Friday, March 14, 2014

A peak into Crocodile on the Sandbank and Field Notes from A Catastrophe

My book staging photo from Bout of Books.
Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rose City Reader.

This week has been a utter train wreck of blizzard conditions (13.8" of snow Wednesday) and midterm writing so I haven't gotten much reading done or even contact with books other than resisting the urge to toss Geochemistry textbooks across the room.

So I am going with a classic mystery for this week Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters.

"When I first set eyes on Evelyn Barton-Forbes she was walking the streets of Rome – 
 (I am informed, by the self-appointed Critic who reads over my shoulder as I write, that I have already committed an error. If those seemingly simple English words do indeed imply that which I am told they imply to the vulgar, I must in justice to Evelyn find other phrasing.)
In justice to myself, however, I must insist that Evelyn was doing precisely what I have said she was doing, but with no ulterior purpose in mind. Indeed, the poor girl had no purpose and no means of carrying it out if she had."

And for nonfiction I have Field Notes from A Catastrophe: Man, Nature and Climate Change by Elizabeth Kolbert (in honor of her new book, The Sixth Extinction, that came out last month but which I do not yet have.)

"There isn't much to do at the Hotel Arctic except watch the icebergs flow by. The hotel is located in the town of Ilulissat, on the west coast of Greenland, four degrees north of the Arctic Circle. The icebergs originate some fifty miles away, at the end of a long and fast-moving ice stream known as the Jakobshavn Isbrae. The drift down a fjord and through a wide-mouthed bay, and, if they last long enough, end up in the North Atlantic. (It is likely that the iceberg encountered by the Titanic followed this route.)" 

 Jakobshavn Isbrae holds the record as the world's fastest moving glacier. Researchers who study glaciers have been surprised to find it doubled its speed between 1997 and 2003. (Source NASA)

For The Friday 56 hosted at Freda's Voice here is something from page 56 of Crocodile on the Sandbank ...

"It was a rather ingenious idea, really; I almost wished I could meet the inventive burglar.

I decided not to summon the police. The Egyptian police are perfectly useless, and I had not seen the man's face closely enough to identify him, even supposing that the authorities could track one man through the teeming streets of Cairo. The man would not return; he had found me wakeful and threatening, and would look for easier prey."  

And from page 56 of Field Notes from A Catastrophe we have ... 

"The record preserved in the Greenland ice sheet shows that our own relatively static experience of climate is actually what is exceptional. During the last glaciation, even as much of the world was frozen solid, average temperatures in Greenland frequently shot up, or down, by ten degrees, as in the Younger Dryas. Nobody knows what caused the sudden climate shifts of the past; however, many climatologists suspect that they had something to do with changes in ocean-current patterns that are known as the 'thermohaline circulation.'" 

If you haven't seen Chasing Ice you really should - on the big screen preferably or at least on a large HD screen. The images are utterly breathtaking. 


  1. Interesting snippets. Sounds like the author really did their homework for the details in the writing.
    I'm with you, I'm over all this snow and cold already! I hope this was the last dumping.

    Happy weekend!

  2. Both of these books sound interesting. Hope your weather improves!
    Here's the link to my Friday post: WEB OF TYRANNY.

  3. I've never read an Elizabeth Peters mystery, but I love that beginning, so now I am going to track her down.


Hi! I do read all of the comments and want to let you know that I really appreciate your stopping by and taking the time to leave a note. Work has fallen in on me and I have not had enough time to reply coherently lately so I apologize preemptively but still want to assure you that your comments are valued. I am using comment moderation to avoid using more annoying spam avoidance. Thanks for your patience.