Okay, I have been remiss. I know this because two of my three known readers emailed me to ask how I was. This translates to if I weren’t dead, I would be trying to guilt you all into reading, especially if I were reading something really good, which I was, Amir Aczel’s book about Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Jesuit and the Skull. Publisher’s Weekly says, probably rightly, that it is “an uninspired and all-too-brief look at a remarkable subject,” but inspired is a loaded word that asks too much for too many different readers. I liked the book because I like Teilhard du Chardin and I hadn’t noticed a book by or about him on a bookstore’s shelves since my college days in the early 1960’s. I still have and found my copy of The Phenomenon of Man, which is still in print.
Aczel’s book also made me remember to try and get for Roseledge Books Tim Severin’s The Spice Islands Voyage. It replicates the boat and itinerary of an early voyage of Alfred Russell Wallace who is back in the news as the man who, as I understand it and I may be wrong, provoked a dawdling Darwin into finally publishing his Origin of Species. I try to keep Charles Darwin’s Voyage of the Beagle in stock because it is a favorite summer read for sailors, maybe especially now as we celebrate his 200th birthday.
Finally (for the moment), I had barely finished reading Aczel’s book when what to my browsing eyes should appear but Marilyn Stasio’s mention that Claire Taschdjian’s The Peking Man is Missing is back in print. (NYT Book Review, 1/11/2008) I didn’t know until I finished the book that the skull of the Peking Man, which is also the skull of the book’s title, was lost or stolen during World War II and that Claire Taschdjian was one of the last people to handle the bones. Clearly, this is a must next-read.
Fig. #51. Like the book, Sea Street leads to Roseledge Books and next-reads.
Amir Aczel’s The Jesuit and the Skull may not be inspirational, but it is something good because it leads to further reading. Provocative is too blatant, and starter-book is too simplistic, especially for those who follow his ideas about evolution. How about a tickler-book which, like tickler files of old, reminds you of things to do, places to go, and books to read? Find it and others in paperback at Roseledge Books come summer. I will look for you.
In the cold of February in Minnesota with only PGA tournaments and selected scenes in PBS’ Sense and Sensibility to remind me of the ocean, I love that Teilhard du Chardin persevered, thwarted the Vatican and demonstrated, yet again, the folly of censorship.