Tag Archives: science

Author Interview with Alena Graedon

18209339Hi Alena! Thanks so much for joining us on Doing Dewey today. I loved your book and am very excited to have a chance to talk to you about it. Could you please begin by telling us a bit about The Word Exchange?

Hi, Katie! Thank you so much for inviting me! I’m utterly thrilled to join you, and I’m very grateful to you for having read the book, for your very kind words about it, and for giving me the opportunity to join you today!

The Word Exchange is set in the very near future, just a few years from now. The much-anticipated “death of print” has finally become a reality. That’s a problem for the main characters, because they work together at a dictionary—the last of its kind.

When The Word Exchange begins, the final print edition of their dictionary is just about to come out. After that, the protagonists’ future is uncertain, which, as it happens, is also true of the future of language. That’s because in this near-future world, smart phones have become even smarter than they are today, unlike the people who use them. The handheld devices that people rely on most are called Memes, which anticipate users’ wants and needs. But these handy little machines have also started to corrode people’s memories. There’s no need to remember things anymore when it’s easier just to use “memory.” In fact, many people have even started forgetting the meanings of some words. If a person encounters an unknown term—during a conversation, in a text, etc.—her device will ask if she wants to download its definition (for just a couple of cents) from a huge online database called The Word Exchange. Continue reading

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Filed under Author Interview

The Humor Code

18144085Title: The Humor Code
Author: Peter McGraw and Joel Warner
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: This book was amusing, well-written, inspiring, moving, and educational, as well as containing surprisingly valuable research.

If you’ve ever thought about why some things are funnier than others, you’ll probably realize that this is a tough question to answer. Other difficult questions include why we’d evolve a sense of humor and what purpose humor serves.  Although scientists still don’t agree on answers, professor Peter McGraw and journalist Joel Warner decide to tackle these questions in an epic, around-the-world journey. Their trip includes everything from talking to comedians and researchers to dressing as clowns and trying their hand at stand-up comedy. The perfect read for April Fool’s Day :) Continue reading

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Filed under Humor, non-fiction, Science

The Future of the Mind

IMG_9560Title: The Future of the Mind
Author: Michio Kaku
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: I loved the exciting look at current and future technology, but the explanations weren’t as clear as in some of Kaku’s other books.

Michio Kaku is first and foremost a theoretical physicist, so he begins his book describing a physicist’s perspective on how the brain works. Then he describes the latest and greatest advances in our understanding of how the brain works and makes some incredible predictions for the future. These include everything from the possibility of assisted telepathy and enhanced cognition to uploadable memories and recordable dreams. Continue reading

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Filed under non-fiction, Psychology, Science

Some Non-Fiction Mini-Reviews

7651620Title: The Husbands and Wives Club
Author: Laurie Abraham
Source: library
Rating: ★★★★☆

This is the story of five couples doing group marriage counseling and of one author who sat in on the sessions. I  liked that it became a story that was a little bit about the author too. This could easily have turned into a detached third-person narrative. Instead, it’s clear that the author connected with the couples, so it’s easy for the reader to connect too. That does make this some very unobjective non-fiction though. The author isn’t shy about inserting her own speculations about the couples’ feelings. However, she generally makes it clear when she’s speculating, so I didn’t mind too much. I think a similar fictional story could be a great character driven narrative, but I liked that this was non-fiction. It made the story more interesting that it was true. It made it easy for the author to hold information back without being manipulative because she shared information in the order she found it out. And of course, it made for a very believable story. This is in part due to the author’s ability to convey the personalities of the people involved, but I’m sure the fact that they were real people didn’t hurt either! Continue reading

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Filed under Biography, Memoir, Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction, Science, Self-Help

Someone Else’s Love Story

17349119Title: Someone Else’s Love Story
Author: Joshilyn Jackson
Source: from publisher for SheReads book club
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: This book was so good I practically forgot to take notes, with spectacularly unique and believable characters driving a fascinating plot.

Single mother Shandi is deeply, lovingly devoted to her brilliant three year old son, so when the handsome William steps between her son and an armed robber, she immediately loves him too. Unfortunately for Shandi, William is still barely recovering from a devastating tragedy in his life and he has some secrets of his own. Their interaction will help both of them find out what they want and what they need as their lives shift around them. Continue reading

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Filed under Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Women's Fiction

Non-fiction November: Become the Expert

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This is my second discussion post for Non-Fiction November, an exciting event celebrating non-fiction hosted by Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness and Leslie at Regular Ruminations. Every Monday this month, a discussion question will be posted. Then each Friday there will be a link-up for discussion posts and non-fiction reviews, with each linky entry entered in a prize drawing at the end of the month! Today’s topic is…

Continue reading

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Filed under Blogger Events, non-fiction, Science

Deadly Outbreaks

17593167Title: Deadly Outbreaks: How Medical Detectives Save Lives Threatened by Killer Pandemics, Exotic Viruses, and Drug-Resistant Parasites
Author: Alexandra Levitt
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: The stories were fascinating but were often told in a clinical way that reduced the drama and my sense of connection to the people in the story.

As the subtitle suggests, Deadly Outbreaks is all about medical mysteries. For suspicious cases where multiple patients die or fall ill and the reason is unknown, epidemiologists  are often called in to help determine the cause. Some of these investigations are retrospective, but many require clever deduction to take place quickly in order to prevent more people from becoming sick. Continue reading

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Filed under non-fiction, Science