The following are mini-reviews of books I read in 2003.
Also see the full index of books I've read.
The Lying Stones of Marrakech: Penultimate Reflections in Natural
by Stephen Jay Gould
The Molecule Hunt: Archaeology and the Search for Ancient
by Martin Jones
An interesting subject and what promised to be an interesting book.
However, the going got a little tedious with page after page of prose
about this experiment and that experiment, each extracting 100-300 base
pairs from some fossil - would an occasional diagram, graph, or picture
have been too much to ask? For instance, discussions of the spread of
human populations cried out for maps with arrows! I gave up about 2/3's
of the way through the book and absorbed myself in Wodehouse (see below).
The frequent references to the late
Allan Wilson were
not unexpected, but bothered me nonetheless. A book I read many years ago
about the "Mitochondrial Eve" controversy portayed Wilson's academic
political machinations during the controversy in an unfavorable light,
so my preconceptions about him are somewhat tainted. (Joann C. Gutin's
Peopled the Planet?" discusses the controversy and then branches off
into a fascinating look at what linguistics research reveals about ancient
populations. Sean D. Pitman, M.D. - apparently an Intelligent Design
enthusiast - has written an interesting article on mitochondrial and
nuclear DNA mutation rates,
Mutation Rates and Evolution".)
Indiscretions of Archie
Love Among the Chickens
A Damsel in Distress
The Intrusion of Jimmy
by P. G. (Pelham Grenville) Wodehouse
Addictive! His stories never fail to bring a smile to my face. I
downloaded these stories in plain-text format from, of all places,
the Russian Wodehouse Society!
(The stories are now available at
John Halifax, Gentleman
by Dinah Maria (Mulock) Craik
Available in an
1897 edition with original illustrations, or in
format. Also see Sally Mitchell's on-line book,
Mulock Craik, which includes a chapter,
Halifax, Gentleman: Epitome of an Age". And my own
"Did George Eliot Write This?".
Project Gutenberg eBook:
by Anne Brontë
Project Gutenberg eBook:
Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and
Other Confusions of Our Time
by Michael Shermer
Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook
by James W. Loewen
Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations
by Al Franken
I got this book for Christmas. My previous reading for the past few months
has consisted of computer papers downloaded from the Internet, some novels
downloaded from Project Gutenberg,
some P. G. Wodehouse stories downloaded from the
Russian Wodehouse Society,
and mystery and science fiction short stories downloaded from
various sites ... I was too lazy to
keep track of what I was reading!
Also see AlFrankenWeb: A Fair and
Balanced Fan Page.