Category Archives: Reading List

The Aeneid

Robert Fagles (translator) The Aeneid by Virgil (New York: Penguin, 2006). Classic work,  one of the most famous books ever written. Decided to read it after seeing it mentioned several times in the book by Mary Beard about Rome.

Your Inner Fish

Neil Shubin, Your Inner Fish A Journey into the 3.5-billion-year History of the Human Body (New York: Vintage, 2008). The writer describes his discovery of the fossil record of the missing link between fish and land animals. He also describes the anatomical similarity of fishes and other animals in development of an embryo.

The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature

Matt Ridley, The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature (New York: Harper). The book starts at a genetic level giving theories for the evolution of sex and genetic recombination. Then it looks at sexual activity of animals and how it can be explained by its effect on transmission of genes. Lastly, he develops some theories explaining sexual preferences and habits of humans.

Infinitesimal: How a Dangerous Mathematical Theory Shaped the Modern World

Amir Alexander, Infinitesimal: How a Dangerous Mathematical Theory Shaped the Modern World (New York: MacMillan). This book is a history of the use of infinitesimal in math. It starts in Italy with conflict of Galileo and the Jesuit Catholics over the use of infinitesimals in math. The second part of the book covers the same debate in England between Thomas Hobbes and the English promoters of the use of infinitesimals.

The Rise of the Tudors

Chris Skidmore, The Rise of the Tudors, The Family that Changed English History (New York: St. Martins Press). Kindle edition. The story of the events leading to the Battle of Bosworth Field and the start of the Tudor kings and queens of England. Final chapter and postscript deal with recent archaeological searches for the site of the battle field and the discovery of the skeleton of Richard III.

The Brus Family

Ruth M. Blakely, The Brus Family in England and Scotland 1100-1295 (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2005). My genealogy research has found that I might be related to this family(Humphrey White md. Elizabeth Bruce, 1586). The family in England is descended from Robert Brus who came from France around 1100 and was granted lands in the north of England. HIs sons Adam and Robert established the 2 branches of this family, the Lords of Annandale in Scotland from which the Scottish king is descended and the Lords of Skelton in Yorkshire. The book is well researched and seems to give an accurate history of the early years of this family. The Lords of Annandale were owners of the Manor of Writtle in the late 13th century, but it was taken away when Robert became king in 1306.

The Manor of Writtle

K.C. Newton, The Manor of Writtle (London: Phillimore, 1970). History of the Manor Writtle in Essex, mostly concerned with records of the Manor in the medieval times. Its related to my genealogy interests as it contains Roxwell the burial place of Humphrey White, and also the sub-manor of Benedict Otes which was owned by Thomas Varvell, a merchant with connections to Virginia.