So much to read, so little time. For those of you who are interested in my rather lengthy amazon.com wish list (click the button to the right if), here’s a preview of what you can expect my opinion on in the coming days and weeks;
The Age of Reptiles by Edwin H. Colbert
Nothing like an old, lavishly illustrated book about tetrapods. It may be outdated, but it’ll give me some more background on the intellectual/cultural evolution of the “ruling reptiles.”
The Dechronization of Sam Magruder by G.G. Simpson
You might be familiar with G.G. Simpson’s books about evolution, horses, and penguins, but in this (his only fictional work, published in the 80’s) Simpson tells the tale of time-travelling scientist Sam Magruder, who vindicates Simpsons ideas about dinosaurs through direct observation. Sounds like beach reading to me.
Fatalis by Jeff Rovin
Saber-tooth cats in present day LA. ‘Nuff said.
The Ultimate Dinosaur by Various Authors
A collection of essays, short stories, and works of art by various scientists, authors, and artists.
Bring ’em Back Petrified by Lilian McLaughlin Brown
One of several books celebrated fossil-hunter Barnum Brown’s wife wrote about life married to the paleontologist.
A Primate’s Memoir by Robert Sapolsky
I’ve heard so many good things about this book I couldn’t put it off anymore; Sapolsky tells of his studies among baboons in Africa, including how he came to be in such a position in the first place.
I enjoyed some of McGowan’s other writings, so I thought I would give this one a shot. Dinosaurs certainly shook things up in terms of geology, ideas about extinction, and evolution, but I know that some (like Richard Owen) tried very hard to make them seem like more-perfect ancient creations rather than products of evolution.
The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinction by David Quammen
Another book that I simply could not put off any longer; I’ve thoroughly enjoyed some of Quammen’s articles and other books, and being that extinction is one of my favorite topics, how could I pass this one up?
The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan
I know, I know; shame on me for not reading it sooner.
Vertebrate Paleontology by A.S. Romer
I still don’t have enough scratch for Osteology of the Reptiles, but I figured this might be a good primer. I definitely need to broaden my background when it comes to vertebrates, and I figured Romer’s work might be a good place to start.
The Origin and Evolution of Birds by Alan Feduccia
Given my recent criticisms of Feduccia, it’s only fair that I read his book. This should be an interesting companion to Heilmann’s 1923 book The Origin of Birds, (as well as Romer’s discussion of bird origins in Man and the Vertebrates Vol. I) and I’m definitely interesting in seeing how much has and has not changed since that time.
I should polish off The Jungle within the next day, at which point I’m on to Green Rage by Christopher Manes (a book I was suppossed to read in freshman year of college, but I never got around to it) until the new stuff starts coming in.