my library

Table of Contents

> index / blog : library

1. Reading for work

Students in the Environmental Sciences programme of TU Braunschweig can contact me to borrow these books.

A list of articles in my reference data base is here.

1.1. Finite Volume Methods for Hyperbolic Problems

Randall J. LeVeque

My all-time favourite book. Classic textbook on Riemann solvers and finite volume methods.

1.2. Nodal Discontinuous Galerkin Methods

Jan S. Hesthaven & Tim Warburton

A book on the discontinuous Galerkin method, a numerical scheme to solve partial differential equations.

1.3. Ecohydrology: Dynamics of Life and Water in the Critical Zone

Amilcare Porporato & Jun Yin

Great modern book on ecohydrology.

1.4. Eco-Hydrology

Andrew J. Baird & Robert L. Wilby (eds)

Classic textbook on ecohydrology.

1.5. Ecohydrology: Darwinian Expression of Vegetation Form and Function

Peter S. Eagleson

This is an interesting read that connects ecological and biological considerations to derive a theory of hydrological optimisation in plants.

1.6. The Modeling of Hydrological Cycle and its Interaction with Vegetation in the Framework of Climate Change

Simone Fatichi

Doctoral dissertation on ecohydrology that provides the blueprint for the UT&C ecohydrological model.

1.7. Dryland Ecohydrology

Paolo D'Odorico, Amilcare Porporato, & Christiane Wilkinson Runyan (eds)

An introduction to dryland ecohydrology that studies processes in semi-arid to arid regions.

1.8. Hydrology: An introduction

Wilfried Brutsaert

Classic textbook on hydrology.

1.9. Theoretical Ecology

Robert T. May (ed)

Classic textbook on ecological modelling. Recommended by Robert.

1.10. Mathematical Biology (Vol I. and II)

James D. Murray

An introduction to mathematical biology that has some overlap with theoretical ecology. Recommended to me by Cordula.

1.11. Introduction to Reaction–Diffusion Equations

King-Yeung Lam & Yuan Lu

Mathematical modelling of spatial ecology and evolutionary biology.

1.12. Dynamics of Fluids in Porous Media

Jacob Bear

Classic textbook on subsurface flow.

1.13. Statistical Fluid Mechanics (Vol. I and II)

Andrei S. Monin & Akiva M. Yaglom

Classic textbook on turbulent flows.

1.14. Soil Physics with Python

Marco Bittelli, Gaylon S. Campbell & Fausto Tomei

Soil physics introduction.

1.15. Geochemistry

William M. White

Classic textbook on geochemistry.

1.16. Isotope Geochemistry

William M. White

Introduction to radiogenic and stable isotope geochemistry.

1.17. Principles of Environmental Thermodynamics and Kinetics

Kalliat T. Valsaraj & Elizabeth M. Melvin

Good book on thermodynamics in the context of environmental sciences. A bit too engineering focused.

1.18. Thermodynamic Foundations of the Earth System

Axel Kleidon

Environmental thermodynamics with a focus on environmental sciences. Recommended by Ralf.

1.19. Die Eigenlogik der Städte

Helmuth Berking & Martina Löw (eds)

Book on urban dynamics and interdisciplinary urban studies. Interesting stuff. Recommended by Franziska.

2. Reading for pleasure

2.1. One, Two, Buckle My Shoe and The Body in the Library and Five Little Pigs

Agatha Christie

I love whodunit-type murder misteries. I love Hercules Poirot—in fact, perhaps more than Sherlock Holmes. I recently found a book that compiles these three stories by Christie on the street and now keep it in my library.

2.2. The Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy

Murray Bookchin

I like this book a lot. It's a classic text of social ecology and eco-anarchism. I re-read it from time to time.

2.3. The Secret History

Donna Tartt

The story chronicles the life of a small group of students in Classical Studies at a university in Vermont. As the murder plot progresses, secrets are revealed and group dynamics change. It was an exciting read. I really liked the first half. The second part was fine. The ending fell flat for me.

Despite its shortcomings, this book is a very good read. It's very atmospheric. All characters are interesting with their snobbish and intellectual mannerisms. I think if I was younger it would have affected me more deeply.

The story itself reminded me of HBO's The White Lotus series, of Rian Johnson's Knives Out, and to some extent of ABC's How to Get Away with Murder and the great Search Party series.

I like stories that use shift of perceptions: the protagonist in The Secret History feels one way about a certain situation. Then, it's revealed how the other characters felt. A similar device is used in Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami and in The Castle by Franz Kafka. It's also a common motive used by the Coen brothers.

2.4. Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

I'm still reading it. Taleb writes in a very opiniated manner and I tend to be suspicious of this kind of voice. The concept of antifragility is very interesting though and I will keep reading.

2.5. Field Notes on Science and Nature

Michael R. Canfield (ed)

It's a compilation of essays by field scientists that describe how they organise and use their notes. It's accompanied with scans of the real notebooks. This was an inspiring read.

The essay by R. Kitching is very good. He talks about a three-layered approach: (1) the field notebook, (2) the journal, and (3) the publications. The field notebook contains the data, the journal a narrative recollection of the field campaign. Finally, the publication is a polished subset of the synthesis of (1) and (2). From page 74, on the value of paper-based notebooks:

Even with the rise of laptop-based spreadsheets, I still try to ensure that all data collected in the field make their appearance in a notebook as well as on that spreadsheet. Paper is still proving more durable than electronic data and ink more permanent than the simple polarization of electrons. For a start, ink does not readily change its state in the presence of a magnetic field, and the human optical recognition system (that is to say, reading) doesn't change in basic design every few years. Accordingly, the notebook remains an essential backup tool. It also works in all climates, without a source of electricity.

2.6. Die Intelligenz der Pflanzen

Stefano Mancuso & Alessandra Viola

A book about plant biology and their intelligence (intelligence is used generously) with beautiful illustrations and diagrammes. It's not as esoteric as the title may suggest.

2.7. How to write a thesis

Umberto Eco

It's a classic I hadn't read. Good ideas on note taking and scientific writing. There's value in reading it for people who work in academia. I loved the advice on how to copy a thesis from a different university (p. 4):

Copy a thesis that was written a few years prior for another institution. (It is better not to copy a book currently in print, even if it was written in a foreign language. […] Consequently, even plagiarizing a thesis requires an intelligent research effort.)

2.8. Die Natur der Zukunft

Bernhard Kegel

This book is just facts. It reports in great detail the disruptions and regime shifts that are expected across Earth's ecosystems due to the ongoing climate change. Reading all these facts starts out interesting but becomes disturbing after a while. The book is neatly written—very German—and gives a good overview of all the challenges that await. It's pretty good.

The part on tree mortality was especially interesting to me. Kegel summarises the extreme drought in Europe that started in 2018 and went through 2020, causing unprecedented damage to German forests. One issue that made German forests especially vulnerable to the drought is that they are industrial monocultures. Such single species ecosystems don't have enough flexibility to navigate a heavy disturbance. In addition, the weakened trees fell victim to a bark beetle plague, which was again amplified by the monoculture nature of the forests. Kegel points out that the regime shift in forests was immediate, without much lag. What needs to be done to secure forests in the future is not entirely clear. For economic purposes, it might make sense to plant non-native, drought resistant trees in mixed systems. However, the optimal combination of species is unclear.

2.9. Um tímann og vatnið

Andri Snær Magnason

The book is a mixture of Magnason's family history, glaciers, and climate change. Through his family stories, Magnason relates human timescales to geological ones and connects everything beautifully to the ongoing climate emergency. If you have read a book on climate change before, you will not find a lot of new information. The strength of this book is its prose, which is well-crafted, rich, and poetic. It did touch my heart. I may read it again after some time.


Author: ilhan özgen xian

Created: 2023-03-03 Fri 10:37