All Roads Lead to Darwin
I’ve been reading a few books lately that seem to have tendrils and threads woven effortlessly into their texts. One name that keeps cropping up is Darwin.
I am not, you may have guessed, reading books on the Evolution of the Species. That would not exactly be worthy of note. Reading about Darwinism, you say? And Darwin keeps popping up? You don’t say.
It all started with a science book. Well, not the last one. The one before it. Or was it the one before that?
Let’s start at the start, shall we?
At the start of the year I read Oliver Sacks’ Uncle Tungsten. I’m not sure how this led me to the next science book, but there was a lot of adventure and chemistry. He may even have mentioned Darwin. There were many science heroes delivered here, so you never know.
The next book was The Philosophical Breakfast Club, by Laura J. Snyder. There are many, many tales for me to tell from this book. The main thing to say is: read it. It’s leading me in all sorts of wonderful directions. So many amazing men and women of science. I can’t think where to start, so I shan’t. Just go away. Don’t read the rest of what I have to say. Get that book and read it.
In the ‘Breakfast Club’ there is mention of Charles Babbage’s likely influence on Charles Darwin. Darwin is mentioned a few times in this book and it is difficult not to want to read more of him and his works.
I found myself an online copy of Darwin’s Red Notebook and, while I’m looking forward to reading it, I’m first resting up with a little non-science reading. I can’t wait to read his work though. He’s such an eloquent and insightful writer.
So, now I find myself reading a book about writing. The Little Red Writing Book by Mark Treddinick is not a quick read, but it is a hugely satisfying one. It’s not quick, because it asks things of you. I am finding myself with little exercises on every second page. And I’m loving it.
But what else do I find? Charles Darwin. Not for his scientific prowess is he hiding in this book. No, he’s here for his writing style. For his ability to state the complex simply. To make the most difficult ideas understandable and to say it well.
Well, well. Mister Darwin, it appears you wish me to read you.
Who am I to resist?