Arik Kershenbaum, author of The Zoologist's Guide to the Galaxy: What Animals on Earth Reveal about Aliens – and Ourselves recommends some brilliant books! Before jumping into the interview, please check out Arik's book:
Q. Do you have a favourite smart thinking book (and why that book)?
Surely this has to be The Selfish Gene, by Richard Dawkins? I don't think there's another book about biology that has changed the way that we think about life quite as much as this one. It's the one I recommend all my students read before coming up to university. Apart from my own, of course...
Q. What's the most recent smart thinking book you've read (and how would you rate it)?
I recently read Ten Days that Shook the World, by John Reed. It was surprisingly engrossing, and gave a perspective on the Russian Revolution that I hadn't really thought about before. Not a great book, but certainly worth reading.
Q. Do you have a favourite childhood book?
Watership Down, by Richard Adams. It is the essential animal story for children and adults. Beautifully researched and executed, it was through Watership Down that as a student I came to Ron Lockley's The Private Life of the Rabbit, and from there to my career in animal behaviour..
Q. Do you prefer reading on paper, Kindle or listening to an audiobook?
I always prefer paper, and I greatly prefer hardcover books, so I buy those if I possibly can. But I read a great deal on my phone. Just because I can do that at any time: while waiting for a bus, or in the line for a coffee.
Q. Do you have a favourite bookshop (and why that shop)?
G. David, tucked away in the centre of Cambridge, is my one go-to bookshop if I have any free time. With rows of second-hand books, often from the private collections of Cambridge professors who've passed away, there are always interesting finds. And inside it's small and diverse, as a book shop should be.
Many thanks to Arik for recommending some brilliant books! Please don't forget to check out Arik's book The Zoologist's Guide to the Galaxy: What Animals on Earth Reveal about Aliens – and Ourselves.
Image Copyrights: Penguin Books Ltd (The Zoologist's Guide To The Galaxy, Ten Days That Shook The World, Watership Down), Oxford University Press (The Selfish Gene).