Author: Tim Flannery
Title: Among the Islands: Adventures in the Pacific
Description: I’m reading lots of travel books for the contest, but this was one I just happened to pick up from the library at the same time. Flannery, a mammal specialist from Australia, made several journeys to remote islands in the South Pacific doing animal surveys. He explains the theories of mammal migration—how mammals made it to these very remote islands. Unfortunately, small islands only support small mammals, so most of the book is about rare bats and rats. Flannery is enthusiastic enough about them to make a fairly interesting read.
Writing style: The book reads like a travelogue; Flannery knows enough to write about the islanders and his coworkers as well as the small mammals he encounters and has a good ear for interesting scenes.
Audience: The book will appeal most to those who enjoy accounts of travel and to those who are interested in natural history.
Major ideas: There are still undiscovered species, and there is a chance to save endangered species, but as habitat is destroyed by human settlement and logging, the chance is rapidly diminishing.
Wrap-up: I didn’t regret reading it, but it wasn’t what I had hoped for. 3/5*