Mar 2, 2011

Books, I, and the Crows of Peaerblossom by Aldous Huxley

Sometimes I forget how much I enjoy reading… perhaps reading has been one of my favorite things to do in my spare time. Even before I learnt to read my parents inculcated in me the habit and the love for reading. When I wasn’t able to read at all my mother used to read me children stories, my favorite ever was the Crows of Pearblossom by Aldous Huxley. It’s still fresh in my mind as if I had read it yesterday, I can still remember the watercolor illustrations of the black crows with yellow beaks and the evil green rattler snake of the Spanish version I had. The story is about a couple of crows—married and in love—that laid an egg everyday, and everyday when the crows left the nest to do their daily chores, a rattle snake would climb up the tree and eat the egg…

And the snake would happily slither up and down the tree singing:

“I cannot fly—I have no wings;
I cannot run—I have no legs;
But I can creep where the black bird sings
And eat her speckled eggs, ha, ha,
And eat her speckled eggs.”

I loved it and I’ll probably read it to my children too.

illustrationLater still in my infancy, when I was learning to read but I had not the skill to read entire books, my parents used to buy me the illustrated children version of classics like the Book of the Jungle, Jules Verne’s a Trip to the Center of the Earth, and Aladdin. I had them since before I have memory… and I read those illustrated books hundreds of times; their stories seemed to me so entertaining and fantastic. Just imaging going traveling to the center of the Earth and encountering huge extinct marine reptiles fighting in the middle of the ocean! I also had back then interactive books with pop up pictures, pull downs, flaps and the sort… I still remember them in such vivid detail! When my reading skills improved a little more, I used to read together with my dad, he read the first chapter and then I had to read the following chapter, he would read the next one and I the following one, and so on until the end of the book. Like that I read among others, Homer’s Odyssey and Carl Sagan’s Broca’s Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science… no wonder I ended up as a scientist.

This year I have read the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, which I thought it was funny but superfluous; I read the Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett, quite funny too but stupid and disappointing; Brave New World by Huxley and it was awesome; Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky, a book that I had been neglecting since high school… I loved it, especially the whole ideology about crime was extremely interesting. Besides those, I read also a book about the evolution of the mind called “the Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature” written by Geoffrey Miller, it was quite interesting but needlessly long; I read too an extremely good book, which I would like every person in the world could read: “the Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating” by David Buss… this book transcends! Finally I have been also reading some biographies, some how-to books, and some self-help books in my search for wisdom and truth; some of those have been pretty lame and some quite interesting, particularly one called “the Richest Man in Babylon” by George Clason. Right now I’m reading a book called “Breakthroughs!” by J. M. Ketteringham and P. R. Nayak: it tells the stories in detail of several major commercial breakthroughs that changed the world—I find it pretty insightful. Finally, I’m also reading a book called Art of Fiction: Notes of Craft for Young Writers… very educating.

I wonder what else is out there, which books I will read in the future that will change my life and alter the course of my destiny…

If you have read any books that have made a big impact in you, please let me know!