What it is?

A measured look at one of the most iconic American founders, and possibly the most famous statesman to never be President, Benjamin Franklin. Isaacson’s biography is typical of his style in other works, with ample coverage of both the subject’s high notes and shortcomings. In waiting until…


What it is?

A detailed tracing of the evolution of both life and our collective understanding of it. Shubin focuses this work on a series of illuminative species in the fossil record. He also explores the complex genetic borrowing, and outright theft, between organisms. Some of the most richly detailed…


What it is?

A wide-ranging guide to the historical development and current state of major scientific fields, among them physics, chemistry, biology, geology, astronomy, and paleontology. Designed for the non-scientific reader, Bryson utilizes layperson’s terms and frequent reference points to provide relatable context when delving into the really large (distances…


What is it?

An enriching historical account of the early American settlers of the Northwest Territory, many of them Revolutionary War veterans inspired by George Washington’s vision of westward expansion for the nation. McCullough centers his work around the group of settlers who founded Marietta, the first permanent settlement in…


What it is?

The eagerly awaited presidential memoir of the nation’s 44th Commander in Chief traces Barack Obama’s well known, yet still inspiring journey from Chicago community organizer to President of the United States. With the former President’s early years the focus of his 1995 memoir, Dreams from My Father


What it is?

A novel following the twisted lives of four beleaguered characters as they come together in an attempt to endure and understand the oftentimes random misfortune of the world around them. Set primarily in an unidentified city in India during The Emergency period in the mid 1970s, the…


What it is?

An extensively supported analysis of threats to the collective well-being of humanity, ranging from the imminent (disruptions to the carbon, nitrogen, and water cycles) to the unlikely (collisions with space debris, volcanic mega-eruptions). Smil is careful to remind the reader that he offers not specific forecasts or…

Jake Rowan

I read a lot and write a little

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store