A great context of what’s going on in the 1880s

“Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883” by Simon Winchester

Came for the Krakatoa story, stayed for the brilliant history of Indonesia, the evolution of biology, and the progress of vulcanology, that were all served as the context leading up towards the day Krakatoa finally exploded in 1883.

It reads like an intense novel, based on an imense library of factual findings and the scientific arguments behind them. It’s also a book that suddenly clicks all the interconnected web of events proceeding the explosion, as some kind of cause-and-effect, like how the explosion triggerred the eventual independence movement in Indonesia. Fascinating book.