the animals and plants were eradicated by us, variations of these have survived into present day. Therefore, if humanity were to disappear nature would find a way to carry on and maybe another kind of humanity would take our place. He also looked at the damage we have done through chemical processes (I'm talking nuclear) and whether or not the planet's remaining inhabitants could survive. He went to a variety of places where it was as close to being primeval as possible (Kingman Reef) and also those places which were irrevocably changed by us (Chernobyl). He spoke to scientists of all disciplines (many of which sound like amazing careers that I need to look into immediately). It was a thoroughly researched and thought provoking read and I encourage anyone interested in conservancy and ecology to go and give this book a shot.

Because I just couldn't help myself I grabbed another Phryne Fisher mystery, Raisins and Almonds. (I realized after starting it that I definitely went out of order as I missed a lot of backstory so I do encourage you if you're reading the series to continue with Flying Too High after Cocaine Blues.) This time Phryne has taken a new lover by the name of Simon Abrahams and his father hires her to absolve a woman of murder. The entire affair is mixed up with the Jewish culture of Australia (and the rest of the world actually). Greenwood even included a Yiddish dictionary at the back of the book as it was used liberally throughout the story. I have to be honest here...I didn't find this one as entertaining as the first of the series. The characters weren't nearly as vivid and the mystery itself was pretty dull. However, learning about the Jewish culture was very interesting so I'm going to let it pass with a solid C.

**If you're interested in a book like the ones I've reviewed here, you can click here. This will re-direct you to AbeBooks. This is one of my favorite websites for purchasing used books. Full disclosure: I will receive a commission on all sales made by following this link. I wouldn't recommend a site that I didn't use and you are under no obligation to purchase anything. :-) **


  1. Do u think miss fisher's tv shows are true to the books?

    1. While the storyline is essentially the same there are some glaring differences ie Jack is not very smart and not very good looking.