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  What Book Are You Currently Reading? (search mode)
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Author Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading?  (Read 336528 times)
DemPGH
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« on: January 14, 2013, 04:48:15 pm »

Sam Kean is a great popular science writer. A couple of years ago I was regaled and also educated by The Disappearing Spoon, which tells the story of the history of the development of the periodic chart of the elements. Wow, does THAT sound boring. Nope. Not at all. He relates anecdotes about the discovery of the elements, the politics surrounding the Nobel Prize, and personal histories of folks who made a splash in the discovery of the elements that had me page-turning.

Getting ready to start his The Violinist's Thumb concerning the genetic code. Looking forward to it.
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DemPGH
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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2014, 03:49:16 pm »

The September 2014 issue of The Ricardian Bulletin showed up today on my doorstep, so there's some reading for this evening. Smiley

I have Edward IV and the Wars of the Roses by David Santiuste to get to in a while. It's about the king as a military leader and his sterling record in battle, which outshines other better known kings.
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DemPGH
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« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2015, 05:39:09 pm »

Fatal Colours: Towton 1461 by George Goodwin.

Great, love his writing. He even includes a "dramatis personae" for the general reader where he explains who is who. I don't like historical fiction precisely because it's fiction; rather, I like real history with primary source references told like a story. Goodwin does just that. He goes into relevant matters that led up to the battle. And yeah, Edward IV dealt with those thuggish Courtenays (of Devon) in the aftermath.

15th century England is a gigantic ball of yarn, and considering that, Goodwin uses important episodes to illustrate the machinations and events behind England's bloodiest battle, Towton, or "Bloody Palm Sunday." Good read.
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DemPGH
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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2015, 03:24:19 pm »

Michael Hicks' The Wars of the Roses.

Interesting, if sprawling coverage. I've always preferred a more limited definition of what constituted the Wars of the Roses - i.e., the conflict between Queen Margaret/Henry VI and the Duke of York/Earl of Warwick. Warwick flipped sides and was killed along with Henry VI's son in 1471 at Barnet and Tewkesbury. Henry VI was killed/died shortly thereafter. And that ended it. There were residual effects, but I'm not sure that's still the Wars of the Roses.

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DemPGH
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« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2015, 03:19:23 pm »

It Started With Copernicus by Howard Margolis from about 2002 or 2003. It's a very good read. He destroys the argument that there was no such thing as the scientific revolution and then takes most of the book to cite examples and show how around 1600 both method and knowledge started to make sudden and quick leaps forward.

One of my heroes is Francis Bacon, who argued in Novum Organum that what's needed is an entirely new method for the creation of knowledge. With that came really a new way of thinking about and interacting with the world. To me that's why there were such sudden leaps in discovery and technology. The idea that everything was revealed in antiquity had to go.

Also the latest edition of The Ricardian has a couple of very interesting essays, one on the development and use of field guns during the Wars of the Roses, and one on the diet of Richard III. There's also some interesting insight into the "court of chivalry" where one person was offended by another person, a duel was scheduled, weapons were selected, letters exchanged, but because of Henry VI's inability to administrate (due to mental illness), the duel appears never to have taken place. The Bulletin features some beautiful pictures from the funeral back in March.
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DemPGH
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« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2015, 03:38:57 pm »

Reading Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi as my bedtime reading right now. Very good, well written true crime story. It was of course made into Goodfellas, one of my very favorite movies of all time. It's very close to the movie, and most of Henry Hill's voiceovers in the movie are right from the book. The best adaptations are the ones that stick close to the source material, and this does.
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DemPGH
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« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2015, 05:06:26 pm »

Books for Christmas!

The very recently published and released Richard III: A Ruler and His Reputation. I've leafed through it, and so far very good. I'm always interested in a writer's take on Bosworth, and he does provide some interesting thoughts. Looking forward to the whole thing. Of course these books now are after some of the recent archaeological finds at Bosworth (confirming gunfire, for one thing) and the analysis of Richard's skeleton, so I'm keenly interested in any new insights.

Also Keith Dockray's recent book about Edward IV where he offers up snippets of letters and chronicles that he finds important from the time and sort of comments on them. He starts out by comparing Edward to Henry VIII for some odd reason (it would be a good upper level undergraduate book, so maybe to get people thinking comparatively), whereas I see nothing similar between the two except that they both got fat. So did Queen Anne, for that matter. Anyway, the meat of it looks interesting. Looking forward to it.
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