Seasons of Life: The Biological Rhythms That Living Things Need to Thrive and Survive by Russell Foster and Leon Kreitzman
|Seasons of Life: The Biological Rhythms That Living Things Need to Thrive and Survive by Russell Foster and Leon Kreitzman|
|Category: Popular Science|
|Reviewer: Nikki Edwards|
|Summary: An engaging, insightful study of the way seasonal change affects us and the world around us.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 320||Date: August 2010|
|Publisher: Profile Books Ltd|
"Seasons of Life" aims to present a rounded picture of the way seasonality affects human life as well as the rest of nature. Covering everything from Seasonal Affective Disorder to the potential for animals to adapt to climate change, this book would be an interesting read for anyone with an enquiring mind and an interest in the natural world.
In the introduction, the writers excuse the especially 'sciencey' bits by saying that a serious study of seasonality cannot bypass the complexities that are inherent in scientific analysis, but that casual readers should not get bogged down by the lengthy explanations that necessarily underpin the book. This is the attitude I took and I found that even someone like myself, who isn't particularly scientifically minded, took away a wealth of new information with me when I'd finished the book.
Did you know, for example that if we could harvest the energy coming from 100 square metres of the surface of the sun for a millionth of a second we would have enough energy for the entire world's current energy demands? Me neither. Did you know that, despite our fears of winter nights and dark alleyways, violent crimes in the UK peak sharply every year in the summer months of July and August? Probably not. My feeling, then, is that even the most casual reader can get something out of this book if they are not put off by the often dense subject matter. Foster and Kreitzman have a friendly, accessible style – there's nothing of a textbook feel to this book – and if you're not that interested in the seasonal changes of plants in different regions you might be interested in the seasonality of human death (or vice versa).
Of course, "Seasons of Life" won't be for every reader. If you want a bit of light escapism steer well clear – but if you want to broaden your mind and learn a little more about the world we live in and why it changes cyclically in the way it does, look no further. Seasons of Life is packed full of interesting facts and thought-provoking theories. It gives readers an insight into the past and the future of our planet and explains why we humans haven't quite mastered our environment as fully as we might think.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.
Further reading suggestion: Heat: How to Stop the Planet Burning by George Monbiot
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