The Sixth Extinction: an unnatural history – Elizabeth Kolbert

KolbertI was in the USA when I first heard about this book and I admit, the title was a real turn off – “oh no, not another worst case scenario climate change book”. In the USA the winners of the Pulitzer were just being announced. Kolbert’s book was winner of General Non-fiction. I entered it into my list of “to-reads” on Goodreads and forgot about it until I returned home. This month I thought I would at least give the Pulitzer judging panel the benefit of my doubt and give it a go.

As soon as I started reading, I was hooked. Kolbert is obviously a talented, experienced science journalist, that I have (to my shame) never read. Yes, this book describes the harsh reality of extinction throughout the history of our planet. However manages to do so in a fascinating way; deftly mixing story telling with science fact. This is the first piece of science journalism I would classify as a page turner. Move over Jared Diamond. Hello Elizabeth Kolbert.


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