Daily Archives: September 28, 2011

** Among Penguins by Noah Strycker

Among Penguins is the delightful story of a young birder who spent an Antarctican summer studying 250,000 Adelie penguins, sleeping in a tent with access to a primitive hut for cooking and sheltering from occasional 100 mph winds, and going without vegetables or showers for three months.

The book is an unpretentious mix of stories about the penguins, from the lonely not-dark-enough bachelor to their nasty habits of stealing each other’s nest pebbles (the accoutrements of penguins’ nests being limited!), mostly funny stories about the primitive living conditions (although we get just too many descriptions of the difficulties of keeping proper toilet habits when it’s -20 outside), and stories of how science really works. I particularly liked the science stories, including how to set up an automated weighing station to weigh penguins before and after their fishing trips at see and how to count, manually, 250,000 penguins. Science is not all glory and pretty graphs!

The prose can be a little basic at times, but this unpretentious book is fun.

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