Barnes & Noble 2020 Book of the Year
A Kirkus Prize Finalist for Nonfiction
A Southern Book Prize Finalist
An NPR Best Book of 2020
An Esquire Best Book of 2020
A BookPage Best Book of 2020
A New York Public Library Best Book of 2020
A Wall Street Journal Holiday Gift Pick for 2020
An Indie Next Pick, September 2019
A Publishers Weekly "Big Indie Book of Fall 2020"
A BuzzFeed Best Book of Fall 2020
A Literary Hub "Most Anticipated Book of 2020
A Ralph Lauren Summer Reading Recommendation
A Garden & Gun Summer Reading Recommendation
A Bustle "Best Book of Fall 2020
Named a "Most Anticipated Book of 2020" by The Millions
An Alma "Favorite Book for Fall 2020"
A Literary Hub "Recommended Climate Read for September 2020"
A Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Reading Recommendation for Fall 2020
From beloved, award-winning poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil comes a debut work of nonfiction - a collection of essays about the natural world, and the way its inhabitants can teach, support, and inspire us.
As a child, Nezhukumatathil called many places home: the grounds of a Kansas mental institution, where her Filipina mother was a doctor; the open skies and tall mountains of Arizona, where she hiked with her Indian father; and the chillier climes of western New York and Ohio. But no matter where she was transplanted - no matter how awkward the fit or forbidding the landscape - she was able to turn to our world’s fierce and funny creatures for guidance.
“What the peacock can do,” she tells us, “is remind you of a home you will run away from and run back to all your life.” The axolotl teaches us to smile, even in the face of unkindness; the touch-me-not plant shows us how to shake off unwanted advances; the narwhal demonstrates how to survive in hostile environments. Even in the strange and the unlovely, Nezhukumatathil finds beauty and kinship. For it is this way with wonder: it requires that we are curious enough to look past the distractions in order to fully appreciate the world’s gifts.
Warm and lyrical, World of Wonders is a book of sustenance and joy.
"Nezhukumatathil's investigations, enhanced by Nakamura's vividly rendered full-color illustrations, range across the world, from a rapturous rendering of monsoon season in her father's native India to her formative years in Iowa, Kansas, and Arizona, where she learned from the native flora and fauna that it was common to be different.... The writing dazzles with the marvel of being fully alive." (Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review)
"Reading World of Wonders, it's clear that Nezhukumtathil is a poet. These essays sing with joy and longing - each focusing on a different natural wonder, all connected by the thread of Nezhukumtathil's curiosity and her identification with the world's beautiful oddities.... It's a heartwarming, poignant, and often funny collection, enlivened by Fumi Nakamura's dreamy illustrations." (BuzzFeed, "Summer Books You Won't Be Able to Put Down")
"Nezhukumtathil applies her skill as a poet to a scintillating series of short essays on nature. She takes up topics that fascinate her - the bizarre-looking potoo birds of Central and South America; corpse flowers, with their rich colors and acrid odor - and connects them to her own experience of the world.... Throughout, she vividly describes sounds, smells, and color - the myriad hues of a 'sea of saris' from India - and folds in touches of poetry. Fumi Nakamura's lush illustrations add to the book's appeal. Readers of Terry Tempest Williams and Annie Dillard will appreciate Nezhukumtathil's lyrical look at nature." (Publishers Weekly)
What listeners say about World of Wonders
Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.
- Anonymous User
Chapter by Chapter
I found some chapters to be captivating and others that missed the mark. Overall, I enjoyed the book and found myself wanting to finish it which is a positive. However, at the end, I found myself slightly disappointed by the length. I expected more considering it was Barnes and Noble's Book of the Year but that is also what made me want to read it in the first place.
- cindy henzel
An enchanting blend of memoir, travelogue & nature essays. Simply delightful and soothing. A wonderful way to unwind for a few hours.
- M. A. Bailey
Enter a world where the Aimee Nezhukumatathil shows us the everyday connections among us and the biodiverse world
I felt a sense if innocence, wonder and deep respect and love for nature as she shares her connections with nature. She goes beyond that though by relating her life experiences to the behaviors and characteristics of animals and plants.
Lovely, lyrical essays of the natural world 🌲🐞🦎🦋🐙🐋
Beautifully read by the author herself, this collection of essays engages the reader in both the wonders of the natural world and the author's personal experiences.