Join today and start reading your favorite books for Free!
Rate this book!
Write a review?
With his detailed, on-site interviews, careful research and pinpoint writing, John McPhee can make the most mundane topic enchanting. If you don't believe me, consider what he did with flood control on the Red and Atchafalaya rivers in Louisiana, the latter a distributary of the Mississippi, in one of the chapters here. (It's pretty scary, too: without browbeating us, McPhee makes us realize that those who would "control nature" are in danger of having nature unexpectedly seize that control righ...
McPhee is one of my favorite authors -- especially for non-fiction -- and I have been enjoying his work for years in The New Yorker. This Reader consists of a collection of excerpts from certain of his essays and book-length works, and it is hit and miss. Some of the excerpts, such as the ones from Coming Into the Country, about Alaska, and La Place de la Concorde, about the Swiss Army (and, by extension, Switzerland), are by turns fascinating and incredible. Others, such as Giving Good Weight,
How did I get this far along in my life without discovering John McPhee? Just in time for a locked-down reading binge!
Serviceable reading, though this is just part one of the second reader. I think the geology extracts would have been more comprehensible with illustrations, since he uses a lot of technical language--but the parts about greenmarkets in NYC, the Swiss army, and the haute cuisine chef at work were entertaining and informative both. The extracts from COMING INTO THE COUNTRY, about Alaska and its natives and settlers, had some high spots too. McPhee's writing comes off as well in audio as it does on...
★★★★☆ From Coming into the Country ( 1977 ) Giving Good Weight ( 1979 )★★★★☆ From Good Weight★★★★☆ From Brigade De Cuisine★★★★☆ From Basin and Range ( 1981 )★★★★☆ From In Suspect Terrain ( 1983 )★★★★☆ From La Place de la Concorde Suisse ( 1984 ) Table of Contents ( 1985 )★★★★★ Under the Snow★★★★★ From Heirs of General Practice★★★★★ From North of the C.P. Line★★★★★ From Rising from the Plains ( 1986 ) The Control of Nature ( 1989 )★★★★☆ From Los Angele...
Quotable:So impressed are the Swiss with the accomplishments of Swiss in the United States that the entire top floor of the Musee des Suisses a I'Etranger, outside Geneva, is given over to the subject. There is a lovely framed photograph of the basketball team of Berne High School, in Indiana. There are snapshots, newspaper pages, and so forth from Switzerland County, Indiana...
One of my favorite all time authors of non fiction. Everything he writes about, even subjects I wouldn't consider reading about and didn't know I might be interested in, are enjoyable to discover through his words!
Nothing in the world is like reading John McPhee. One of the most extraordinary writers in the world. Highly recommended.
nice selection of mcphee's writing
John McPhee is a Pulitzer prize-winning writer for the New Yorker who has published 30 books or so on a wide array of topics. All of his work is nonfiction. His attention to detail is superb. The Second John McPhee reader includes selections from books about Alaska, geology, New York City farmers' markets, the Swiss army, general practice medecine, art collecting, the merchant marine, and more. Great introduction by David Remnick, editor of the New York and a former student of McPhee at Princeto...
John McPhee is a recent find for me. He has been writing a column for the New Yorker for over forty years, and has numerous books based on his adventures published from these columns.This book contains snippets from many of his books written in the later years. From his adventures in Alaska, to the job he took after burning out (working with farmers selling produce in the open air markets in Manhattan), McPhee can make anything sound exciting. He is truly a magnificent writer and this is a good
McPhee is one of my favorite nonfiction writers, partly for his topical excursions and partly for his beautiful language. This collection culls selections from many of his books. He surely is the only person I could think of that could write something interesting about being a green grocer. I wasn't wild about the geography stuff. Hanging with the Swiss army was cool. A good introduction, especially to older work, if you consider trying him.
Loved the stuff about people interacting with landscape, or other people, found some of the geology heavy going. Liked his sense of humour. Finished this as part of the Read Harder book challenge, as "recommended to me", someone game me this when I graduated from uni, and I had never even opened it. I'm not big on non-fiction, and liked it more than I thought I would.
Maybe it's the unappealing cover or maybe it's the writing style, but this book didn't appeal to me. I really wanted to like it but just couldn't get there. I quit after 3 chapters/stories.
I love hiking, canoeing, and just hanging out with McPhee. There's not much page turning narrative to be had here, or ever, by McPhee, but the guy can take me to places any time.
Always an entertaining read. John McPhee could write about anything and make it interesting. I had read several of the stories features here but it was fun to read an excerpt and remember the story.
THis guy is a great observer and writer.
"Any time I read John McPhee I come away feeling informed, entertained and possibly a better writer. Among the memorable stories in this collection dating from
Selections from stories about the Swiss Army, farmers markets in New York, and the geology of New Jersey. Reading McPhee is always educational.
A pleasant collection of charming passages.
Want to read more of The Control of Nature.