Despite the challenges, I consider myself to have been very lucky this year. I have lots of reasons to be cheerful. One of these is that I have reliable sources of book recommendations. So many people have made such excellent book recommendations that have I haven’t yet read them all. And the lockdown is the primary reason I was able to read as many as I did.[Read more…] about Book of My Year
’20 Favourites Short List
It should be a simple thing, to know which is my favourite book that I have read this calendar year.
Because I keep an idea of my favourite books over time, a relative assessment always brings with it the question of absolute best. Absolutes refer to testable truths but what is truth?
I tend to read a lot of books about science. The extraordinary thing about reading recent books on science is the number of times that you read phrases like ‘no one knows if this will prove to be the case’. I find this uncertainty very reassuring. The demand, indeed the onus, on us all is to keep reading to keep learning.
I was sitting by a window, rereading some of the short chapters that make The Hidden Life of Trees so easy to follow and enjoy. It had been raining hard throughout the night. The term ‘pelting’ had come to my sleepy mind as gusts of wind drove the raindrops onto our windows, sounding like the huge hail that sometimes makes us doubt the strength of glass.[Read more…] about Halloween Rainbow
Sequoia and Sunflowers
It seems I was wrong about how sunflowers transport their water to the tip of the plant. I have just read that science doesn’t really know how a tree transports water from the soil to the crowns of trees. Ask yourself the simple question I forgot to ask: how does the world famous redwood called Hyperion get water to its crown 115 m above the ground? It must be properly hydrated given that it’s over 900 years old.[Read more…] about Sequoia and Sunflowers