Alyce from At Home With Books features one of her favorite reads each Thursday and I thought it would be fun to share a favorite read of mine this week.
A Fish Caught In Time: The Search for the Coelacanth by Samantha Weinberg is my pick this week.
From the inside flap: In 1938, a young curator of a small South American museum spots a strange looking fish on a boat desk. It’s five feet long with blue scales and luminescent eyes. Determined to preserve her find, she tries for days to save it but only ends up with skin, bones, and a few sketches. Eventually, the fish is recognized by an amateur ichthyologist as a coelacanth, a fish known from 400 year old fossils and thought to have died out with the dinosaurs. A great search ensues, nations fight over the fish, and million dollar expeditions are launched to find it.
I don’t know why, but I have always been fascinated by this fish. It’s a fish, but it can walk on its fins. It’s a fossil, but it’s alive. The Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington, DC has a specimen and, living in this city, I’ve had the chance to visit it several times. I’m always fascinated and baffled by it. It is just the strangest thing ever.
I picked this book up about 10 years ago and it has made the cut many times to remain on my shelf. It’s been a few years since I’ve read it and, now that I think about it, it might be time for another look soon.
If you want to know more about coelacanths, Wikipedia has a short entry, but I would recommend picking up the book instead. Oh, come on, you had to see that coming. 🙂
Have a favorite book you want to share?