Zakin assembles this anthology of essays as a response to current writings on the environment, in which, she says, writers""muse endlessly upon a rock and... share their uplifting reveries at interminable length."" The writers in this collection, she says, have a more honest and interesting take on things. Their 31 essays, which indeed do not ramble interminably, address topics ranging from bullfighting to nude beaches and do so in an array of quirky styles. Accomplished writers selected include Zakim herself, who deals with the desert, divorce and more in""Tierra Incognito""; Edward Abbey, whose unpublished letters are annotated by Zakin; and Elizabeth Royte, who spent part of a pregnancy in the wilds of Panama. Reading through the essays proves a diverse and varied journey, during which one experiences many intriguing and bold perspectives on the natural world and our human place in it.