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One of the bonuses of reaching my stage of the biological life cycle is
time to think. I have listed below 5 (number was arbitrarily chosen)
books in PALEOBIOLOGY that I enjoyed this past year (2001). I make no
judgement about their contribution to the world in general or anything in
particular. They were thought provoking and enjoyable. That is enough for
me. I could probably make similar lists in ORNITHOLOGY and EVOLUTIONARY
AND ENVIRONMENTAL BIOLOGY but then I would be accused of wasting all my
time reading. Remember I lived most of the year on a 33 ft sailboat. That
limits storage space, but not necessarily access to bookstores.
Here they are, in no particular order:
The Guilded Dinosaur. M. Jaffe. Three River Press, NY
Excellent historical tableau of the growth of science in America in
the last 1800's and beyond.
George Gaylord Simpson. Paleontologist and Evolutionist. Leo Lapaorte.
Columbia U Press
The man, warts and all
Fossils and the History of Life. G.G. Simpson. Scientific American
Published in 1983, and full of GG's opinions (the warts?), some good,
some bad, but all interesting.
The Map that Changed the World. S Winchester. HarperCollins.
An excellent read, and not without controversy (see Steve Goulds
review in NY Review of Books)
In Search of Deep Time. Beyond the fossil record to a new history of
life. H. Gee. Free Press/Simon & Schuster
And yes, this makes more than 5, but it is both relevant and interesting.
Remember, 2001 was the year of the HGP!
The Triple Helix. Gene, organism, and environment. R. Lewontin. Harvard U
With the hours of daylight at their minim un, its a fine time to enjoy a
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