Vaxxers by Sarah Gilbert, Catherine Green. Inside story of the development of the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine by two of the scientist/administrators involved. Pretty interesting. Highlights how much bureaucracy is involved in the normal process, largely from the need to get funding at every stage. Also mentions their frustration with the media and some politicians.
What I'm Reading 2
The Rise of the Ultra Runners by Adharanand Finn. Running journalist/author takes on ultra long distance running and moves from skepticism to frustration to fascination. A good read, gives some information on the economics of the sport as well as first hand accounts. The account of running the famous Comrades race in South Africa is particularly good.
One frustrating miss is that he tried to use his Kenyan contacts from a previous book to get them to have a go at ultrarunning, but injuries and cancellations keep them from finishing. So we still don't yet know if they could dominate this distance like most others.
What I'm Reading 3
The Way of the Runner by Adharanand Finn. The author goes to Japan to be investigate the running culture there, in particular the long distance relay races which are a big deal there and popular TV spectacles. The Marathon Monks prove to be a bit of a disappointment, being quite cagey about their experiences. Quite interesting.
What I'm Reading 4
Put a Wet Paper Towel on It by Lee Parkinson, Adam Parkinson. Podcast turned book about life as a primary school teacher. Fairly funny and informative, but the humour often seems a bit heavy handed in this format.
What I'm Reading 5
Poilu by Louis Barthas. Gritty first hand account of life as a corporal in the French army in the First World War. ("Poilu" is kind of a French word for "squaddie" or "grunt"). An enthralling read with sardonic humour making the horror bearable: Barthas survived for years on the front lines. Well worth a read if you're interested in the subject.
What I'm Reading 6
One Two Three Four: The Beatles in Time by Craig Brown. Interesting short account of the Beatles career. It presents a series of snapshots assuming that you know the basics, which is good as it keeps the length down to highlights. Good account, fun and told me some things I didn't know.
What I'm Reading 7
The zoologist's guide to the galaxy by Arik Kershenbaum. Biologist looks at how animal life might evolve on other worlds, and mostly concludes that it will closely parallel Earth life. Seems plausible but I'm hoping things will turn out more exotic.
Finished! Finally up to date.
|< Empire state of mind|