Open a book this minute and start reading. Don’t move until you’ve reached page fifty. Until you’ve buried your thoughts in print. Cover yourself with words. Wash yourself away. Dissolve. Carol Shields Republic of Love

Science Book Challenge 2010

The image is a photograph of heat-convection currents in air, captured by Gavan Mitchell and Phil Taylor (source) using the Schlieren technique, a method that reveals temperature & density differences in the air. The image is © Copyright 2009 by Gavan Mitchell & Phil Taylor, used with permission for the challenge. Please use this image in your own blog to publicize the 2010 Science Book Challenge.Overall, I’d like to read more non-fiction and I’m hoping that participating in this challenge will encourage me to do so. I’ve started each of these books before. I’ve leafed through each of them, been impressed by anecdotes in each of them, but while I rarely set aside a novel that I’ve begun (mainly because I’m choosy to start with…it’s not a firm philosophy or anything), I more-often-than-not set aside even the most compelling non-fiction that I pick up. Here’s to a new habit, though, one that I hope will stick.

Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel (1997)
Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma (2006)
Norman Doidge’s The Brain That Changes Itself (2007)

Update: I knew this was going to be the hardest of my challenges, but I didn’t realize how hard. It’s not just that it was non-fiction (which, as I said above, is always a challenge of sorts for me), but that it was the least welcoming kind of non-fiction for me.

And, as I ventured into it I realized that I felt uncomfortable for good reason. I simply don’t have the grounding (neither in my real life, nor on the page) to make this habit a comfortable one.

But, as such, it was also the most informative challenge of the year. I really do want this to be a new habit. But it’s going to take a lot more time and attention.

S’ok: I’m up for the challenge. (Links to these reviews will appear at the end of 2010 because these books have encouraged a new reading project for me for 2011.)

Completed December 2010: Summary Post.

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