Thursday, June 3, 2010

books

Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson - "The book that started the environmental movement." Outdated of course, but all the more fascinating because of it. It's astounding the reckless environmental poisoning that went on, by the government in many cases despite protests from affected residents, in the first half of the century. It really makes you wonder what kind of horrendous things we're cluelessly relying on now that will look unfathomably idiotic in 50 years.

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, by Lynne Truss - I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard at a book. About punctuation, of all things. Anyone who loves language will adore it and be inadvertently drawn into the ferocious battles of punctuation that really no one should care so much about. Long live the Oxford comma! Put the period outside of the quotation marks unless a whole sentence is quoted! Wanton hyphenation be damned! (But please put one back in Zero-Tolerance in the title...) Woe is the forgotten semicolon! Her defense of artistically intentional mispunctuation got me more riled up than pro-life Bushies. And yet the ending section of the book, in which she describes the artistry of punctuation when the rules are less definite, was a touching ode to the beauty of the written word. Must-read!!

The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, by Richard Feynman - Typical Feynman. Always entertaining. This one made me work on being able to tap in n beats per measure with one hand and n+1 with the other (he could allegedly do 10 and 11. Crazy... I'm still shaky on 5 and 6.) What Do You Care What Other People Think is still my favorite though.

1 comment:

Laz said...

Surely You're Joking is my favorite