There’s something wonderful about cracking open a new book for the first time, after finishing the previous one. A sense of expectation, the feeling of new knowledge about to be uncovered.

I’ve just finished The Age of Wonder, by Richard Holmes, a survey of British science in the Romantic era, beginning around 1769 and ending around 1835, told in biographical snippets of the pre-eminent natural philosophers of the day. Wonderful book; I didn’t want it to end. I’m now seeking a book in a similar style that will carry me onwards from 1835. This book was shortlisted for the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction in 2009.

But I’ve just started Leviathan by Philip Hoare, a book about whales, which won the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction in 2009. So yeah, I’m expecting great things. I’m sure it won’t disappoint.

The thrill of opening to the first page and reading the first few words was spine-tingling enough to prompt this blog post. And that’s really all I have to say.


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