bookclub - Antarctica

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I've never been one much for the cold, let alone temperatures that freeze the liquid in your nostrils the moment you step outdoors, so Antarctica has never been a place high on my travel or reading list.

That was until Antarctica by Gabrielle Walker was brought along to my bookclub and received the highest of highest reviews...

Antarctica
by Gabrielle Walker

Antarctica by Gabrielle Walker

My review

"There have been many books about Antarctica in the past, but all have focused on only one aspect of the continent - its science, its wildlife, the heroic age of exploration, personal experiences or the sheer awesome beauty of the landscape, for example - but none has managed to capture whole story, till now."

Split into a series of chapters all covering different, yet equally important topics Gabrielle Walker drew me into the story of Antarctica. She started off with with the softer, more adorable 'March of the Penguins' chapter, then slowly progressed chapter by chapter through to scientific evidence on how this beautiful, lonely continent is slowly changing. 

For someone who has never had a head for science Antarctica was an absorbing read. For example - did you know that dinosaurs once roamed the icy land Antarctica is formed on? Or that there are scientists who are drilling down to the centre of our Earth's core to extract giant ice cores, which tell us how the world's air has changed over millions of years? Or that there are places in Antarctica - the Dry Valleys that have no ice at all because no rain or snow has fallen for millions of years? Amazing!

Along the way Gabrielle Walker shares historic stories of Antarctica's early explorers (Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen), and stories of those who live and work there today. She talks about the experience of living at temperatures of -60C and in six months of darkness, and how on the French Scientific Station eating is better than anywhere else because quality and flavour of food is so important.

If you're keen to learn about Antarctica, it's life, history and future then this book is a must read. I loved every word.

5/5 claire stars

Gentoo Penguin Chicks, Antarctica
Gentoo Penguin Chicks, Antarctica | Photo by Elements Magazine 

Want to know about other adventures I've visited through words? Here's my reading list:

Or read about my Book Club - the beginning here.
  1. if nobody speaks of remarkable things by Jon McGregor. 3/5 claire stars
  2. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. 4/5 claire stars
  3. Battle Hymn of the TIGER MOTHER by Amy Chua. 4/5 claire stars
  4. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. 4/5 claire stars 
  5. three to see the king by Magnus Mills. 3/5 claire stars
  6. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. 3/5 claire stars
  7. the Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan. 2/5 claire stars
  8. Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer. 4/5 claire stars

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