Charles Fishnman, also the author of The Wal-Mart Effect, has returned with a book on water. It is a look at water through history, its use over the last 100 years, and the current issues involving its distribution. BUT WAIT, there is more, don't touch that dial...Fishman brings the reader up to speed on the current water enviornment. This is an interesting book that will be enjoyed by a broad section of the reading public. Fishman is informative, the book is well written and issues are covered in a thoughtful way. Of particular help, is Fishman's extensive descriptions of cities and towns around the world and how they are dealing with water supply. I came away from the volume with my eyes opened to the problems we face and the opportunities that are apparent. The reading of Stephen Hoye is excellent.
The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival is one interesting read through which John Vaillant (The Golden Spruce) takes up the story of revenge by a Tiger victimized by a poacher. Along the way reader is taken in by the storyline while being introduced to related economic, political, and conservation issues. Frankly, I have never read anything quite like this story. It is John McPhee with a dark story and twist. It is Yann Martel’s Life of Pi in a nonfiction narrative. Most impressive are the sections in which Vaillant lets the reader into the mind and cognitive nature of the Tiger. I was taken aback several times. In sum, this is a very interesting book. At least pick it up and read a few passages before you make up your mind. Vaillant reads his own book to great advantage.
This is a superb book and one that should be required reading for every human being. Instead of reading some of the drivel (classics) in high school, kids should read about the single most important element in life, water. There is something enigmatic about our attitude about water. Our attitude about water is something akin to the old song line, "you only really appreciate something when you lose it". This book is not a polemic or screaming about yet another crisis. Although water is becoming a crisis, his point is educational. He talks about every aspect of water. I especially like the parts in which he described the chemistry and physical uniqueness of water. One fact about water that absolutely blew me away: Every molecule of water that is on the Earth has been here since its formation. We neither add nor subtract water. It just gets moved around. We are so spoiled regarding water in the US especially in the part in which I live. He points out the confusion in our minds about water. The author compares our 24/7 water accessibility with the supply in India. In most Indian communities, even the wealthy ones, water is only available one or two hours a day. In some parts of India, an entire day is consumed (mainly by school aged girls) walking to a distant water supply and carrying it back on their heads. For us, water is virtually free and we waste it with impunity. People complain about a dollar a month increase in the cost of water supply while they remain silent about a 10% cable TV charge. Is it really necessary to flush our solid waste with purified, chemically treated potable water? Suffice it to say that after reading this book, my head was straightened out and I now turn off the water when brushing my teeth. The book is very well written and Charles Fishman does a great job, as always. This book gets my vote for Science book of the year.