When anyone asks the perennially inane question “What’s your favorite color?” my answer is always “the rainbow”.
I don’t have a favorite book either. I borrowed my first book, “Huckleberry Finn,” from the school library of Sundown, Texas, an isolated, wind-blown, oil well-strewn remnant of the dust bowl where I spent my childhood. The book was an escape to a lush world of dense vegetation, roaring rivers and interesting, eccentric characters.
E. O. Wilson’s “Consilience” is a plea for recognition of the values of the Enlightenment and the scientific mindset in the humanities and artistic enterprise. Mr. Wilson is a biologist specializing in social insects but is most noted for “Sociobiology,” a dense, controversial scientific text asserting that man’s social behavior is biological and genetic at its core.
I am drawn to science writing because there is more awe-inspiring, savage beauty and mystery in nature than in the most clever imagination. Still, some of the most eye-worn of my books are the early works of Robert Frost and and the Sermon on The Mount, the former a reminder that the human heart has not changed in a century, and the latter a masterpiece of ethical instruction.