Everyone of a certain pretension likes to think they have a book inside them. I know I do.
But I’ve looked and I can’t find it. Maybe it’s in there somewhere but at too early a stage of germination to be visible. All I know is that I have searched and come up wanting.
The situation is made all the more galling by the fact that everyone I meet these days seems either to have written a book or to be in the midst of producing one. Or if not, they’re working on a bloody book proposal. It’s starting to get on my nerves.
Even several of my co-bloggers here at Occam’s Typewriter are authors of books. You’d think they’d be a bit more sensitive but the talent and productivity of Jennifer Rohn, Steve Caplan and Henry Gee sicken me. Gee I find particularly nauseating: he writes fiction and non-fiction. God Almighty.
That reminds me: Alom Shaha is another of those annoyingly gifted people who has produced a tome.
But today I can cover my inadequacy with a tiny laurel: a book is being published that has my name on the cover. That there are fifty-two other names on the cover is completely irrelevant. Well, almost.
The name of the book is ‘The best science writing online 2012′ and includes 51 of the best science blog posts of last year, selected by a team shepherded by Jennifer Ouellette, the whole process being overseen as ever by Bora Zivkovic. My contribution, ‘Joule’s Jewel‘, is on a paper by the 19th Century physicist recounting his careful measurements to demonstrate the equivalence of work and heat, but you will find plenty of other gems in there too, not the least of which is Richard Wintle’s two-part Shakespearean take on genome sequencing.
Please have a look. Buy a copy for your loved one. It only costs pennies — six hundred and seventy-one of them — and will give you a glimpse of some of the sweetest writing on science that has been scooped from the internet.
P.S. Thanks to Bora for providing the image of the cover (Courtesy of Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux; design by Jason Heuer).