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Second Person Singular by Sayed Kashua
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Kingdom of the Film Stars by Annie Caulfield
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Lonely Planet Islands in the Clouds by Lonely Planet
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Joel rated a book 3 of 5 stars
In Rajasthan by Royina Grewal
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Rajasthan is an area of northwestern India; in this book, the author, who had recently moved to Rajasthan, writes about her travels through the region.

There are three things Grewal seems particularly interested in:

1) the lifestyles of Rajasthan's var...more
Joel rated a book 2 of 5 stars
Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind
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In subtle ways, Professor Vaughn showed us how to pay the land its due respect. He was patient with us if we tied an inept half hitch or ran the jeep into quick mud, but he bristled if we complained too much about the heat, or the smell of the cattle tank we used for a bath, or joked sarcastically about the social life of some small town. At the university, he lectured with such precision and speed that two students often teamed up for note taking. But stopped out on some two-track road in Jornada del Muerto, he could chew on a shaft of grass for an hour, languidly exchanging philosophy with a local cowboy. The professor even adopted a slower, lulling speech pattern in the field, and used local phrases liberally.

Time moved slowly in the desert and we were expected to fall into that rhythm.
Michael Novacek
Joel rated a book 4 of 5 stars
Dinosaurs of the Flaming Cliffs by Michael Novacek
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Novacek is a paleontologist who began organizing major fossil-hunting expeditions to the Gobi Desert in Mongolia in 1990. This book, published in 1996, essentially hops between two subjects: the story of his expeditions (the discoveries, the logistic...more
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Swimming in Stone by John Long
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But why live in these environments at all? What possessed fish to get out of the water or live in the margins? Think of this: virtually every fish swimming in these 375-million-year-old streams was a predator of some kind. Some were up to sixteen feet long, almost twice the size of the largest Tiktaalik. The most common fish species we find alongside Tiktaalik is seven feet long and has a head as wide as a basketball. The teeth are barbs the size of railroad spikes. Would you want to swim in these ancient streams?Neil Shubin
Joel rated a book 5 of 5 stars
Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin
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A short book, aimed at the general reader, about the anatomical history of the human body; how various features of our bodies have evolved and adapted from similar structures in the bodies of simpler creatures (fish, worms, bacteria, and so forth). T...more
More of Joel's books…
Roberto Bolaño
“Nothing happened today. And if anything did, I’d rather not talk about it, because I didn’t understand it.”
Roberto Bolaño, The Savage Detectives

David Sedaris
“My hands tend to be full enough dealing with people who hate me for _who_ I am. Concentrate too hard on the millions who hate you for _what_ you are and you're likely to turn into one of those unkempt, sloppy dressers who sag beneath the weight of the two hundred political buttons they wear pinned to their coats and knapsacks. I haven't got the slightest idea of how to change people, but still I keep a long list of prospective candidates just in case I should ever figure it out.”
David Sedaris, Naked

Aravind Adiga
“Never before in human history have so few owed so much to so many, Mr. Jiabao. A handful of men in this country have trained the remaining 99.9 percent—as strong, as talented, as inteligent in every way—to exist in perpetual servitude; a servitude so strong that you can put the key of his emancipation in a man's hands and he will throw it back at you with a curse.”
Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger

Neil Shubin
“My building was constructed in 1896, and the utilities reflect an odd design that has been jerry-rigged further with each renovation. If you want to understand the wiring and plumbing in my building, you have to understand its history, how it was renovated for each new generation of scientists. My head has a long history also, and that history explains complicated nerves like the trigeminal and the facial.”
Neil Shubin, Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body

“I thought of a sign I had seen... another scary time, when I was two hundred feet up in a giant karri tree in South West Australia. At the point where the precarious spiral ladder grew even steeper and narrower to reach the fire-watch platform atop the tree, the sign said: 'Reassess Your Situation Now: Turn Back if You Are Not Comfortable'. Then, as now, that seemed like damn good advice.”
Robert Michael Pyle, Mariposa Road: The First Butterfly Big Year
tags: advice

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