My Summer Reading List

26 06 2009

Good tidings and well-wishes!

Having been inspired by a recent post over at Dinochick blogs, I’ve decided to create my own tentative list of books that I’m either currently reading or planning to during the next three months.  

Paleo-Themed Books:

Why Evolution Is True by Jerry Coyne.

I’ve been a big fan of Jerry’s blog of the same name for quite a while now, but have only recently begun working on his book. Currently, I’m about a third of the way through and am quite impressed with what I’ve found thus far. The volume breaks down several concepts such as adaptive radiation and biostratigraphy quite nicely and I look forward to completing it with great anticipation (I’ll have to be rather prompt, as I’m borrowing it from my fellow MCC paleo student Donny Price)!

Pterosaurs: From Deep Time by David Unwin.

I know, I know. I’ve already cited this in an earlier post about Cearadactylus. However, though I’ve skimmed it repeatedly, I haven’t actually started reading this one from cover to cover yet. Having become a dedicated follower of David Hone’s Archosaur Musings and Mark Witton’s photostream, I daresay that I’m transforming into a regular pterosaur fanboy (much like how Zach is starting to favor ceratopsians) and they are now my favorite group of diapsids next to mosasaurs.

A Sea Without Fish: Life Of The Ordovician Sea Of The Cincinati Region by Richard Davis and David Meyer.

Though I’m well aware that this book will, as the title suggests, feature very few vertebrates, inverts are rather cool too. Furthermore, it’s freakishly difficult to locate any books which deal with specific Paleozoic periods (excluding the end-Permian extinction), especially when compared to their Mesozoic and Cenozoic counterparts, so I’ll gladly snatch up any upon arrival.


Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.

I hope to polish off this classic novel for two reasons, the first being that I absolutely adore the musical adaptation (I can frequently be found singing ‘Master Of The House’ through the museum’s prep lab and collections area) and the second being that my father, with whom I share very similar literary tastes, loved reading it after I purchased a copy for him a few years back. I realize that, due to it’s respectable length, I may not complete it in time to qualify it as ‘summer reading’, but I’ll certainly make the attempt.

May the fossil record (and Victor Hugo) continue to enchant us all!




2 responses

27 06 2009
Brian Beatty

Yes, I’ve been wanting to read “A sea without fish” for a while now… simply such a cool concept to think about!
I’m reading lots of 19th C and early 20th C science fiction, as well as “Advances in Human Paleopathology” and “Environment, Evolution, and Development”. I highly recommend some of the modularity and developmental books, as well as more popular books, like Sean Carroll’s “Endless forms most beautiful” and “making of the fittest” and Neil Shubin’s “your inner fish”. I found that many of the same examples I used in my anatomy lectures are things Shubin brings up in his book, and in general it uses a bunch of good examples that help people clearly relate the importance of vertebrate paleontology, comparative anatomy, and the study of development. Very cool!

27 06 2009

“Your Inner Fish” was indeed exquisite, and I think that in it Shubin provided one of the most well written and documented evolutionary volumes I’ve ever come across. As for the other books that you’ve listed, I must admit that I’ve never heard of them. At some point, however, I’d also love to read “The Skull” volumes 1-3, assuming that I can accumulate the time and money.

And I quite heartily agree: the idea of a fishless sea is deliciously intriguing!

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