I was sitting alone in a cold, damp bed-and-breakfast type bedroom in November 1995. It was a dreich Scottish night in Aberdeen and I started to read The Beak of the Finch (1995). It remains a stand-out science read and one of the most influential books I’ve enjoyed. The room was cold enough that I felt the need to wrap myself in blankets pulled off the bed, wishing I was like the Tierra del Fuegans who needed no clothes. Darwin was a great diversion when I was undecided; besides being cold, I couldn’t be sure if I was humiliated or amused.
‘The mind is our beak, and the human mind is ever more variable than the brain’ wrote Jonathan Weiner in The Beak of the Finch.[Read more…] about Beaks and Travel