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May 23 2019

Kat Kat is currently reading Children of Time
Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig Jonathan wants to read Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig
The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert Jonathan gave 5 stars to The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (ebook) by Elizabeth Kolbert
bookshelves: biology, current-events, non-fiction, science, nature
A sobering and, to be honest, scary book about the possibly (probable?) coming "sixth extinction", following 5 previous catastrophic extinctions, this time by human hands. In each chapter, Kolbert (who actually lives in my state), tells the story of either an older extinction or one that seems imminent. The last chapter, entitled *The Thing With Feathers*, discusses one of the last `alalā, an Hawaiian crow and how we have a choice to make. She doesn't sound very optimistic and, to be honest, I am even more pessimistic these days than she is, which brought a tear to me eye a few times reading this chapter.

Speaking of tears, I think the saddest chapter was the one called *The New Pangea*, which describes the sad plight of a local to me animal, *Myotis lucifugus*, or little brown bat. They are dying by the millions due to "white nose syndrome", an example of an "invasive" carried about by modern technology, finding a host that isn't ready to deal with it. While European bats seemed to have found an equilibrium with the bacteria, it kills the North American bats, although oddly, no one is really sure why it kills them. This chapter also describes other disastrous immigrants, like fungus that killed all the local chestnuts, or the snake in Guam that decimated the bird and 2 of the three mammal species there.

More stunning was the chapter on the coral reefs. I drove my wife batty (pardon the pun!) by reading all the incredible statistics about reefs she tosses out. And just how terrible the plight of the corals is currently. It seems to be almost too late to do anything any more, a depressing thought. While we have snorkled at the Great Barrier Reef, I would surely love it if my kids and my kids' kids could as well.

An amazing book that is just breathtaking in its breadth and, to be honest, sadness. Glad I read it, but I am getting depressed all over again thinking about it. She ends with this quote:

Obviously, the fate of our own species concerns us disproportionately. But at the risk of sounding anti-human—some of my best friends are humans!—I will say that it is not, in the end, what’s most worth attending to. Right now, in the amazing moment that to us counts as the present, we are deciding, without quite meaning to, which evolutionary pathways will remain open and which will forever be closed. No other creature has ever managed this, and it will, unfortunately, be our most enduring legacy.
The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert Jonathan is 33% done with <a href="/book/show/18350799-the-sixth-extinction">The Sixth Extinction</a>.

May 22 2019

Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss by Rajeev Balasubramanyam Jonathan is on page 150 of 288 of <a href="/book/show/39808463-professor-chandra-follows-his-bliss">Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss</a>.
Jonathan wrote: Another book that's interesting but it needs to get a move on...
D-Day by Antony Beevor Jonathan gave 4 stars to D-Day: The Battle for Normandy (ebook) by Antony Beevor
bookshelves: history, non-fiction, world-war-2
Amazing - 9(!) years after I started this, I finished it! I finally found the Nook that it was on!

Longer review coming, but if you like military histories, with lots of detail but, even more importantly, lots of small bits of color, this is your book.

Full Review:

This book tells the details story of the D-Day invasion during World War 2. Beginning with the in depth subterfuge done by the Allied army to confuse the German forces on the other side of the water, and ending with the liberation of Paris, it tells both the big stories and the very little. Don't take the fact that it took my 9(!) years to finish the book - I really enjoyed it! I had it on my Nook and for the longest period, the Nook was missing. It was an original "Nook Simple Touch" - a small "e-ink" reader that is actually a pretty darned good ebook reader. It's not backlit but it is small, easy to carry and has an amazing battery life, as well as works great in the sun.

Anyway - Beevor does an excellent job of mixing the big picture strategy of the invasion with all kinds of amazing small stories. From the terrible to the laughable, nearly every description of big moves by armies includes touching stories of the locals, a soldier in the trenches or the horrors of tank warfare. Some of the numbers he tosses around are simply breathtaking, like telling us that 70,000 French civilians were killed by Allied action, which exceeds the total number of British killed by German bombing. Or the descriptions of just how much food and other supplies it requires to keep an army on the move.

While the names and places all started to blend together (despite a reasonable number of maps included, even in the ebook), it was the little stories that still made it eminently readable. He isn't afraid of casting aspersions (he is certainly no fan of Montgomery and some of the lower level commanders really get an evisceration) and of praise. I think he is really impressed with Eisenhower's job of juggling all the competing jingoistic forces and keeping the pressure on.

If you are at all interested in World War 2, or of D-Day in specific, I highly recommend this book. Even if you aren't a big military strategy person, I still recommend it for the human level stories that are peppered throughout.
The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos Jonathan wants to read The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos

May 21 2019

May 19 2019

East of Hounslow by Khurrum Rahman Jonathan wants to read East of Hounslow by Khurrum Rahman
The Quaker by Liam McIlvanney Jonathan wants to read The Quaker by Liam McIlvanney
The Distant Echo by Val McDermid Jonathan wants to read The Distant Echo by Val McDermid
The Defense by Steve Cavanagh Jonathan wants to read The Defense by Steve Cavanagh
Snap by Belinda Bauer Jonathan wants to read Snap by Belinda Bauer
New comment on Jonathan's review of K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches
by Tyler Kepner

If you like baseball, I’m sure you’ll like this book!

May 18 2019

New comment on Red's review of Where the Crawdads Sing
by Delia Owens

Oh. So I shouldn't be worried the wait for this ebook is like 6 months?
New York by Edward Rutherfurd Jonathan wants to read New York by Edward Rutherfurd
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