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Why Fish Don't Exist by Lulu Miller

Why Fish Don't Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life by Lulu Miller is an adult non-fiction novel that is part memoir, part biography and part retrospective.

David Starr Jordan was a taxonomist and obsessed with ordering the unordered. He was credited with discovering a TON of the worlds fish population and was the founding President of Stanford University. Throughout his life, he seemed to hit one disaster after another and yet, he persevered and only came back stronger each time. Why was that? What special thing did he have that pulled him through again and again?

In a chance encounter with David Starr Jordan's philosophies, NPR reporter Lulu Miller started unraveling Jordan's life, even as her own began to unravel itself. Through the lens of Jordan's life, Miller questions the world around her and her place in it.

Non-fiction is not usually in my everyday reading sphere. I prefer escapism vs reality. So this was a rare pick up for me. But I've been trying to take other peoples recommendations lately, so I picked this one up. And it was a pretty good read. Miller is witty and the way she merges her life with Jordan's is fascinating. The way the book is written, it is like we are right along with Miller as she uncovers these interesting little tidbits about Jordan's life.

For a book, that isn't exactly a biography, we learn a lot about Jordan and maybe even some facts that you wouldn't find in a typical biography. I also was thoroughly SHOCKED to learn about America's role in the eugenics movement and the laws were enacted that legalized forced sterilizations. I knew about this in theory but to learn some of the facts and numbers was staggering!

Being a book that I normally wouldn't pick up, I really enjoyed it. Well written, kept my interests and I learned some really interesting things while reading it. So for that, I shall give it 4.5 stars.

That's all for now!


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