Over the last half-billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us.
In prose that is at once frank, entertaining, and deeply informed, The New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert tells us why and how human beings have altered life on the planet in a way no species has before. Interweaving research in half a dozen disciplines, descriptions of the fascinating species that have already been lost, and the history of extinction as a concept, Kolbert provides a moving and comprehensive account of the disappearances occurring before our very eyes. She shows that the sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy, compelling us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.
Sunday, August 30, 2015
I've been wanting to read Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction ever since I first heard Michael's recommendation on the Books on the Nightstand podcast earlier this year. To be honest, I don't read as much non-fiction as I would like to, so hopefully this will be the push I need to get me to start reading this one - I already placed it on hold at my local library, so I should be able to check it out and start reading it this week. Here's a synopsis of what the book's about:
If you're interested in signing up for the read-along, you can do so over at Doing Dewey's sign-up post HERE. Sign-ups are open from now through September 26th, and you can follow the discussion on Twitter using #NFBookClub. Here's a copy of the schedule:
Google Doc Opens for Free Form Discussion – September 1
Ch 1-8 Discussion Questions Posted – September 10
Ch 9-16 Discussion Questions Posted – September 24
I hope to see you there!