Waiting for Aphrodite: Journeys into the Time Before Bones

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9780618056842: Waiting for Aphrodite: Journeys into the Time Before Bones
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"We humans are a minority of giants, stumbling around in the world of little things," Sue Hubbell writes in this marvelous book. Each of these little things "has a complicated and special way of getting on in the world, different from ours and different from one another's." In Waiting for Aphrodite she explores the ways of sponges and sea urchins, horseshoe crabs and the sea mouse known as Aphrodite -- as well as our ways. She takes 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: her childhood next to a Michigan graveyard; the three colleges where she "learned three things"; her twenty-five years keeping bees on a farm in the Ozarks; her move to a "strange little house" in a small Maine town, "the place I wanted to grow old in." And in the tide pools and ocean waters there she discovered a whole new world, the world of little things that inspired this book.

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

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ISBN 10:  0395837030 ISBN 13:  9780395837030
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1999
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Book Description HOUGHTON MIFFLIN, United States, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. "We humans are a minority of giants, stumbling around in the world of little things," Sue Hubbell writes in this marvelous book. Each of these little things "has a complicated and special way of getting on in the world, different from ours and different from one another's." In Waiting for Aphrodite she explores the ways of sponges and sea urchins, horseshoe crabs and the sea mouse known as Aphrodite -- as well as our ways. She takes 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: her childhood next to a Michigan graveyard; the three colleges where she "learned three things"; her twenty-five years keeping bees on a farm in the Ozarks; her move to a "strange little house" in a small Maine town, "the place I wanted to grow old in." And in the tide pools and ocean waters there she discovered a whole new world, the world of little things that inspired this book. Seller Inventory # APC9780618056842

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Book Description HOUGHTON MIFFLIN, United States, 2000. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. We humans are a minority of giants, stumbling around in the world of little things, Sue Hubbell writes in this marvelous book. Each of these little things has a complicated and special way of getting on in the world, different from ours and different from one another s. In Waiting for Aphrodite she explores the ways of sponges and sea urchins, horseshoe crabs and the sea mouse known as Aphrodite -- as well as our ways. She takes 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: her childhood next to a Michigan graveyard; the three colleges where she learned three things ; her twenty-five years keeping bees on a farm in the Ozarks; her move to a strange little house in a small Maine town, the place I wanted to grow old in. And in the tide pools and ocean waters there she discovered a whole new world, the world of little things that inspired this book. Seller Inventory # APC9780618056842

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Book Description Mariner Books. Paperback. Condition: New. 256 pages. Dimensions: 8.3in. x 5.6in. x 0.7in.We humans are a minority of giants, stumbling around in the world of little things, Sue Hubbell writes in this marvelous book. Each of these little things has a complicated and special way of getting on in the world, different from ours and different from one anothers. In Waiting for Aphrodite she explores the ways of sponges and sea urchins, horseshoe crabs and the sea mouse known as Aphrodite -- as well as our ways. She takes 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: her childhood next to a Michigan graveyard; the three colleges where she learned three things; her twenty-five years keeping bees on a farm in the Ozarks; her move to a strange little house in a small Maine town, the place I wanted to grow old in. And in the tide pools and ocean waters there she discovered a whole new world, the world of little things that inspired this book. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780618056842

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