Thursday, August 20, 2009

What I Just Read: Guns, Germs and Steel

I started reading this about two years ago, I got to the part about domesticating plants and animals, after that it's all just a blur. Well actually it seemed quite boring to me, I think I was on my first Co-Op, maybe not. Regardless the point is I finished reading it, finally. I had not thought about finishing until I came to the realization that out of all the books I had read this is the book that I reference the most, so I should probably finish it before recommending it to others.

Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond is an explanation for why the world is the way it is. Now I'm sure some historians and other people who are more intelligent than myself may not see it that way but Mr. Diamond explained why white people seemingly rule the modern world and why we ride horses instead of llamas. It was helpful, I learned quite a bit and would recommend it to anyone who wants to get an understanding of how the current world came to be.

As for the book itself, I have done no research but my guess is that the cover is a artistic depiction of the abduction of Montezuma by Cortes and his men. Which if it is true is an apt picture for the cover of a book that goes onto explain how a hundred or so Spaniards took down the strongest Empire in North America. By explain I mean go back to the days of Mesopotamia and give a step by step set of directions on how best to develop a dominant society. (Hint: It involves thousands of years, a few plagues, and a lot of wars). I like the cover, the book is a bit on the tall side, but if you made it smaller it would also be bigger, if that makes any sense.

I plan on reading Jared Diamond's other books (Collapse, The Third Chimpanzee and Why is Sex Fun?) some time in the future but not for some time. For now I'm still reading The Grapes of Wrath and then after that Katy requires that I read Crime and Punishment, or else.

And we end this rather short yet never ending post with a book I really want to read but can't bring myself to buy because of how many books I already own that I have not read yet; it's called Sum by David Eagleman and it's all theories about what happens to you when you die. I blame you Radio Lab.

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