Science That Changed the World

This book looks at four scientific breakthroughs of the 1960s- telecommunications satellites, plate tectonics, experimental evidence of The Big Bang, and the eradication of smallpox- and traces their transformative impact through to modern times. It is an interesting premise, well-executed, and even people who know the basic outlines of these discoveries are likely to pick up some new information.


Tim Radford

Island of Secrets

This story is ostensibly about a man journeying into the jungle of New Britain island in search of a tree kangaroo... but that is just the pretext that sets the story in motion. It is really a look at one of the last places that can be said to be "off the map" and what drives people to explore it. The description of the island and its history is interesting in its own right, but it is the characters that really make this book a great read.


Matthew Power

Taster Flight: In Search of Animals

One of the fun things about short ebooks is that they are evolving their own sub-genres. Today's taster flight is an example of that: all three books are about quests to find specific animals. The not too short, not too long length of short ebooks seems to really lend itself to these stories. There is space to provide background on the animal and the motivation for the quest, but not so much space that the story of the search gets boring.

Excellent Things in Women

This book is probably an excerpt from a longer memoir- it feels a bit out of context. Despite the disoriented feeling at the start, I really enjoyed this book. It is a memoir of postcolonial Pakistan, from the point of view of a woman who was at the time a child in a fairly well off household. The writing is beautiful, and one side effect of the way the book just starts without providing any background and then follows a narrative arc that is based more on the author's stream of consciousness than a linear timeline is that you are completely transported into its world.


Sara Suleri Goodyear

Read Together: The Invasive Species Edition

This week’s Nonfiction November prompt is to pair a non-fiction book and a fiction book. I love doing this! I have two previous pairings under the Read Together heading- check them out.

Missed Chances

Long time readers are probably familiar with the "taster flights" I post here from time to time. I decided to take that concept a step further and produce a "taster flight" book. The result is Missed Chances: Short Love Stories with a Hint of What Might Have Been. This is a collection of five classic love stories that all feature "the one that got away" in some fashion. They range from humorous (Aunt Philippa and the Men, by L.M.

My Year in Non-Fiction

A few days ago, a tweet about #NonfictionNovember came across my timeline. I was intrigued, so I clicked through to the linked post- and I found a blog event in which I definitely wanted to participate. I’m not usually one for book blog events, because they are usually reading challenges, and I’m usually too swamped with other things and other reading commitments to participate.

The Arc of the Sun

This book takes you inside the world of pigeon racing, and the South African Million Dollar Pigeon Race in particular. It does a wonderful job of showing the appeal as well as the quirks of this world, and I found it fascinating. It also occasionally attempts to connect to a larger theme of "finding home," and in that regard it is less successful. This is only a minor distraction, though, and on the whole the book is enjoyable and well worth the time to read.


David Samuels

Hagfish Slime and Lobster Rolls

This is a book about slime- sort of. The introduction to this book led me to expect a little more unification in the essays than they delivered, but it was still a really interesting and fun to read look at some fascinating slimy sea creatures.


Ellen Prager

Okay, So Look

If you've ever wished you knew the Bible stories better but struggled to get past the seemingly endless "begats," this book is for you. If you've never even considered reading the Bible, you might want to check out this book, too. Afterall, the stories from the Bible pop up in all sorts of literature, and it is nice to be able to understand the references. This book is a humorous retelling of the Book of Genesis that is genuinely fun to read.


Micah Edwards

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