Another Maggie Appleton antilibrary find. Considering that I have very poor opinions about the place of advertisements in society, let alone digital spaces, this seems right up my alley. I think. I hope? We shall see. Throwing on the TBR pile!
💬 they/them ; iel/lo
🍵 Lots of nonfiction, literary fiction, poetry, classical literature, speculative fiction, magical realism, etc. English, French, and many translations.
📖 Beaucoup de non-fiction, de fiction littéraire, de poésie, de classiques, de spéculatif, de réalisme magique, etc. Lecture en anglais et en français, et beaucoup de traductions.
💌 Find me on Mastodon: silvan.cloud/@gersande
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Found in Maggie Appleton's antilibrary and thought I should add it to my own antilibrary (aka TBR shelf). I am either going to love or hate this book. Maybe both. Originally published in English with the title "Seeing Like A State."
It is the early 1600s, and Johannes Kepler's mother is accused of witchcraft. I love historical fiction. Apparently this was on CBC Canada Reads last year, but I only found out about it very recently.
Part of the historical background of this story is that "between 1625 and 1631, under the Catholic Prince-Bishopric of Würzburg, the Holy Roman Empire saw one of the biggest mass trials in European history, with an estimated 900 people executed in the Würzburg witch trials." (From wikipédia)
The Earth is a dynamic planet of shifting tectonic plates that is responsive to change, particularly when there is a dramatic climate transition. We know that at the end of the last Ice Age, as the great glaciers disappeared, the release in pressure allowed the crust beneath to bounce back. At the same time, staggering volumes of melt water poured into the ocean basins, warping and bending the crust around their margins. The resulting tossing and turning provoked a huge resurgence in volcanic activity, seismic shocks, and monstrous landslides -- the last both above the waves and below. The frightening truth is that temperature rises expected this century are in line with those at the end of the Ice Age. All the signs, warns geophysical hazard specialist Bill McGuire, are that unmitigated climate change due to human activities could bring about a comparable response.
Done, by the end it was a relief to put this one away. The first part of the book was a very quick read through the factual details of the case. Become less readable in later chapters, as these are in fact episode transcriptions, and without facts to rely on, the discussions about conjecture become repetitive and tedious.
At one point they mentioned factual issues with Robert Graysmith's seminal yellow book on the Zodiac killer, and I really wish they had discussed those in further detail.
Interesting if you need an overview of the facts in chronological order, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend sticking around past those chapters.
There were the odd spelling errors, typos, and mispelled names of places or people. Probably awkwardness left over from the transcription.
(I should have waited until I was at 69% so I could have just made a single-word comment!)
Despite it seeming like I'm barely above half-way through the book, because of how big the footnotes/attached materials are, I'm actually getting pretty close to the end of the actual chapters of this. The moment the book departs from the facts and enters speculation territory (apart from an interesting episode on some very preliminary code-breaking basics) it really loses steam for me. There's a chance I won't finish this.
About to start chapter 10. We're getting heavy into the speculation and "never before revealed/seen" suspects of these unsolved cases. The book is divided pretty neatly into the first 7-8 being a fairly straightforward chronological narrative of the 5 murders and sightings/communications with the zodiac, and the 4-5 last chapter are really about the suspects and what the evidence does and does not say. However, important to remember fact-checking here, as there was probably very little done.