Air: The Restless Shaper of the World - William Bryant Logan

This is such a wonderful book that I completely understand why the New York Times Book Review chose it as a "Notable Book" of the year. This is science woven into life and reflections on life, and written with a poet's enjoyment of language and using language to evoke an experience.


Air was simply a delight to read. I also learned things I hadn't known (like the origin of the phrase "beeline" - bees are determined and focussed flyers) and had some of my assumptions shaken up a bit. I love when a book can do that.


Part of what made the book so accessible was William Logan's use of his personal experiences. Then he'd reflect on them, and on occasion, widen them out to philosophical musing.


"Active, responsive, not reactive. These are the qualities of a good pilot. You must give up assumptions and live alert to the slightest nuance that comes into the five senses, responding not as your supposed self, but as your wings. It doesn't sound like a bad way to live: without complaint, fantasy, or demands, but in conversation with the moment." pp.190-91


"A person wears so many grooves (habits) during a long life that eventually the deep-worn grooves begin to dig a grave." p.216


Overall, "Air" read to me like an appreciation of life and a challenge to adventure. Pretty good for a science book.