A Seacoast in Bohemia


The Bohemian Book Club
May 31, 2007, 9:17 pm
Filed under: Books

Several weeks ago, I left a book lying on the table in the Chromosome Cafe in the genetics tower. It is possibly my favorite book; certainly it’s in the top 10. The book is The Gold Bug Variations by Richard Powers. I love it because it’s about breaking the genetic code and about music and also because the writing is just dazzling.  I leave it out where people can see it because I want to share it with other people who visit Genome Island.  There is a link from the object to amazon.com, but I want to make it clear that this is not part of an “Amazon Associates” program.  It’s there.  I like it and you might too.  If you order it from Amazon, I don’t get a kickback. 

 After seeing the book on the table whenever I visit the Chromosome Cafe, I thought I might leave a few other books around that people interested in genetics might also like.  So I made two more.  One of them is Laura Gould’s Cats are not Peas, which you’ll find on the table in the gazebo, and Robin Hennig’s The Monk in the Garden,  which is in the workroom of the greenhouse.  The cat book actually started with a cat, an unusual tricolor male that led the author on a quest to understand the genetics of her companion animal.  The Monk in the Garden is a gentle history of Mendel’s life and work and of the early advocates of Mendelian genetics. 

 So these are the first three volumes of the Bohemian Book Club.  I will probably add others later — James Watson’s The Double Helix comes to mind for the DNA room.  I’m ambivalent about the book, but it’s a classic piece of writing about an important scientific discovery and it should be included. 

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