Wednesday, April 30, 2008


A while back Wil asked how I was liking Foucault's Pendulum. The truth is I started and then couldn't concentrate on it. I had too much grading and work and worrying to do. My father got it for me for Christmas. On the 23rd of December he called me to ask what I wanted for Christmas. I referred to my Amazon wishlist. I don't actually order from Amazon, but it's an easy way to keep a list of books I want.

He also bought me the Island of the Day Before. I read to page 150 and still couldn't get into the story. The imagery was amazing, but a guy mysteriously stuck on a sailboat with no one else around, doesn't keep the pages turning. It felt like he was doing some kind of writing exercise, to see if he could weave the stories together, make it interesting.

I returned to Foucault's Pendulum, since I had only read a few pages. Now that I have had more time to avoid writing by reading, I'm enjoying it. It's taking much more concentration than the rest of my recent reads. I recently joined BookMooch, which has allowed me to mooch books I would never buy for myself. For example, Jane Goodall's autobiography, Reason for Hope was nice and had some interesting points, but was written for a popular audience. I haven't read anything non-fiction quite so fluffy in quite a while. Jan Goodall is one of my favorite famous women scientists, along with Rosalind Franklin, the discoverer of DNA. A third awesome woman scientist is Dr. Lynn Margulis, who despite seeming to get no credit, is the person who actually provided evidence to support the Gaia Hypothesis. Margulis is the scientist who worked out Endosymbiotic theory, the theory that we are actually symbiotic organisms, the mitochondria in our cells were at one time separate organisms. I also read Neil Gaiman's book, American Gods. Neil Gaiman is my new favorite author.

Now that I have gotten into it, I'm really enjoying Foucault's Pendulum. It's my only distraction from the hell that is my thesis. Until my thesis is done I'm not allowing myself to work on any other projects. No working on my dissertation proposal, no starting fun projects, no, no, no. Must motivate to write the damn thing. I'm terrified to give it to my committee. I'm being silly because my committee members are both awesome, but I'm frightened.


wil said...

Glad you're enjoying Foucault's Pendulum (word to the wise: my cousin had to correct my pronunciation -- apparently it's pronounced foo-koh, not fow-kalt -- who'd of thunk? [what can I say, I took Spanish in school, not French. Estoy embarazado! Err...I mean, tengo verguenza!] :-).

Jane Goodall's awesome. I heard her speak a few years ago -- great speaker.

I've had a couple of Lynn Margulis books in my Amazon wishlist for quite a while now. One of these days I'll actually order -- and read -- one. How can you not be interested in someone described as "Science's Unruly Earth Mother"?

Breena Ronan said...

Who called her that? That's awesome!

wil said...

It's the title of a Charles Mann 1991 Science article -- saw it as a Wikipedia reference.