Tag: nonfiction

The Humor Code

April 1, 2014 Humor, non-fiction, Science 18

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 🙂 Read more »

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Futuristic Friday: What Books Are You Looking Forward To Reading?

March 28, 2014 Blogger Events 24

futuristic-friday

Hi all and welcome to Futuristic Friday! This is a feature that the fabulous Tamara from Traveling with T dreamed up and kindly invited me to co-host. In this feature, we each look ahead to some of the book that will be published in the next three months which we’re most excited about. I love putting this feature together because it helps me actually plan my reading in advance. I’m also super excited to check out Tamara’s picks, since we have similar but not identical taste. I always find something new to me in her great picks. Read more »

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Me, Myself, and Why

March 24, 2014 non-fiction, Science 12

18079745Title: Me, Myself, and Why
Author: Jennifer Ouellette
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: I love the author’s sense of humor and the unique fun facts she shared, but was bothered by some oversimplifications and inaccuracies in her coverage of the material I already knew.

“As diverse as people appear to be, all of our genes and brains are nearly identical. In Me, Myself, and Why, Jennifer Ouellette dives into the miniscule ranges of variation to understand just what sets us apart. She draws on cutting-edge research in genetics, neuroscience, and psychology—enlivened as always with her signature sense of humor—to explore the mysteries of human identity and behavior. Readers follow her own surprising journey of self-discovery as she has her genome sequenced, her brain mapped, her personality typed, and even samples a popular hallucinogen. Bringing together everything from Mendel’s famous pea plant experiments and mutations in The X-Men to our taste for cilantro and our relationships with virtual avatars, Ouellette takes us on an endlessly thrilling and illuminating trip into the science of ourselves.” (description from goodreads) Read more »

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Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening

March 19, 2014 Memoir, non-fiction 8

18079547Title: Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening
Author: Carol Wall
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: Although the author deals with big issues, she does so in a relatable and optimistic way which made this book a very easy and enjoyable read.

Since a tragic event in her childhood, Carol has been a bit afraid of gardening. Following a cancer scare, she became more timid about life as well. A chance encounter with her neighbor’s gardener, Mister Giles Owita, leads to a deep and surprising friendship. As they get to know each other, Mister Owita ends up “transforming not only Carol’s yard, but her life.” (quote from goodreads)
Read more »

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American Saint

March 13, 2014 Biography, History, non-fiction 4

17934383Title: American Saint: The Life of Elizabeth Seton
Author: Joan Barthel
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: I liked the connection to modern women’s rights and enjoyed the descriptive writing but found the story disjointed and preachy.

Elizabeth Seton led a very full life. As part of an influential family, she interacted with many of the founding fathers and other important political figures. A brave voyage to Italy in search of a cure for her husband led to her conversion to Catholicism, despite the social stigma associated with being a Catholic. Both before and after her conversion, she helped lead charitable institutions devoted to helping women and as a Catholic, she fought for women’s rights within the church. Read more »

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What is Relativity?

March 6, 2014 non-fiction, Science 11

17938849Title: What is Relativity?
Author: Jeffrey Bennett
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: I was shocked by how well the author made complicated ideas intuitive and understandable.

This is a primer on the basic ideas of relativity. It includes great, illustrative cartoons and very little math. The author addresses many of the misconceptions people might have about concepts related to relativity because of pop culture and introduces some surprising ways relativity affects our daily lives. Read more »

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The Future of the Mind

March 4, 2014 non-fiction, Psychology, Science 10

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. Read more »

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