Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Some might say that reading a book is like a journey. It's a nice metaphor for the process of reading, which is much like taking a virtual trip through someone else's experiences or imaginings. The authors of the following books really felt that their works represented a journey from one point to another -- they've all included the metaphor in the very title of their books. Looking for an adventure? Why not journey through one of these great books!
For the Love of Physics: from the end of the rainbow to the edge of time - a journey through the wonders of physics (M) by Walter Lewin and Warren Goldstein
I managed to make it through high school and university without even a basic Intro to Physics class. I've always felt like I missed out on something: though intimidating to the novice, physics also seems like a fascinating study that holds so many secrets to the world we know. Walter Lewin's path couldn't have been more different than mine and this book (as described by the library catalogue) is a"largely autobiographical account of the author's life as one who fell in love first with physics and then with teaching physics to students."
If that sounds a bit dry you should consider the following: "Universally praised for the remarkably fun, inventive, and often wacky ways in which Walter Lewin brings the joys of physics to life—from super-charging a tricycle with a fire extinguisher to risking his life by putting his head in the path of a swinging wrecking ball—For the Love of Physics takes readers on a marvelous journey, opening our eyes as never before to the amazing beauty and power of all that physics can reveal to us, from the coolest, weirdest features of the tiniest bits of matter, to the wonders of our everyday lives. "
From Pemmican to Poutine: a journey through Canada's culinary history (M) by Suman Roy and Brooke Ali
With all the focus on food in the media these days -- from celebrity chefs on cooking shows to local food movements and discussions of food security -- it's not surprising to stumble upon this book celebrating Canada's culinary history. Divided by region, it's part cookbook, part history book and contains not just pemmican and poutine, but fiddleheads, lobster rolls, maple syrup and many more Canadian delights.
The Last Great Ape: a journey through Africa and a fight for the heart of the continent (M) by Ofir Drori and David McDannald
The Last Great Ape is the name of an organization run by Ofir Drori that bills itself as the "first Wildlife Law Enforcement NGO in Africa". It supports not only the preservation of apes but of African animals and their habits in general. The book is part environmental commentary, part animal activism and part good old fashioned adventure: "The Last Great Ape is a story of the fight against extinction and the tragedy of endangered worlds, not just of animals but of people struggling to hold onto their culture. The book reveals the intense beauty and strife that exist side by side in Africa, and Ofir makes the case that activism and dedication to a cause are still relevant in a cynical modern world. This dramatic story is one of courage and hope and, most importantly, a search for meaning."
Rez Life: an Indian's journey through reservation life (M)
by David Treuer
The Idle No More movement in Canada has brought many of the issues and challenges facing First Nations People in Canada into the spotlight, Treuer's new memoir looks at similar issues south of our border. "Celebrated novelist David Treuer has gained a reputation for writing fiction that expands the horizons of Native American literature. In Rez Life, his first full-length work of nonfiction, Treuer brings a novelist's storytelling skill and an eye for detail to a complex and subtle examination of Native American reservation life, past and present.With authoritative research and reportage, Treuer illuminates misunderstood contemporary issues of sovereignty, treaty rights, and natural-resource conservation. He traces the waves of public policy that have disenfranchised and exploited Native Americans, exposing the tension that has marked the historical relationship between the United States government and the Native American population." This book would make good companion reading for those who have read or are waiting to read Thomas King's The Inconvenient Indian : a curious account of Native People in North America.
She Walks In Beauty: a woman's journey through poems (M)
by Caroline Kennedy
With April -- National Poetry Month -- approaching, it's time for me to start my annual obsession with the fact that I simply don't read enough poetry: this accessible collection may be a place to get an early jump if you feel the same way. "In She Walks in Beauty, Caroline Kennedy has once again marshaled the gifts of our greatest poets to pay a very personal tribute to the human experience, this time to the complex and fascinating subject of womanhood. Inspired by her own reflections on more than fifty years of life as a young girl, a woman, a wife, and a mother, She Walks in Beauty draws on poetry’s eloquent wisdom to ponder the many joys and challenges of being a woman. Kennedy has divided the collection into sections that signify to her the most notable milestones, passages, and universal experiences in a woman’s life, and she begins each of these sections with an introduction in which she explores and celebrates the most important elements of life’s journey."