Archive for the ‘Books’ Category


I’ve probably been fascinated with fossils since I was little. One of the first time’s I was introduced to them was somewhere between 4th and 6th grade. I can’t remember the exact time but I do remember they were little round circles that we chipped out of rocks.

Anyway, this article tonight takes me back not just to that place and time but also to the book Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms: The Story of the Animals and Plants That Time has Left Behind by Richard Fortey.

So I almost forgot, the article is entitled “A Mysterious Fossil Points to the Origins of Lizards and Snakes” by Asher Elbein over at the New York Times. Believe it or not, I still have a couple of fossils lying around the house.



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The article I read tonight reminds me of the book I’m reading at the moment, Still Waters by Curt Stager. In fact, some of the stories in the aforementioned book, remind me a little of what’s gone on over at Town Line Lake (the lake our cabin is on), during the last few years.

Anyway, the article is entitled “Arctic Expert Discovers Methane Fuelled Lake in Alaska” by Chris Mooney over at Independent. I guess this weekend I’ll have to do a little reading on the history of our lake, starting with the book History of Longville, MN 1906-2006.



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Minnesota soil

So this article tonight goes right to the heart of a book I talked about a couple of posts ago entitled What’s Under Our Feet (which is also the title of the post) and at the same time, reminds me of our family vacation in Minnesota. Which is also where the author, Paul Bogard resides.

Anyway, the article is entitled “Minnesota Ranch Looks to Regenerate Rather than Sustain It” by Jenny Schlecht over at Capital Journal. I’m guessing Paul would agree.



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So we made it back from Minnesota last week and while I didn’t finish my book The Ground Beneath Us by Paul Bogard or in fact read any of, I did enjoy our time at the cabin and surrounding area.

In fact, one of things that I did do was take lots and lots of pictures with my new digital camera, mostly of sunsets but also the surrounding scenery. In fact, one of my favorite pictures involves both the sunset and driftwood.

So imagine my surprise when I came across the article entitled “The Surprising Beauty and Benefits of Driftwood” by Russell McLendon over at the Mother Nature Network. I actually read it today on my way and from work.

That said I will now return to the previously mentioned book but not before sharing that inspirational picture (at least to me):




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What’s under our feet

So the book I’m reading right now is entitled The Ground Beneath Us, the second book I’ve read by Paul Bogard and ironically it’s around the same time of year as when I read his first one. When we’re getting ready to go on vacation to our cabin in Minnesota, which it turns out is where he’s from.

When I read his first book, entitled The End of Night, it really rang a bell because our cabin is about three and half hours north of the twin cities which gives us the gift of very dark nights and lots of stars. Something I can never get around here in St. Louis.

While that connection isn’t there, I still find this book every bit as interesting, since I too  have often wondered what’s under out feet. As someone who was born in Iowa (one of the many states he covers in this book) and who in fact has relatives there, which we will be visiting, I will perhaps find myself a little more observant this time around while on their farm.

Anyway, I’m hoping to finish the book while we’re up in Minnesota, where I lived as well for a short time and can’t wait to visit again. For both the stars above and the ground below.



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So when I read this book review (actually two of them) for the book Landmarks by Robert Macfarlane, I was immediately taken back to my childhood. To the times we played in the woods and all the landmarks that were there. I’m reminded of the train tunnel, the open stony field and the grassy open field as well, which is now full of houses.

Anyway, the first review is over at the Wall Street Journal, which yes isn’t available unless you have a subscription. It’s entitled “Why You Can’t  Say Where You Are” by Tom Shippey. It’s also in the August 6-7, 2016 weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal.

I also happen to come across a review of the book over at the New York Time which is entitled “Review: ‘Landmarks’ a Book on Language and Landscape” by Sarah Lyall. Either way, it’s a great read and if you’re like me, will take you back to another time.



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Out west

As someone who has always enjoyed both history and science, not to mention went to school at the University of Oklahoma at Norman, the dust bowl has always been one of those topics that I actually know very little about so this article over at the Wall Street Journal was a quick and easy read.

The article is entitled “The Prophet of the Dust Bowl” by John F. Ross over at the Wall Street Journal and like I’ve said in the past, you will need a subscription to the Journal in order to access the article or you can just go down to your local library to read this article in the Review section of the June 16-17 weekend edition.

You could also check out the book The Promise of the Grand Canyon: John Wesley Powell’s Perilous Journey and His Vision for the American West, also by John F. Ross. Me, I’ve already read the article and now I need to go request the book.



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