Dear Ramble blog subscribers,
My next book, Sounds Wild and Broken: Sonic Marvels, Evolution’s Creativity, and The Crisis Of Sensory Extinction, is published today. Frogs, orcas, violins, ancient flutes, city noise, rainforests, oceans, the different sonic vibes of continents, and the innovations of baby babble: the book is a joyful celebration of sonic creativity and diversity. I also explore how listening might heal some of the brokenness of our world.
I invite you to join me in the pages of the book. Sounds Wild and Broken is on sale now at your favorite indie bookstore and online here.
(UK readers: publication date is April 21st)
Need some ear food to get a sense of one of the book’s themes? Join me in a 40-minute narrated sonic journey When the Earth Started to Sing with Emergence Magazine. Also available through all podcast platforms. I wrote the narration. Sound design by Matt Mikkelsen, Jonathan Kawchuk. Produced by Emmanuel-Vaughan-Lee.
Here is what early reviews and endorsements of the book say:
“Sounds Wild and Broken is a symphony, filled with the music of life. It is fascinating, heartbreaking, and beautifully written.” Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future
“A joyous celebration of the music of life… Sparkling prose conveys an urgent message.” Starred review, Kirkus Reviews. Read full review here.
“captivating…The science stories in Sounds Wild and Broken offer one delight after another.” Kathleen Dean Moore reviewing in Scientific American.
“Whether describing the human brain or the ways different conifer forests change the voices and crooked beaks of red crossbills…Haskell speaks a celebratory poetry of nature” Michael Ray Taylor reviewing in Chapter 16.
“With persistent intelligence and understated wit, Haskell uncovers one subtle mystery after another, forming a gorgeous argument for protecting all we long to hear.” Colleen Mondor for Booklist
“Listen to David Haskell: He will transform the way you hear the world. Haskell is one of those rare scientists who illuminates his topic—the magnificent natural sonic diversity of our planet, what we have to gain from its richness, what we have to lose from its diminishment—in lyrical, erudite prose that both informs and inspires. This masterful book is a gift of deep aural understanding and a resplendent read.” Jennifer Ackerman, author of The Genius of Birds and The Bird Way
“A stunning call to reinhabit our ancient communion with sound. David George Haskell’s gorgeous prose and deep research meld wonder with intellect, inspiring reverence, delight, and a sense of urgency in protecting aural diversity. The voice of the earth is singing with beauty and need—Haskell shows us the extraordinary gift and responsibility of being available to listen.” Lyanda Lynn Haupt, author of Rooted: Life at the Crossroads of Science, Nature, and Spirit, and Mozart’s Starling
“This is how scientific writing should be, and almost never is: suffused with wonder and pathos, throbbing with the music of the wild. Haskell conducts a magnificent symphony here. He shows us – no, lets us hear – that we are resonant animals in a thrillingly resonant universe, and that our fulfilment depends on finding the frequency that will make us resonate with everything else. His superb book sent me on my way singing, and trying to join in with the songs I heard on the way.” Charles Foster, author of Being a Beast and Being a Human
“In Sounds Wild and Broken, David George Haskell once again expands our sensory universe, revealing not only the grand variety of earthly song, music, and speech but the astonishing ways in which sound originates, evolves, and binds us together. His careful listening will sharpen your ears.” Michelle Nijhuis, author of Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction
“In luminous prose, David Haskell teaches us to hear the beauty and tragedy of the whole history of life on Earth. Sounds Wild and Broken will change the way you listen to nature and to yourself, and may this help us heal our planet before it’s too late.” David Rothenberg, author of Nightingales in Berlin and Why Birds Sing
“This brilliant book—and I don’t use the term lightly—will change the way you hear everything. Haskell takes us deep inside the minds and music of human and non-human life, revealing one marvel after another, and makes a powerful case for conservation that not only preserves species, but the sensory experience of life itself.” Jonathan Meiburg, musician and author of A Most Remarkable Creature