What We Are Reading Today: Rediscovering the Islamic Classics by Ahmed El Shamsy

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Updated 15 February 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Rediscovering the Islamic Classics by Ahmed El Shamsy

Islamic book culture dates back to late antiquity, when Muslim scholars began to write down their doctrines on parchment, papyrus, and paper and then to compose increasingly elaborate analyses of, and commentaries on, these ideas. Movable type was adopted in the Middle East only in the early 19th century, and it wasn’t until the second half of the century that the first works of classical Islamic religious scholarship were printed there. But from that moment on, Ahmed El Shamsy reveals, the technology of print transformed Islamic scholarship and Arabic literature.

In the first wide-ranging account of the effects of print and the publishing industry on Islamic scholarship, El Shamsy tells the fascinating story of how a small group of editors and intellectuals brought forgotten works of Islamic literature into print and defined what became the classical canon of Islamic thought, says a review on the Princeton University Press website. 


What We Are Reading Today: Reptiles and Amphibians of New Zealand

Updated 28 February 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Reptiles and Amphibians of New Zealand

Authors: Dylan Van Winkel, Marleen Baling, and Rod Hitchmough

With more than 400 extraordinary color photographs and richly informative text, Reptiles and Amphibians of New Zealand is the definitive field guide to all of the country’s tuatara, geckos, skinks, frogs, marine turtles, and marine snakes.

From the ancient tuatara, the sole surviving member of its order, to the world’s largest collection of long-lived and live-bearing lizards, New Zealand’s reptiles and amphibians represent an extraordinary part of the country’s biodiversity. 

The only field guide to cover all of New Zealand’s 123 currently recognized species, the book features authoritative and up-to-date species accounts, including names and description, as well as information on distribution, variation and similar species, habitat, and natural history.

The book also provides a general introduction to these species, offering an overview of evolution, conservation, observing and collecting, ecosystems, and geographic history.

It contains more than 400 stunning new color photographs.