Several months ago, I received an advanced copy of World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments, a book written by Aimee Nezhukumatathil and published by Milkweed Editions. The book is one of those that is hard categorize because it covers so many topics and fits into several genres. I could easily shelve World of Wonders in three sections at Content, the indie bookstore where I work: memoir, essays & nature (we ended up shelving it in Nature).
As for the content of Nezhukumatathil’s writing? She covers topics of motherhood, marriage, race, nature, and so much more! This book is one that I can’t get enough of. The writing is gorgeous – Nezhukamatathil is a poet and her skill with words shines through in her prose. There are parts of this book that I read and then read again and again. I admit, some of her words brought me to tears. One particularly wonderful section had me texting my writing teacher, Kate Hopper, to share with her. As an added bonus, there are lovely color illustrations by Fumi Mini Nakamura throughout.
I loved this book so much that I wrote a short book review about it for the October edition of The Northfield Entertainment Guide. Here is my review:
“Filled with short, beautifully written essays about the natural world and accompanied by gorgeous illustrations, World of Wonders is the book you need to read right now! I was awestruck at Aimee’s wonderful way with words and the wonders she reveals throughout this book about the natural world. Aimee’s essays cover creatures from fireflies to flamingos and plants from pretty to putrid. They span in time from her childhood to the present and crisscross the world from Ohio to India. She writes about growing up, marriage, motherhood and how the natural world has grounded her no matter what stage of life she’s in. I learned so much reading this book and found such delight in it that I read parts of it aloud to friends. World of Wonders is like Ross Gay’s The Book of Delights (a Content bookseller favorite from last year) for the natural world. I didn’t want it to end and know I will read it again and again.”
Thanks to Yanna, the Marketing Director at Milkweed, for sending me the advance copy of World of Wonders and then for sending a finished copy once the book was published. It was extra fun to notice a part of my book blurb was included in the marketing materials for the book!