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Publisher's Summary

Barnes & Noble 2020 Book of the Year

A Kirkus Prize Finalist for Nonfiction

A Southern Book Prize Finalist

An NPR Best Book of 2020

An Esquire Best Book of 2020

A BookPage Best Book of 2020

A New York Public Library Best Book of 2020

A Wall Street Journal Holiday Gift Pick for 2020

An Indie Next Pick, September 2019

A Publishers Weekly "Big Indie Book of Fall 2020"

A BuzzFeed Best Book of Fall 2020

A Literary Hub "Most Anticipated Book of 2020

A Ralph Lauren Summer Reading Recommendation

A Garden & Gun Summer Reading Recommendation

A Bustle "Best Book of Fall 2020

Named a "Most Anticipated Book of 2020" by The Millions

An Alma "Favorite Book for Fall 2020"

A Literary Hub "Recommended Climate Read for September 2020"

A Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Reading Recommendation for Fall 2020

From beloved, award-winning poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil comes a debut work of nonfiction - a collection of essays about the natural world, and the way its inhabitants can teach, support, and inspire us.

As a child, Nezhukumatathil called many places home: the grounds of a Kansas mental institution, where her Filipina mother was a doctor; the open skies and tall mountains of Arizona, where she hiked with her Indian father; and the chillier climes of western New York and Ohio. But no matter where she was transplanted - no matter how awkward the fit or forbidding the landscape - she was able to turn to our world’s fierce and funny creatures for guidance.

“What the peacock can do,” she tells us, “is remind you of a home you will run away from and run back to all your life.” The axolotl teaches us to smile, even in the face of unkindness; the touch-me-not plant shows us how to shake off unwanted advances; the narwhal demonstrates how to survive in hostile environments. Even in the strange and the unlovely, Nezhukumatathil finds beauty and kinship. For it is this way with wonder: it requires that we are curious enough to look past the distractions in order to fully appreciate the world’s gifts.

Warm and lyrical, World of Wonders is a book of sustenance and joy. 

©2020 Aimee Nezhukumatathil. (P)2020 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"American poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil's voice is gentle as she tells listeners how her love of nature developed in childhood." --AudioFile Magazine

"Nezhukumatathil's investigations…range across the world, from a rapturous rendering of monsoon season in her father's native India to her formative years in Iowa, Kansas, and Arizona, where she learned from the native flora and fauna that it was common to be different . . . The writing dazzles with the marvel of being fully alive." --Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

"Nezhukumatathil's essays…are in turn humorous, poignant, relatable, passionate (especially when she's bemoaning disappearing species and habitats), and always interesting." --Booklist 

"Nezhukumtathil applies her skill as a poet to a scintillating series of short essays on nature. She takes up topics that fascinate her - the bizarre-looking potoo birds of Central and South America; corpse flowers, with their rich colors and acrid odor - and connects them to her own experience of the world.... Throughout, she vividly describes sounds, smells, and color - the myriad hues of a 'sea of saris' from India - and folds in touches of poetry. Fumi Nakamura's lush illustrations add to the book's appeal. Readers of Terry Tempest Williams and Annie Dillard will appreciate Nezhukumtathil's lyrical look at nature." --Publishers Weekly 

Featured Article: Grab Your Knits and Get Cozy with these Dreamy Cottagecore Listens


Gather up some wildflowers, pop on the kettle, and curl up by the hearth with these perfectly pastoral audiobooks. Whether you’re looking for the woodsy escape of an immersive yet tranquil story, something to encourage you to unplug and get more in touch with the natural world, or simply an audiobook to accompany you on your next flower-gathering or berry-picking adventure, look no further than this list of our favorite cottagecore listens.

What listeners say about World of Wonders

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Skip it

Not about nature, but her recollections of her life and nature’s quasi-analogies with it. I down loaded because having read the synopsis I gave it as a gift to a 13 yo girl who loves nature. It was B&N book of the year! LOL what a joke. Now, upon listening to it I’m really embarrassed I gave that as a gift. Way to much talk about bad men, difficulties growing up and her ethnicity. Had the synopsis been accurate I would not have bought. And, I paid 25.00 plus shipping. It’s not the money though, it’s the fact I gave it to my niece!!! Who knows what she’s going to think about her uncle giving her a book like this.

5 people found this helpful

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Interesting approach to a nonfiction book...

...narration by the author is usually somewhere between bad and terrible, but this one is striking. This author has a wonderful, capable, soothing voice.
The bouncing back and forth between biography and natural history is a little odd, but interesting. The first thing I did was to check out both the author and her husband: each is notable in their own way.
I rather enjoyed the flipping back and forth between the first and third person narrative once I got used to it.
I am also aware of the firefly disappearance in the US, and have been quite distressed by it for the last few years. I am hopeful, however.
I will recommend this book, however, with a warning that the structure is a little.... odd.

3 people found this helpful

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Enter a world where the Aimee Nezhukumatathil shows us the everyday connections among us and the biodiverse world

I felt a sense if innocence, wonder and deep respect and love for nature as she shares her connections with nature. She goes beyond that though by relating her life experiences to the behaviors and characteristics of animals and plants.

3 people found this helpful

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Captivating

I listened to this book over two days it was so good. Highly recommend for any animal or nature lover.

1 person found this helpful

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Chapter by Chapter

I found some chapters to be captivating and others that missed the mark. Overall, I enjoyed the book and found myself wanting to finish it which is a positive. However, at the end, I found myself slightly disappointed by the length. I expected more considering it was Barnes and Noble's Book of the Year but that is also what made me want to read it in the first place.

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Lovely

An enchanting blend of memoir, travelogue & nature essays. Simply delightful and soothing. A wonderful way to unwind for a few hours.

1 person found this helpful

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Lovely, lyrical essays of the natural world 🌲🐞🦎🦋🐙🐋

Beautifully read by the author herself, this collection of essays engages the reader in both the wonders of the natural world and the author's personal experiences.

1 person found this helpful

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Beautiful stories-sensitive, delightful narration

I couldn't resist starting as soon as I purchased it. what a lovely book..

🦋🌿World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, & Other Astonishments

🌸 Aimee Nezhukumatathil's sensitive and wondrous narration.. 🐞🌼... was so delightful...

.. a splendidly enriching experience.. the kind of book and narration one will to listen to again and again🌿

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Ready to re-hear!

Superbly written and read by the author! Poetry as essay, essay as memoir, and all with awe of Nature.

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  • R
  • 10-20-21

Brought back memories

Brought back memories of my childhood wandering the local fields and woods. They were a refuge to a young girl who was also different than her peers.
Like the author, I also introduced my children to the wonders of nature in the woods and streams around our home. At the Mohonk Preserve where I worked as an environmental educator, I also discovered children who were not familiar with the plants and creatures - though I like to think that there were many who came away excited about these entities after a day in the woods.