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Old 06-20-2014, 01:02 AM   #1
WT Sharpe
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July 2014 Book Club Nominations

MobileRead Book Club
July 2014 Nominations


Help us select the book that the MobileRead Book Club will read for July, 2014.

The nominations will run through midnight EST June 30 or until 10 books have made the list. The poll will then be posted and will remain open for five days.

Book selection category for July is:

Non-Fiction

In order for a book to be included in the poll it needs THREE NOMINATIONS (original nomination, a second and a third).

How Does This Work?
The Mobile Read Book Club (MRBC) is an informal club that requires nothing of you. Each month a book is selected by polling. On the last week of that month a discussion thread is started for the book. If you want to participate feel free. There is no need to "join" or sign up. All are welcome.

How Does a Book Get Selected?
Each book that is nominated will be listed in a poll at the end of the nomination period. The book that polls the most votes will be the official selection.

How Many Nominations Can I Make?
Each participant has 3 nominations. You can nominate a new book for consideration or nominate (second, third) one that has already been nominated by another person.

How Do I Nominate a Book?
Please just post a message with your nomination. If you are the FIRST to nominate a book, please try to provide an abstract to the book so others may consider their level of interest.

How Do I Know What Has Been Nominated?
Just follow the thread. This message will be updated with the status of the nominations as often as I can. If one is missed, please just post a message with a multi-quote of the 3 nominations and it will be added to the list ASAP.

When is the Poll?
The poll thread will open at the end of the nomination period, or once there have been 10 books with 3 nominations each. At that time a link to the initial poll thread will be posted here and this thread will be closed.

The floor is open to nominations. Please comment if you discover a nomination is not available as an ebook in your area.


Official choices with three nominations each:

(1) 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.


(2) 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.


(3) 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.


(4) 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


(5) 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.


(6) 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.


The nominations are now closed.

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 07-01-2014 at 01:46 AM. Reason: Thru #39
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Old 06-20-2014, 01:02 AM   #2
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Wondering if a particular book is available in your country? The following spoiler contains a list of bookstores outside the United States you can search. If you don't see a bookstore on this list for your country, find one that is, send me the link via PM, and I'll add it to the list.

Spoiler:
Australian
Angus Robertson
Booktopia
Borders
Dymocks
Fishpond
Google

Canada
Amazon. Make sure you are logged out. Then go to the Kindle Store. Search for a book. After the search results come up, in the upper right corner of the screen, change the country to Canada and search away.
Google
Sony eBookstore (Upper right corner switch to/from US/CA)

UK
BooksOnBoard (In the upper right corner is a way to switch to the UK store)
Amazon
Foyle's
Google
Penguin
Random House
Waterstones
WH Smith


*** The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013 edited by Siddhartha Mukherjee [WT Sharpe, GA Russell, fantasyfan]
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.


** Gaviotas: A Village to Reinvent the World by Alan Weisman [Billi, sun surfer]
Amazon (Germany)
Spoiler:
Los Llanos—the rain-leached, eastern savannas of war-ravaged Colombia—are among the most brutal environments on Earth and an unlikely setting for one of the most hopeful environmental stories ever told. Here, in the late 1960s, a young Colombian development worker named Paolo Lugari wondered if the nearly uninhabited, infertile llanos could be made livable for his country’s growing population. He had no idea that nearly four decades later, his experiment would be one of the world’s most celebrated examples of sustainable living: a permanent village called Gaviotas. In the absence of infrastructure, the first Gaviotans invented wind turbines to convert mild breezes into energy, hand pumps capable of tapping deep sources of water, and solar collectors efficient enough to heat and even sterilize drinking water under perennially cloudy llano skies. Over time, the Gaviotans’ experimentation has even restored an ecosystem: in the shelter of two million Caribbean pines planted as a source of renewable commercial resin, a primordial rain forest that once covered the llanos is unexpectedly reestablishing itself.


** Worm: The First Digital World War by Mark Bowden [Billi, Mims]
Amazon (Germany)
Spoiler:
It's a few days ago since Conficker started it's work in November 2008 but I think it is nevertheless an interesting read about cyber crimes.


*** Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body by Neil Shubin [WT Sharpe, Mims, BelleZora]
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.


** In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Mate [ccowie, sun surfer]
No links provided.
Spoiler:
From Goodreads:

He would probably dispute it, but Gabor Maté is something of a compassion machine. Diligently treating the drug addicts of Vancouver's notorious Downtown Eastside with sympathy in his heart and legislative reform in mind can't be easy. But Maté never judges. His book is a powerful call-to-arms, both for the decriminalization of drugs and for a more sympathetic and informed view of addiction. As Maté observes, "Those whom we dismiss as 'junkies' are not creatures from a different world, only men and women mired at the extreme end of a continuum on which, here or there, all of us might well locate ourselves." In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts begins by introducing us to many of Dr. Maté's most dire patients who steal, cheat, sell sex, and otherwise harm themselves for their next hit. Maté looks to the root causes of addiction, applying a clinical and psychological view to the physical manifestation and offering some enlightening answers for why people inflict such catastrophe on themselves.

Finally, he takes aim at the hugely ineffectual, largely U.S.-led War on Drugs (and its worldwide followers), challenging the wisdom of fighting drugs instead of aiding the addicts, and showing how controversial measures such as safe injection sites are measurably more successful at reducing drug-related crime and the spread of disease than anything most major governments have going. It's not easy reading, but we ignore his arguments at our peril. When it comes to combating the drug trade and the ravages of addiction, society can use all the help it can get.


* Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life by Daniel C. Dennett [WT Sharpe]
Amazon US Preorder / Barnes & Noble Preorder / Google Play Preorder / Simon & Schuster
Spoiler:
In a book that is both groundbreaking and accessible, Daniel C. Dennett, whom Chet Raymo of The Boston Globe calls "one of the most provocative thinkers on the planet," focuses his unerringly logical mind on the theory of natural selection, showing how Darwin's great idea transforms and illuminates our traditional view of humanity's place in the universe. Dennett vividly describes the theory itself and then extends Darwin's vision with impeccable arguments to their often surprising conclusions, challenging the views of some of the most famous scientists of our day.


*** The Bible Unearthed by Israel Finkelstein & Neil Asher Silberman [sun surfer, BelleZora, Mims]
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.


*** Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach [JSWolf, ccowie, Lutraa]
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.


*** Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age by Modris Eksteins [BelleZora, issybird, Billi]
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.


*** The Glory of Their Times by Lawrence Ritter [GA Russell, issybird, ccowie]
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


* John Wayne: The Life and Legend by Scott Eyman [John F]
OverDrive
Spoiler:
From Amazon:

John Wayne was one of Hollywood’s most famous and most successful actors, but he was more than that. He became a symbol of America itself. He epitomized the Western film, which for many people epitomized America....


The nominations are now closed.

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 07-01-2014 at 01:46 AM. Reason: Thru #42
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Old 06-20-2014, 01:53 AM   #3
WT Sharpe
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Books of essays by various authors are always fun. If you don't care for the style of the author you're currently reading, there's always the next one. And since few topics can match science for new, novel, interesting, and thought-provoking discoveries, I nominate The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013, edited by Siddhartha Mukherjee.

Available at Amazon Ca, Amazon US, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and OverDrive.

Quote:
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.
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:31 PM   #4
Mims
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I'll nominate the The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester.

Quote:
Hidden within the rituals of the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary is a fascinating mystery. Professor James Murray was the distinguished editor of the OED project. Dr. William Chester Minor, an American surgeon who had served in the Civil War, was one of the most prolific contributors to the dictionary, sending thousands of neat, hand-written quotations from his home. After numerous refusals from Minor to visit his home in Oxford, Murray set out to find him. It was then that Murray would finally learn the truth about Minor - that, in addition to being a masterly wordsmith, he was also an insane murderer locked up in Broadmoor, England's harshest asylum for criminal lunatics. The Professor and the Madman is the unforgettable story of the madness and genius that contributed to one of the greatest literary achievements in the history of English letters.
Nomination withdrawn. Or in the immortal words of Gilda Radner, "Never mind".

Last edited by Mims; 06-21-2014 at 12:56 AM. Reason: Withdraw nomination
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Old 06-20-2014, 11:17 PM   #5
yekim54
What the Dog Saw
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[QUOTE=Mims;2856008]I'll nominate the The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester.

This has already been a MobileRead book club selection (March 2009).
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Old 06-21-2014, 01:00 AM   #6
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[QUOTE=yekim54;2856074]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mims View Post
I'll nominate the The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester.

This has already been a MobileRead book club selection (March 2009).
Well that probably explains why I bought and read it.
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Old 06-21-2014, 01:11 AM   #7
WT Sharpe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mims View Post
I'll nominate the The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester.

Nomination withdrawn. Or in the immortal words of Gilda Radner, "Never mind".
Quote:
Originally Posted by yekim54 View Post
This has already been a MobileRead book club selection (March 2009).
Wow. That was before my time. I didn't join until June of that year in hopes of winning a Kindle in a contest MobileRead was having at the time.
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Old 06-21-2014, 06:30 AM   #8
Billi
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I would like to nominate

Alan Wiseman: Gaviotas: A Village to Reinvent the World

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.de/Gaviotas-Villag...3340300&sr=1-1

Quote:
Los Llanos—the rain-leached, eastern savannas of war-ravaged Colombia—are among the most brutal environments on Earth and an unlikely setting for one of the most hopeful environmental stories ever told. Here, in the late 1960s, a young Colombian development worker named Paolo Lugari wondered if the nearly uninhabited, infertile llanos could be made livable for his country’s growing population. He had no idea that nearly four decades later, his experiment would be one of the world’s most celebrated examples of sustainable living: a permanent village called Gaviotas.
In the absence of infrastructure, the first Gaviotans invented wind turbines to convert mild breezes into energy, hand pumps capable of tapping deep sources of water, and solar collectors efficient enough to heat and even sterilize drinking water under perennially cloudy llano skies. Over time, the Gaviotans’ experimentation has even restored an ecosystem: in the shelter of two million Caribbean pines planted as a source of renewable commercial resin, a primordial rain forest that once covered the llanos is unexpectedly reestablishing itself.
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Old 06-21-2014, 06:36 AM   #9
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And I would like to nominate:

Mark Bowden: Worm: The First Digital World War

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.de/Worm-First-Digi..._1_1_bnp_1_kin

It's a few days ago since conficker started it work in November 2008 but I think it is nevertheless an interesting read about cyber crimes.
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Old 06-21-2014, 11:07 AM   #10
WT Sharpe
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I nominate Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body by Neil Shubin, a book that has been made into a television series.

Quote:
Oliver Sacks on Your Inner Fish:

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.
Links: Amazon Australia / Amazon Canada / Amazon UK / Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Google Play
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Old 06-22-2014, 10:37 AM   #11
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I'd like to nominate In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Mate. This is an enormously fascinating book about addictions. Most people's lives are touched in some way by addictions of one type or another. This is the most insightful book on the topic, that covers all the important related issues, but also thoroughly readable with compelling stories.

From Goodreads:
e would probably dispute it, but Gabor Maté is something of a compassion machine. Diligently treating the drug addicts of Vancouver's notorious Downtown Eastside with sympathy in his heart and legislative reform in mind can't be easy. But Maté never judges. His book is a powerful call-to-arms, both for the decriminalization of drugs and for a more sympathetic and informed view of addiction. As Maté observes, "Those whom we dismiss as 'junkies' are not creatures from a different world, only men and women mired at the extreme end of a continuum on which, here or there, all of us might well locate ourselves." In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts begins by introducing us to many of Dr. Maté's most dire patients who steal, cheat, sell sex, and otherwise harm themselves for their next hit. Maté looks to the root causes of addiction, applying a clinical and psychological view to the physical manifestation and offering some enlightening answers for why people inflict such catastrophe on themselves.

Finally, he takes aim at the hugely ineffectual, largely U.S.-led War on Drugs (and its worldwide followers), challenging the wisdom of fighting drugs instead of aiding the addicts, and showing how controversial measures such as safe injection sites are measurably more successful at reducing drug-related crime and the spread of disease than anything most major governments have going. It's not easy reading, but we ignore his arguments at our peril. When it comes to combating the drug trade and the ravages of addiction, society can use all the help it can get.
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:00 PM   #12
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I just got the word that Daniel C. Dennett's Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life will be available as an ebook in the US at any rate on July 1st. I'd heard of this book before, but the following rather lengthy review by an Amazon member convinced me to give this book my third and final nomination.

Spoiler:
Good but not for the faint of heart! July 7, 2002
By Atheen M. Wilson

Format:Paperback

An online friend with similar interests, Steven Haines, recommended Daniel C. Dennett's book Darwin's Dangerous Idea to me some time ago. (Last year, as I recall). So enthusiastic was/is he over it, that he actually sent me a copy! After reading the book--and it took me weeks rather than days to do it--I have to say that I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand I definitely found it dense with information, a thorough critique of Darwinism and its modern variants, and certainly a very interesting work. On the other hand I found it very slow and difficult reading.

The book doesn't simply lay before the reader the author's observations and research on his topic like so many others. In fact Dennett himself points out this fact in his introduction when he notes that the volume is a book on science not a work of science. As he rightfully notes, "Science is not done by quoting authorities, however eloquent and eminent, and then evaluating their arguments (p. 11)." What he does do is describe the topic of Darwinian evolution and its impact on society, then presents the observations and research of diverse professionals in the field, critically dissecting them for the benefit and edification of the reader. It should be noted that Dennett is not himself an anthropologist or biologist, but he is trained in critical analysis. As Distinguished Arts and Sciences Professor at Tufts University and director of that institution's Center for Cognitive Studies, he is considered a philosopher whose specialty is consciousness as high-level, abstract thinking and is known as a leading proponent of the computational model of the mind. As such he is also considered a philosophical leader among the artificial intelligence (AI) community. His credentials, therefore, give him more than adequate qualifications for performing the above noted dissection with precision and thoroughness.

It is sometimes difficult for the average person, especially one who is not specifically trained in a field of research or in the rules of logic, to be objective about the literature in an area outside their specialty. The power of the written word, the forceful current of a persuasive argument, and the care with which confirming evidence is presented and refuting evidence suppressed or camouflaged, all make it difficult to see the flaws in some of the popular works on evolution--or any other science. Therein lies the value of Professor Dennett's efforts in DDI. He carefully points out the errors and strengths of the authors he cites. As he writes, "There is no such thing as a sound Argument from Authority, but authorities can be persuasive, sometimes rightly and sometimes wrongly. I try to sort this all out....(p. 11)." And he does so step by step so that the reader can follow the logic or illogic of the arguments under discussion. In doing so he takes on some pretty visible and popular authors, Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Dawkins among the better known perhaps, and some very high level math-physics intellects, most notably Stuart Kaufmann and Roger Penrose.

I found that the work almost seemed like a collection of essays of varying length on assorted topics with all of them linked by a common theme. The book is probably best read with this in mind, since it's difficult to digest in a single sitting or even with a single read. (I tend to use post-it-note page markers to highlight points on pages I wish to review after finishing a book. There were so many post-it-notes marking my copy of DDI, that a friend at work pointed out that I might just as well re-read the entire book. He's probably right!) Part of the problem lies in the book's basic premis. As a critique of various works by diverse authorities, it demands that the reader more actively participate in the thought process of that criticism. And that participation requires a rather diverse background of knowledge: anthropology, architecture, artificial intelligence, biology, evolutionary theory, game theory, physics, philosophy, are among some of the topics covered under the cover of Darwin and evolution! It also requires some knowledge of the author's under discussion.
While I don't want to scare a prospective reader, I also think that this book might be a little more than most can or wish to handle. I do think that the person who undertakes to read it, devoting to the project the time and care that it deserves, will come away with, not only a good deal of solid information, but with a first rate training in critical thinking as well!


This book is a two-for: a book on one of science's most important foundations written by one of today's most well-known and respected philosophers and cognitive scientists. It will be available on July 1st, and is available for pre-order now at the following locations:


Amazon US Preorder


Barnes & Noble Preorder

Google Play Preorder

In addition, you may be able to discover additional locations at Simon & Schuster's list of retailers where this book can be purchased at http://books.simonandschuster.com/Da...4710/retailers.
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:04 AM   #13
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I'll second Your Inner Fish and Worm. Thanks WT Sharpe and others for the nominations.
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:15 AM   #14
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While I think on the other interesting nominations, I'll nominate The Bible Unearthed by Israel Finkelstein & Neil Asher Silberman.


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.


Amazon- US / UK / CA / AU
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:35 AM   #15
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While I think on the other interesting nominations, I'll nominate The Bible Unearthed by Israel Finkelstein & Neil Asher Silberman....
A pity I only have 3 votes and they've all been used. That sounds right up my alley.
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