Friday, June 25th, 2010

image of Martian tripod

I finally finished The Great Influenza, a history of the Spanish influenza pandemic. Very cheery book. Millions died, nobody quite got the hang of a vaccination, and the message throughout the book was “The next pandemic is on the way!” You should read it.

Back home, I found a copy of The Right Stuff while I was fishing The Great Influenza out of my backpack. I’d been reading The Right Stuff up until I found The Great Influenza at the thrift store and made the mistake of opening it up to read the first few pages, see if it was any good. It was, so The Right Stuff got put aside, the last ten chapters unread.

Until yesterday. What a great book. Finished it off over my lunch hour. So for right now I’m between books and poking through the thickest volumes on our shelves for the next tome to attack. But I needed something light and fun before bedtime last night, so I picked up H.G. Wells’s The War Of The Worlds and got stuck on the first page, reading the opening paragraphs over and over. It’s like poetry:

No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinized and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinize the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter. It is possible that the infusoria under the microscope do the same.

Ex Libris | 8:05 pm CDT
Category: Big Book of Quotations, books, daily drivel, entertainment, hobby, play
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