Cover image for Waiting for Aphrodite : journeys into the time before bones
Waiting for Aphrodite : journeys into the time before bones
Hubbell, Sue.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co., 1999.
Physical Description:
x, 242 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library QL362 .H835 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



In this wonderful new book Sue Hubbell takes us into the remarkable lives of the little-known creatures that really run the world: earthworms, corals, lightning bugs, pill bugs, millipedes, crickets, spiders, sea urchins, horseshoe crabs, and, most elusive and enigmatic of all, Aphrodite, the sea mouse. She also leads us on a journey through the mysteries of time -- geological, biological, and personal -- as she writes of the evolution of life on this planet and the evolution of her own life, from childhood next to a Michigan graveyard to beekeeping in the Ozarks and finally to a tower by the sea in Maine, where she waits and watches for Aphrodite.

Author Notes

Sue Hubbell is the author of, among other works, A Country Year and A Book of Bees, which was selected as a New York Times Notable Book. She lives in Maine and Washington, D.C.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Hubbell is a sunny naturalist who writes stimulating prose. Her newest book, a sibling to her eye-opening Broadsides from the Other Order: A Book of Bugs (1993), is a free-roaming survey of the busy lives of invertebrates: "small animals that creep and jump and slither and flutter." More than 95 percent of Earth's animals fall into this immense and spectacularly diverse category, and Hubbell deftly conveys her fascination with some of its more curious representatives. Most of the creatures she portrays are found in environs she has called home (the Ozarks and the coast of Maine), but she reports, too, from further afield, most strikingly Belize's coral reefs. As philosophical as she is descriptive, Hubbell introduces the modest but sensitive pill bug, gives her readers the creeps by chronicling massive invasions of millipedes, and muses on the essentiality of invertebrates, who are perpetually "tidying up the world." Sponges, earthworms, bees, spiders, horseshoe crabs, and Aphrodite, the elusive, wormlike sea mouse, all engage Hubbell's astute attention and fluid sense of wonder. (Reviewed April 1, 1999)0395837030Donna Seaman

Choice Review

Over the years this reviewer has had the pleasure of reading several fine nature writers and has read more than one of Sue Hubbell's books. She is among the very best in this difficult and demanding branch of literature. Among her other books are A Country Year (1986), Broadsides from the Other Orders (CH, Jan'94), A Book of Bees (1988), and Far-Flung Hubbell (1995), a collection of her travel writings from The New Yorker. She writes carefully and clearly. Her stories are filled with interesting anecdotes, and readers never fail to learn some new facts and viewpoints. In Waiting for Aphrodite, Hubbell has moved from Missouri to Maine, where she takes a special interest in the invertebrates in the neighborhood of her new home (and in other places as well). She discusses such topics as camel crickets, the inhabitants of a small tidal pool, pill-bugs and a parasitic worm, millipedes, sponges, earthworms, horseshoe crabs, bees, a visit to the Mayan rainforest, spiders, sea urchins. fireflies, and finally, Aphrodite. Nice black-and-white drawings by Liddy Hubbell. Chapter bibliographies. Good reading, enjoyable, and full of interesting information. Recommended to general readers and undergraduates through professionals. R. C. Graves; Bowling Green State University

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