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Sunday, November 20, 2022

What I'm reading these days

So many books ... so little time.


Gary S. Hurd said...

The bedroom pile on the bed is;

"Murder on the Home Front" Molly Lefebure, First published 1954 (Excellent personal recollections of a forensic recorder)

"A Natural History of Beer" DeSalle & Tattersall (Disappointed so far but still reading)

"From Sight to Light: The Passage from Ancient to Modern Optics" A. Mark Smith (Excellent. I was starting a literature search for an essay idea that the microscope, and telescope were the greatest human inventions. Smith has already written it)

"American Midnight" Adam Hochschild (Brilliant and very depressing)

"The Revolutionary Samuel Adams" Stacy Schiff (Just started last night. First Chapter was short, and good)

The month before the US elections I read a stack of instant political history, "Profiles in Ignorance" Borowitz was not funny, "Thank You for Your Servitude" Leibovich and, "Upheaval" Diamond, "This Will Not Pass: Martin & Burns, "Peril" Woodward & Costa, "The Wrecking Crew" Frank, and "Fear: Trump in the White House" Woodward all made me angry, and depressed. Why did those assholes wait so long to publish?

My nightly soothing is a re-reading of the old mystery novels I so enjoyed. I have read in publication order all from Dorthy Sayers, and am now on to Rex Stout. Even the Sayers books after all these years seemed to pale. I am up to the Nero Wolf "Too Many Women" published in 1947. The casual racism is very striking.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your list.
-César D.

Robert Byers said...

I listen to audiobooks as more is absirbed with others doing the seeing/talking. These are science books mostly. The fraud in science is interesting however they must prove there is more of these problems on a curve because there is simply more researchers etc etc in science on the planet and in North America.In fact everyone who gets a degree in such subjects claims instantly to be a scientist. they are not. Science is a verb for activity and not a noun for memorizing.
the science deniers and how to talk to those people is dismissible as those people woul;d deny they are science deniers.right out the gate a worthless book. Many accomplished people in science were accused by someone they were not doing/or were science denuers. Its just sour grapes of those who can't prove a case even if they have the right case. incompetence. I deny there is climate change based on a climate of no evidence just just evolutionism. Prove your points. Nobody questions heart surgery science. they prove thier point.

gert korthof said...

A few months ago I posted a review of Nick Lane's Transformer:
and had a email exchange with him. He's really a nice guy, hard worker, creative thinker with a positive attitude .

Eric Pedersen said...

I just read "A (Very) Short History of Life on Earth", and loved it. Gee paints a fantastic picture of how the world has changed radically over time, how life has evolved to adapt to this changing world and how some adaptations have in turn caused global changes. It gives a really nice large-scale perspective, and is much less animal-centric than a lot of paleo writing. He also used citation and footnotes really effectively: keeping the text clear and easy to read for a non-specialist, but also clearly highlighting areas of debate and jumping off points to learn more.

My only major complaints with it were that the book does get steadily more animal (and eventually vertebrate)-centric as it went on, and relied too heavily on poorly-supported evolutionary psychology reasoning when talking about human evolution and behaviour in the last couple chapters. I'm still going to be recommending it for any intro ecol/evol students who are at all interested in ecosystems and the history of life on earth.

Graham Jones said...

It's not new, and it's a while since I read it, but Eric's comment made me think of a book I much enjoyed:

Life on a Young Planet: The First Three Billion Years of Evolution on Earth by Andrew H. Knoll

Patricia said...

That is a very good list indeed! I eagerly await your review from Gene’s Eye view, I often wondered “what would Larry from Sandwalk say about this”. Absolutely loved Nick Lane’s Transformer and liked Henry Gee’s book a lot. Kat Arney is a writer I discovered through this blog, but her new-ish book was a pass so far. Transfomer had enough cancer for my taste. But I might change my mind if there’s a glowing review in the future!

CrocodileChuck said...

Just started 'Transformer'

I would be interested in your review of it, Mr. Moran.

Larry Moran said...


"Transformer" is pure hard-core biochemistry with an emphasis on basic metabolic pathways. How could anyone not love such a book!

dean said...

"The science deniers and how to talk to those people is dismissible as those people woul;d deny they are science deniers.right out the gate a worthless book"

I would expect a creationist, someone who is by definition a science denier, to say that.

The brief history of life on Earth sounds quite interesting.

judmarc said...

Have the Nick Lane in queue. Agren and Arney look interesting. Thanks!