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zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman



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PostTue Feb 01, 2022 8:47 pm 
I've read House of Suns and Pushing Ice by Alastair Reynolds but I've been neglecting Revelation Space for a number of years. Finally got around to starting it and I'm finding the Melding Plague and the hermetics in their palanquins as a fun parallel to today's plague-ridden Earth.

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Kim Brown
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PostWed Feb 02, 2022 4:43 pm 
I Heard the Owl Call My Name, by Margaret Craven. 1967. am I the only person who hasn't read this????? An easy, short read. Well written. Poignant, sad, and at times some nice, warm humor. From wiki summary: Mark Brian, a young vicar, is sent to the First Nations village of Kingcome in British Columbia, home to people of the Dzawa̱da̱'enux̱w tribe of the Kwakwaka'wakw nation (who are given the now-archaic name "Kwakiutl" in the book). His bishop sends him, knowing that Mark is suffering from an unnamed, fatal disease, in order to learn all there is to learn about life including some of life's hard lessons in the time left to him. ...Through various experiences and inter-relationships, Mark learns from the villagers and they from him.... Mark is about to be recalled by his bishop when he hears the owl call his name, which foretells imminent death according to Kwakwaka'wakw belief.

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zephyr
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PostThu Feb 03, 2022 9:10 pm 
Locked In Time: Animal Behavior Unearthed in 50 Extraordinary Fossils by Dean R. Lomax, Columbia University Press, 2021. Fossil lovers, this book is for you. The author is an internationally recognized paleontologist from the University of Manchester. Each case history is illustrated by Bob Nicholls, a renowned natural history artist who specializes in the reconstruction of prehistoric animals, plants, and environments. More information can be found here Available at the Seattle Public Library. ~z

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zephyr
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PostMon Feb 07, 2022 10:40 pm 
A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos by Dava Sobel, Walker Publishing Company, New York, 2011. Review here in Goodreads. The story of how Copernicus’s theory of the sun being the center of the solar system versus the Earth (Ptolemy’s earlier account) came to be published and revolutionized astronomy in 16th century Europe. Copernicus was sought out by a German mathematician—Rheticus who encouraged him to publish his work. This story also involves Martin Luther, Pope Paul III, Tycho (Danish nobleman/astronomer), Kepler (German astronomer), and eventually Galileo, an Italian astronomer. Some fascinating history here. I had to read it twice to get more clarity on the events. There’s even a short play in the middle of the book that the author put in to capture the emotions of the era. Available at the Seattle Public Library. ~z

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neek
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PostWed Feb 09, 2022 5:46 am 
Homewaters: A Human and Natural History of Puget Sound, by David B. Williams. While everyone knows (or thinks they know) about salmon and orcas, this book also details the history and human exploitation of other critical native species, like rockfish, oysters, herring, geoducks, and kelp. The author spent years working with local tribes and biologists, and the story comes together nicely in this fairly short and easy to read volume. Recommended for all of us who impact and enjoy the Salish Sea.

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zephyr
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PostMon Feb 14, 2022 1:14 pm 
Three Stones Make A Wall: The Story of Archaeology by Eric Cline. Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J., 2017. A great overview of the history of archaeology. Illustrated with copious drawings by Glynnis Fawkes. Here's a bit of the Goodreads review: Written by Eric Cline, an archaeologist with more than thirty seasons of excavation experience, Three Stones Make a Wall traces the history of archaeology from an amateur pursuit to the cutting-edge science it is today by taking the reader on a tour of major archaeological sites and discoveries, from Pompeii to Petra, Troy to the Terracotta Warriors, and Mycenae to Megiddo and Masada. Cline brings to life the personalities behind these digs, including Heinrich Schliemann, the former businessman who excavated Troy, and Mary Leakey, whose discoveries advanced our understanding of human origins. The discovery of the peoples and civilizations of the past is presented in vivid detail, from the Hittites and Minoans to the Inca, Aztec, and Moche. Along the way, the book addresses the questions archaeologists are asked most often: How do you know where to dig? How are excavations actually done? How do you know how old something is? Who gets to keep what is found? Available at the Seattle Public Library. ~z

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zephyr
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PostSat Feb 19, 2022 12:32 pm 
Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love by Dava Sobel, Walker and Company, New York, 1999. From the jacket: Inspired by a long fascination with Galileo, and by the remarkable surviving letters of Galileo's daughter, a cloistered nun, Dava Sobel has written a biography unlike any other of the man Albert Einstein called "the father of modern physics--indeed of modern science altogether." Here's a review from Kirkus. A little slow at times but overall a fascinating glimpse into 17th century Italy--family life, public health, politics, and the struggle of science versus the grip of religious doctrine. The various discussions of Galileo's observations and discoveries are written and illustrated well. This book is available at the Seattle Public Library.

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rocknclimb
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PostSat Feb 19, 2022 3:34 pm 
"This is How They Tell Me the World Will End" A non fiction novel about the cyber warfare arms race written in a spy thriller style. Very good and relevant read w/ the current Russia & Ukraine conflict

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neek
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PostSat Mar 05, 2022 4:26 pm 
rocknclimb wrote:
Very good and relevant read w/ the current Russia & Ukraine conflict
No kidding. On a less apocalyptic note - Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson. Highly recommended even if (like me) you're a bit skeptical of nutrition advice. The book covers the origin story for a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and explains how to select, store, and prepare them to maximize nutrient content. A few random bits I learned: frozen berries should be thawed quickly to slow enzyme action that destroys vitamin C. Garlic should be cut up 10 minutes before cooking. Carrots are one of the few vegetables better for you after cooking (although, ick), and ideally sliced afterwards rather than before. Curved asparagus indicates less freshness because it was stored on its side and started to grow upwards. Light and dark raisins are made from the same grape but the light ones are treated with sulfur dioxide which makes them retain more phytonutrients. In general darker fruits and vegetables are better, but this is not the case with white peaches and nectarines, which are much better for you than yellow. But perhaps the origin stories (how a plant was discovered and cultivated) were the most interesting parts. Book is not preachy (there's nothing meat-eaters will object to) and doesn't use dumb words like "superfood". Well-researched and written in a clear style by a local (Vashon Island) resident.

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graywolf
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PostSat Mar 05, 2022 5:18 pm 
"Cape to Cowley via Cairo - In a Light Car" by M.L. Belcher. The story of three women (eventually one dropped out) who drove from Cape Town, South Africa north across the continent to Cairo, then by boat to Marseilles, then continued by car to Calais, ferried to England and finished at Oxford. This was in 1930! One of these intrepid women was the mother of my neighbor in Sequim, who has kindly loaned the book to me. ETA: Their journey took six months.

The only easy day was yesterday...
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Malachai Constant
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PostSat Mar 05, 2022 6:40 pm 
The Fallen Stones, Diana Marcum, chasing Butterflies, Mayan Secrets. Just started.

"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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zephyr
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PostTue Mar 08, 2022 8:45 pm 
1177 B.C., The Year Civilization Collapsed by Eric H. Cline, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 2014. Revised edition 2021. An interesting read by a well-known archaeologist on the collapse of several key civilizations in the Eastern Mediterranean in the Late Bronze Age. Illustrated with maps and drawings. I found it fascinating to read about globalism in cultures, communications, and politics from such a long time ago. Here’s a brief description from the Wikipedia article: The book focuses on Cline's hypothesis for the Late Bronze Age collapse of civilization, a transition period that affected the Egyptians, Hittites, Canaanites, Cypriots, Minoans, Mycenaeans, Assyrians and Babylonians; varied heterogeneous cultures populating eight powerful and flourishing states intermingling via trade, commerce, exchange and "cultural piggybacking," despite "all the difficulties of travel and time."[1] He presents evidence to support a "perfect storm" of "multiple interconnected failures," meaning that more than one natural and man-made cataclysm caused the disintegration and demise of an ancient civilization that incorporated "empires and globalized peoples."[1][2] This ended the Bronze Age, and ended the Mycenaean, Minoan, Trojan, Hittite, and Babylonian cultures.[2] Available from the Seattle Public Library. ~z

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GaliWalker
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PostTue Mar 08, 2022 9:09 pm 
zimmertr wrote:
I've read House of Suns and Pushing Ice by Alastair Reynolds but I've been neglecting Revelation Space for a number of years. Finally got around to starting it …
Alastair Reynolds is one of my favorite SF writers. The Revelation Space trilogy is fantastic, as is the standalone Chasm City. The novella Diamond Dogs is another classic Alastair Reynolds offering. (These last two are set in the Revelation Space universe.)

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zephyr
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PostWed Apr 06, 2022 12:09 pm 
Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire, A 500-Year History by Kurt Andersen, Random House, 2017. A terrific read on what makes the U.S. so "exceptional" starting with the Pilgrims in Massachusetts and the Virginia colonists. The 500 years refers to 1517 when Martin Luther posted his 95 theses and sparked the Protestant Reformation and how the printing press quickly spread his ideas. Quote: "However, out of the new Protestant religion, a new proto-American attitude emerged during the 1500s. Millions of ordinary people decided that they, each of them, had the right to decide what was true or untrue, regardless of what fancy experts said." The author talks about the "fantasy industrial complex" and how that Americans have a weakness for fantasy. "Each of us is on a spectrum somewhere between the poles of rational and irrational." He covers our homegrown religious movements, spiritualism, medicine shows, P.T. Barnum, show business, reality tv, political movements, conspiracy theories, virtual reality, psychedelic drugs, and much more. There was so much material in here to contemplate that I read it twice. More information here at the author's website or Penguin/Random House page here. Kirkus review here. Available from the Seattle Public Library. ~z

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Bosterson
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PostThu Apr 07, 2022 8:16 am 
I just finished "Lost in the Valley of Death" - about a wandering world traveler who went missing in the Indian Himalayas in 2016 after going on a trek with a sketchy local holy man. The Parvati valley apparently has a history of many, many foreigners going missing over the years, including quite a few who decided to renounce their old lives and live under the radar in India. It ended up being a very interesting story about "searching" - not just for the lost people (most of whom are not found) but about the people themselves searching for an experience or new life.

Go! Take a gun! And a dog! Without a leash! Chop down a tree! Start a fire! Piss wherever you want! Build a cairn! A HUGE ONE! BE A REBEL! YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE! (-bootpathguy)
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