In A High, Snowy World, A Quest For Self-Discovery Author Marc Kaufman recommends this tale of an explorer on the hunt for a rare animal — and something more. The Snow Leopard shows that while we can't always find what we're looking for, we still get what we need.

In A High, Snowy World, A Quest For Self-Discovery

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Author Marc Kaufman thinks all people, no matter their language or culture, share at least one common denominator: the search for self. And today, for our series You Must Read This, he recommends a book about one man's journey to find himself.

MARC KAUFMAN: I've spent the last three years of my career in the company of a different breed of seekers, men and women, on what may well be the scientific quest of the century. They're hunting for life beyond Earth and are learning extraordinary things about our planet and the cosmos as they search. They, like Matthiessen, may never encounter their snow leopards, but that's hardly the point. It's the looking at life and looking for life that's important. And Matthiessen lays out plainly but elegantly why that is and why it always must be.

SIEGEL: Marc Kaufman is a science writer at The Washington Post and author of the book "First Contact: Scientific Breakthroughs in the Hunt for Life Beyond Earth."

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