Book Fight!

Tough love for literature


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Episode 84: Alexander von Humboldt, Personal Narrative of a Journey to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent

This week’s book was chosen for us by a donor to our winter fund drive. A famous work of early 19th century natural history, it’s a little outside our usual comfort zone, but we’re always happy to give new things a go. Still, don’t expect that you’re going to hear an expert breakdown of von Humboldt’s findings, or his place in the history of science. Instead you’ll hear us trying to wade through a lot of measurements and descriptions of rocks in search of the good stuff: jaguar-related adventures, fishing for eels, and making jellyfish mad.

You can read (or maybe skim?) the roughly 2,000-page book here, via Project Gutenberg, though we’d probably recommend the abridged Penguin version, which is only 300-some pages and presumably cuts out some of the stuff about water temperatures.

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Also this week: a new installment of Raccoon News, which includes a dispatch from our hockey-loving friends to the north. Plus a new segment: James Patterson Novel or Eric Stoltz Movie From the 90s?

As always, you can listen to the episode right here on our site, by clicking on the streaming player below. Or you can download the mp3 file. Or visit us in the iTunes store, where you can listen to back episodes and subscribe (for free!) to make sure you never miss another installment. While you’re in iTunes, please take a second to leave us a rating and a review. Both those things help the show move up the charts and ultimately allow us to reach more people.

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Download Episode 84 (right-click, save-as)