Thursday, August 28, 2008

airplane reading for physicists

Hello Again Everyone,

Dying to know what I'll be carrying with me to read on Sunday? I know you were wondering, 'cause I know how much you care. Here's the short list:

Dancing Wu-Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics - Gary Zukav, Harper
I'm 1.5 chapters in, and Zukav is annoying me a little bit with his breathy awe of all things quantum, but really I love teasing out the philosophy (and lack of certainty) that forms the bedrock of modern physics and I am quite enjoying this ride. I love mixing new physics with Eastern philosophy (how could you not see the connections?), so I'll forgive Zukav his frequent waxing poetic. I mean, I guess that is kind of the point.

Luminous Fish - Lynn Margulis
Ok, first off I *love* this cover, and the subtitle ('Tales of Science and Love'). Margulis's short stories all explore desires that drive scientists, from knowledge and fellowship to lust and insecurity. I keep cringing at the personal choices these people make, and at the same time they feel deeply, uncomfortably familiar. Here's a great publisher's quote about it: "All of us who struggle to balance family, professional, and social commitments with intellectual quest will be intrigued by the humanity of these tales." Nice, right?

Labor of Love: A Midwife's Memoir - Cara Muhlhahn
I am not sure if I can handle this book, but I intend to find out. As you may or may not know, I have a very strong maternal urge and it manifests all the time as this bone-deep wanting that leaves me feeling weak. I cry at births on movies, I cry at births on TV commercials, heck, I cry each time I see Warf deliver Keiko's baby on that Star Trek episode with the 'quantum filament' problem (honestly, they'll put quantum on anything these days. I have some quantum dust bunnies behind the couch...). I'm totally drawn to this book, but I know it will be an intense emotional experience, as this 'candid and fascinating memoir chronicles Cara's experiences as a midwife; the joys, the heartbreaks, and the hundreds of mothers and babies she has come to know. It is both an insider's look at childbirth and an engaging story of a woman who is living her passion." (Publisher's Marketing)

I might also bring a full novel, but I don't remember what I have that wasn't sold at the yard sale or already boxed to ship. Maybe City of Refuge (Tom Piazza), our Sept First Edition Club pick, or that new Neal Stephenson book Anathem, I've never read him before. The ARC is gigantic, but it comes with a CD of something, perhaps background music for monasteries and mathematics? Apparently Sea of Poppies (Amitav Ghosh)is something amazing, but I gave my copy away and besides, my capable replacement is writing you fine people a blogpost about it so I shouldn't even bring it up. Anyway, I guess there is a bit of actual work around here to still get done, maybe, or at least I'd better pretend.

Take Care Everyone! Be good to each other, read everything Joe and Rebecca tell you to, and check out the store in person if you get a change. I mean, surely it will all go totally downhill after I leave but it'll still be an interesting place to visit ;)


1 comment:

rebf said...

Call me when you're crying about the baby book and we will commiserate my dear friend. Also, Sea of Poppies was fantastic! And everyone should read it. -Rebecca