Life seven miles under the sea

Subscribe: Apple podcasts | Spotify | Stapler | How to listen In his new book, “The shining abyss”, Helen Scales writes ab...


In his new book, “The shining abyss”, Helen Scales writes about the largely invisible realm of the deepest parts of the ocean. In this week’s podcast, she talks about life there – and how long it took us to realize there was any.

“Not so long ago, maybe 200 years ago, most people – scientists, the brightest minds we have – assumed that life only descended to sunlight. , so the first 600 feet or so, ”Scales explains. “But what is so fascinating is that life goes to the bottom; up to seven miles, which is the deepest point, or so. And there are ways that life has found adaptations to all of these crazy and extreme conditions in the depths, and that’s what we really do most of the time, as marine biologists working in the depths, that ‘ is to find this stuff and ask the question, “How are you here?” “”

Rebecca Donner visits the podcast to discuss her new book, “All the frequent troubles these days”, which tells the story of Mildred Harnack, Donner’s great-great-aunt, an American executed in 1943 for being a member of the German resistance to the Nazis during World War II.

“She most definitely saw herself as a resistance fighter, and she certainly didn’t consider herself a spy,” Donner said. “She engaged in acts of espionage in order to undermine the Nazi regime, but she never met a control officer, she never accepted money. She worked in an unofficial capacity.

Also in this week’s episode, Tina Jordan reflects on the history of book review as she celebrates her 125th birthday; Elizabeth Harris has news from the publishing world; and Gal Beckerman and John Williams talk about what they read. Pamela Paul is the host.

Here are the books covered in “What We Read” this week:

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode and the Book Review podcast in general. You can send them to books@nytimes.com.

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