What We Are Reading Today: The Quotable Thoreau by Jeffrey S. Cramer

Updated 05 September 2018

What We Are Reading Today: The Quotable Thoreau by Jeffrey S. Cramer

  • The Quotable Thoreau, the most comprehensive and authoritative collection of Thoreau quotations ever assembled, gathers more than 2,000 memorable passages from this iconoclastic American author

 Few writers are more quotable than Henry David Thoreau. His books, essays, journals, poems, letters, and unpublished manuscripts contain an inexhaustible treasure of epigrams and witticisms, from the famous (“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”) to the obscure (“Who are the estranged? Two friends explaining”) and the surprising (“I would exchange my immortality for a glass of small beer this hot weather”). 

The Quotable Thoreau, the most comprehensive and authoritative collection of Thoreau quotations ever assembled, gathers more than 2,000 memorable passages from this iconoclastic American author, social reformer, environmentalist, and self-reliant thinker. Including Thoreau’s thoughts on topics ranging from sex to solitude, manners to miracles, government to God, life to death, and everything in between, the book captures Thoreau’s profundity as well as his humor (“If misery loves company, misery has company enough”).  Drawing primarily on The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau, published by Princeton University Press, The Quotable Thoreau is thematically arranged, fully indexed, richly illustrated, and thoroughly documented. 

For the student of Thoreau, it will be invaluable. For those who think they know Thoreau, it will be a revelation. And for the reader seeking sheer pleasure, it will be a joy.


What We Are Reading Today: The Rules of Contagion by Adam Kucharski

Updated 12 July 2020

What We Are Reading Today: The Rules of Contagion by Adam Kucharski

The Rules of Contagion is a prophetically timed book from an associate professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

It was published immediately prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK.

“From ‘superspreaders’ who might spark a pandemic or bring down a financial system to the social dynamics that make loneliness catch on, The Rules of Contagion offers compelling insights into human behavior and explains how we can get better at predicting what happens next,” said a review in goodreads.com.

“Along the way, author Adam Kucharski explores how innovations spread through friendship networks, what links computer viruses with folk stories — and why the most useful predictions aren’t necessarily the ones that come true,” the review added.

It said that Kucharski “is very effective in setting out how to look at viruses, plagues, and pandemics. In the process, he provides wonderful explanations of all the details that have likely be mystifying many of the people trying to make sense out of the new on COVID-19 — except for the politics, of course.”