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Readings and Ramblings

This is Readings and Ramblings. It is readings because this is a site for blogging about books and I intend to do that. It is ramblings because I might want to write about something else now and then.

Snow Leopard

The Snow Leopard - Peter Matthiessen This book was not what I was expecting. I was expecting a book about the biology, behavior and ecology of the snow leopard. What it was actually about was, first, a travelog, second, a popularized survey of the anthropology of the people who live in the range of the snow leopard and, a distant third, some mention of the wildlife of the Himalayas and there was more discussion of Himalayan goats than of snow leopards. This is not necessarily a bad thing because I might very well have read it anyway if I had known what it really was about, but I would think that the subject of the content would have been made clearer in the title and the synopsis. As a travelog and an anthropological survey it was not all that bad, but it was not all that good either. I am giving it three stars because I feel kind of neutral about it and, by Good Reads explanation of what these stars mean, I did like it. I note that Good Reads explains two stars as being okay, but when I am faced with a rating system that gives me five choices I tend to compare those choices to letter grades in school. That means that two stars would mean a grade of a D and I really did think it was better than that. I thought about giving it two stars because there was a point in which the author describes scientific discoveries in the field of physics in a way that is intended to give legitimacy to the Buddhist religion, but after thinking about it I decided that since that was such a minor part of the book it did not really justify demoting the whole thing by a whole star. If you are interested in an an account of traveling on foot through a cold, snowy and mountainous wilderness and in the cultural practices of Tibetans and Sherpas then you are likely to like this book.