Reading R Us

library booksWhen I’m not writing, I’m reading (or traveling). In fact, reading seems to have become how I procrastinate writing, but that’s fodder for another post. For now, let’s talk about my reading.

In 2017 I read 116 books, ten more than the 106 of 2016, which was 10 more than the 96 of 2015. That streak will probably change next year, but for this year it meant a lot of time spent wrapped up in books, mostly real, physical, old-style books with a sprinkling of e-books.

As always, books about Abraham Lincoln dominate my reading list. This year I read 31 books on Lincoln, about 27% of my total. And one of them was the book I wrote called Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America. That book came out in late summer and has been selling well in Barnes and Noble stores nationwide.

Other Lincoln books included the second volume of Sidney Blumenthal’s political life of Lincoln called Wrestling With His Angel (see links for book reviews), which was just as good as the first volume that came out last year. Also among Lincoln books was Guy Fraker’s installment in the “Looking for Lincoln in Illinois” series, this one on Fraker’s area of expertise, Lincoln’s time on the 8th Judicial Circuit. I read two books on Lincoln’s interactions with photographer Alexander Gardner: Shooting Lincoln by Nicholas Pistor and The Photographer and the President by Richard S. Lowry. Though they largely covered the same topic, the two books are very different in their emphasis and style. I recommend reading both.  I read many more about Lincoln, both new books and classics.

The majority of books I read were non-fiction: 81 of the 116, about 70% of the total. In addition to Lincoln-related I read non-fiction books on writing (9), biography/memoir (10), travel (6), science (13), and miscellaneous other non-fiction (12). These included What Happened by Hillary Clinton, Thank You for Being Late by Thomas Friedman, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Best Travel Writing – 2010, and The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. Included among the science books was If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face, a wonderful book on science communication by Alan Alda.

Fiction books included some Science Fiction/Fantasy like The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin, Tesla’s Frequency by L. Woodswalker (a wonderful follow up to her earlier Tesla’s Signal), and Curse of the Jenri by real-life rocket scientist Stephanie Barr. I also read Kafka on the Shore, a metaphysical reality (aka, magical realism) book by famed author Haruki Murakami. “Normal” fiction included the surprisingly wonderful The Last Child by John Hart, Eucalyptus by Murray Bail (which I read while in Australia), The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer, and Thunderstruck by Erik Larson.

In an effort to diversify my reading I slogged through Walt Whitman’s saga of a poetry book, Leaves of Grass. I also read one pure humor book, which I found to be completely unfunny. Maybe I’ll read one of the books on Lincoln’s humor next time.

In all I read about 36,000 pages in 2017. I keep track of my reading on Goodreads, so feel free to check out my Goodreads author page where I also have links to my own books.

You can also join my Facebook author page for updates and links to interesting articles.

So how many books do I read in 2018?

[Continue reading about 2018 on Hot White Snow]

David J. Kent is an avid science traveler and the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, now available. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

Check out my Goodreads author page. While you’re at it, “Like” my Facebook author page for more updates!

Follow me by subscribing by email on the home page. Share with your friends using the buttons below.

[Daily Post]

 

Catching Up – Part 2 (Hot White Snow)

On Friday I did some long overdue catching up on my Science Traveler posts. Today I’ll catch up Hot White Snow.

hws-header-photo

Hot White Snow

Hot White Snow is all about creativity. Here I respond to writing prompts, experiment with new forms of writing, and offer up some memoir items. I also sometimes ruminate on the meaning of life and the writing process.

Articles on writing include Elusive Focus and A Struggle to Write.

Thoughts on life include Layers of Life, The Radical and the Republican, The Day, and Carry on Keeping Calm.

Memoir (and memoir-ish) posts: Prescience, or the Daring Boy, the Bike, and the Pond; A Sugary Feast; Water, Water, Everywhere; and You Don’t Know Jack.  A special subset of memoir, There’s a Fly in My Eye, include two posts about my Dad’s jokes: Profound Child, and The Joke.

In the mood for romance, or mystery (or both)? Check out Hello Silence, My Old Friend.

Silence

I also read a lot, so one post was my Reading List Halfway Point – 2016. At that time (end of June) I had read 55 books so far in the year. I’m now up to 84.

Feel free to read any that sound interesting, or click on the Hot White Snow header and scroll down in reverse order. There is also a category listing on the left side of the page if you have a particular genre interest.

David J. Kent is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (2013) and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (2016) (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

Follow me by subscribing by email on the home page.  And feel free to “Like” my Facebook author’s page and connect on LinkedIn.  Share with your friends using the buttons below.

[Daily Post]

Catching Up with Life on the Blogs

I’ll shortly be heading out on another science traveling expedition. More on that in a bit. Be sure to check out recent travel-related posts here on Science Traveler (see below). In addition, here’s my monthly roundup of the other blogs.

Connected father and son fishingHot White Snow is where you’ll find my more “creative” writing, includiing responses to writing prompts, some memoir-ish works, and articles “On Writing.” Lately I’ve been writing responses to the Daily Post, a daily writing prompt feature on WordPress. Featured recently (click on the title to read the post):

  • It’s Just a Phase: “He’ll grow out of it,” she insisted, as blood oozed from her husband’s stab wound. And if that isn’t Monty Pythonesque enough…
  • The Circus of Life: A bit of social commentary blending The Lion King with The Lyin’ King.
  • Connected: A heartfelt reminiscence of connecting with my father while fishing on Lake Winnipesaukee many years ago.
  • A Struggle to Write: A painful day of non-writing.

Arctic_Antarctic sea iceThe Dake Page focuses on communicating science to the general populace, often with an emphasis on climate change. That said, this month’s features begin with chemicals law. Recent articles:

Beijing Aquarium jellyfishOf course, here on Science Traveler we focus on traveling to exotic lands and stories about Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, Abraham Lincoln, and other books I’m working on. Here are some of the recent travel posts:

Edison: The Inventor of the Modern WorldBut wait, there’s more. I also received my first advance copy of Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World, which will be in stores next month. And Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity has hit yet another success milestone (more on that soon)!

David J. Kent has been a scientist for thirty-five years, is an avid science traveler, and an independent Abraham Lincoln historian. He is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate. His book on Thomas Edison is due in Barnes and Noble stores in July 2016.

Follow me by subscribing by email on the home page.  And feel free to “Like” my Facebook author’s page and connect on LinkedIn.  Share with your friends using the buttons below.

Hot White Snow and The Dake Page – Catching Up

Life has been busy, so in case you missed it, let’s do some catching up on Hot White Snow and The Dake Page.

fake smileHot White Snow is where you’ll find my more “creative” writing, includiing responses to writing prompts, some memoir-ish works, and articles “On Writing.” Featured recently:

Two headsThe Dake Page focuses on communicating science to the general populace, with a sometimes emphasis on climate change. Recent articles:

I’ll save the update on Science Traveler posts for another day.

David J. Kent has been a scientist for thirty-five years, is an avid science traveler, and an independent Abraham Lincoln historian. He is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (now in its 5th printing) and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate. His book on Thomas Edison is due in Barnes and Noble stores in July 2016.

Follow me by subscribing by email on the home page.  And feel free to “Like” my Facebook author’s page and connect on LinkedIn.  Share with your friends using the buttons below.

Writing Bulgaria, Traveling Serbia, Mourning Brussels, Tesla, Edison and More

It’s been a hugely busy month of writing, traveling, mourning, Tesla, and Edison. Here’s a quick catch up in case you missed anything.

Writer pyramidHot White Snow: My more “creative” writing, responses to writing prompts, some memoir-ish works, and articles “On Writing.” Featured recently:

IrelandThe Dake Page focuses on communicating science to the general populace, with a sometimes emphasis on climate change. Recent articles:

KotorScience Traveler: Here on my author website I focus on my non-fiction works (Tesla, Edison, Lincoln), plus tips and tales about traveling the world. Several recent posts:

This past month also so a draft cover for my Thomas Edison book due out in July, and I’ll share that with you all shortly. Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World is in the same style and format as my Tesla book. And while I continue with the sample chapters of my Abraham Lincoln book, another potential book offer arose. More on that later.

David J. Kent has been a scientist for thirty-five years, is an avid science traveler, and an independent Abraham Lincoln historian. He is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (now in its 5th printing) and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate. His book on Thomas Edison is due in Barnes and Noble stores in July 2016.

Follow me by subscribing by email on the home page.  And feel free to “Like” my Facebook author’s page and connect on LinkedIn.  Share with your friends using the buttons below.

 

Catching Up – Around the Blogs in 30 Days

Only one major bit of science traveling so far this year (more on that below), but it’s been a busy period nonetheless. Here’s a quick catch up around the blogs.

That time in the videoHot White Snow: My more “creative” writing, responses to writing prompts, some memoir-ish works, and articles “On Writing.”

Recent “On Writing” posts include “That Time in the Video” and “On Writing Science…and Fiction.” Writing prompt responses include “World’s Best Widget, Part Deux,” and “Falling Upward.” This latter post is joined by “You Have More Shrimp Than Me” as efforts in memoir.

Ten hottest yearsThe Dake Page focuses on communicating science to the general populace, with a sometimes emphasis on climate change. Recent articles look at the recent decision by the Supreme Court to issue a stay on implementation of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, and then a few days later the ramifications of Justice Scalia’s sudden death. This “judicial” (i.e., political) debate goes on while the science shows 2015 to have totally obliterated the previous heat record, and with January doing the same to begin 2016. I also looked at El Nino and the difference between trend and variation, two concepts that climate deniers commonly (and intentionally) mix up.

St. Maarten landingScience Traveler: Here on my author website I focus on my non-fiction works (Tesla, Edison, Lincoln), plus tips and tales about traveling the world. Several recent posts covered my sailing cruise in the Caribbean, including the land of frigate birds and “the most interesting airport landing in the world.

Science Traveler is not just about physical travel, it’s about travel in time. Travel-related book reviews include “The Man Who Loved China” and “Turn Right at Machu Picchu.” I also participated in several events around Lincoln’s birthday, including traveling back to 1922 for the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial with this year’s wreath laying ceremony.

Not to be outdone, Thomas Edison makes an appearance with this preview of my new book scheduled for release in July – Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World.

Meanwhile, I’m writing sample chapters for my newest project, this one on Abraham Lincoln. Now, back to work.

David J. Kent has been a scientist for thirty-five years, is an avid science traveler, and an independent Abraham Lincoln historian. He is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (now in its 5th printing) and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate. His book on Thomas Edison is due in Barnes and Noble stores in spring 2016.

Follow me by subscribing by email on the home page.  And feel free to “Like” my Facebook author’s page and connect on LinkedIn.  Share with your friends using the buttons below.

 

Around the Blogs

A lot is going on…and planning is in progress for a lot more. To get everyone up to date here is a quick round up of the blogs.

photo 3

Hot White Snow: A place for my more creative writing endeavors, writing prompt responses, erotica, science fiction, a couple of specialty series, and articles on how to improve the reader’s writing life.

Recent posts include an intriguing Microfiction post marrying Bogie, Bacall, and the Old West, plus an “On Writing” episode focused on Writing Through Writer’s Block.

Air and Water GaugesThe Dake Page: A science blog focused on communicating science to the general populace, examining climate change (both the science and the denial), and providing relevant book reviews.

Recent posts include the role of climate science in the State of the Union address and the upcoming election year, plus parsing the arrogance of ignorance in climate denial.

...and Tesla TV

Science Traveler: My author website focused on non-fiction books (Tesla, Edison, Lincoln), plus tips and tales about traveling the world.

Recent posts include the Aquarium in New Orleans, the connection between Davie Bowie and Nikola Tesla (hint: The Prestige), and a combined post on how my preparation for an upcoming trip to Machu Picchu reminds me of a previous trip into Argentinian Patagonia.

There is much more beyond this, including many activities with the Lincoln Group of DC, the Bull Run Civil War Round Table, a lot of book reading, and even more book writing.

David J. Kent has been a scientist for thirty-five years, is an avid science traveler, and an independent Abraham Lincoln historian. He is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (now in its 5th printing) and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate. His book on Thomas Edison is due in Barnes and Noble stores in spring 2016.

Science Traveler – Wrapping Up the Wrap Ups of 2015

This morning I realized my watch was set for 1 hour behind the actual time. It took me a while to realize what had happened,* but it was a reflection on the amazingly busy/productive/exhausting/exhilarating year it has been. It’s time to wrap up the wrap ups.

David J. Kent drinking mateHere on Science Traveler I’ve recapped a year in the writer’s life. Two books written, a few articles for magazines and newsletters, and a ton of blog posts. I also summarized a year in science traveling that included everything from some major capitals of Europe to some alligator-infested National Parks to a prison on an island (no, not Alcatraz, the other one). I also cataloged my 2015 acquisitions of Abraham Lincoln books.

Near Cueva de las ManosOn Hot White Snow I summarized all the books I read in 2015 – all 96 of them…and I recapped what I can confidently say was a very good year.

On The Dake Page I reviewed the year in climate change, a year in which 2015 blew past 2014 as the hottest year in global temperatures on record. I also laid out the four things you need to know about the recent Paris climate agreement.

Science smartphoneThere was a lot more, so click on the blog names above and scroll down to see other articles of interest.

So what does 2016 hold for us all? Check back later for plans and predictions (and big changes to this website)!

Finally, thank you all for participating in this adventure with me. I appreciate your support, your loyalty, and your interest. I’m looking forward to providing more content in 2016 to give each and every one of you a reason to keep coming back.

Happy New Year!

*About the watch thing: I had set the watch back an hour for my trip to New Orleans, which is in the Central Time Zone. I never reset it. Since I work at home (when I’m not on the road), I generally don’t wear the watch at all, relying mostly on the clocks on my computer and smart phone. Only this morning as I sat in Panera did I notice the time was off. 🙂

David J. Kent has been a scientist for thirty-five years, is an avid science traveler, and an independent Abraham Lincoln historian. He is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (now in its 5th printing) and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate. His book on Thomas Edison is due in Barnes and Noble stores in spring 2016.

Follow me by subscribing by email on the home page.  And feel free to “Like” my Facebook author’s page and connect on LinkedIn.  Share with your friends using the buttons below.

Dad’s War Stories (from Hot White Snow)

Dad medalsSoon my parents will be visiting from New England. They will spend a few days with me, then a few days with my brother who lives about 20 minutes away. The visit has become an annual event since my return from living overseas, not counting the year of Dad’s major heart surgery.

My mother and father are 83 and 88 years old, respectively.

I’m looking forward to my Dad’s stories. He has a lot of them, though they tend to be repeated often so it seems like more. Some relate to current activities but more and more they are reiterations of stories from long ago. I’m trying to capture as many of them as possible while I still have the chance to share his company.

A favorite story of his can be triggered just by mentioning my European travels. My Dad has been to Europe twice in his life. The second time was in 2010 when I flew him and my Mom over to Dublin and I drove us around a wet Ireland for a week. The only other time was “during the war” (i.e., World War II).

“I was in France during the war.”

“What part of France, Dad?”

“Uh, I don’t know. We took a boat over and were crammed into boxcars all the way through France into some place in Germany. I was a cook by then, you know.”

The story would go on to describe the long days baking bread, making tons of mashed potatoes, and feeding a bunch of hungry soldiers. Invariably it would lead to the Russians.

[More on the Russians…and read the rest of the story…at Hot White Snow]

David J. Kent has been a scientist for thirty-five years, is an avid science traveler, and an independent Abraham Lincoln historian. He is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (now in its 5th printing) and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate. His book on Thomas Edison is due in Barnes and Noble stores in spring 2016.

Follow me by subscribing by email on the home page.  And feel free to “Like” my Facebook author’s page and connect on LinkedIn.  Share with your friends using the buttons below.

Limping in London (from Hot White Snow)

London from the EyeActually, limping would be an improvement right now, as I’m essentially stuck in my hotel room unable to walk without pain. Welcome to London.

It’s not my first travel injury. I once cracked some ribs in Paris and toured the next two days on painkillers and short breaths. I passed out from heat exhaustion and dehydration at Chichen Itza pyramid in Mexico, which got me a free ambulance ride and mini-hospital care. I shredded the bottom of my foot on coral in the Greek Islands. On a previous trip to London I walked into a plate glass door at a restaurant, smashing (but luckily not breaking) my nose. While I sat inside downing sugar packets with my head between my knees trying to maintain consciousness, the restaurant filled our dinner order at no charge (perhaps fearing a law suit).

The foot problem I’m having right now is likely related to the inflamed toe I had a few years ago on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Probably should get that checked. For now, it’s a regime of ice pack and rest.

Notwithstanding this desvio (detour) from my planned itinerary, the week shouldn’t be a total loss. I’ve come to London a few times before an thus seen many of the sites; I’ll likely return to pick up on the ones I thought I missed. The down time gives me a chance to catch up on some reading and, more importantly, some writing. And that is always a good thing.

[The above is a cross-post from Hot White Snow]

David J. Kent is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (2013) and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (2016) (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate. His next book is on Abraham Lincoln, due out in 2017.

Follow me by subscribing by email on the home page.  And feel free to “Like” my Facebook author’s page and connect on LinkedIn.  Share with your friends using the buttons below.