Spirals in Time by Helen Scales
Bloomsbury USA, 7/21/15
eBook Review Copy, 304 pages
Spirals in Time: The Secret Life and Curious Afterlife of Seashells by Helen Scales is a very highly recommended, fascinating nonfiction book about conchology,
and, honestly, who doesn't appreciate seashells? (Just a quick glance
through my home makes it clearly evident that I do.) "Members of the
phylum Mollusca are among the most
ancient animals on the planet. Their shells provide homes for other
animals, and across the ages, people have used shells not only as
trinkets but also as a form of money, and as powerful symbols of sex and
death, prestige and war."
Spirals in Time is not only interesting and entertaining, it is
also a thoroughly engaging look at the history, biology and the
scientists (and mathematicians) who study seashells, primarily mollusks.
The information is presented through stories and personal experience.
As author Helen Scales writes in her introduction: "This book is made up
of my choice of shell stories, ones that together paint a picture of a
remarkable company of animals along with some of the more offbeat,
forgotten and little-known tales of how those shells have made their way
into the human world."
Scales is a wonderful story teller. Her sound science and knowledge of
the subject matter combined with the ability to present the information
in an entertaining and engaging manner made Spirals in Time an
utterly delightful and accessible book. She has some great stories to
tell that just happen to pass along a bountiful amount of information.
Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy
of Bloomsbury USA for review