2010 Personal Non-Fiction Challenge

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2010 Personal Non-Fiction Challenge

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1clif_hiker
Editado: Maio 31, 2010, 8:29am

The Structure of Evolutionary Theory by Stephen Jay Gould has been sitting (like a lead brick) on my shelf for a couple of years. 10-20 pages a day should finish it by Christmas (at ~1400 pages, it may be the longest book in my library). Hopefully I'll be able to provide periodic updates on my reading and what I'm learning...

2clif_hiker
Maio 31, 2010, 10:44pm

the first 10 pages: very dense... long-winded comparison of Darwin's theory to a cathredal in Milan.

3LynnB
Jun 4, 2010, 3:27pm

Good luck with this ambitious project!

4Seajack
Jun 4, 2010, 6:25pm

My closest TBR item would be One Day a Year by Christa Wolf -- the East German writer completed a "diary" for each Sept. 27th from 1960 to 2000. Dauntingly bulky tome that I'd love to read, but have been putting off as "something to bring along on that (mythical) round-the-world cruise." This thread seems like a great idea for tackling your "Everest" of a Gould.

5clif_hiker
Editado: Jun 5, 2010, 7:41am

I'm up to p.25 or so (was out of town for 3 days and I'll be danged if I'll haul that 10-lb book with me). Gould has built a three-legged stool out of Darwin's theory and has spent about 5 pages telling us how he's going to write this book around the three legs of the stool. Still pretty dense but getting better (or else I'm getting inured to his style).

6IanPorter
Editado: Jun 20, 2016, 9:48am

One day a year: Somewhat banal: read, watched TV, went to writers' meeting, publisher x said this, translator y said this, agent said this, daughter did this, husband Gerd enthused about the (physicist) Freeman Dyson he's reading. Die Wende (9.11.89) hardly registers on The Richter scale: it's 10 and half months' old hat by the time her annual chore Day of the year comes round on 27 Sept. Grandchildren do this, hip hurts, sprinkling of philosopher quotes: I'd hoped for something less banal. Nothing about the alleged STASI activities (like 20% of the population).

7IanPorter
Editado: Jun 20, 2016, 9:56am

Gould HAS written shorter books. A lot seem to be collections of his columns. ?Life's Grandeur relies on the baseball (whatever THAT is) average of .40something as the backbone. TEN pages a day (20 minutes?) seems a TADETTE feeble. Depends how busy you are. Colleagues could be critical: 'incoherent' (Maynard Smith), 'Steve just didn't seem to get it' (Dawkins); references to the earlier Marxist adherence as perhaps resulting in doctrinal rigidity in the area of evolution.

8IanPorter
Jun 20, 2016, 9:59am

re 1st 10 pp of the Gould: that'll be his oft-referenced 'spandrels' (of San Marco) will it, 'exaptation'?