This book had an incredible amount of interesting material! There are so many interesting ways our minds are tricked by ourselves and the influences on us!
The only downside was it started to feel kind of repetitive because there is a lot of discussion of studies done. There really isn't much progression to the "story" of this work -- at least coming from the perspective of someone fascinated by brain development but nowhere near working in that field of study. I had to take a break from it and listen to something a little more... gripping.
I still highly recommend it for someone who is interested in this topic and the related books Daniel Kahneman is said to have influenced.
As a non-religious person myself, I see all Bible stories as interesting examples of historical literature. This book tells a Genesis story (see Genesis 34) from a new perspective--that of Dinah. It starts long before that, though, and goes on long after. It is about Dinah's mothers (yes, all four of Jacob's wives are her mothers, as far as she's concerned!) and how they change through their marriages to Jacob as well, and follows Dinah into her later life.
This book is fascinating, with a tone somewhat removed like the Bible itself at times, despite the story being told by Dinah. A very unique book, and worth reading.
This book doesn't shy away from dark, honest descriptions of shipwrecked life (there is talk of feces and of gutting fish, to name a few...), and also manages to capture the imagination in bright descriptions of marine life and ocean views, of what Pi thinks about. This would be a great book for older children, due to this balance. It could spark some great discussions about: What do you think about what just happened? What would you do in this situation?
I down-graded from 5 stars to 4 on the story because I was very disappointed about the sort of "storyteller" part of the book. It has a framework that is told from the perspective of a writer learning Pi's story, and this is never concluded! Why did we spend time hearing from this person, and then not get his final thoughts, why he was researching this, or any kind of conclusion?? I felt like the last few minutes were missing for this reason.
That being said, all of the parts told from Pi's perspective are great. A wonderful story, and I love that it did not shy away from the gritty details I mentioned above.
I just loved every moment of this book. It is read well in this audio version, and Michael Pollan is a descriptive, intelligent writer. He incorporates little jokes and makes his own vices and mistakes a delightful part of the story here.
I appreciate what Pollan did to make this about the practical aspects of what and how we eat now, as much as the moral and historical ones.
A MUST-read for anyone curious about how our food system became how it is today, and the questions we should be asking ourselves when we choose what to eat and "vote with our dollars" by purchasing different foods.
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