Monday, February 3, 2014

Weekend of -ology and words

An Explorer's Notebook by Tim Flannery

This was an excellent compilation of Flannery's work for the past three decades. They are placed in chronological order by sections based on type of work. He included his personal essays on biology and zoology in the field, which I found to be incredibly fascinating; reviews of scientific books he read; and, climate essays to raise recognition of our impact on the species of the world.

Section one: I love zoology and learning about all the different kinds of animals. What animals can tell us about our own planet is incredible. Tim Flannery is an Australian scientist, and he gave me a whole new perspective on animals from New Guinea and Indonesia. I absolutely adore tree kangaroos and learned so many new facts from his research. While I would love to own one, they are quite the aggressive ninja and are capable of killing an adult man. Who knew? Some of the essays were great exposes on the animals and the hunt to learn more about them; others were a little more preachy about man-animal interaction. I honestly skimmed through these articles.

Section two: Flanney covers the better reviews he provided for scientific books. Did you know Audubon's book was life-size and cost (modern day) $40,000? That is a coffee table book for the records. I skimmed through a couple of the reviews because the subject of trees and insects weren't as interesting to me, and Flannery's scientific review put me even further into sleep. I was greatly intrigued by the review of Attenborough's Life in the Undergrowth. I had just finished watching the televised program of the book the previous weekend. Coincidences like that fascinate me.

Section three: Essays that are worthy of sparking an intellectual debate. The topic of climate change is usually not my favorite because it seems that most arguments are not fully researched. Clearly that is not case with Tim Flannery. This section was a little dry for me, however.

I truly appreciated the change into non-fiction and all the great topics and debates Flannery sparked during my reading. I would certainly recommend broadening the reading horizons with this fabulous collection of essays. (Maybe just break up your reading of them?)

Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing by Mignon Fogarty

My last year of reading and involvement in Netgalley has really refueled my goal to get into the editing workforce. I have been looking at multiple sources to get my feet wet again. I started with online .edu sites for proofreading tests and realized I needed a memory boost. 

I was then recommended Mignon Fogarty's book. The entire book was a condensed version of my four year degree. It was an excellent refresher to what I had already learned, but it would also be incredibly helpful to those entering the writing sector (and professionals who need a huge reminder in this modern day of email and texting that grammar has not changed).

At $8 from Amazon, you can't pass up on this handy handbook to the often forgotten and confusing aspects of the English language.

Here is to foray into the general literature/fiction section!