I am a fiction writer. But the book I would like to talk about right now is one that opened my eyes to the worlds behind us—worlds I never had known existed. As an author, much of my work is inspired by the mystery of death, and the mortal unknown. So naturally, I tend to gravitate toward sciences, and studies in the living and dying arena.
I knew a thing or two about dinosaurs, but I never quite grasped both the breadth of their rule and how small they were on the great scale of life in the eye of time.
Peter Brannen’s The Ends of The World: Volcanic Apocalypse, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth’s Past Mass Extinctions is a nonfiction that explores the many changes in our earth, and environments, and in the species that once called this place home.
It shows us how the kill switches flipped on for our strange biological ancestors, and why we should pay heed to the lessons learned from the dead. Through their fossils, we are taken on a wild journey across time to learn how the worst days on earth meant their end, but seeded our beginnings. And perhaps, presaging our imminent demise should we carry on with our ways as we do—ignoring scientific data, bull-heading onward with a stubborn “business as usual” mentality toward complete destruction.
It was a fascinating read, filled with adventure, discovery, and a potent ambiance that can be admonishing but not without the sense there is still hope for life, even if we might have to go in a blaze of glory for salvation. Learning how long the Tyrannosaur has lived compared to humans was a thread of knowledge that I pulled from this piece, which left my brain in an unraveled heap for weeks.
But there is so much more to be gained from this book. I had to read it again, and again. It was that good!