Tag Archives: Science

The Mosquito – REVIEW

A Litercurious Book Review

Mosquito by Timothy Winegard
Title The Mosquito: A Human History of Our Deadliest
Predator
Author Timothy C. Winegard
Publisher Penguin Group Dutton, 1st Edition (August 6, 2019)
Format Kindle, Paperback, Hardcover, Audiobook
Pages 496
Language English
ISBN # 1524743410 (ISBN-13: 978-1524743413)

About the Author:

Dr. Timothy C. Winegard is a military historian who graduated from Oxford University with a PhD and is currently a professor of history and political science at Colorado Mesa University. He is best known for his works on military history however, he has written on the subject of indigenous studies. Before becoming a best-selling writer, Dr. Winegard worked as a military officer with his native Canadians and later the British forces. He is a  sports fan and stalwart supporter of his favorite teams: the Detroit Lions and the Detroit Red Wings. Despite his busy schedule, the good doctor likes to spend his down time with his family at home.

Who is the target audience?

If you gravitate to the nonfiction, history, evolution, or similar shelves in your local bookshop, you may enjoy the exquisite prose and comprehensive research in The MosquitoA Human History of Our Deadliest Predator.  

What is this book about?

The story of The Mosquito spans thousands of years beginning with the evolution of the insect that plagues our lives to this day. Dr. Winegard’s writing style is reminiscent of Guns, Germs, and Steel or even a Simon Winchester.  The focus of the book is the intimate relationship that mosquitos and humans have shared over time, and the impact on humanities antiquity and on its future. The book is abundant in superlative research and in witty humor. By the end of the book you will be in no doubt as to the destruction this tiny insect has wrought across the human world throughout history. You will learn a plethora of facts and information through a skillful scientific style of writing. Timothy gives you the big picture, a map of the problem that allows you to trace the changes to human existence shaped by the illnesses spread by one of our most dangerous predators. 

Conclusion:

The Mosquito: A Human History of Our Deadliest Predator, By Timothy C. Winegard is a masterfully written book, being both fascinating and funny. Mosquito is jam packed with in-depth and informed research. It is epic in its breadth, and chronicled with skill. Ultimately, the book is infinitely entertaining, educational, and surprising at times. The book does prompt the thought that humanity believes itself to be top of the food chain, but are we really when such a tiny combatant can wreak such havoc? 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the following: Penguin Group Dutton, Dr. Timothy C. Winegard, and NetGalley for allowing me to review this book.

 

How To Bake Pi – REVIEW

A Litercurious Book Review

How to Bake Pi by Eugenia Cheng
How to Bake Pi by Eugenia Cheng
Title How To Bake Pi
Author Eugenia Cheng
Publisher Basic Books (May 5, 2015)
Format Kindle, Audiobook, Hardback, Paperback
Pages 300
Language English
ISBN # 0465097677 (ISBN-13: 978-0465097678)

Who is Eugenia Cheng?

Eugenia Loh-Gene Cheng is a British mathematician who specializes in a fringe area of mathematics referred to as Higher-Dimensional Category Theory. She is also known for her support of popular mathematics. Among her many publications are The Art of Logic and, my personal favorite, Beyond Infinity. Professor Cheng attended school at Roedean and is a graduate of The University of Cambridge with her Thesis: Higher-dimensional category theory: opetopic foundations (2002). She graduated with both a BA and a PhD.

Who is the target audience?

This book could appeal to anyone; perhaps with the exception of those traumatized by ill intentioned or professionally inept math teachers. Eugenia has taken the everyday practice of baking and uses it as frame to hang mathematical theories on, to make the mathematics more accessible to a wider audience, and to simplify the theory for the common man. These theories are not new concepts, however, they may be fresh concepts to you. It is a skillfully woven discourse with Category Theory at its heart. Of course there may be some people who will not understand the basic concepts, but I believe the majority of people who read this book will learn something that may benefit them.

In this book

Having read How to Bake Pi, I’ve noted the Professor is a skilled and gifted educator. She takes the art of teaching mathematics to a whole new level. Her ability to enlighten the audience is due in part to her: familiarity with her subject, and her varied methods to demystify the subject; while simultaneously encouraging an enthusiasm for math that most people never knew they had.

I enjoyed the humor and the lucidity of her delivery. The mathematical logic is there throughout the text, but it is softened through: clear, lucid, and work-a-day explanations that aid the reader in exploring the world of math.

Conclusion

I found this book to be engaging, warm, effusive, and fun. Ultimately, Eugenia has proven that it isn’t what you teach, but how you teach that makes the difference.

Acknowledgements 

Thanks to the following: NetGalley, Basic Books, and Eugenia Cheng.