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View Poll Results: Which books are your picks for the July 2014 MobileRead Book Club selection?
Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body by Neil Shubin 7 31.82%
Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age by Modris Eksteins 8 36.36%
Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach 5 22.73%
The Glory of Their Times by Lawrence Ritter 6 27.27%
The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013 edited by Siddhartha Mukherjee 5 22.73%
The Bible Unearthed by Israel Finkelstein & Neil Asher Silberman 5 22.73%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 22. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-01-2014, 12:50 AM   #1
WT Sharpe
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July 2014 Book Club Vote

July 2014 MobileRead Book Club Vote

Help us choose a book as the July 2014 eBook for the MobileRead Book Club. The poll will be open for 5 days. There will be no runoff vote unless the voting results a tie, in which case there will be a 3 day run-off poll. This is a visible poll: others can see how you voted. It is You may cast a vote for each book that appeals to you.

We will start the discussion thread for this book on July 20th. Select from the following Official Choices with three nominations each:

Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body by Neil Shubin
Amazon Au / Amazon Ca / Amazon UK / Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Google Play
Spoiler:
Amazon.com Review
Oliver Sacks on Your Inner Fish:
(Since the 1970 publication of Migraine, neurologist Oliver Sacks's unusual and fascinating case histories of "differently brained" people and phenomena—a surgeon with Tourette's syndrome, a community of people born totally colorblind, musical hallucinations, to name a few--have been marked by extraordinary compassion and humanity, focusing on the patient as much as the condition. His books include The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Awakenings (which inspired the Oscar-nominated film), and 2007's Musicophilia. He lives in New York City, where he is Professor of Clinical Neurology at Columbia University.)

Your Inner Fish is my favorite sort of book—an intelligent, exhilarating, and compelling scientific adventure story, one which will change forever how you understand what it means to be human.

The field of evolutionary biology is just beginning an exciting new age of discovery, and Neil Shubin's research expeditions around the world have redefined the way we now look at the origins of mammals, frogs, crocodiles, tetrapods, and sarcopterygian fish—and thus the way we look at the descent of humankind. One of Shubin's groundbreaking discoveries, only a year and a half ago, was the unearthing of a fish with elbows and a neck, a long-sought evolutionary "missing link" between creatures of the sea and land-dwellers.

My own mother was a surgeon and a comparative anatomist, and she drummed it into me, and into all of her students, that our own anatomy is unintelligible without a knowledge of its evolutionary origins and precursors. The human body becomes infinitely fascinating with such knowledge, which Shubin provides here with grace and clarity. Your Inner Fish shows us how, like the fish with elbows, we carry the whole history of evolution within our own bodies, and how the human genome links us with the rest of life on earth.

Shubin is not only a distinguished scientist, but a wonderfully lucid and elegant writer; he is an irrepressibly enthusiastic teacher whose humor and intelligence and spellbinding narrative make this book an absolute delight. Your Inner Fish is not only a great read; it marks the debut of a science writer of the first rank.


Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age by Modris Eksteins
Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Google Play / Kobo
Spoiler:
A rare and remarkable cultural history of World War I that unearths the roots of modernism
Dazzling in its originality, Rites of Spring probes the origins, impact, and aftermath of World War I, from the premiere of Stravinsky's ballet The Rite of Spring in 1913 to the death of Hitler in 1945. Recognizing that “The Great War was the psychological turning point . . . for modernism as a whole,” author Modris Eksteins examines the lives of ordinary people, works of modern literature, and pivotal historical events to redefine the way we look at our past and toward our future.


Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach
Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Google Play (ePub) / Kobo
Spoiler:
The alimentary canal—the much-maligned tube from mouth to rear—is as taboo, in its way, as the cadavers in Stiff, and as surreal as the universe of zero gravity explored in Packing for Mars. In Gulp we meet the scientists who tackle the questions no one else thinks—or has the courage—to ask. How much can you eat before your stomach bursts? Why doesn't the stomach digest itself? Can wine tasters really tell a $10 bottle from a $100 bottle? Why is crunchy food so appealing? Can constipation kill you? Did it kill Elvis? We go on location to a pet food taste-test lab, a fecal transplant, and into a live stomach to observe the fate of a meal.

Why is crunchy food so appealing? Why is it so hard to find words for flavors and smells? Why doesn’t the stomach digest itself? How much can you eat before your stomach bursts? Can constipation kill you? Did it kill Elvis? In Gulp we meet scientists who tackle the questions no one else thinks of—or has the courage to ask. We go on location to a pet-food taste-test lab, a fecal transplant, and into a live stomach to observe the fate of a meal. With Roach at our side, we travel the world, meeting murderers and mad scientists, Eskimos and exorcists (who have occasionally administered holy water rectally), rabbis and terrorists—who, it turns out, for practical reasons do not conceal bombs in their digestive tracts.

Like all of Roach's books, Gulp is as much about human beings as it is about human bodies.


The Glory of Their Times by Lawrence Ritter
Amazon US / Barnes & Noble
Spoiler:
When baseball great Ty Cobb died in 1961, Ritter got the idea to interview the few remaining contemporaries of Cobb before they too all died. The result was a highly respected best seller, an oral history.

"Almost perfect . . . a vivid, gentle, and humorous narrative, accompanied by marvelous photographs." - The New Yorker

"Easily the best baseball book ever produced by anyone." -- -- Cleveland Plain Dealer

"I could happily reread every summer for the rest of my life that greatest of all baseball books..." -- -- Stephen Jay Gould, The New York Times Book Review

"Quite simply the best sports book in recent memory." -- -- Wilfrid Sheed, The New York Times Book Review

"The single best baseball book of all time." -- -- Red Barber

"There's not a dull moment in the whole book." -- The Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer

"The Glory of Their Times will be around as long as baseball." -- -- Nelson Algren


The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013 edited by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Amazon Ca / Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / OverDrive
Spoiler:
Pulitzer Prize–winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee, a leading cancer physician and researcher, selects the year’s top science and nature writing from journalists who dive into their fields with curiosity and passion, delivering must-read articles from a wide array of fields.

Some of the more intriguing sounding titles in this collection of essays include "On Tenderness", "Beyond the Quantum Horizon", "Is Space Digital?", "The Sweet Spot in Time", "Machines of the Infinite", "Altered States", "Super Humanity", "Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?", "The Wisdom of Psychopaths", and much more.


The Bible Unearthed by Israel Finkelstein & Neil Asher Silberman
Amazon Au / Amazon Ca / Amazon UK / Amazon US
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:

The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts

In this groundbreaking work that sets apart fact and legend, authors Finkelstein and Silberman use significant archeological discoveries to provide historical information about biblical Israel and its neighbors.

In this iconoclastic and provocative work, leading scholars Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman draw on recent archaeological research to present a dramatically revised portrait of ancient Israel and its neighbors. They argue that crucial evidence (or a telling lack of evidence) at digs in Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon suggests that many of the most famous stories in the Bible -- the wanderings of the patriarchs, the Exodus from Egypt, Joshua's conquest of Canaan, and David and Solomon's vast empire; -- reflect the world of the later authors rather than actual historical facts.

Challenging the fundamentalist readings of the scriptures and marshaling the latest archaeological evidence to support its new vision of ancient Israel, The Bible Unearthed offers a fascinating and controversial perspective on when and why the Bible was written and why it possesses such great spiritual and emotional power today.
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:01 AM   #2
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To be honest, reading a book about War given today's climate for War is not a good idea.

Given the nonsense going on with Hobby Lobby and religious nonsense in the USA, reading about the Bible is a really bad idea as well.

Please, don't vote for the war book or the bible book. Neither of which is a good idea.
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:27 AM   #3
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John, I'll have you know that I voted for The Glory of Their Times. However, I would not be adverse to reading any of the selections even the "war" book or the "bible" book. There is always learning for me in any book I read.
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:42 AM   #4
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John, I'll have you know that I voted for The Glory of Their Times. However, I would not be adverse to reading any of the selections even the "war" book or the "bible" book. There is always learning for me in any book I read.
Learning is good. Bad ideas are bad ideas regardless and those two books are very bad ideas to read when we do have other books in the list much more worthy of reading.
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Old 07-06-2014, 05:58 PM   #5
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Pretty sure that telling people what they should and should not read is partly what got the general population into both of your above mentioned sensitive situations.
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:34 PM   #6
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If someone doesn't speak up, nobody will and then we have an even better chance of getting into trouble.
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:52 PM   #7
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Well, we almost got a science book at the last minute, but one of the history books held firm. Anyone want to go for best two-out-of-three?

Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age by Modris Eksteins it is. See everyone on the 20th.
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:57 PM   #8
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Well, we almost got a science book at the last minute, but one of the history books held firm. Anyone want to go for best two-out-of-three?

Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age by Modris Eksteins it is. See everyone on the 20th.
I'm of the mind we give the two anatomy books a runoff vote.

Last edited by JSWolf; 07-06-2014 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 07-06-2014, 10:14 PM   #9
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I would rather have read either, but Rites of Spring looks promising. I just downloaded a copy.
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Old 07-06-2014, 10:19 PM   #10
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I would rather have read either, but Rites of Spring looks promising. I just downloaded a copy.
If you really want a book about war that's really good Unbroken is it. But I would not recommend a war or religious book as I feel both topics aren't really something I'd want to read right now.
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Old 07-07-2014, 12:46 AM   #11
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Unfortunately Rites of Spring isn't available at my library, although Blood Rites (Dresden) and Equal Rites (Discworld) both show as available when I search for it. Those sound more down my alley anyway. My taste in non-fiction is very limited, I am trying to read more, but it is very hit or miss and reading something that I know isn't going to scratch a particular itch doesn't help my chances in finishing it.
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Old 07-13-2014, 02:37 PM   #12
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Rites of Spring is couponable at Kobo

FYI This month's selection is very reasonably priced for anyone lucky enough to get a high value code from the Kobo contest.

Claudia
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