Buonomano shows us how the human brain, evolved in a world very different from the present, is maladapted in many ways to deal with modernity. It offers both a collective excuse -- normal human brains are all poor at remembering names -- and a call to educate ourselves on the internal sources of our irrational fears, foibles, and beliefs. He doesn't shrink from the big issues, politics and religion, and explains how our brains' shortcomings have shaped our society. I found the book fascinating -- one of those books that gives one a new and clearer lens on the world, and you really can't ask for more than that.
An insightful look at a life filled with regret, framed by a long and difficult walk across England. I liked this book a lot. The story is of a deeply unhappy man who leaves the house and just keeps going, unprepared and with no real plan. His life unfolds as memory while he faces a series of physical and personal challenges. Anglophiles will appreciate the language and geography; however, the real journey here is inward.
Kingsolver used both sides of her brain on this one. Both the science and her insights into human behavior were solid, and I was very surprised at her reading ability. Her accents were flawless to my ear. I loved the large element of wonder in the story. What readers will find uncomfortable is her accurate protrayal of humanity doing nothing as we ruin the planet for ourselves and god knows how many other species. But that is, in fact, exactly what we are doing. Like the composer of a requiem, the author discovers an irresistable beauty in death. Unfortunately, there will be countless opportunities for artists to mine this vein. Scientists and journalists haven't gotten through, maybe artists will.
This is a story with great heart, great language, and important history. I loved the way Stockett told the story through the three women, each in their own distinct voice and point of view. None of the characters was stock -- all nuanced, distinct, and believable. And I loved her use of Southern idiom: "that sweater so tight it make a whore look holy." The Help is everything a good novel can be: entertaining, informative, and inspiring. And the performances, the distinct voices the readers brought to the work, were first rate. The book gave me a glimpse of the truth, I'm sure, of the pre-civil-rights-movement American South, and what it was like for the people, black and white, who lived through it. I've run out of superlatives to describe this book. I loved it.
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