Sunday, March 2, 2014

It's Monday! What are You Reading? 3-3

The It's Monday! What are You Reading? meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

I finished The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean (finally!) and Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger therefore I am feeling vaguely accomplished. 

I decided to join the Take Control of Your TBR Pile March 2014 Challenge in a probably vain attempt to make the pile go down (or at least maintain numeric stasis) this month and give myself further encouragement to get some of my TBR goals moving forward.  I need to pick up pace with my nonfiction reading/reviewing, because that was actually supposed to be the primary point of this blog in the first place.

To that end I am currently reading Lake Effect: Two Sisters and a Town's Toxic Legacy by Nancy A. Nichols and have also started The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet by Neil deGrasse Tyson. 

Dr. Tyson managed to seriously annoy me by starting his book with an ungrammatical sentence, sigh.  Just in case anyone is wondering, I had absolutely no trouble with the IAU vote that declared Pluto a dwarf planet. I teach Earth Science so I was already aware that historically what constitutes a planet has varied wildly over time and whenever I taught a section on planetary geology I kept using some variation of the phrase "except Pluto" so many times it was getting annoying. I am one of those odd people who was trying to explain why Pluto was so odd, therefore its 'loss of status' made sense.  Dr. Tyson's book is a bit of a historical trip through time that seeks to explain why Americans in general were so emotionally attached to Pluto as a planet.  I am only a couple of dozen pages in so I am not sure how I feel about the book, other than it is trying a bit too hard to be cool. 
Lake Effect is a personal examination of the connection between environmental pollution and rare forms of cancer.  I have already zoomed though 40+ pages and am reasonably impressed. So far this is a serious contender for being required reading in one of my classes. The fact that the book is about a former manufacturing center located on the shore of a Great Lake makes it particularly pertinent. This is a short book and well written so far.

I am also taking a look at a couple of biographies of Rachael Carson that I have On a Farther Shore by William Souder and The Gentle Subversive by Mark Hamilton Lytle to see which one of them I might before reading Silent Spring or if I am just going to go straight to Carson's most famous book.


  1. Lake Effect sounds very good! I lobe non fiction!

  2. Hope that TBR challenge reduces the pile. I am feeling the pressure from reviews and library books all landing in at the same time. Better though than nothing to read!

  3. I have a simple rule with my TBR: When a book comes in, another goes out. Easy-peasy.

    Here's my It's Monday!

  4. I have given up all hope for reducing my TBR mountain. I read 21 books last month and only 2 were books from the TBR pile. I added about 30 new ones to the pile. Come see my Monday Report. Have a great week!

  5. Interesting to see your thoughts on the Pluto Files, since I see Tyson is involved in the new COSMOS series and I was not familiar with him prior to seeing that. Also Lake Effect sounds intriguing since I live on a Great Lake (or close I should say) so that caught my eye.

    Happy reading this week.

  6. I must say, I was never terribly fond of Pluto. But I might be interested in learning about the classifications and how they've changed over time. Good luck with Take Control!


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