October 7, 2012

Recent Reads

103. Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain
I read this for book club, and am delighted that I did. I am fascinated by neuroscience, and this easy to read book blew my mind. Lots to noodle over. Is there really a ghost in the machine? When you argue with yourself, who really are you arguing with? A book that changed my mental models. I scrutinize my actions, thoughts, and emotions in a whole new way. Very cool. Rating: 4 stars.

104. The Leftovers
I listened to this on audio for book club, and honestly would not have finished it otherwise. It was however really well narrated by Dennis Boutsikaris.

I was intrigued by the premise - a non-religious rapture takes place. Random people from all over the world simply disappear. One minute they are there, the next gone. Vanished. The story is told using five narrators, and explores the fallout of those left behind - the loss, grief, incomprehension. Everyone copes differently - some get really fit, others join cults. The most interesting way a person coped was to publish a magazine with salacious details of the disappeared - as proof that they were not deserving of such an honor. I think there are some interesting parallels to be drawn between this story and how we deal with death (people disappear in a sense), but overall, I did not find the story, or any of the characters interesting. Rating: 2 stars.

105. 12.21
This book has all the right ingredients - end of the Mayan calender, an epidemic, the end of the world as we know it - but did not grab me. It has been touted for "Michael Crichton fans", and as one, I suggest that the bar is set too high. Interesting premise, but I almost gave up on it several times. Rating: 2 stars.

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