Friday, May 4, 2012
Get Lazy and Get Down to Earth
The View from Lazy Point by Carl Safina won the Orion 2012 Book of the Year Award. Congratulations Carl!
Lazy is a fine read. I enjoyed it and look forward to going back to it. It's one of those "keepers" that gets a place on the shelf. I have given it as a gift to friends, too.
Lazy has the warmth of a grackle alighting on a budding branch and turning its head toward the Spring sunlight. It's Henry David Thoreau's On Walden Pond updated for this century and on a slightly bigger pond (the ocean).
The book is some wonderful combination of nature, science, philosophy, and humor. There is plenty of pulse pounding drama, too, as Carl lands a large Mako shark solo in the choppy waters off Montauk, and the survival of awesome Ospreys is touch and go while falcons scream across the pages.
He gives it all to us in the context of a trained scientist and nature lover noticing the ebb and flow of life, the changes in flora and fauna, throughout a full year on the eastern tip of long island, a stunning place -- I've been lucky enough to visit it many times -- called Lazy Point.
It's not simply look at the gorgeous bluefin tuna; it's look at them and consider why we are so disconnected from them. It's as much about home and heart on this big blue marble as a place as well as a state of mind.
Don't take my word for it. Orion's criteria for the award is impressive: The award goes to the book that "deepens our connection to the natural world, presents new ideas about our relationship with nature, and achieves excellence in writing," according to Orion.
The runners up, which are now on my to read list, are: Fire Season, by Philip Connors (Ecco); Oil on Water, by Helon Habila (W.W. Norton & Co.); Swamplandia! by Karen Russell (Vintage); Raising Elijah by Sandra Steingraber (De Capo).
Purchase The View from Lazy Point here or find it in your local library. Visit Carl too.
Image credit: blueoceaninstitutecarlsafina
Posted by Mike Misner at 2:19 PM