Monday, January 20, 2014
This week at the library: Punic war on the high seas, elephants,
Those intrigued by The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion may be interested in today's episode of EconTalk, featuring an interview with the author on the book. The host referred to it as the most extraordinary book he's read in the last ten years, which is high praise considering how many interesting books he's read.
This past week I finally read Starship Troopers by Rob Heinlein, and found it excellent reading; although the author is generally more militaristic than I'm comfortable with (I've read a few of his essays from The Extended Universe, but not the book properly), Troopers was more about virtue than the military. I also finished my first piece in the Great War tribute I'll be doing the rest of the year; I wanted to start off with a general history and Keegan offered as concise but complete a narrative as I could have hoped for. The next read in this series will be Forgotten Voices of the Great War, compiled by Max Arthur. It seems to be a history of the war told in passages from diary entries and interviews of soldiers, mostly on the Entente side, with a few scattered civilians thrown in. I haven't begun reading it yet, as it's a recent arrival from interlibrary loan. This morning I finished off Silent Thunder, which was a decidedly odd collection of nature collections; although it's the accounting of a scientist about her extensive elephant observations, and contains her discoveries (the great creatures' ability to use infrasonic sound for communication across long distances, previously only thought to be used by whales), it's also on the mystic side. The author does a lot of dream interpretation, some of it involving elephants, and because I read part of the book while in bed during the weekend with fever, I thought I might have been delusional. That's not the case; Silent Thunder is just an atypical book.
I'm unsure as to my reading for this current week; I have a nice pile of interesting books I brought home from my university library last week, and distracting me from it will be John Stack's Ship of Rome.