Title: The World Without Us
Author: Alan Weisman
Date Published: 2007
Comment: This book has been on my "must read" list since it first came out. I almost bought it at the airport during my last trip, but it was still in hardcover and I didn't want to lug it around. However, on my most recent trip—with a delayed flight and nothing to read—I was happy to see it had been released in paperback. This book is a fictional look at how the world would recover if one day every human being on Earth vanished. As sci-fi as it sounds, it sets the stage for a very researched view of how nature would take back urban landscapes and how quickly everything we have built would crumble without our constant upkeep. The lessons in ecology as well as the physics of nature are incredibly inciteful and they create a fascinating new perspective on the "permanence" of our great cities and all our monumental accomplishments.
I also really love this book's cover, the simplicity is brilliant.
*There were a few moments tonight, during our second attempt at landing in Chicago's stormy weather, where I thought this would be the last thing I ever bought. While we were only a few hundred feet from the ground—and approching fast—the plane suddenly dropped like a rock, making the passengers experience a few seconds of weightlessness before the plane shot straight up into the air. The pilot informed us that he didn't think a third attempt was wise and we would divert to St. Louis and wait the storm out there. Good call chief!