World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments

World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments

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, lyrical, and gorgeously illustrated by Fumi Nakamura, World of Wonders is a book of sustenance and joy.

Title:World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781571313652
Format Type:

    World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments Reviews

  • Mischenko

    I discovered this book while doing some book shopping on Barnes and Noble’s website. It was advertised as the book of the year. Because I’m a nature lover, it was one I had to try. I was pleasantl...

  • Bethany Johnsen

    An ambitious and lovely project, to interweave personal essay and nature writing, but too clumsily done for me to enjoy. Each essay is named after a natural phenomenon (plant, animal, typhoon) and mak...

  • Mark

    This is truly an 11 out of 10. With the world spinning in the wrong direction, the time had been doing me and I had not been able to do the time. Then this book, which I’ve been anxiously awaiting f...

  • Diane Barnes

    I downloaded this from Hoopla and read a couple of short essays every morning. Gorgeous writing about the natural world of insects, fish and birds, combined with vignettes from her personal life. It w...

  • Katelynn

    This is the kind of gentle and lyrical ecotone I've always wished I could write, and am thrilled for everyone on planet Earth to read. Through ancestry, travel, academic study, and her childhood, moth...

  • Robert Sheard

    I needed this collection right now. What the author calls "love songs to the planet," with her two young sons in mind, are a beautiful collection of personal essays linking memories of her own life wi...

  • Jerrie (redwritinghood)

    The author’s love of the natural world is apparent in this collection of short essays. Unfortunately, her attempt to connect her understanding of the natural world with events in her life often seem...

  • Andy Weston

    There’s a nice selection of subjects here, but I really couldn’t get one with this style of writing - almost painful. ...

  • Leah

    Some essays are better than others there’s the occasional twee bullshit that’s annoyingly typical of The Toast but the feelings of love and wonder that fill the book charmed me in the end....

  • Diane S ?

    From its gorgeous cover, to the wonderful excerpts within, this book was a delight. What a unique way to tell parts of one's life while enlightening the reader to so many unique parts of nature. The d...