MarchBooks

These three books couldn’t be any more different, but I enjoyed all of them. I hope me sharing these books motivates you to read something, or if you’re already reading something let me know what it is and if you have any recommendations for me! You can see my past recommendations here.

If you liked reading A Brave New World or enjoyed Snowpiercer (I saw the movie and haven’t read the graphic novel), then you’re going to like Wool. It’s a story that follows several characters in a dystopic world that’s trying to hang on to a civil society.

It’s a bit long, almost 600 pages but it’s one that’s easy to tear through that has a great cause/effect succession of plot events and great characters that keep you engaged. It had me asking questions until the very last page and now new questions that makes me want to pick up the other two books in the series that followed the success of this one.

I highly recommend it for an entertaining dystopic/sci-fi/thriller.

 

We are born, we are shadows, we cast shadows of our own, and then we are gone. All anyone can hope for is to be remembered two shadows deep.

 

The point of the silo was for the people to keep the machines running, when Jahns had always, her entire long life, seen it the other way around.

Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman is an autobiographical look into the externally kooky, but internally relatable character of Nobel-prize winning physicist Richard Feynman. The book bounces around little interesting stories of his life from working on the Manhattan project, teaching himself how to pick locks, learning how to pick up women, living and teaching in Brazil and playing musical instruments, going to strip clubs to think and practice his drawing, to rants about how terrible school textbooks are and maintaining integrity in science.

What is most striking throughout the book is his eternal curiosity. When someone tells him these are the best locks around, no one can pick them, then he sets to figuring out how they work and see if he can pick them (he could). He applies the curiosity to every aspect of his life which gave it so much fullness in so many areas of study and interest.

There’s some great interviews on YouTube that give an insight into how this contemporary of Einstein’s thinks. My favorite video of him speaking is one accompanied by this animation below:

Then I had another thought: Physics disgusts me a little bit now, but I used to enjoy doing physics. Why did I enjoy it? I used to play with it. I used to do whatever I felt like doing – it didn’t have to do with whatever it was important for the development of nuclear physics, but whether it was interesting and amusing for me to play with.

You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failing.

What I got out of that story was something sill very new to me: I understood at last what art is really for, at least in certain respects. It gives somebody, individually, pleasure. You can make something that somebody likes so much that they’re depressed, or they’re happy, on account of that damn thing you made!

At a young age I was naturally drawn to feathers and collected ones I found. There’s an intricate beauty to feathers and I was interested to learn more and Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle was the perfect book.

Feathers hold a powerful cultural position that we often don’t appreciate, from religion to aviation to fashion, feathers play an important role in everyone’s lives. They changed our understanding of natural history with Archaeopteryx and they changed hunting and warcraft in the Stone Age by their addition to arrows that we see influence modern day rockets!

Feathers are amazing and spending time reading about them is a great way to practice being in awe of our natural world.

In ancient Rome, official fortune-tellers called augurs based their predictions on the behaviors of birds or on patterns seen in their feathers, bones, and viscera. These birds oracles held great sway, influencing major decisions in politics as well as private life, and even today we recall the past importance of augury when we inaugurate presidents or speak of an auspicious occasion.

A mountain climber would have to wear eleven pairs of polypropylene long johns to achieve the same heat retention as one down-filled expedition jacket. Top-quality goose down is more than twice as efficient by weight as Thinsulate, Polarguard, Primaloft, or other synthetics and durable enough to withstand years of heavy use.

The gravitational force on her body [peregrine falcon pulling up from a high speed dive] has been calculated as high as twenty-seven Gs. Fighter pilots risk losing consciousness anything over nine.

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