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The Welsh Bookworm

The Welsh Bookworm is a librarian living and working in rural Minnesota. She is a past-president of the St. David’s Society of Minnesota, leads the Welsh folk-dance group Traed Y Ddraig, and teaches Welsh language classes. Her Welsh Bookworm column was featured occasionally in the newspaper Y Drych, now part of Ninnau. Laurel works for the Carver County Public Libraries in Waconia and Norwood Young America, loves reading, music, dance, languages, genealogy, gardening, and bird watching. Laurel reads historical fiction, mysteries, sci fi/fantasy, medieval and British history, Arthurian fiction, classics, and of course, anything connected to Wales. Follow my blog at http://welshbookworm.wordpress.com

Currently reading

Mrs. Queen Takes the Train
William Kuhn
The Boleyn Deceit
Laura Andersen
Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author,Who Went in Search of Them - Donovan Hohn I thought this was delightful. But I like science, and I like quirky. The author is a journalist and a teacher, so he is good with words. Like Moby-Dick, this book is a little of everything - travelogue, scientific investigation, history, sociology, ecology, sea adventure, humor, and the story of an obsession, told in a peripatetic stream of consciousness. That, of course, makes it overall a bit unfocused, with no particular point or conclusion. It is all about the search and where it takes him. I liked his references to Moby-Dick, and I was struck by his insights in the epilogue regarding Melville and fatherhood as it develops in Moby-Dick, as Melville became a father halfway through writing his book. In trying to keep this light hearted, I think Hohn loses something of the seriousness of the growing problem of plastic and what it is doing to our environment. He does very little to address conservation and recycling. Yet his reportage of clean-up efforts makes it clear that this is a monster waiting to devour us.

Description: When the writer Donovan Hohn heard of the mysterious loss of thousands of bath toys at sea, he figured he would interview a few oceanographers, talk to a few beachcombers, and read up on Arctic science and geography. But questions can be like ocean currents: wade in too far, and they carry you away. Hohn's accidental odyssey pulls him into the secretive arena of shipping conglomerates, the daring work of Arctic researchers, the lunatic risks of maverick sailors, and the shadowy world of Chinese toy factories. Moby-Duck is a journey into the heart of the sea and an adventure through science, myth, the global economy, and some of the worst weather imaginable.