Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Lydia Pyne

Lydia Pyne is a writer and historian, interested in the history of science and material culture. She has degrees in history and anthropology and a PhD in history and philosophy of science from Arizona State University. Her field and archival work has ranged from South Africa, Ethiopia, Uzbekistan, and Iran, as well as the American Southwest.

Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Nautilus, The Appendix, as well as The Public Domain Review; she is currently a visiting fellow at the Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

Pyne lives in Austin, where she is an avid rock climber and mountain biker. Her new book is Seven Skeletons: The Evolution of the World's Most Famous Human Fossils.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Her reply:
I find that I read many books simultaneously, leaving them scattered around the house. Every place to sit and read has a book next to it. Overall, I enjoying reading a mix of fiction and nonfiction and, looking through the books on my bookshelves, I think that the list of what I’m currently reading definitely reflects my eclectic taste and reading habits.

Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets by Svetlana Alexievich

I recently finished Svetlana Alexievich’s brilliantly poignant oral history of post-Soviet society. This book is one of the most powerful that I’ve ever read – Alexievich’s unique style of weaving together multiple individual monologues creates an incredible oral history.

The Confidence Game: Why We Fall For It…Every Time by Maria Konnikova

The Confidence Game has been on my “to read” list for several months now and I’m excited to finally be diving into it. I love Konnikova’s synthesis of “the con” and the stories she uses – everything from Ponzi schemes to small-time frauds.

The Fox Was Ever the Hunter by Herta Müller

Müller’s most recent novel is set in the final part of the Ceausescu regime in Romania. It traces the story of four people going about their everyday lives, where one of them is informing on the others to the government. Müller’s use of allegory and metaphor make the short novel feel like one’s reading a matryoshka doll – that what one is really reading are just layer on layers of meaning.

Burning Bright and The Pearl by John Steinbeck

I’m a huge fan of Steinbeck and am currently rereading his novellas. (The Pearl is one of my favorite pieces of literature and one that I’ve reread many times.) Burning Bright feels like it’s a very different type of Steinbeck novella, since it was written to be a theatrical performance.

Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey

I think I’ve joined the rest of the world that saw Season 1 of The Expanse and, as I wait for Season 2 to come out, I am reading the books the series is based on.
Visit Lydia Pyne's website.

The Page 99 Test: The Last Lost World.

--Marshal Zeringue

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