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Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Storm Front
Jim Butcher
Progress: 28/307 pages
Life and Letters of Charles Darwin - Volume 1: By Charles Darwin - Illustrated
Charles Darwin
Progress: 120/346 pages
Hero And Leander
Christopher Marlowe
Progress: 34/100 pages
An Introduction to Magnetohydrodynamics
P.A. DAVIDSON, E.J. Hinch, S.H. Davis, Mark J. Ablowitz
Progress: 93/452 pages
Ursula K. Le Guin: The Complete Orsinia: Malafrena / Stories and Songs (The Library of America)
Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 359/700 pages
Plasma physics
R.A. Cairns
Progress: 4/244 pages
Selected Short Stories - Conrad (Wordsworth Classics)
Keith Carabine, Joseph Conrad
Progress: 37/272 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 108/1102 pages
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe

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 It's also slightly out of date in that it pays no heed to modern epigenetics or the whole Gould vs. Dawkins controversy.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.