The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2016

Houghton Harcourt. (Best American). Oct. 2016. 320p. ed. by . ISBN 9780544748996. pap. $14.95; ebk. ISBN 9780544749641. SCI
Award-winning author Stewart (The Drunken Botanist; Wicked Plants) guest edits the latest version of this annual publication. She praises the quality and entertainment value of the selected works, chosen from both print and online publications. Some writings address serious environmental problems, such as Gretel Ehrlich's "Rotten Ice," a sobering essay describing the rapidly melting Arctic ice sheet in Greenland, a development that threatens the native peoples who rely upon the ice for subsistence hunting. Some pieces shed light on overlooked topics; for instance, Rose Eveleth's "Why Are Sports Bras So Terrible?" reveals why sports bras are designed as they are and the resulting consequences: they are ill-fitting and painful and can even cause nerve damage in some cases. Other entries are macabre yet crafted in a poetic and even beautiful manner, such as Chelsea Biondolillo's "Back to the Land" and Gaurav Raj Telhan's "Begin Cutting: Education by Knife." Overall, Stewart successfully continues the anthology's tradition with her selection of diverse and provocative entries.
VERDICT Recommended for anyone with an interest in science. A fine addition to public libraries.

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