The name of this book is misleading. It is really about 13 phenomena that we don't understand. Most of the book is science related and some science background will likely improve your appreciation. The topics are quite scientifically varied and covers astrophysics, physics, chemistry, biology, pscyhology. The author does a good job in presenting a balanced description and history of each of the topics. I am a scientist and found much of what was presented as very interesting and new information.
Oddly, my advice would be to read the epiloge first. It is a very good presentation of the wonders of science and why we pursue knowledge and serves as a great reason to care about what is in the book. It is also a good review of the chapaters to come. A few of the interesting chapters include the fact that the cold fusion experiments that were supposedly a bust, are now found to have enough merit to have spurred ongoing research. It also interesting to know that space craft launched into the glaxay decades ago, appear to have inexplicable changes in their flight path. The chapter on the placebo was also very illuminating as it turns our that there may be more to the placebo effect than psychology. Unfortunately, not all the chapters are of equal interest, but I found at least 10 of 13 to be very worthwhile.
Yes with reservations. The story line is an old one - remember the old tv show land of the giants, where people were shrunk down so that blades of grades eemed like redwoods? If so, this story is an updated version. The 'small people' are graduate students in different areas of biology. The most interesting part of the story is when they use their knowledge of biology to their favor.
The rest of the story requires a large suspension of belief. The book devolves away from clever use of biiological knowledge to an action adventure story.
Could have been much better but it is an entertaining read for those like a 'light' science fiction book.
Under circumstances. I doubt that I would go out of my way to buy it as soon as it came out, but I would likely put in on my list to eventually get to.
He was a good narrator but I found nothing that made me feel was a great narrator nor did he have any traits that I disliked...he does not make or break the book.
I'd wait for the braodcast version.
This is not the james bond I know. This james bond actually has an office with a secretary! This james bond depends on others to get out of jams. This james bond drives a subaru! This james bond assesses each woman in her potential to be a long term relationship. This james bond is not take advantage of technological gadgets. This james bond is noht larger than life. In fact he seems less than mitch rapp or cotton malone. This james bond maybe more real that is not the james bond I know and love.
There are apparently three options to solve problems: political, military and covert operations. Mitch Rapp is the ultimate overt operator...although he leaves quite a wake of violence, death and destruction in his activities - hard to call it 'covert'. This is a story of a race between several cells of terrorists that plan to bomb different places along the east coast in a short period of time. It falls onto a combination of military, intelligence agents and Rapp to stop these bombs - did I mention they were nuclear bombs? The method of smuggling in the bombs was plausible as was the general terrorist plans..in fact, they were all to real given what happens in real life now....
The book was first released in 2001 so it was eerie that some of the actions of the terrorists turn out to be close to what they do in real life.
There's lot of action and everybody's rights get trampled as Rapp is hell bent on stopping an atomic bomb from going off in DC. Interesting story on line on how key people in the government are dispersed when DC is threatened.
If you like action political thrillers and especially if you like Mitch Rapp - you will like this earlier offering by Vince Flynn.
I am a Cotton Malone fan and was looking forward to this book. It had all the makings of an excellent read - a story that ties in all the assassinations of US Presidents in history; pirates, and political rivalries between government intelligence agencies. However, somewhere in the execution the story became bogged down in affairs between secondary characters, frantic jumping from one story line to another. It was also one of those stories like the old James Bond stories where the villain would rig up some elaborate trap or machine to kill Bond rather than just shoot him...in this book, only secondary characters get shot or killed directly - all the main characters escape again and again.
Also we are led to believe that there are shootings from North Carolina to DC to Nova Scotia that doesn't seem to attract anyone's attention...the characters occasionally mention news coverage, but it never comes into play. Private sailing vessels are also blown out of the water by military helicopters without any apparent reperussions.
The book even starts a bit oddly..Cotton gets drawn into the story because of a forged email from a government agent, Stephanie Nell that requests his help. I thought it odd that you can get a super agent to fly across the ocean on a moments notice if you just happen to have his email address...no verification?
Berry spends some time at the end of the book separating fact from fiction. His depiction of pirates is apparently accurate, but he certainly chose the most cruel aspects of their history to present.
I know this review sounds negative, but these are the reasons I didn't give it the 4 or 5 stars I have given to all of the other Berry books I have read. It is worth a read, but you might have to suspend your expectations a bit...
Duncan Watts is a physics professor turned sociology professor. I was intrigued by the idea of someone who could bring 'hard science' approaches to sociology. You might want to read the last chapter first as he summarizes the differences between sociological and hard science research. However, this is done in a most positive way - he points out that sociologic studies are important and that there are means and methods that can be used and developed to achieve better understanding into human behavior.
His insights are very thought provoking. He points out that many aspects of sociological studies that are generally not considered. For instance, we have a way of explaining history after we already know the outcome. Was the surge in Iraq really responsible for turning around that conflict or was it some combination of other factors such as rebuidling infrastructure, training new police, training new Iraqi military, more experienced government etc. There's really no way to tell because we can't run an 'experiment' to see what would happen if there was no surge...
Sociologist often fall upon what they term common sense explanations....but these explanations only work well when you already know the answer.
This is a great addition to the series Outliers and Predictably Irrational. I look forward to the contributions of his approach into important social issues.
I would have given it 5 stars, but I found it unfortunate that he often did not credit some of the work he cited. I understand that this is not a scientific paper but some of the more important and lengthy examples he cites should have been credited.
This book was written in 2005 but could have been written last month...a story of how agent Mitch Rapp unearths a terrorist plan to set off nuclear weapons in the US...there is the very split between those who are for or against torture to get information, for or against due process for captured terrorists and politicians who make decisions for re - election rather than doing what is best for the people.
Rapp must fight both the terrorists and polticians to stop the plans. He does this mostly with swift actions that may or may not be in line with the laws....
It was one of the books that I could not stop listening to...spent way to much time in my driveway listening to the story rather than going in the house...if you are fan of hte political thriller and Vince Flynn, I think it's one of his best.
This is another story involving ex government agents Sean King and Michelle Maxwell. The story is a good example of the excellent and entertaining stories Baldacci can produce. This time King and Maxwell get swept up into a plot to control america's intelligence agencies. There is an interesting plot line involving the analysis of the almost infinite amount of information gathered in the name of security. A person who one of a kind mental abilities can sort through all the images, reports, messages that are gathered and findsconnections that are otherwise impossible to see. The story begins when this person is arrested for multiple murders and then his lawyer, King's friend, is murdered. The story then develops with each chapter bring more tangles into the web...you can't trust anyone..or at least you can't tell who you should trust...lots of plot, lots of action, lots of entertainment.
I have read most, if not all, of Connelly's books and found this one to the best. The main character is Mickey Haller, who is not one of my favorites, but the story makes up for any dislikes I have of his personality. The crime, of course, is murder and the suspect Lisa Trammel is not a particularly likable character either. However, Haller's development of the case is very well done. I also like the fact that all the facts used to eventually tell the truth are laid out somewhere in the story - no hidden clues or persons that aren't disclosed until the end.
The strength of the book are the court room scenes. Most of the story takes place in the courtroom and the workings of the law, courtroom procedures and legal strategies of the defense and prosecution kept me very engrossed in the story.
Haller has grown from an average, somewhat 'low end' lawyer to an agressive defender of his clients...an interesting transformation...
This is the sequel to the Last Templar. Again, agent Sean Reilly is in a race against a terrorist to unravel another Templar secret that will reveal the location of unpublished gospels. The premise is that the contents of these gospel will contradict current Christian teachings and send the Christian world into chaos.
Reilly, and his girl friend, Tess chase the terrorist and clues to this lost Templar treasure. Much of the cleverness in following clues to solve the 700 year old puzzle are abandoned as modern day keepers of the secret simply blurt out what they know to Reilly for no apparent reason...
For my tastes, there was much, too much detail in the fight scenes..especially the final fight scene which I thought would never end. If you like these Templar Knight stories, you will likely enjoy this one but it does not really stand out in anyway over the Last Templar or similar stories by other authors (eg Steve Berry)
Gingrich and Forstchen have produced a magnificent account of the winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge. It is not only the story of 12,000 men who entered Valley Forge demoralized, untrained, unsupplied but under the leadership of Washington and the shear force of will and skill of Generals Wayne, Lafaayette and Von Steuben that they marched out of Valley Forge aa a true army finally equipped with enough training, supplies and pride to take on the British.
Although generally familiar with the Valley Forge story, I was left with a sense of pride, awe and inspiration of what Washington and his men were able to accomplish. Gingrich and Forstchen have a way of making you feel like you are actually there - feeling the cold, snow and hunger. You can imagine the suffering even the healthy men endured let alone those who were injured or stricken with diseases.
Besides Washington, the other key characters are Lafayette, Baron Von Steuben and a ficitonal character Allen Van Dorn. Washington provided the leadership, Lafayette the heart and Von Steuben the knowledge for colonists to march out of Valley Forge as real army with a real chance to stand toe to toe with the British for the first time. Van Dorn is a colonist who joined the British army. Through his eyes, you can experience the decisions that the colonists had to make on who to support.
If you like history and historical novels you will love this book.
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