Novacek, Michael. Time Traveler: In Search of Dinosaurs and Ancient Mammals From Montana to Mongolia. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002.
Reason read: October is Dinosaur Month. I don’t know who came up with that except to say that I read it on the internet.
Michael Novacek begins his book Time Traveler like a memoir, taking us back to a time when high school yearbooks crowned well endowed coeds with titles such as “Miss Sweater Girl” (and it wasn’t considered sexist). Novacek makes it autobiographically personal by including interesting artifacts (pun totally intended) about his own adolescence, like how he was in a rock band that could have gone somewhere, or that he kissed a girl named Diane in the back of a bus. He even includes some humor. Consider this quote, “…our last moment on earth will probably be marked by an image of a dark cab coming at us dead-on, with a flash of gold teeth and a tequila bottle on the dashboard” (p 166). It makes for a very entertaining read. But, that’s not to say he dumbs down paleontology and all things natural history. Just the opposite, in fact, his laid back writing style made the otherwise dry topic (for me anyways) far more interesting. Just wait until you get to the part about whales found in Patagonia and Michael’s harrowing adventures in Chile.
Quote I liked, “Nothing is worse than obligatory fun” (p 241).
Author fact: PBS made a documentary about Novacek’s work. That’s pretty cool. Something to put on the to do list…
Book trivia: I read a review that mentioned grainy photography but I don’t know what they were talking about. I didn’t see photographs. I thought they were all very cool illustrations.
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter simply called “Patagonia” (p 93).