Summer book discussions focus on life science

<p> Just when you thought you could clear your calendar for the summer and spend your evenings lounging by the pool, ASU Life Sciences librarian Ren&eacute; Tanner wants to you READ. Not just one book, but three!</p><separator></separator><p> Starting at 7:30 p.m., June 9, Tanner will lead a series of three monthly book discussions at the Noble Science Library, located on ASU&rsquo;s Tempe campus.</p><separator></separator><p> The books are all focused on science. The first book, for June 9, is Barbara Kingsolver&rsquo;s &ldquo;Animal, Vegetable, Miracle,&rdquo; which, Tanner said, &ldquo;has a strong sustainability focus. It&rsquo;s a memoir with a good measure of investigative reporting that chronicles the year she and her family made a deliberate effort to eat locally.&rdquo;</p><separator></separator><p> The second book, to be discussed July 14, is Nick Lane&rsquo;s &ldquo;Life Ascending.&rdquo; Tanner said, &ldquo;This book takes the reader on a journey through time from chemical reactions around underwater thermal vents to life on land. Along the way Lane chronicles 10 major evolutionary developments that created life as we know it.&rdquo;</p><separator></separator><p> The Aug. 11 discussion will focus on &ldquo;Journey to the Ants&rdquo; by Bert H&ouml;lldobler (ASU, Foundation Professor of Biology) and E. O. Wilson. &ldquo;The authors are experts on the subject of ants and their earlier book &lsquo;The Ants&rsquo; won a Pulitzer Prize,&rdquo; Tanner said. &ldquo;&rsquo;Journey to the Ants&rsquo; combines autobiography and scientific discovery to explain communication among one of the smallest and most numerous organisms on the planet.&rdquo;</p><separator></separator><p> Tanner decided to host the discussions because &ldquo;summer, traditionally, is a time when many students take a break from academic life and there is less happening on campus, so I wanted to give students and the community a reason to come together,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;This is a pilot project, and I&rsquo;ll be curious to see how much interest there is.&rdquo;</p><separator></separator><p> To choose the books, Tanner started by looking at other science-oriented book discussions, then read reviews of the books that looked the most interesting. &ldquo;Finally I looked at what science societies were discussing. That&rsquo;s how I found Nick Lane&rsquo;s book, &lsquo;Life Ascending,&rsquo;&rdquo; Tanner said. &ldquo;He won the Royal Society Prize for Science Books for it in 2010.&rdquo;</p><separator></separator><p> The books she chose had to tell a story and have popular appeal &ndash; &ldquo;no textbooks,&rdquo; Tanner said. &ldquo;And they needed to be moderately priced. All of the books are under $20.&rdquo;</p><separator></separator><p> The books needed to lend themselves to expansive thinking, according to Tanner. &ldquo;I wanted books that were interesting to read and talk about &ndash; not too specific and not too general. Kind of like Goldilocks picking a chair to sit in &ndash; each book needed to be just right.&rdquo;</p><separator></separator><p> The discussions, which are free and open to the public, will take place in room 105 of Noble Library. Free parking is available after 7 p.m., in the Tyler Street Garage, located at Tyler Street and McAllister Avenue. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, or to R.S.V.P., contact Tanner at <a href=""></a&gt; or go to <a href="">http://libguides.asu.e…;