What We Are Reading Today:: How to Walk on Water and Climb up Walls by David L. Hu

Updated 01 November 2018

What We Are Reading Today:: How to Walk on Water and Climb up Walls by David L. Hu

  • David Hu takes readers on an accessible, wondrous journey into the world of animal motion

Insects walk on water, snakes slither, and fish swim. Animals move with astounding grace, speed, and versatility; how do they do it, and what can we learn from them? 

In How to Walk on Water and Climb up Walls, David Hu takes readers on an accessible, wondrous journey into the world of animal motion. 

From basement labs at MIT to the rain forests of Panama, Hu shows how animals have adapted and evolved to traverse their environments, taking advantage of physical laws with results that are startling and ingenious, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.

In turn, the latest discoveries about animal mechanics are inspiring scientists to invent robots and devices that move with similar elegance and efficiency.

Hu follows scientists as they investigate a multitude of animal movements, from the undulations of sandfish and the way that dogs shake off water in fractions of a second to the seemingly crash-resistant characteristics of insect flight. 


What We Are Reading Today: Busted in New York by Darryl Pinckney

Updated 16 November 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Busted in New York by Darryl Pinckney

This is a collection of essays that blend the personal and the social, from the celebrated literary critic and novelist.

Author Darryl Pinckney has written for The New York Review of Books for decades, and most of the 25 essays here appeared there first.

“In his two novels, Pinckney focused on the interior lives of his black characters in settings including Berlin, Chicago and Indianapolis, where Pinckney was raised. Here, he reveals himself to be a skillful chronicler of black experience in literary criticism, reportage and biography,” Lauretta Charlton said in a review for The New York Times.

“The crown jewel of this book is ‘Banjo,’ an essay that first appeared last year in the literary magazine Salmagundi. In it, Pinckney pinpoints a devastating irony of growing up in a privileged, intellectual milieu like his.

“The pressure to live up to his parents’ expectations led to its own kind of oppression, one he sought to escape by traveling to Europe but addresses head on in this essay, which captures his journey toward self-discovery.

Through race, Pinckney implies, we hide from each other and ourselves,” the review added.

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