27 November 2008

Random books for Thanksgiving day

Engrossing reading to settle down your stomach after a heavy Thanksgiving meal.

We have so far made good use of our Thanksgiving day by cleaning out and rearranging the furniture in a heavily used room that was on its way to demonstrate the validity of the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Accordingly, it required the spending of quite a bit of energy to lower the entropy to a more acceptable level. The ordeal included the emptying and repositioning of 2 tall bookcases followed by the reshelving of the books.

During the process 3 books I had read a while back attracted my attention.

The Best of H. P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre (1982) is left from the days, more than 15 years ago, when I was into Lovecraft. I read most of his stories and also Sprague de Camp's biography of him. Then I lost interest. But I still have his books and may one day try to catch up with the unspeakable Cthulhu again if I can ever figure out how to pronounce that word.

Niko Tinbergen's Curious Naturalists (1958) is an enjoyable little book chronicling the great biologist's nature studies. My favorite quote from the book (actually from the preface):
...some fields of biology seem sometimes to lose touch with biology's original object—living things in their natural surroundings.
Great Scientific Experiments by Ron Harré (1981) is about "20 experiments that changed our view of the world". I was never too impressed with that book; perhaps, because the writing wasn't very good. But now that my interest in the history of sciences has been rekindled, I may need to take another look at it.

1 comment:

Frank Anderson said...

Read up on your Lovecraft soon, so that the Old Ones eat you first upon their return!