San Diego Public Library
2014 Summer Reading Program
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Program News
June 15--August 15, 2014

The Summer Reading Program is half way through, don’t forget to log your progress and get your prize before August 15, 2014!


Reviews
Title
When the Emperor was Divine
Author
Julie Otsuka
Review
Kept me interested from the beginning; a good fictional account of the life and survival of a Japanese-American family after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  San Diego Public Library Catalog
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Title
The Heist
Author
Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
Review
Easy and entertaining; not funny; made me want to read the other book in the series (The Chase).  San Diego Public Library Catalog
Rating
Title
De Re Metallica
Author
Georg Agricola (translated by Herbert Hoover)
Review
Yes, that Herbert Hoover – former President of the United States. Along with his wife, Lou Henry Hoover, Herbert Hoover translated this historical work, written in the 16th Century, from its original Latin into English. “De Re Metallica” means “On the Nature of Minerals.” The book is the earliest known, comprehensive treatise on the properties of minerals, metals, the ore from which they come, and the techniques used to mine them.

Georgius (Georg) Agricola was born 500 years ago, in 1494, in Saxony. His real name was Georg Bauer, but following the custom of the time, it was Latinized to "Georgius Agricola" early in his youth. A contemporary of Copernicus, Martin Luther, Leonardo da Vinci, and Christopher Columbus, Agricola is regarded as the "father" of mineralogy.

Agricola wrote many books on natural history; however, his most well-known work, De Re Metallica, was published in 1556, one year after his death. This book, Agricola's magnum opus, describes in detail the mining methods, smelting and metallurgical processes, geology, mineralogy, and mining law of the day. It is comprised of twelve "books" which cover topics ranging from the philosophy of mining and the qualities of a good miner to the arts of exploration, mining, assaying, and smelting. The volume includes a very large number of wood-block prints which illustrate the concepts described in the book.

Twenty years in the writing, De Re Metallica remains today an important historical and scientific document, especially to geologists, mineralogists, and mining engineers. In the Hoovers' preface to the English edition of the book, he states, "we must emphasize that Agricola was infinitely clearer in his style than his contemporaries upon such subjects, or for that matter than his successors in almost any language for a couple of centuries."

But, of course, there is the question: Why, of all people, did the President of the United States translate, into English, a book on mining written in Latin? The answer is simple. Before becoming President, Herbert Clark Hoover was a mining engineer who understood the historical significance of De Re Metallica.  San Diego Public Library Catalog
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