July 2019: Reading Thread


Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2010
Got Phyllis Paul's A Cage for the Nightingale again on interlibrary loan (there appears to be one copy available in the United States) and copied and read the two pages I'd accidentally not photocopied when I had the book in my hands before. This makes me want to read another of Paul's novels. Those curious can find here at Chrons a thread on Paul

with details about several of her eerie novels that I've read. But here's something on the present novel:


Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
Staff member
Nov 23, 2002
The Ends of the World by Peter Brannen
Finished this last night.

Altogether, an interesting book about the worst mass extinction events in the fossil record, as well as en exploration of current climate change and future climate change possibilities.

Written like a newspaper article, it peppers personal interludes and short interviews with information on changes in the geological past, which made for easy and accessible reading.

Brannen does almost too good a job of describing how some of these scenarios might not just have played out, but may have also looked like in their aftermath. Probably the lasting image I'll take from this is the horrors of ocean acidification, especially on the scale seen at the worst-recorded extinction event at the end of the Permian period, aka, The Great Dying.

Of course, this is pertinent to current climate change, and although the potential outcomes are clearly shown to be terrifying, it's also made clear that humanity still has a chance to avert the worst - time is still on our side, if we make the effort to act.

However, a major flaw is that it is almost entirely focused on the role of the carbon-cycle. While the dangers of rising carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere are made clear time after time, it spends almost no time on the role of the sun on climate, and Milankovitch cycles get a brief single-sentence mention without even being named.

Perhaps there is an argument that the carbon-cycle is the ultimate planetary thermostat, but it seems strange to focus so much on vulcanism and plate tectonics as major causes while ignoring variability in solar output itself, which is arguably a main driver.

Even still, an interesting, engaging - and frightening - read.


Mad Mountain Man
Jun 29, 2010
Scottish Highlands
I have just started Cheech Is Not My Real Name . . . But Don't Call Me Chong! (2017) by Cheech Marin, with John Hassan. As you can tell, it's an autobiography of one half of the famous comedy team.
Heck I haven't heard those name for years. I used to have a couple of their albums! Hilarious so long as you understood them!