Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What Have You Been Reading?

The long story of why I haven’t been posting may unfold by and by, but suffice it here to say the reasons have been more about family than about books and pine trees. At least I’ve read some fine works in the interim. Here are a few reviews of favorite titles, written for a fine online publication, The Washington Independent Review of Books, which endeavors to make sure there are still book reviews even as more and more traditional journals stop publishing them.

Our Once and Future Planet: Restoring the World in the Climate Change Century, by Paddy Woodruff (University of Chicago Press, 2013). In engaging and spirited prose, [author Paddy Woodruff] deploys his finest investigative skills to address the book’s central question: “how successfully can we restore degraded ecosystems, and our own damaged relationship to the environment?”
Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein—Colossal Mistakes by Great Scientists That Changed Our Understanding of Life and the Universe, by Mario Livio (Simon & Schuster, 2013). By examining these towering scientists through the high-powered lens of their worst lapses, Livio illuminates not just the individuals but also the vital process of discovery.
Butterfly People: An American Encounter with the Beauty of the World, by William Leach (Pantheon Books, 2013). . . . . a literary cabinet of wonders packed with scientific discoveries, historic artifacts, and artistic revelations to delight scholarly and casual readers alike. What have you been reading?

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