Comments: 19
Is the graph at the bottom of your review from the book? It really is neat.
Elentarri's Book Blog 3 years ago
No, not from the book. The book has something similar as well as a whole lot of other diagrams and whatnots. That's the best graphic I could find that represents the book's contents.
That's why I asked -- it looks like it could have been.

Another potential Flat Book Society book?
Elentarri's Book Blog 3 years ago
It's an academic press book. Very nice product, nice writing, pretty and usefull illustrations, but too expensive (here anyway, don't know about other countries), unless people can get it from the library or if there is an ebook? The hardcover I borrowed has a publication date of 2014, but I see there is a paperback published 2019. It's about the price of a hardcover though.
Elentarri's Book Blog 3 years ago
I don't know how many people are interested in whale evolution either?
Sigh. Why does it seem like any and every decent science book -- not only scholarly but often enough also popular science -- is published by an academic publisher and, hence, unlikely to ever reach the bargain book market? I mean, all power to academic publishers, their quality standards, and their authors. But jeez, the main line publishing industry really is in a mess (quality-wise, obviously not revenue-wise) if the Brusattes are all they manage to put out these days.

That said, whales actually *are* a topic I would expect a few people to be interested in (hence, in part, my question).
Elentarri's Book Blog 3 years ago
Whales yes - they are cute or majestic, but this is a book about whale EVOLUTION i.e. fossil skeletons and a bunch of drawing, sketches, digging up fossils, dna and cladistics. The author went on about the little bones (with the proper anatomical names and diagrams) inside the whale ears and how they changed and what the significance of that is. I like that stuff. I'm not sure about anyone else. That said, it's a really nice book and good science writing, with decent explanations that don't get bogged down in detail.

I agree about the academic press books. It would be soooo much more useful if they published affordable books. On the other hand the number of full page, full colour illustrations in this book doesn't really make it suitable for that off-grey, "fuzzy" paper those mass market books use. You can always put it on the list and remind members to check if it's available to them before voting for it. I would have assumed that's what everyone does anyway, but apparently not.
No, I think that's the lesson from "Unlocking the Past" first getting selected and then turning out unavailable to most.

That said, book selections like those really do show that evolution (in its broadest sense) is a topic people are interested in. (I'd seen, of course, this one is about the evolution of whales -- I dropped that particular term because I still think whales as a species would be the draw. I can't see equal levels of fascination with the evolution of spiders -- and I mean *just* spiders, no other critters -- but evolution of whales? Heck, yes.)

Incidentally, if there's one "future reading" take-away from "Skeletons" for me, it's that I really want to get back to reading about all those extinct species from way back in the earth's history.
Elentarri's Book Blog 3 years ago
Just as a heads up - don't bother with Jay Gould's Wonderful Life. The information in there is decades out of date and there are not enough illustrations of the wierd animals. You need to find something with illustrations and not just fossil photographs of Cambrian animals otherwise it's jus a bunch of words that don't really convey much.

There is Trilobite! by Fortey. He likes stories too, but it's the only trilobite book that isn't a coffee table book. End of the Megafauna by Ross McPhee is pretty good, but only coveres the mammals after the dinosaurs. Life on a Young Planet by Knoll is interesting if you like bacteria and rocks. ;)
Thank you and noted! I also seem to recall a book title involving horseshoe crabs?
Elentarri's Book Blog 3 years ago
Sorry about the GRs links. Typing out that many titles is a mission, and this way you have a better idea about the book. The horseshoe crab book is in the list. I liked it. It has author anecdotes in it, but as far as I remember they were either relevant or not too intrusive.
Wow, thank you so much! That's the thing (I've learned) about mentioning one "further reading" topic to you ... you'll come back with a whole lot of recommendations! These will probably keep me reading 'till kingdom come and then some ... :)
Elentarri's Book Blog 3 years ago
Sorry. Some of them are better than others, also depending what sort of information you already know and what you want to know. There was a book on eels and another on octopuses where the respective authors spend more time eating the animals than writing about the actual animal.

There was also another popular science book out on Whales last year and one about Sharks this year, but I haven't read those yet.
No need to apologize -- I'm truly in awe of your ability to whip these out like nobody's business in absolutely zero time!
Elentarri's Book Blog 3 years ago
The books I own are catalogued on my phone... *ducks*
No reason to duck! Mine are catalogued in three different ways (online and on my laptop), and if that weren't keeping me busy enough already what with updating etc., they'd also find a home on my phone ... and probably at least one more online place.
Elentarri's Book Blog 3 years ago
I've got 2 note books too, but I don't carry them around with me.
The funny thing is, this is the sort of thing I can't keep physical notebooks for. I need it all in an easily updateable electronic format. (Then again, I don't keep a paper diary anymore, either -- it's all in electronic format.)