In preparation for our trip to Italy in April, I’m reading Charles Nicholl’s Leonardo da Vinci: Flights of the Mind. It’s a readable, detailed biography of the mysterious figure that defines the Renaissance man. Much of Nicholl’s work is based on Leonardo’s own words and drawings as found in the many notebooks he left behind. Now scattered in museums and collections across the planet, they were da Vinci’s daily sketchpads and idea books. We have many of the notebooks, but some were stolen (and subsequently recovered). I’m looking forward to walking the streets of Florence where Leonardo, Michelangelo, Botticelli and so many other incredible people lived their lives. I’ll definitely post more about the trip!
Trilobites were my first fossil. I remember making them out of dirt using a tablespoon I’d sneaked from my mom’s kitchen. The image of these ancient creatures living through eons of time, placidly munching away, has always fascinated me. There are many books on trilobites, but the one I’ve sought for years is the University of Kansas‘ Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, Part O, which covers them in amazing detail. There’s a 1997 update with great photos, but I prefer the 1959 edition with its precise drawings. If you’re a trilobite aficionado, I recommend it.