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Search tags: Group-Reads
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text 2017-07-17 20:41
The Invention of Nature - Reading Update: Part 5
The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World - Andrea Wulf

I am a little sad.

 

This was a fascinating book, and I loved the chapter that described the last years in Humboldt's life and the political changes that he was surrounded by, even tho for Humboldt the novelty of revolution had worn off because he had seen and been in the midst of so many of them.

 

As for the remaining chapters on Perkins, Haeckel, and John Muir, I am in two minds: We did not really need them to understand Humboldt and his times. But, they do illustrate - again - the far-reaching impact Humboldt and his work have had on a future generation that would lead to the birth of environmentalism. 

 

I appreciate the link that Wulf creates between the extraordinary Humboldt and the subsequent discussions that are still current affairs more than I criticise Wulf for meandering a little in the last three chapters

 

What a book! What a guy!

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text 2017-07-14 18:28
Nonfiction Science Book Club Reading List
Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal - Mary Roach
Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life - Helen Czerski
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements - Sam Kean
Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime (Wellcome) - Val McDermid
Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution - Rebecca Stott

You may have seen MbD's posts on the new nonfiction book club and the suggestions for future reads floating down the dashboard in the last couple of days:

 

There's now a list containing all the books that have been suggested so far:

 

http://booklikes.com/apps/reading-lists/799/nonfiction-science-book-club-reading-list

 

The discussion group is currently still named for the buddy read that inspired it, "The Invention of Nature" -- the group page is here:

http://booklikes.com/groups/show/980/buddy-read-for-the-invention-of-nature

 

-- and the corresponding book club page is here:

http://booklikes.com/book-clubs/90/buddy-read-for-the-invention-of-nature

 

Do take a look and see if you'd be interested in joining!

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text 2017-07-13 13:30
Nonfiction Science Book Club: Some More Suggestions
Aladdin's Lamp: How Greek Science Came to Europe Through the Islamic World - John Freely
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind - Yuval Noah Harari
The Riddle of the Compass: The Invention That Changed the World - Amir D. Aczel
The Inheritor's Powder: A Cautionary Tale of Poison, Betrayal and Greed - Sandra Hempel
The Abacus and the Cross: The Story of the Pope Who Brought the Light of Science to the Dark Ages - Nancy Marie Brown
The Age of Wonder - Richard Holmes
The Dilemmas of an Upright Man: Max Planck and the Fortunes of German Science - J. L. Heilbron
The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True - Dave McKean,Richard Dawkins
The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World - Michael Pollan
The Science of Everyday Life - Marty Jopson

... just because there are already plenty to choose from anyway! :)

 

Mainly, but not exclusively "history of science" entries here.

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text 2017-07-12 20:25
Some Science Ideas from my Library
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry - Neil deGrasse Tyson
Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life - Helen Czerski
American Eclipse: A Nation's Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World - David Baron
Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness - Peter Godfrey-Smith
Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal - Mary Roach
The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World - Michael Pollan
Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe - Lisa Randall
The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time - Jonathan Weiner
Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution - Rebecca Stott
The Age of Wonder: The Romantic Generation and the Discovery of the Beauty and Terror of Science (Vintage) - Richard Holmes

I know that there's been a suggestion that we read more science together; these are just some books my own library has that I think look interesting.

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review 2016-12-21 18:00
The Gate to Women's Country
The Gate to Women's Country - Sheri S. Tepper

Some scenes and characters I enjoyed (Morgot and Septemius more than the main characters, to be honest), but the oversimplification of the different societies described, as well as sexuality and relationships, didn't look very "feminist" to me. It was more a matter of "all men are brutes" (it never addresses how their upbringing between the ages of 5 and 15 in a garrison may be part of why they're violent), "all women are meant/want to breed" (I'm kind of feeling insulted here) and "homosexuality is caused by hormone imbalance during pregnancy, but it's been taken care of now, yay" (yeah, definitely insulted here).

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