Not a bad month, but I had much higher hopes for several of these. Only the Grimes exceeded expectations, and it is a pretty frothy concoction.
by James Burke
In this bestselling book, James Burke examines the ideas, inventions, and coincidences that have culminated in the major technological advances of today. He untangles the pattern of interconnecting events, the accidents of time, circumstance, and place that gave rise to major inventions of the world. Says Burke, "My purpose is to acquaint the reader with some of the forces that have caused change in the past, looking in particular at eight innovations - the computer, the production line, telecommunications, the airplane, the atomic bomb, plastics, the guided rocket, and television - which may be most influential in structuring our own futures.... Each one of these is part of a family of similar devices, and is the result of a sequence of closely connected events extending from the ancient world until the present day. Each has enormous potential for humankind's benefit - or destruction."
Easy to read look at how discoveries and accidents have an incredible impact on progress. The adjacent possible is an incredibly powerful force for progress.
Straight Up or On the Rocks: The Story of the American Cocktail
The cocktail is as old as the nation that invented it, yet until this entertaining and authoritative account, its story had never been fully told. William Grimes traces the evolution of American drink from the anything-goes concoctions of the Colonial era to the frozen margarita, spiking his meticulously researched narrative with arresting details, odd facts, and colorful figures.