January 12th, 2010


January Books 7) The Panda's Thumb, by Steven Jay Gould

Collection of essays on evolutionary biology by Gould, which topped the non-fiction section of this poll. Some of these pieces are a bit dated (not so surprising in a book published in 1980); his rather daring efforts to finger Teilhard de Chardin as a participant in the Piltdown Man hoax were easily refuted by the first researcher to check the documentary evidence. But his thoughts on punctuated equilibrium are pretty convincing, as is his (less developed here) criticism of Dawkins for obsessing about genes rather than individuals. And his essay on heartbeats and breaths in the lifespan of a mammal was very sobering.

Top LibraryThing Unsuggestion: Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller - I read this after it figured in a couple of other unsuggestions, and was deeply unimpressed.