Travelers, dreamers, adventure-seekers, nature lovers, even homebodies will all find inspiration in Michael Bright’s book, 1001 Natural Wonders You Must See Before You Die. With detailed descriptions of historical and cultural significance, geological and ecological statistics, this book is a useful reference even for experienced travelers. Complete with stunning photography, this 950 page compendium shows places in the world most would never have known existed. Not only does it bring the reader through a breathtaking journey around the world, but it serves as inspiration for travel and creates a thirst for the unknown.
Michael Bright’s book is coherently organized by separating the seven areas of the world: North America, South America, Europe & Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australian/Oceania, and the Polar Regions. He shows the beauties of the world according to how nature shaped them, remarking on how continents and the ocean floor are constantly shifting, sculpting geographical wonders that are forever changing. Bright displays the world through its strange beauty, showing the incredible power of nature. In North America alone, Bright gives breathtaking visions whose photos are enough to spark any readers’ curiosity. Background facts on specific areas include, The Bay of Fundy (Nova Scotia): “the largest tides carry water into the bay at the rate equivalent to all the rivers of the world,” Mt. McKinley: “greatest climb in the world,” Badlands: “showcase for best deposits of fossilized mammals in the world,” San Andreas Fault: “one of largest, and most active in the world,” and Death Valley: “driest place in North America.” Accompanied with informative details, even the smallest areas are highlighted with significance.
From Banff, The Grand Canyon, Machu Picchu, Northern Lights, Mount Olympus, Kilimanjaro, Mt. Everest, K2, The Golden Rock, Bora Bora, The Great Barrier Reef, NZ Fordland’s, to the Antarctic Peninsula, this book shows the world’s most grandiose marvels. However, some areas are simply summarized, making it beneficial only for those who dream about such faraway places, but are less likely to visit them. For instance, the book only briefly discusses areas in the Pacific, only a few places in India are mentioned and New Zealand only has marginal coverage. For those who have visited such areas, the absence of some of their favorite places may be a let-down. Personal opinions aside, 1001 Natural Wonders You Must See Before you Die is an eye opening, awe-inspiring glimpse of the world from nature’s angle. The photography alone is powerful enough to point out the beauty in the world to readers who may have never traveled. This book takes readers on a voyage that is continuously engaging and motivating from start to finish.
1001 Natural Wonders: You Must See Before You Die, By Michael Bright,
Published by: Barron’s Educational Series (May 1, 2005) $35.00.
©Sasha Keeler Didier