Naturalist Quammen's essays, originally appearing as magazine columns, are here compiled into a lively book. His unusual way of seeing leads him into fascinating realms. How many of us have studied the face of a spider or spent an hour thinking about earthworms? Quammen has and shares his observations with us. His widely varied and thought-provoking essays range over humans and their interactions with ecology, including both desert and swamp. The only central focus of the book is Quammen's unified view of the world's natural life, which of course includes us. Recommended. Katharine Galloway Garstka, Intergraph Corp., Huntsville, Ala.