There are two gifts I was looking forward to getting, but despite my family's best efforts, they couldn't find any copies of E. Janet Browne's highly regarded, two volume, 1200+ page biographical tomes on the life of Charles Darwin, Voyaging and The Power of Place.
Thankfully, I've still got some Christmas money saved up, so I'll probably order the books off of Amazon sometime in the next few days. If I manage to make it through these two books, I think I will have acquired some level of expertise on the life of our greatest scientist. I've already read two biographies, Darwin's autobiography, a collection of his letters, a dramatization of his correspondence with Asa Gray, On the Origin of Species, and selections from the Descent of Man. Of course, I should probably also have a go at Darwin's original best-seller, Journey of the Beagle and, uh, there is the problem I still have of forming concrete memories of my reading. For example, it's a sad fact that I probably couldn't give you a very accurate estimation of Darwin's birth year and death or the names of his children...stupid brain!