Holmes, Hannah 1963-
HOLMES, Hannah 1963-
PERSONAL: Born 1963.
ADDRESSES: Home—South Portland, ME. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Bloomsbury Publishing, 175 5th Ave., Ste. 300, New York, NY 10010.
CAREER: Writer. Discovery Channel Online, science and natural-history writer.
The Secret Life of Dust: From the Cosmos to the Kitchen Counter, the Big Consequences of Little Things, Wiley (New York, NY), 2001.
Suburban Safari: A Year on the Lawn (nonfiction), Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2005.
Contributor to New York Times Magazine, Outside, Sierra, and Los Angeles Times Magazine.
SIDELIGHTS: Science and natural-history writer Hannah Holmes explored the minute realm of dust in her first book The Secret Life of Dust: From the Cosmos to the Kitchen Counter, the Big Consequences of Little Things. The author's extensively researched book takes the reader from comet dust to the Sahara sand and discusses dust's impact on a wide range of issues, including the environment, allergies, and even the evolution of planets. Writing in the Library Journal, Michael D. Cramer noted that the author discusses "technical points in language that is clear and comprehensible even for those lacking a science background." A Publishers Weekly contributor noted that Holmes "teases many tantalizing facts from this particulate microscopic substance." A reviewer writing in Science News commented that, "from various vantage points, Holmes provides a compelling and enjoyable look at the world of these tiny flecks." Saturday Evening Post contributor Ted Kreiter noted: "The research in her book makes it clear that dust is far from the dry subject we might think it to be," adding that "Holmes demonstrates that dust, be it ever so humble, plays an amazing role in our lives."
In Suburban Safari: A Year on the Lawn Holmes follows the four seasons and local wildlife on the lawn of her Portland, Maine, suburban home. The author's musings include not only insights into birds, insects, and other animals but also a discussion of lawns and their sociological history. The author dedicated the book to a chipmunk named Cheeky that she tamed during her backyard sojourn. A Kirkus Reviews contributor called the book "a cracking good reminder that an appreciation of the wonders of nature need not be reserved for special occasions." "For readers who believe lawns are simply something needing mowing," George Cohen commented in Booklist, "science writer Holmes has news for them." A Publishers Weekly contributor noted that "Holmes gives names and personalities … [to the animals,] but she keeps her naturalist credibility intact by inviting scientists and other experts to join her in her lawn chair vigil."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Holmes, Hannah, Suburban Safari: A Year on the Lawn, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2005.
Book, July, 2001, review of The Secret Life of Dust: From the Cosmos to the Kitchen Counter, the Big Consequences of Little Things, p. 13.
Booklist, June 1, 2001, Bryce Christensen, review of The Secret Life of Dust, p. 1809; January 1, 2005, George Cohen, review of Suburban Safari, p. 794.
Entertainment Weekly, February 5, 2005, Tina Jordan, review of Suburban Safari, p. 106.
Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2004, review of Suburban Safari, p. 1182.
Library Journal, July, 2001, Michael D. Cramer, review of The Secret Life of Dust, p. 117.
Publishers Weekly, July 30, 2001, review of The Secret Life of Dust, p. 76; January 3, 2005, review of Suburban Safari, p. 43.
Saturday Evening Post, September-October, 2003, Ted Kreiter, review of The Secret Life of Dust, p. 27.
Science News, May 3, 2003, review of The Secret Life of Dust, p. 287.