Thursday, 13 May 2010

What I've been reading

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by Dava Sobel

"The thorniest scientific problem of the eighteenth century was how to determine longitude. Many thousands of lives had been lost at sea over the centuries due to the inability to determine an east-west position. This is the engrossing story of the clockmaker, John Harrison, who solved the problem that Newton and Galileo had failed to conquer, yet claimed only half the promised rich reward."
I read this quite a long time ago, and haven't read anything for fun since then. It's a really interesting book about a very dry subject: clockmaking. The politics of the age is brought to life, with the clockmakers ranged against the astronomers in fighting for the £20,000 reward. Poor old John Harrison (and in later years, his son William) really have the odds stacked against them, given that their main rival for the prize (Astronomer Royal Nevil Maskelyne) is actually on the judging panel...

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Manual of Dietetic Practice
by Briony Thomas (ed)

"The standard work for all those involved in the field of clinical nutrition and dietetics, The Manual of Dietetic Practice has been equipping health care professionals with the essential foundations on which to build expertise and specialist skill since it was first published in 1988."
The dietitian's Bible. I wouldn't say I've read every word yet, but by the end of next year I will have. It's two inches thick.

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Nutrition: A Lifespan Approach
by Simon Langley-Evans

"Taking the reader through how the body’s demand for nutrients continues to change across the many stages of life, such an approach allows full consideration of how diet relates to health, wellbeing and disease and provides an excellent vehicle to illustrate the key concepts in nutrition science."
A textbook. A fairly readable textbook, but a textbook nevertheless. The standard work for my first exam. I wish it were over.

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