Monday, September 8, 2014

This week: hot rocks, war in the east, and Holly Golightly

This week the to-be-read list shrank, as I finished Richard Fortey's Earth -- an introduction to the processes that shape the Earth, while at the same time a travelogue to the planet's most beautiful hotspots.  Fortey is both tourist and technical guide, lingering over settings of Hawaii's lush jungle and shores before traveling to the extremes of Death Valley or Greenland. The picturesque landscape is rivaled only by Fortey's explanation of the principles that are molding the landscape; he likes to use vivid mental images "Imagine a water balloon filled with honey..") to start the reader off. Geology doesn't receive much in the way of popular science books, but Earth was commendable.

Earlier in the week I read through Breakfast at Tiffany's, largely because I rewatch the Audrey Hepburn film every so often and wanted to see how they compare. The story is largely the same, with some film characters having greater roles to play, but the ending is altogether different.  It's not the tidy, neat ending of the movie, and the searching, searching, ever-searching character of Holly is left still craving something more out of life.

Another review is in the works for Drink: A Social History of America, not to be confused with Iain Gately's Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol.  Presently I'm a third of the way into Collision of Empires, a history of the Great War's eastern front.  Within the next few weeks I'll mount an attack on Galileo's Finger, and dispatch this list completely.

To Be Read Takedown Challenge

Antifragile, Nassim Nicholas Taleb (7/18/14)
The Vikings, Robert Ferguson (6/7/14)
Power, Inc; David Rothkopf (6/14/14)
An Edible History of Humanity, Tom Standage (7/8/2014)
Small-Mart Revolution, Michael Shuman (7/12/2014)
The World Until Yesterday, Jared Diamond (5/29/14)
Fighting Traffic: the Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City, Peter Norton (7/21/14)
Earth, Richard Fortey (9/7/14)
Good Natured, Frans de Waal (6/27/14)
Galileo's Finger, Peter Atkins


  1. I see Galileo's Finger n your TBR list. Apparently Galileo is popular among book titles. One of my favorite biographies is The Crime of Galileo by Giorgio de Santillana. While I would like to read Kim Stanley Robinson's sf novel, Galileo's Dream. I'm sure there are many others.

  2. One I know of is "Galileo's Daughter". He probably has the best name-catchet other than Newton!


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