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Month in review

Reviews:
All Meat Looks Like South America by Bruce McCall
Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis
The Black Island by Georges Remi Hergé
The Blues of Flats Brown by Walter Dean Myers
The Bungalow Mystery (Nancy Drew #3) by Carolyn Keene
The Cave by Steve McGill
Chicka Chicka 123 by Bill Martin Jr. and Lois Ehlert
A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold
Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron
Duck in a Truck by Jez Alborough
Enemies and Allies by Kevin J. Anderson
Frozen Tears by Mary Ann MacAfee
Haven Stones: The Last Unicorn by Richard Carbajal
Humanism for Parents — Parenting without Religion by Sean Curley
Hurricane by Arnaldo Ricciulli
I Spy Christmas by Jean Marzollo
If I Ran the Zoo by Dr. Seuss
Immortality Inc. by Robert Sheckley
Mars: The Red Planet by Isaac Asimov
Monsters! Draw Your Own Mutants, Freaks & Creeps by Jay Stephens
North from Calcutta by Duane Evans
Perseverance: True Voices of Cancer Survivors by Carolyn Rubenstein
Read Me edited by Gaby Morgan
Resonance by A. J. Scudiere
Right to Remain Silent by Penny Warner
Sahwira: An African Friendship by Carolyn Marsden
The Shining by Stephen King
Son of the Great River by Elijah Meeks
The Sun by Ralph Winrich
Swann's Way by Marcel Proust
That's Not My Dinosaur by Fionna Watt
Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll
What the Hell is a Groom and What's He Supposed to Do? by John Mitchell
Wolf Willow by Wallace Stegner
You Suck by Christopher Moore
Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin
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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for Your Inner Fish

Your Inner Fish (Link goes to Amazon)Your Inner Fish: 11/11/09

I first heard about Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin on NPR in early 2008. It sounded like an interesting book and had such a catchy title that it was easy to remember. Recently I saw the book at my local library and snatched it up. The book proved to be as fascinating a read as the author's interview on NPR was to listen to.

Your Inner Fish is a hybrid of a memoir and an introductory evolutionary biology book. For the memoir half, Shubin covers how he got started in his field and how he and his colleagues came across the best places to search for the bones of those elusive common ancestors.

At the heart of his research is a creature that looks like a cross between a fish and a crocodile. It's a fish with a long flat snout and shoulders. It is otherwise fish like. The creature dubbed Tiktaalik was found in a remote bit of the Canadian arctic.

From the bones in the shoulder and fins Shubin goes on to explain how biologists have found similarities between a wide variety of animals. Look at a human hand and compare it to that of a cats paw, a bat's wing, a horse's hoof and so forth. They are different but similar. It's easy to see how the bones of different animals share common properties with each other.

Back in college I took a paleontology course. My favorite lecture for the class was a skeletal comparison between T-rex and common Thanksgiving turkey. As Your Inner Fish was along the same lines, I couldn't put it down until I was done. I managed to tear through it in about two hours.

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Comment #1: Wednesday, November, 11, 2009 at 15:34:36

kiirstin

This is a book I would very much like to read. I believe it was nominated for a Royal Society Prize, but I'm pretty sure it didn't win. I heard Shubin interviewed on radio, too, on the CBC's Quirks and Quarks. I'm even more excited to read it now, though!



Comment #2: Monday, November 16, 2009 at 10:08:14

Pussreboots

It makes sense he'd be on the CBC since most of his field research takes him to the northern reaches of Canada. Your Inner Fish is a fascinating and well written book. The second edition apparently has an update on his research; I read the first edition.