Between the Fourth of July and hospitalized relatives, this has been a poor week for reading. I typically read and review a book around the Fourth about the American Revolution: this year’s read was and still is The First Salute, which focuses on European politics during the war. Various continental states found the idea of curbing Britain’s growing power attractive, among them France and Holland. I’m interested in Dutch history, particularly of the Dutch republic’s days as a commercially powerful entity which contributed mightily to science and the growth of knowledge, so Tuchman’s partial history of Holland here has been a treat. I’m almost done with The Third Chimpanzee and would be so if I hadn’t misplaced it. In the meantime, I’ve been reading Robots and Empire by Isaac Asimov for leisure.
While I still have two pending science reads (Radiation and Modern Life; Creations of Fire: the History of Chemistry), I’ll have to return to them next week or the week after, as next week marks Bastille Day and as such I’ll be doing some France-themed reading. I’m expecting Seven Ages of Paris by Alistair Horne in the mail over the weekend, and if it’s anything like La Belle France I don’t imagine I’ll have problems getting into it before the 14th. I may also pick up The Three Musketeers by Dumas at the library, though given that I also want to pick up Altar in the World: The Geography of Faith by a retired Episcopalian priest and a book on human spaceflight in commemoration of the last shuttle launch earlier today, I may be preparing too full a plate.