Library Week and the April Reads

Yes, it is now April 4th and I am just getting to this. April is slowly becoming one of those coulda, woulda months. I was supposed to run nine miles on Sunday. Instead, I had Easter dinner with the family and chilled out. I could have run on Monday but it snowed and I had Cairo. Coulda, shoulda, woulda, didn’t. April is supposed to he a half marathon (and you can see how well the training is going) and a 10k one week later. Here are the books:

Fiction:

  • Amber Beach by Elizabeth Lowell – in honor of Lowell’s birth month being in April.

Nonfiction:

  • Zeitoun by Dave Eggers – in honor of April being the month Louisiana was founded.
  • Bogey Man by George Plimpton – in honor of the PGA tour.
  • Corner by David Simon – in honor of Maryland becoming a state in April.
  • Evolution of Useful Things by Henry Petroski – in honor of April being Math, Science, and Technology month.

Series continuations:

  • Venus Throw by Steven Saylor – to continue the series started in March for Saylor’s birth month.
  • Charmed by Nora Roberts – to continue the series started in February for Valentine’s Day.

Poetry:

  • New and Collected Poetry by Czeslaw Milosz – to continue honoring Poetry Month
  • A Few Figs From Thistles by Edna St. Vincent Millay – see above.
  • “Wild Geese” by Edna St. Vincent Millay – see above.

If there is time:

  • To the Is-Land by Janet Frame – in honor of Anzac Day in New Zealand.
  • Jargoon Pard by Andre Norton (I had to request this one through interlibrary loan so I’m not sure it will be read in time to be in the April category.

Why Things Bite Back

Tenner, Edward. Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006.

I first became interested in Why Things Bite Back when I thought of the title in relation to health and flu vaccinations. The more aggressively we try to fight the ills of the seasonal flu the more resilient the virus gets.  Now with the vast-reaching and rapid spread of the H1N1 virus Why Things Bite Back seems even more telling.

Edward Tenner takes an in-depth look at the technology that first set out to make our lives easier, more convenient, and faster: technologies that include chemistry, invention, ingenuity and just plain luck. The advances science and medicine don’t come without fault and failure. It’s these drawbacks that Tenner describes as “revenges.” Seat belts that save adults but kill children, for example. The unexpected thrill to Tenner’s book is that it isn’t dry and didactic. There is actual humor hidden in the irony.

My favorite line (for obvious reasons), “…what are we to make of stepping from office elevators into our cars and driving to health clubs to use treadmills (a feature of nineteenth-century prisons)…” (p 10).

BookLust Twist: From More Book Lust in the chapter called, “Dewey Deconstructed: 300s” (p 66).