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Coyote's Top Five Books for 2008

  1. Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier
  2. The Song of the Dodo by David Quammen
  3. Touching the Void by Joe Simpson
  4. Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation by Olivia Judson
  5. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

Honorable Mention

There is one book that so far exceeded my expectations of it, that I feel I have to mention it. The only reason it didn't make my Top Five list is that I think it probably will have limited appeal to general audiences, although I think every science reader will enjoy it. It certainly was in my personal top five of books I enjoyed reading this year.

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December 2008

***

The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet by Neil deGrasse Tyson

The Pluto Files

This is a small book of only 175 pages, and a quick flip through its pages reveals pages of cartoons and a design that suggests the editor may have had only 100 pages of actual material. So I didn't expect to like this book very much. But, in fact, it was just the opposite; I liked the book a lot.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is the director of the Hayden Planetarium, whose Rose Center for Earth and Space inadvertently started the controversy over whether Pluto was a planet or not by leaving it out of one of its exhibits on the planets. This book is an interesting personal account of the science, politics, personalities, and conflicts that resulted in Pluto being officially named a "dwarf planet" by the International Astronomical Union in 2006. For scientists, it is an eye-opening look at how little science sometimes matters, and how important a role tradition, jingoism, personalities, and private agendas can play in a scientific endeavor. In the end, we don't really know if Pluto is a planet or not. We do know the Universe (and science in general) is stranger and more like roller derby than we usually like to admit.

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***

Snow Sense: A Guide to Evaluating Snow Avalanche Hazard by Jill Fredston and Doug Fesler

Snow Sense

Doug Fesler and Jill Fredston are the experts when it comes to avalanche safety. And this little book, distilling their years of accumulated knowledge could well save your life. Don't go into the mountains in winter without reading it. Excellent book, and short enough to read while you are getting your skis tuned up.

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***

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

One Hundred Years of Solitude

I find this book quite often of the list of "100 books you MUST read before you die". I've always been curious about it, and I had the opportunity to pick it up prior to a recent trip I was taking. I'm glad I did. It didn't quite live up to the New York Times Book Review of being a book that "should be required reading for the entire human race", but you could do a whole lot worse with other books on the top 100 list, that's for sure. I suppose the magical realism could turn some people off, but I liked it and thought it worked well in this book.

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***

Snowstruck: In the Grip of Avalanches by Jill Fredston

Snowstruct

If you are interested in avalanches, you want to read this book. This is a book about what happens when you don't read Jill Fredston's other book, Snow Sense. Fredston and her husband, Doug Fesler, are the avalanche experts. This book is a riveting as the previous book I read by Fredston, Rowing to Latitude. Exciting, tragic, and a good lesson in what happens if you get too full of yourself. I think I'll give to one of the boys for a Christmas present.

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November 2008

***

Epitaph for a Desert Anarchist: The Life and Legacy of Edward Abbey by James Bishop

Epitaph for a Desert Anarchist

This is an OK book about Edward Abbey. But if I would have only read Desert Solitaire and The Monkey Wrench Gang I would have been perfectly happy remembering that Ed Abbey. This is almost too much information.

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October 2008

***

The Private Coast by Richard Zacks

The Pirate Coast

I've always heard of the Barbary pirates, but I didn't have much of an idea of what people were talking about. This is a nicely paced tale of the Barbary pirates and what Thomas Jefferson and the American Congress decided to do about it. It is possible the term "foobar" came into use around this time. In any case, American readers will be familiar with the themes of government incompetence, malfeasance, and general bumbling when dealing with the Muslim world.

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***

Outdoor Navigation with GPS by Stephen W. Hinch

Outdoor Navigation with GPS

This is an excellent book about navigating in the out of doors. It is very thorough not only in the use of GPS units, but it also offers a clear explaination of why you need to carry and use topographical maps and a compass, too. I find myself returning to this book for a quick refresher almost every time I take to the field. Good references to on-line maps and software, too.

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September 2008

***

Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man's Miraculous Survival by Joe Simpson

Touching the Void

Don't pick this book up unless you have time to kill. You won't be putting it down anytime soon. This is an absolutely astounding story of one person's miraculous survival in the face of almost certain death. This is on a par with Shackleton's adventure in the Southern Ocean, sailing 850 miles by dead reckoning in a 20 foot boat in a hurricane to hit South Georgia Island. Some people are just very, very, incredibly lucky. Great tale, well told.

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***

Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation: The Definitive Guide to the Evolutionary Biology of Sex by Olivia Judson

Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation

OK, if you only have time for one book on evolutionary biology in your busy schedule, choose this one. You are not likely to regret it. Who could have imagined there are so many ways to have sex? Goodness! Part sex manual, part pure fun, this book is a gem that will make you extremely popular around the water cooler at work for the time it takes you to read it. This book has definitely made my list as one of the best this year. Well done, Dr. Tatiana. I can't wait for the sequel.

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***

Monique and the Mango Rains by Kris Holloway

Monique and the Mango Rains

I love travel books, and especially travel essays. Think Barry Lopez or Gretel Ehrlich, or even John McPhee. But there is a difference between a writer who just tells us what happened, and a writer who is somehow able to draw larger connections between what happened and what it means. Kris Holloway has written a fine book about what happened. I think it certainly paints a realistic portrait of what it is like to live in a poor country as a Peace Corp Volunteer. And I liked it for that reason. But what was missing for me is the larger picture of what her personal experience might mean for the rest of us. If it was there, I missed it.

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August 2008

***

The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch

The Highest Tide

The truest stories are always fiction, it seems to me, and few are better than this wonderful first novel by Jim Lynch. This book was recommended to me by an extremely knowledgeable bookseller in a small, independent bookstore in Edmonds, Washington on a recent visit to the San Juan Islands on a sea kayaking trip. The descriptions of marine biology in this book are compelling, but what keeps the fast-paced story moving is how much you like the narrator, 13-year-old Miles O'Malloy. I can't wait to get back to the Northwest to see all the things I missed the first time.

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***

The Universe in a Mirror: The Saga of the Hubble Space Telescope by Robert Zimmerman

The Universe in a Mirror

The Hubble Space Telescope has been one of the biggest success stories of modern science. But it didn't start out that way. Zimmerman, a science historian, tells the entire story of the Hubble telescope so far, including the recognition of those scientists and administrators who played a large, but generally unknown, role in getting the telescope funded and built. Later this year a space shuttle mission to the telescope will attempt to keep the scientific discoveries going for another five years or so. This book explains the science and politics behind this decision and others that matter so much to the astronomy community.

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***

The Fire Ants by Walter R. Tschinkel

The Fire Ants

I can't believe I am gushing about an almost 700 page monster of a book on a topic I am not all that interested in, but I am. This may well be the best technical book you are ever likely to read. If all science books were written like this, I can't imagine anyone not wanting to be a scientist.

Tschinkel is one of the world's experts on fire ants. And his aim here is to lay out everything that is known or unknown about them. Clearly, he has a technical audience in mind. But his writing style is so interesting, and his pacing is so much more like a novel than a textbook, and the man is just so darn funny, that I looked forward to this book every night more than most of the novels I have read lately. I know I laughed more out loud for this book than for any technical book I have ever read.

If you think you already know more about fire ants now than you wished you knew, you may well be right. But that is no reason not to read this amazing book. Here is technical writing at its very best. I can't wait for the sequel.

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July 2008

***

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat, Pray, Love

Well, alright, I love travel books and essays, but I don't normally read books that are on the New York Times bestseller list. But this book was laying around the house, waiting for my wife to read it for her book club (a significant departure from the natural history books that their charter requires, but what the heck). And it wasn't the best book I've ever read, but I did find myself crying at one point, and I haven't done that over a book in a long time. It was OK. I don't think the author is the most self-reflective person I have ever read, but I recognize the journey she was on, and I appreciate the effort she made to tell it truthfully. The ending was a bit too made-for-the-movie happy for my taste, but if that's what happened, that's what happened. She certainly doesn't need to fabricate an ending to suit me.

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***

The Good Rain: Across Time and Terrain in the Pacific Northwest by Timothy Egan

The Good Rain

I was in the Pacific Northwest recently, and wandered into a locally-owned bookstore in Edmonds. "What's the best book to read about this area," I asked the knowledgeable bookseller. "Well, this one," she said, handing me this slim book by Timothy Egan. I was familiar with Egan, having read his book, The Worst Hard Time, last year. This book is of the same high quality, although it is aging slightly now. Still, it fills you in nicely on the people, issues, and landscape of this beautiful part of the world. And it certainly wet my appetite for seeing more of its wonders.

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***

The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans

The Horse Whisperer

I found this in the beach house, and it was a welcome relief from the Fire Ant encyclopedia-like book I am currently reading. I remember the movie being excellent, and the book is every bit as good. I know I am saying this after the fact, but could anyone else possibly play Tom Booker except Robert Redford!? I think this book was written with the movie in mind. Still, the book is better and I like the ending more. Movies tend to wrap everything up too neatly for my taste.

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***

The Overlook by Michael Connelly

The Overlook

A typical Michael Connelly mystery. Not one of his best, but a quick read and perfect for a long flight or a rainy day at the beach.

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June 2008

***

Streets of Laredo by Larry McMurtry

Streets of Laredo

I enjoyed Lonesome Dove so much that I was certain to be disappointed with this follow-up to the story, and I was. This book took a long time to get going, and when it finally did, I didn't find it nearly as satisfying as it predecessor. Still, and good book for a week at the beach.

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***

The Beak of the Finch by Jonathan Weiner

The Beak of the Finch

This is a wonderfully told story of two scientists, Peter and Rosemary Grant, who have spent over 20 years studying the finches Darwin discovered on his voyage to the Galapagos Islands. What the Grants and their numerous graduate students have discovered is evolution in progress, in real time, happening as we watch. Jonathan Weiner is a thoughtful and insightful writer who brings field research to life.

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***

A Superior Death by Nevada Barr

A Superior Death

Nevada Barr novels are perfect companions for long airline flights. They are easy, they are fun, and they make the time pass quickly. The leader of our sea kayaking group was a dead ringer for Anna Pigeon, so I kept wondering when we were going to find the body. This is another good book in a wonderful series.

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***

The Closers by Michael Connelly

The Closers

Michael Connelly is another writer I love to read on airplanes or on vacations. I like his slightly flawed characters, and his books hold my attention. I read this soggy copy while sea kayaking. I have a stack of Connelly books I found at the local used book store that I'm planning to take to the beach in a couple of weeks.

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May 2008

***

The Wishing Year by Noelle Oxenhandler

The Wishing Year

Years ago I stumbled one summer into an experience I learned later Carl Jung called "active imagination". Basically, my journal started talking back to me. It was weird. And after it happened my life had not only taken a completely new (and improved) direction, but I was destined to spend the next several years prowling the shelves of New Age bookstores, trying to understand what the hell was happening to me. Jobs and people just started showing up in my life at exactly the time they were needed. I didn't understand it then, and I barely understand it now, but this is the topic Noelle Oxenhandler has bravely tried to take on in her new book, The Wishing Year.

I quite honestly thought I was going crazy, because my own personal research led in the direction of shamans and altered states of reality, although my favorite book from this period was Michael Talbot's the Holographic Universe, in which he outlined the renowned physicist David Bohm's ideas on how mind might create the Universe as we know it. I called my own particular experience "Being on the Path" or "Living in the Question". But I am certain it is only another variant of Oxenhandler's "Putting It Out There".

Whatever it's called, there is something mysterious about the Universe and Oxenhandler is trying to tap into it in this book. I liked the fact she is a skeptic. As a scientist, I was, too. She has done a nice job of covering all the bases and possibilities of what wishing out loud means, without ever becoming the gushing, over-the-top, New Age proponent that many authors in this field become. I appreciate her honesty and openness, two qualities I think are essential for wishing to become true.

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***

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Lonesome Dove

I saw the Lonesome Dove TV series years ago, and still consider it the best TV series I ever saw. It almost made television worthwhile, at least for a summer. I've never been able to get Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones out of my head. Nor could I get them out of my head reading this book, which was every bit as good as the movie, and then some. It takes a powerful good book to keep you going for over 900+ pages, but this is one of them. This is my first Larry McMurtry novel, but I have a feeling I'll be looking for more as the big family reunion with my wife's family approaches. You can't have too much escapist entertainment at certain times in your life.

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***

The Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash by Charles R. Morris

Trillion Dollar Meltdown

I still have two kids in college, so I'm always day-dreaming about going back to college and doing it all over again. I'd be a geographer. Or maybe I'd study languages. I might even become a field biologist so I could travel to exotic locations and get paid for it. I wouldn't become an economist.

I say this because this is not the sort of book I normally read. I think there must have been 50 words on the first page I didn't understand. Different vocabulary, if you know what I mean. Still, I found this book fascinating. Morris claims to have seen this sub-prime mortgage load fiasco coming for well over a year. And it is his theory that highly leveraged shenanigans on the part of greedy investors and complacent governments will result in even more pain to come. At the very least, reading this book has made it possible for me to understand most of the newspaper articles and radio reports I encounter on National Public Radio. I don't have the foggiest idea how to get us out of this mess, but I'm glad to finally understand how we got into it.

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***

Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica by Sara Wheeler

Terra Incognita

This is the sort of book I like best: you go some place, you have some interesting experiences, and you learn something about yourself that chances are you wouldn't have learned had you stayed at home. If I ever manage to get my children through University (and one of them looks like he plans to stay there for at least 20 years, like his father), I'm going to become a travel writer and write books like this. I work with a bunch of the "beakers" Sara Wheeler hung out with, so I enjoyed reading about her impressions of these interesting people. The first two-thirds of this book were fairly mundane, with quite a bit of re-hash of books I've also read. But I thought the last third, when Wheeler and another artist spent a month on the ice not in the company of scientists was the best. The book took a turn for me I didn't expect. You can't ask for too much more from a book.

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April 2008

***

Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace...One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

Three Cups of Tea

A fascinating story of how one man, however unlikely his skills appear to be, can make a difference with enough dedication and spirit. Greg Mortenson, pretty much single-handedly builds schools, primarily schools for girls, in one of the most dangerous and poorest places on Earth: the tribal lands of Pakistan and Afghanistan. I'm not sure I would be as excited about Greg if I was a member of his family, but I do very much admire what he is doing to promote peace and education in places where we need it the most. Inshallah, he gets to keep doing it for a long time.

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***

Self-Portrait with Turtles by David M. Carroll

Self-Portrait with Turtles

David Carroll has written an interesting, if fairly pedestrian, memoir of his life-long interest in drawing and understanding turtles, and especially the spotted turtle in New England. The book is nicely illustrated with many of Carroll's drawings of turtles.

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***

The Story of Tibet: Conversations with the Dalai Lama by Thomas Laird

The Story of Tibet

As events unfold toward the 2008 Olympics in China, and protests of human rights violations follow the Olympic flame on its journey around the world, it is disconcerting to hear the Chinese government claim the Dalai Lama, the head of the Tibetan government-in-exile, is inciting violence and dissent in Tibet. Nothing could be further from my limited experience of the man. But I certainly do not know much about Tibetan history, and I wanted to know more. At least enough to justify my belief that the Dalai Lama is, if anything, part of the solution to the conflict with the Chinese, not part of the problem. This excellent book by Thomas Laird does just that. Laird spent over 60 hours interviewing the Dalai Lama and tries to faithfully recreate the Dalai Lama's understanding of Tibetan history along with providing a full account of his own research in this area. I found the book compelling reading, and especially appreciated the Dalai Lama's explanation of the Buddhist idea of reincarnation and what that means in Tibet.

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***

High Country by Nevada Barr

High Country

Another Anna Pigeon mystery, this one taking place in Yosemite National Park. These Anna Pigeon books have become my favorites for airplane fights. They are interesting, well-written, and take only a couple of hours to finish. Perfect!

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***

The Other Side of the Bridge by Mary Lawson

The Other Side of the Bridge

Another interesting book from new author, Mary Lawson. Like her previous book, Crow Lake, this story of a family takes place in a small town in northern Canada. I found the characters not as finely drawn as in her previous book, but I liked the way the story wound back and forth from the past to the present. A good portrait, I think, of small town life in the 1940s.

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March 2008

***

Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

Cold Mountain

After having enjoyed Charles Frazier's second book, Thirteen Moons, so throughly last month, I decided to get a second dose of Frazier's beautiful prose by re-reading his first book, Cold Mountain. I guess it might be possible to rotate these two books every month for a couple of years and never grow tired of them. Frazier has a telling eye for detail, and uses it wonderfully well to create the emotional mood of the characters. His meticulous research, his subtle use of period-appropriate vocabulary, and his understanding of the natural world, all combine to give the reader a sense of place that rivals in every way the best of our nature writers. I would buy any book Charles Frazier cared to write.

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***

Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier

Night Train to Lisbon

Everything about his book suggested to me I should like it. First, it was highly recommended by a friend of mine, and I was excited to finally find it in a Netherlands bookstore, after searching fruitlessly for it for over a year. Then, it is my kind of story: a man has a chance encounter with a woman and embarks on a journey of the soul in which he comes to know himself for who he truly is. Isabel Allende, a great storyteller herself, is quoted on the front of the book saying it was "one of the best books I have read in a long time." Will I be forgiven if I say I struggled to finish the damn thing? Seriously. I seldom stop reading books, once I start, but I just found the dialog in this book unbelievable. Characters, people I know, just don't talk in such complete and polished sentences, about such rarefied topics. (I probably hang out in the wrong circles.) And I thought stories were suppose to show, instead of tell. Overall, a major disappointment.

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***

The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions by David Quammen

Song of the Dodo

I first read this book 10 years or so ago, and thought then it was one of the finest science books I ever read. It is still, with this reading, one of my favorites. Written in the form of an extended essay, it conveys not just the facts of science, but the emotion of it. Why do people do science, anyway? Quammen lets you see--and feel-- that for yourself. I wanted to read this book again as part of my exploration of evolutionary biology. Quammen's writing on Alfred Russell Wallace, the co-discovered of evolution with Charles Darwin, is extraordinary. But so is Quammen's gusto in throwing himself into situations where he can see first hand what our current state of knowledge is. Quammen's quirky essays in Outside magazine were what first attracted me to him. But this book is why I keep reading him. And, as a bonus, he was giving a lecture on campus and I got him to sign my copy. Now this book will be in my library forever.

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February 2008

***

Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier

Thirteen Moons

I can already tell this is going to be one of my top five books for all of 2008. If it's not, I can't imagine the wonders awaiting me. Charles Frazier is not only a wonderful storyteller, but his ability to cause me to pause and read passages over and over again, just for the music of the words, and the powerful emotions they evoke in me is extraordinary. I savored this book, and I might well read it again this year, just to experience its delights for another few hours.

Set in the mid-nineteenth century, it tells the story of Will Cooper, an orphaned boy, and the Cherokee Nation that takes him in as one of its own. It is a story of heartbreak and triumph, as I suppose all good novels are. But I found it to be a most personal story, too. Meaningful to me in ways that still aren't clear to me. An amazing book, and one that could easily find its way onto my Top Ten of All Time favorites.

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***

Over the Edge of the World by Laurence Bergreen

Over the Edge of the World

This is a most interesting book about Ferdinand Magellan's circumnavigation of the globe in the sixteenth century. I'm always amazed (I don't know why, since I'm certainly old enough to know better by now) at how at odds my grade school history education is with how things really happened. This is a fascinating story of an extremely complex man, leading a fractious crew on the ultimate journey of discovery. It relies heavily on Antonio Pigafetta's remarkable journal of the voyage, and describes in great detail the dangers and sights of the journey, from a mutinous crew, to dangerous natives, to the privations of life on ship. I highly recommend this book to people interested in this remarkable journey.

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***

The Mission Song by John le Carré

The Mission Song

John le Carré has been concentrating on Africa lately, and here is another political thriller from one of the best writers in this genre. There is nothing particularly special about this book, but it did fill the hours of a long, trans-Atlantic flight, which was its sole purpose.

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January 2008

***

A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines by Janna Levin

A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines

Here is a most interesting book by the intellegent and imaginative writer, Jenna Levin, a cosmologist. The effect this book had on me was similar to the first book I ever read by Dave Eggers. You realize you are in the presence of someone who can take you soaring on flights of fancy without ever letting you lose sight of the truth. This innovative, compelling story alternates between the lives of Alan Turing and Kurt Gödel, both geniuses, and both leading tragic lives. I couldn't put the book down until I had finished it. And I still don't know where I stand on the central question addressed in the book: “Where is God in 1 + 1 = 2?” But I know I've been thinking about it every second since I put this book down. This is science writing at its best.

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***

Datums and Map Projections: For Remote Sensing GIS and Surveying by Jonathan Iliffe

Datums and Map Projections

I don't normally add work-related books to this list, but I am going to make an exception in this case because this little book is amazingly lucid about map projections. Most map projection books are either too technical, too focused on a particular application, or are too boring to be read. This book is none of those things. Plus, I think the author actually understands the process by which the 3D world is committed to a map. Always a plus in a book like this. My only quibble is that I wish the author had spelled out a little more directly that the datum used to locate latitude and longtitude on the 3D Earth does not have to be the same as, and often isn't, the same datum that is used to produce the map projection. There is great confusion about this. The GeoTIFF standard, which assumes the same datum is used for both, is the most common example of this confusion. A new edition is coming out February 15th. I've already ordered mine. This is one book I definitely want in my library!

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***

The Pine Island Paradox by Kathleen Dean Moore

The Pine Island Paradox

My favorite way to spend an evening is to settle down in one of the big, overstuffed chairs at the local coffee shop with a latte and a book of essays. I'm pretty sure essays, and nature essays in particular, are my favorite form of expression. I love to know what someone else is thinking, and how they came to think it. And I love to compare notes with my own experiences in nature. This is the third book of essays I've read by Kathleen Dean Moore, and maybe the best of the lot. She is a philosophy professor and about my age, with children my children's ages, and I am always thinking to myself when I am reading her, “Here is a person I'd like to go hiking with.” I haven't spent a great deal of time in the Pacific Northwest that she writes about, but my oldest son just moved to Seattle, so I plan to visit soon. Meantime, I have to be careful talking this to the coffee shop. Several of her essays had me teary-eyed, and one, about her father, left me weeping out loud. Left-over grief from his passing last October, no doubt, but it felt wonderful to share that experience with someone who understood the way it feels.

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***

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

A Farewell to Arms

I'm not sure how you get to be my age, reading as many books as I do each year (and an English major to boot!), and have managed not to read a book by Ernest Hemingway. But this is my first. I guess I meant to do it earlier, because I apparently bought this book in the 1970s. It cost $1.65 new, and it appears I paid $1.25 for it at a used book store that still exists here in Fort Collins. The best part about this book was finding a $10 bill pressed between the pages. I wish all my reading returned such handsome dividends.

I suppose I knew Hemingway is famous for his spare writing style, but I had no idea I was in for nearly 350 pages of one declarative sentence after the other. I thought I was going to go crazy in the first 100 pages, then the style (or perhaps the story) began to grow on me and I settled down and enjoyed the last half of the book. I won't be rushing out for another one, but I hope I come across it before another 50 years goes by.

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***

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

Crow Lake

This is the debut novel by Canadian writer Mary Lawson. Not the kind of book I would normally read, my wife bought this some time ago and left it sitting on a shelf. I think one of the reasons I love to read is because of books like this. Surprising books. Books that grab you by the throat when you are wandering around without expectations and won't release you. This was an absolute delight for 7/8ths of the book, and then I think the author must have realized she was on the verge of writing a most wonderful first novel and lost her nerve a little bit. She started telling, rather than showing, just at the end of the story, and put the slightest bit of tarnish on an otherwise shiny gem of a book.

This is the story of Kate, a seven year-old girl, and her two (much) older brothers and her younger sister, just after tradgey strikes the family and the parents unexpectedly die. It is the story of sacrifice and triumph, and dreams lost and found over the next 20 years. Sensitively told, uplifting, and thoroughly compelling. I can't wait for the next book from this fine writer.

Last Updated: 20 March 2011