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Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Basics of Plasma Astrophysics
Claudio Chiuderi, Marco Velli
Progress: 58/250 pages
Ursula K. Le Guin: The Complete Orsinia: Malafrena / Stories and Songs (The Library of America)
Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 454/700 pages
Aurora: In Search of the Northern Lights
Melanie Windridge
Progress: 205/320 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 164/1102 pages
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe
She Stoops to Conquer and Other Comedies (Oxford World's Classics)
Henry Fielding, David Garrick, Oliver Goldsmith
Progress: 159/448 pages
Gravitation (Physics Series)
Kip Thorne;Kip S. Thorne;Charles W. Misner;John Archibald Wheeler;John Wheeler
Progress: 48/1215 pages
I Am a Cat
Graeme Wilson, Aiko Ito, Sōseki Natsume
Progress: 410/638 pages
The Complete Novels of Jane Austen
Jane Austen
Progress: 651/1220 pages

A Modest Genius, Hanne Strager

A Modest Genius: The Story of Darwin's Life and How His Ideas Changed Everything - Sarah Darwin, Hanne Strager

This book tries to cover a lot of territory in a short space; biography of Darwin, discussion of his scientific ideas and how they fit into the history of evolutionary theory right up to the present, somewhat discordant look at the conflict between Christian fundamentalists' literalist take on Genesis vs. the scientific consensus of an ancient Earth and evolution of species, also right up to the present.


This inevitably means that the book is somewhat superficial and is probably weakest on the biographical front. The scientific angle is entry-level and probably good as such but will seem a little patronising to people already familiar with the basic ideas. It's also slightly out of date in that it pays no heed to modern epigenetics or the whole Gould vs. Dawkins controversy.


I wanted a much deeper insight into the character of the man, but that doesn't make it a bad book, just the wrong book. It might be just what you are looking for.