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9780395837030

Waiting for Aphrodite: Journeys into the Time Before Bones

Hubbell, Sue Author

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9780395837030: Waiting for Aphrodite: Journeys into the Time Before Bones

In this wonderful new book Sue Hubbell takes us into the remarkable lives of the little-known creatures that really run the world: earthworms, corals, lightning bugs, pill bugs, millipedes, crickets, spiders, sea urchins, horseshoe crabs, and, most elusive and enigmatic of all, Aphrodite, the sea mouse. She also leads us on a journey through the mysteries of time -- geological, biological, and personal -- as she writes of the evolution of life on this planet and the evolution of her own life, from childhood next to a Michigan graveyard to beekeeping in the Ozarks and finally to a tower by the sea in Maine, where she waits and watches for Aphrodite.

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Review:

When Sue Hubbell moved from her longtime home on a farm in Missouri to a house perched on the rocky coast of Maine, the first thing she did was investigate the living things in her new environment to ease the loneliness of a new place. She peered under rocks, in dark crevices, and beneath mounds of leaves, looking for members of nature's secretive ruling class--the invertebrates.

In Waiting for Aphrodite, Hubbell first trains her microscopic gaze on camel crickets--"They grew a bright orange bump on the back of what we would like to call their necks but mustn't, because bugs don't have necks"--and sea cucumbers--"cool and leathery and limp, a little like a damp, deflated football." From there, she continues her tour with millipedes, sponges, periwinkles, corals, earthworms, horseshoe crabs, and other underappreciated earth-dwellers, describing each species in lushly metaphoric prose and a perfectly appropriate sense of wonder. These are strange beasts, and their ways are mysterious. Yet Hubbell seeks, and finds, common ground between invertebrates and humans. She writes that the first useful behavioral mandate for isopods such as pill bugs is "Walk toward shelter," a rule that applies easily to vulnerable humans as well.

The thing that binds all animals is the constant search for the necessities of life. And for Hubbell, a sense of place and knowledge of her neighbors is as crucial as food or shelter. Hence the heart of the book--her search for a glimpse of the elusive sea mouse, Aphrodite aculeata, a small, soft-bodied sea creature with a velvety, iridescent coat. While waiting for Aphrodite, she finds gorgeous bits of life all around her and begins to feel at home. --Therese Littleton

About the Author:

Sue Hubbell is the author of, among other works, A Country Year and A Book of Bees, which was selected as a New York Times Notable Book. She lives in Maine and Washington, D.C.

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Hubbell, Sue Author
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (1999)
ISBN 10: 0395837030 ISBN 13: 9780395837030
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Book Description Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1999. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "In her new book, Hubbell becomes a Shakespeare of advocacy for some of the more ignored denizens of our complicated planet. For, she says, hath not a (millipede, earthworm, cricket, etc.) its own life, beaty, rightness and place in the scheme of things? Can't we see them, admire them, appreciate their simplicities and their complexities, marvel at their durability?- remembering, meanwhile, that we humans are, compared with many of them, the most insolent upstarts of evolution? Along the way in this engaging tribute, you find that you are being educated-by Hubbell of course, and by the array of dedicated scientists and partisans of each invertebrate she seeks out." Newsday "Hubbell makes life more interesting." Nature "From a tidal pool in Maine and rainforest treetops in Belize to the Missouri Ozarks, [Sue Hubbell] sees everything and speaks of it in words that blend passion and insight and wit and charm." Kansas City Star. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0395837030

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Book Description Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston / New York, 1999. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition - First Printing. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. ** BRAND NEW HARDCOVER BOOK AND DUSTJACKET ** UNREAD, UNMARKED, FLAWLESS COPY ** NO REMAINDER MARKS ** GIFT QUALITY ** SHIPS IMMEDIATELY FROM OUR WAREHOUSE ** 242 pages with illustrations. Brand new book, exceptionally clean, bright and stain-free, square and straight, very firm and tight in its binding, no pages loose or missing, corners sharp and unbumped. There is no writing, underlining, highlighting, or markings of any kind in the book. Dustjacket is clean, complete and intact, unmarked, no tears, no wrinkles or creases. Bookseller Inventory # AB3242

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