In his Pulitzer Prize winning book, Jared Diamond points out the significance that our environment (geographical and economical) has played in our societal evolution thus far. Going back 20,000 years (and more, at times), GGS attempts to answer important questions such as, "Why do some societies seek conquest, while others maintain their hunter/gatherer lifestyle?" and "Did some cultures have a 'head start' over other, less fortunate ones?" From the origins of animal-borne disease, to pandemics, and onto modern industry and agriculture, GGS covers a broad-range of topics still relevant today.
Letters to a Young Scientist is a "must-read" if you identify AT ALL as a scientist in this life. Edward O. Wilson exemplifies the focus and intention placed on a life of authentic original discovery. In this book, you will collect some of the best advice to find fulfillment in purpose. Stories of observing ants become enthralling and seemingly obvious points about focus and integrity have renewed clarity between the pages of these valuable lessons. When people ask what I'm reading now..... lots AND... This is always in my backpack.
In Patriotic Fire, Winston Groom details the Battle of New Orleans in 1814-1815, and how the British very nearly re-claimed America, only 30 years after her inception. Led by future U.S. President, Andrew Jackson, and with the heavy support and direction of the famed privateer Jean Laffite, a small group of untrained, unprofessional "soldiers" were able to successfully repel a larger, professional army of trained imperialists. This battle was also vital to our nation's formation, as the British had recently burned Washington D.C., in a vengeful battle of attrition following U.S. Independence. It was a quick read, considering I couldn't put it down once I picked it up.
As the name suggests, The Border Trilogy is actually three, loosely intertwined books; all involving the trials and tribulations of west Texas (and a few of its inhabitants) in the early 1900s. Ranch foreclosures, Mexican jails, bandidos, wolves, and knife-fights become components all too familiar in our characters’ daily lives as they push forward, despite the odds and obstacles set in their path. If you've seen the movie, All the Pretty Horses, or No Country For Old Men, you are likely familiar with Cormac McCarthy and his style of presenting a brutal reality, where the protagonist doesn't always win, and people often make life/death decisions on the spot.