Houston, TX, United States | Member Since 2010
Pinker is articulate, brilliant and interesting as he leads the listener through a huge forest of cognitive research and evolutionary psychology. He explains as he begins that the fascinating features of our brain have evolved for two purposes: First, to help us reproduce as many offspring as possible. Second, to help us survive as long as long as possible. Any abilities that do not further these two goals are superfluous to our existence. It is a book I will probably read several times before I put it down for good.
I thoroughly enjoyed this spy thriller. Characters and back stories were well developed. Being a liberal Democrat myself, I had no trouble in believing the evil of the villains.
The target audience for Veronica Mars by Rob Thomas is somewhere between those who read Nancy Drew Mysteries and those who would read The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo. It is actually the story of Veronica Mars after her TV series. Those like me who found the series better than the critics rated it will be able to connect with many of the back story allusions that she makes. However, in the end, I found it more melodrama than mystery.
The Chosen by Chaim Potok is the story of two Jewish boys each from a different branch of Judaism who become friends and learn great life lessons from one another. Their story discovery and friendship captured my imagination and would not release until the very end. From a practical view The Chosen is an excellent opportunity to increase one's cultural intelligence with regard to the history and the spirituality of the Jews. I highly recommend it to anyone wishing to expand their cultural sensitivity and knowledge of diversity. I am really glad to have read this book.
Before I read On The Road, The Scrolls, I read that Jack Kerouack died at the age of 49. By the time I finished it, I understood what cut his life so short. Still, this listen made me wish that every stranger vaccinated with a phonograph needle, who sat beside me on the plane or those who tried to entertain me until the doctor or dentist would rescue me could word smith their conversations as well as Jack.
The Viral Storm: The Dawn of a New Pandemic Age by Nathan Wolfe is a great primer on virology. Written in understandable language and presented in a simple to complex ascension, it is easily followed. I learned many interesting facts. For instance now I know the difference between a retro virus and a normal virus. Who knew that treatment of the HIV virus requires another active virus in one's system. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to broaden his or her knowledge of virology.
The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy is a very vivid depiction of a 19th century self-absorbed Russian Judge dying of an unspecified condition. Tolstoy is a master at capturing the mood of what is happening. His depiction of friends, family, and the dying one will resonate with anyone who has been close to someone facing his or her own mortality.
The Lost Wife is a poignant and powerful story of love, personal strength, and hardship in war torn Czechoslovakia. Told from two voices, one a Jewish doctor who escapes the holocaust and the other his young wife who is sent to a concentration camp. Their separate stories cover over sixty years. This powerful book is not to be missed.
The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen is an engaging mystery set in the culture of the Chinese American community. Gerritsen depends on the fact that this novel is the ninth in a series to present well sculpture characters. If the reader/listener is unfamiliar with the previous Rizzoli & Isles some of the reoccurring characters may appear shallow. However the puzzle of the mystery keeping the reader/listener guessing until the exciting climax and epilogue.
The Maltese Falcon disappointe me as I found it much weaker as prose than I remembered it as a movie.
I enjoyed everything about this novel except its weak ending. Despite this flaw, I found the story engaging and well paced. It is populated with very interesting characters who were all well developed.
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