Sunday, April 23, 2006

Leonardo Da Vinci was crazy ...

With these immortal words, a science teacher brought Leonardo Da Vinci to the forefront of my son's interest and imagination. (Leonardo Da Vinci was crazy, he went around telling his neighbors that man would fly one day. He spent lots of time watching birds and figuring out how they did it. This kind of talk.) Unfortunately, all the children's biographies were checked out. In fact, all the children's books on the Renaissance were checked out. Someone must be doing a history project.

So when I stumbled across Leonardo: Flights of the Mind I felt obligated to read up and report back to the boy. Unfortunately, this very good book spends a lot more time discussing his art in great detail, and really only mentions his scientific work in passing. I enjoyed this book a lot, however, especially in contrast to The Other Boleyn Girl which is historical fiction. I enjoyed reading quotes from his notebooks and letters, as well as from other original sources, and liked knowing documented fact left off and author speculation began. So even though this book had no actual sex scenes (although a lot of speculation about Leonardo's sex life), and no snappy dialogue, I liked reading it a lot more. Of course all the reproduced drawings and color plates were also a big plus.

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