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Summer books

August 21, 2008 pm31 5:34 pm

Not summer reading. Summer books. Summer reading has been a little more than half of Mike and Sue Klonsky’s small schools book, and a few slow chapters of First Farmers, The Origins of Agricultural Society (which may be just a tad too technical for me, but it is fascinating when I force myself to struggle with it). I also snagged a copy of The Atlas of Changing South Africa (revised 2001, I once skimmed the original 1994 edition), but I have more dipped in to read maps than actually read text.

Ah, but summer books! I picked up a buttload of birthday presents last month (half a year late on the pickup):

  • Bad Blood (Linda Fairstein). I have no idea what it is, but she was a District Attorney here in New York? I think I have to read this.
  • Phillip’s Atlas of World History. For the collection. I have quite a few old maps and atlases, and current atlases, and historical atlases. And this one is new to me (not just the binding, the individual maps as well.
  • A People’s History of American Empire (Howard Zinn). Nope, I didn’t already have this. I will dip into it here and there, but I don’t plan to read it straight through.
  • cartographica extraordinaire. The Historical Map Transformed. (Rumsey and Punt) Wow. True coffee table book. The publisher, ESRI, is a major GIS vendor. This 13″ x 14″ hardcover blends historical maps with modern data via GIS and related computer mapping. The results are gorgeous. Stunning.

(other late-pickup presents were a set of wooden dominoes, hetian rose — it’s a tea, but what is it? who knows? — and two teas, one white, one green, labeled only in Chinese)

My reading to do list:

  • Read Bad Blood
  • Finish Collapse (I got done with the fun stuff, but bogged down in Jared Diamond’s conclusions)
  • Finish Klonsky, and write a review.
  • Finish First Farmers? Nah, I think I will restart next summer. Or over a vacation.
  • I saw a review in The New Yorker for a new book called Traffic – Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us) by Tom Vanderbilt . I think I want to read it.
  • Find and read a readable math book (read no math this summer. Boo. Hiss. Maybe H.A. Thurston’s The Number System?)
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