Sunday, September 16, 2007

What I'm Reading Lately

My goal over my summer break was to read the entire set of Harry Potter books. Well, I've finished book 7 and I also read a commentary on the books and have been listening to some podcasts by Harry Potter geeks. Taken as a whole the entire set is a wonderful story, one that ranks, at least in theme and ideas, with many other works of western literature. It is deep in many ways, touching on many myths, a very spiritual series with positive ethics. I highly recommend the Harry Potter series; best to start at the first book as there are characters in the book that aren't in the movies.

Currently, I'm nearly done with a book on genetics and British and Irish history called "Saxons, Vikings and Celts". The author, Bryan Sykes has done research using the DNA of the inhabitants of Britain, Wales, Scotland and Ireland in order to see if various legends and historic accounts of the movements of various peoples into and around the isles can be proven by looking at their DNA. It's a fascinating account. Some of his preliminary studies may change what we think about when Celts came to Ireland. It was believed that Celts from around Austria may have emmigrated into Ireland about 300 to 500 years BC. But Syke's research implies that the Celts may have arrived much earlier, around the time of the invention of agriculture about 5000 years BC and from around Spain. On the whole, a great read.