Dear readers, we approach the end for the To be Read Takedown Challenge!
Richard Francis’ Domesticated: Evolution in a Man-Made World proved disappointing, not because of the quality of content but the focus thereof. Although Domesticated sells itself as a work on animal domestication, and does provide natural histories of various animals like pets, horses, camels, pigs, and rodents, a section on human evolution consumes a fourth of the book, and there’s not a non-mammal species to be found. Why devote sections to guinea pigs and creatures that aren’t actually domesticated (raccoons) and ignore the 2nd most common foodsource on the planet, the chicken? The answer lies in Francis seeing humanity as domesticated, too, albeit self-domesticated, and he uses the examples of species like the raccoon to argue that we selected ‘tame’ traits in ourselves, like prosociality. He mixes the science with entertaining personal accounts, like his misfortunes attempting to ride a camel, and similarly clumsy but appreciated attempts to mix in some cultural history.
If you’ve been playing at home, you’ll know the official TBR list is now down to one item: Trucking Country: the Road to America’s Wal-Mart Economy. There’s a bonus round of sorts consisting of the books I didn’t add to the list at the start, in part to preserve some mystery and in part so it wouldn’t look so daunting. The bonus round has a mix of law, history, religion, and tech. The only heavyweight is Trucking Country. There are some reviews pending.
Liberty, Defined, Ron Paul
Big Box Swindle, Stacy Mitchell
Saving Congress from Itself, James Buckley
Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security, Richard Clarke
When Asia Was the World, Stewart Gordon
Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet, Andrew Blum
The Orthodox Church, Kallistos (Timothy) Ware
Green, Blue, and Grey: The Irish in the American Civil War, Cal McCarthy
Don’t Hurt People and Don’t Take Their Stuff, Matt Kibbe
The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine and the Birth of Right and Left, Yural Levin.
Freedom and Virtue, ed. George Carey
The Obstacle is the Way, Ryan Holiday.
Literary Converts, Joseph Pearce
Domesticated: Evolution in a Man-Made World, Richard Francis
10% Human, Alanna Collen.
Trucking Country: The Road to America’s Wal-Mart Economy, Shane Hamilton.