The topic (ancient cultures in the American southwest)of this book definitely piqued my interest. And I generally like accounts of outdoor adventure.The topic (ancient cultures in the American southwest)of this book definitely piqued my interest. And I generally like accounts of outdoor adventure. But after a few chapters, I grew tired of the author's many anecdotes of his own hikes and his profiles of other modern-day explorers of ruins in the southwest. Though he does convey some information about the rise and fall of peoples in this area, I found myself wishing for more emphasis and substance on the ancient civilizations, and fewer contemporary anecdotes....more
The topic is very interesting, but unfortunately the writing style is quite dry - not much sense of narrative. I ended up skimming it after the firstThe topic is very interesting, but unfortunately the writing style is quite dry - not much sense of narrative. I ended up skimming it after the first few chapters....more
My favorite kind of history - showing the history you thought you knew (America in 1776) from a fresh angle, and told as an interesting story. CoversMy favorite kind of history - showing the history you thought you knew (America in 1776) from a fresh angle, and told as an interesting story. Covers what was going on in the rest of what is now the U.S. in the 1770s, including Spanish and Russian competition for west coast settlements, fur trade politics, and the many conflicts between different Native American tribes (and their interactions with the French, Spanish, and British colonial powers). The U.S. history I learned while growing up in the Boston area was focused largely on the 13 colonies, so it was fascinating to learn more about what was going on - at the same time - beyond the east coast....more
Taking place several years after the more famous Lewis and Clark Expedition, the Astor Expedition was every bit as grueling and ambitious. Although AsTaking place several years after the more famous Lewis and Clark Expedition, the Astor Expedition was every bit as grueling and ambitious. Although Astor’s plan for a global trade network was foiled by the War of 1812, his explorers laid the foundation for the Oregon Trail and future American settlement of the Pacific Northwest. This clear-eyed and riveting page-turner by outdoor adventure writer Peter Stark is a must-read for fans of Stephen Ambrose’s Undaunted Courage....more
If you like Simon Winchester (The Professor and the Madman) or Erik Larson (The Devil in the White City). Really interesting history set in CaliforniaIf you like Simon Winchester (The Professor and the Madman) or Erik Larson (The Devil in the White City). Really interesting history set in California in the 2nd half of the 19th century with an emphasis on the eccentric personality of jack-of-all-trades and photographer Edward Muybridge who developed the technology of stop-motion photography in the now iconic images of a running horse. The horse was owned by Muybridge's patron, wealthy railroad baron Lelan Stanford. Edward Ball (author of National Book Award-winning "Slaves in the Family") draws fascinating parallels to our own culture of omnipresent screens that offer views of streaming pictures....more
Fascinating and disturbing true story of a controversial medical epidemic. The author is a science reporter (now editor of "Discover" magazine) whoseFascinating and disturbing true story of a controversial medical epidemic. The author is a science reporter (now editor of "Discover" magazine) whose family all contracted Lyme, and then faced many obstacles in getting treatment. Unfortunately, their story is typical of many patients with late, chronic Lyme who get caught in the "Lyme wars".
Here is a description from The Seattle Public Library Catalog:
A groundbreaking and controversial narrative investigation into the science, history, medical politics, and patient experience of Lyme disease told by a science journalist whose entire family contracted the disease. Pamela Weintraub paints a nuanced picture of the intense controversy and crippling uncertainty surrounding Lyme disease and sheds light on one of the angriest medical disputes raging today. She also reveals her personal odyssey through the land of Lyme after she, her husband and their two sons became seriously ill with the disease beginning in the 1990s. From the microbe causing the infection and the definition of the disease, to the length and type of treatment and the kind of practitioner needed, Lyme is a hotbed of contention. With a CDC-estimated 200,000-plus new cases of Lyme disease a year, it has surpassed both AIDS and TB as the fastest-spreading infectious disease in the U.S. Yet alarmingly, in many cases, because the disease often eludes blood tests and not all patients exhibit the classic "bulls-eye" rash and swollen joints, doctors are woefully unable or unwilling to diagnose Lyme. When that happens, once-treatable infections become chronic, inexorably disseminating to cause disabling conditions that may never be cured. Weintraub reveals why the Lyme epidemic has been allowed to explode, why patients are dismissed, and what can be done to raise awareness in the medical community and find a cure. The most comprehensive book ever written about the past, present and future of Lyme disease, this exposes the ticking clock of a raging epidemic. ...more