My family is used to seeing me with my nose in a book. Mr. Caffeinated claims I’m the only person he knows that can do laundry or wash dishes and read simultaneously.
The Darwin Myth: the Life and Lies of Charles Darwin, by Benjamin Wiker.
I liked this book. It combines a biography of Darwin’s life with the development of his philosophy of evolution and the primary objections that were raised by his friends and peers. I was not aware that Darwin didn’t develop the theory of evolution; that his grandfather had written a book on the subject, or that his wife didn’t agree with his theories. Wiker also spends a couple of chapters at the end of the book, detailing evolution’s contributions to racism and violence. While I don’t agree that the book is “unbiased”, I did feel that it presented a logical, scientific examination of Darwin’s theories while giving a reasonably compassionate portrayal of Darwin the man.
Possum Living: How to Live Well Without a Job and (Almost) No Money by Dolly Freed (2010 edition)
This book was originally written by an 18-year-old girl back in the 70’s, and revised by the same lady 30 years later. It is a combination documentary and manifesto on how to live and eat well without being sucked into the rat race that most of us live in. Dolly dropped out of school in 7th grade, but later got her GED, aced the SATs, went to college and became an engineer for NASA… and much, much more.
I didn’t agree with everything she wrote in the book… but then again, neither did she. (I highly encourage you to get the 2010 edition, because while the main book is wonderful, the last chapter or two are an absolute hoot.) I learned a lot that I plan to implement in the garden and animal-raising department, but doubt I’ll ever use her advice on how to terrorize a recalcitrant lawyer. (That’s part of the book she later disagreed with). This is a great back-to-the-land read, and I enjoyed it tremendously.
The author has a blog at www.possumliving.net.
Understood Betsy, by Dorothy Fisher
I was introduced to this book at a recent Mom’s Night for our homeschooling group.
If you enjoyed Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, or A Little Princess by Frances H. Burnett, then you’d enjoy Understood Betsy. Betsy is an orphan that has been raised by over-protective aunts in the big city, but is suddenly displaced to the country to live with her farm cousins. She spends the rest of the book discovering how to learn, how to laugh, and how to live. I didn’t realize until reading the afterword that it was also a demonstration in the principles of the Montessori method of teaching. I’d never done any real research into Montessori learning, but this was an excellent introduction to the philosophy… as well as being a charming read.
Have you found any good books recently?