Author Topic: HAF Book Club: September poll and discussion  (Read 633 times)

Sandra Craft

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HAF Book Club: September poll and discussion
« on: August 19, 2019, 07:42:40 AM »
Genesis: The Scientific Quest for Life's Origin, by Robert M. Hazen.  Life on Earth arose nearly 4 billion years ago, bursting forth from air, water, and rock. Though the process obeyed all the rules of chemistry and physics, the details of that original event pose as deep a mystery as any facing science.

The Invention of Nature, by Andrea Wulf.  The forgotten life of Alexander von Humboldt, the visionary German naturalist whose ideas changed the way we see the natural world—and in the process created modern environmentalism.

Miss Leavitt’s Stars, by George Johnson.  The untold story of the woman who discovered how to measure the universe.

Monster of God, by David Quammen.  The significance of alpha predators (specifically, in this book, the Asiatic lion, crocodiles, tigers and brown bears) and the humans who live alongside them. 

The Sky's the Limit, by Anna Magnusson.  In 2004, Vicky Jack completed the Seven Summits - the highest mountains in each of the seven continents. Whilst pursuing her climbing dream, she also carried on a high-flying career. This book tells her story.
Sandy

  

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Icarus

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Re: HAF Book Club: September poll and discussion
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2019, 12:15:17 AM »
Monster of God might be an interesting one but it may become a bit gory.....I live in Florida, I hate alligators, the mindless dominant predator in our lovely state.  Of course we have  Trumpster type mindless mental predators too

I would vote for Miss Leavitt's stars. 

Sandra Craft

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Re: HAF Book Club: September poll and discussion
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2019, 07:00:44 PM »
OK, we have a clear winner in Miss Leavitt's Stars.
Sandy

  

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Icarus

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Re: HAF Book Club: September poll and discussion
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2019, 01:27:11 AM »
Dammit Sandy I do not want to be the only one who sways the selection.   

I salute your efforts. They may have gone unappreciated judging by general response  .  Just Sayin'.

Davin

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Re: HAF Book Club: September poll and discussion
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2019, 04:29:09 PM »
The sequel to Handmaid's Tail is out now:

The Testaments

Margaret Atwood's dystopian masterpiece, The Handmaid's Tale, has become a modern classic—and now she brings the iconic story to a dramatic conclusion in this riveting sequel.

More than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid's Tale, the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, but there are signs it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women converge, with potentially explosive results.
 
Two have grown up as part of the first generation to come of age in the new order. The testimonies of these two young women are joined by a third voice: a woman who wields power through the ruthless accumulation and deployment of secrets.
 
As Atwood unfolds The Testaments, she opens up the innermost workings of Gilead as each woman is forced to come to terms with who she is, and how far she will go for what she believes.

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Davin

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Re: HAF Book Club: September poll and discussion
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2019, 05:04:33 PM »
Reading this month's book had so many different feelings. What she discovered was great, but what went on around that time reveals how many contributions women made to science were down played or outright stolen.

And I get that it's more important that a discovery was made than the person who made it, but it's also important to give credit to the people who put in the work. Inspiration and role models are important for young people to figure out what they want to do with their lives. And I think that we're still feeling the effects of the covering up of women scientist achievements. I mean it's getting better, but there's still a lot to go. We don't know who the next person will be who will provide the next major scientific advancement, so it's insane that we don't try our best to give everyone a fair shake by educating and supporting the majority of all people. Whatever, I got bit ranty.

Another feeling that learning about the universe gives me, is this weird scary feeling when I think about the difference between the universe as we know it, and nothing. Like when I'm thinking about the Boltsman's thought experiments about how even in a fully chaotic state, order will spontaneously appear if only for a moment.

The science was good. I remember talking about the Quantum Theory book a few months ago about how I didn't like how the discoveries were covered, basically just providing the solution to the problem before showing why people might of though otherwise to begin with. Well, this book covers it the way I really like it to be covered. It shows why people thought the way they did so that it shows how people might fight against new ideas that we now take for granted. It shows that these people aren't a bunch of morons holding onto ancient ideas just because, it shows that there are reasons they didn't jump onto new ideas and needed to be convinced (often beyond what should be rationally required, but still). I think it's very important to show this.

It was a very short book, but I took ten days to read it because I was busy. Very good read, I highly recommend it. I think most people could knock it out in a day.

Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.

Sandra Craft

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Re: HAF Book Club: September poll and discussion
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2019, 05:06:38 AM »
It was a very short book, but I took ten days to read it because I was busy. Very good read, I highly recommend it. I think most people could knock it out in a day.

Ha.  I've been reading it in bits and pieces all month.  In my own defense, at least I am almost finished. 

For half this book I was really torn in my feelings about it.  In part I found it disappointing in that it was supposed to be a biography of Leavitt but, as Johnson admitted, so little was actually known about her that, aside from her work on stars, it was just a chronicle of how often and how long she was sick as an adult.  Or some member of her family was sick and she had to take time off from work to tend them.  Pretty boring stuff (and don't think I don't feel guilty writing that).  The book actually picked up for me when she died halfway thru.

The rest of it -- the star science and history -- is fascinating and has been, for the most part, easier for me to understand than the Schrodinger book. 
Sandy

  

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Davin

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Re: HAF Book Club: September poll and discussion
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2019, 03:26:56 PM »
For half this book I was really torn in my feelings about it.  In part I found it disappointing in that it was supposed to be a biography of Leavitt but, as Johnson admitted, so little was actually known about her that, aside from her work on stars, it was just a chronicle of how often and how long she was sick as an adult.  Or some member of her family was sick and she had to take time off from work to tend them.  Pretty boring stuff (and don't think I don't feel guilty writing that).  The book actually picked up for me when she died halfway thru.
Yeah, that was one of the other feelings I had about it.

Quote from: Sandra Craft
The rest of it -- the star science and history -- is fascinating and has been, for the most part, easier for me to understand than the Schrodinger book.
That's why I like the way this one describes the problems and why the solutions resolve them, unlike the Schrodinger one where they only describe the solution. It helps my retain the information much better and it's easier to read. I mean if this book did do it the same way, it'd be half as long, but I still think this way is much better for a lot of reasons.

Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.