I can’t say I liked this book. It was recommended by Sarah Gailey, whose writing I LOVE, and I can understand why they would have enjoyed it, but it’s not for me. First, I’m not that into memoirs, which is sort of is, but it’s also a book about David Starr Jordan, a scientist and head of Stanford who discovered and categorized thousands of fish for the first time.
Spoiler alert: don’t read the next paragraph if you plan to read this because I’m about to give away the whole journey.
First, he’s a misunderstood little kid who finds solace in science and categorization, and you feel sorry for him. Then he’s an adventurer/explorer/scientist and a superstar university administrator, and you want to celebrate his success. But then he’s possibly a murderer (!), and then he’s a big proponent of eugenics (!!), and all through this I’m finding it hard to care about the author’s troubles, which are being sprinkled through the details of Jordan’s life. Mostly, I can empathize with her, but I don’t understand her obsession with this guy, and I bounced off.
And yet, I didn’t put it down (although I considered it), and I read it in less than two days. So…read it? Don’t read it? I don’t know.