Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Top Reads of 2008

It's getting colder outside, time to do some core work and read books. Here's some of my favorites from this past year:

1. THE STORY OF EDGAR SAWTELLE, by David Wroblewski - a real story of dogs and humans without all the cute stuff.
2. AMERICAN BUFFALO, by Steven Rinella - hunting wild buffalo in Alaska, but more importantly what the buffalo means to us as a nation.
3. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, by Stieg Larsson - a Swedish mystery starring an x-generation computer hacker.
4. A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS, by Khaled Hosseini - A bit more depressing than The Kite Runner, more evil that men do...
5. COLTRANE, By Ben Raitliff - not just a bio, but the tsunami effects of the great one.
6. WORLD WAR Z, by Max Brooks - when, not if the zombies attack, one needs to be ready!
7. FALLING MAN, by Don DeLillo - The fiction about the aftermath of 9/11 is certainly better than the nonfiction...
8. IN DEFENCE OF FOOD, by Michael Pollan - everything is politics, even food.
9. CRASHING THROUGH, by Robert Kurson - a true story of a blindman to regains sight, and finds 'seeing' a more difficult life than blindness.
10. THE WILD TREES, by Richard Preston - one of my favorite subjects, the redwoods of the Pacific NW, they predated man in America, but might not outlive him!


M. D. Vaden of Oregon said...

You listed The Wild Trees in your list.

The book has no photos, so I located a bunch of those same redwoods, photographed them, and made a webpage so readers could see basically what the trees look like.

Grove of Titans and Grove of Titans

I've made the link available at most redwood topics I find online. This enables readers who learn of these trees, to have images to go along with the text.


M. D. Vaden

M. D. Vaden of Oregon said...

On your number 10 - I think they may live as long as we do.

For starters, I've been to many of the trees mentioned in the book. Most of our copies probably had no photos at all, so here is a head start for viewing:

Atlas Grove & Grove of Titans redwoods in California

I think we, and researchers, evaluate those groves on a year by year approach for understanding, and it may take century long studies to really know if they are in slight decline, or just going through part of a cycle.

But they reproduce in many ways.

Last winter, a huge chunk broke off the 5th largest coast redwood, El Viejo del Norte in Jedediah Smith Redwoods.

Last August, I photographed some sprouts from the broken limb and other branches impaled in the soil. They were growing into new trees. That after a rather dry summer. Just a couple of weeks ago, when heavy rain hit in early October, even more sprouts were showing, and the previous new stems were even taller. Over two feet on some. Odds are they will survive now that it's the wet season. I will check these yearly.

For a name, I call the first to survive of this cluster "Genesis" redwood.

There is the potential for up to a half dozen genetically identical redwoods, just from this event alone. Even without seed germination, the parent redwood is reproducing.


M. D. Vaden of Oregon