This one has some really great recipes in it, and not a lot that focus on strange ingredients and meat substitutes. Just simple and delicious! Also, rThis one has some really great recipes in it, and not a lot that focus on strange ingredients and meat substitutes. Just simple and delicious! Also, really great photos of all the food, which is perhaps weirdly important to me. I'm definitely going to want to own this one.
*Fun fact: I had this book on my Amazon wish list and my mom saw it on there and bought it for herself instead of for me! Thanks, Mom! Well, at least she let me look at it--ha!...more
Though it starts off decidedly...twee, I really liked reading about the Farm Sanctuary story--how it got started and why, and all the stories of varioThough it starts off decidedly...twee, I really liked reading about the Farm Sanctuary story--how it got started and why, and all the stories of various animals and how they came to live there and of the various human lives those animals have touched and changed. It's a quick read, mainly about why eating a plant-based diet is a good thing--Baur touches on a lot of different issues with factory farming and our food system, including the massive amounts of land, energy, and water factory farming requires, the extremely poor quality of life for the animals, the health problems that come with the typical meat-and-dairy-heavy diet, the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and poisoning of water from factory farm run-off...
I've been thinking about going from vegetarian back to vegan for awhile now, and basically this might have just pushed me over the edge. It's hard to read about all these issues and not do something to protest against them. I'm seriously becoming hippier and hippier in my old age.
Anyway, the second half of the book consists of vegan recipes, but I actually found this section pretty unhelpful, since a lot of the recipes take a good bit of time to prepare, and contain ingredients I don't really like to use, such as seitan and tempeh and tofu bacon and fake chicken. There are definitely a few I'm interested in attempting at some point though.
And I totally want to visit the Farm Sanctuary in LA someday... ...more
So yeah. There are some parts that are great--funny, interesting. But I felt like the book as a whole is a little too watered down to have a real impaSo yeah. There are some parts that are great--funny, interesting. But I felt like the book as a whole is a little too watered down to have a real impact. For instance, he goes on and on about his ADDICTION and how AWFUL it was and how it was SCREWING UP HIS LIFE, but...um...how? Exactly? I think it's mentioned in one paragraph that a bunch of stuff happened like his girlfriend breaking up with him because of it, but for the most part, we get to see like, 0% of the dark side he insists is there. Even in the scene where he goes to see Last Man Standing with his friend from high school, and tells him this story about the background of the movie, the way it's described I thought his high school friend seemed like waaaaaaaay more of a weirdo than Patton Oswalt did. And I don't even like movies all that much in general. So, I dunno. I liked the idea of it, and I actually really liked how Oswalt talks about movies and what's so cool about them in this book, but I guess I feel like something was just lacking.
Buuuuuuuut I'll probably keep reading Oswalt's books if he keeps writing them--ha!...more
This is definitely more a book about the history of autism than it is a book about autism itself, so if you're looking for the nitty gritty of what itThis is definitely more a book about the history of autism than it is a book about autism itself, so if you're looking for the nitty gritty of what it means to be autistic or how the autistic brain works, it's probably better to look elsewhere. NeuroTribes seems to have mainly been written in response to all the hubbub in recent years by the contingent claiming that there is an autism epidemic and that it is being caused by vaccinations.
Silberman looks back at how long autism has existed (probably pretty much as long as people have existed), including looking back at a number of historical figures that were most likely autistic, like Henry Cavendish and Paul Dirac. Then he goes into all the details of how it's been diagnosed over the course of the last couple hundred years and why the fact that more and more people are being diagnosed with it now than ever before doesn't mean that more people are actually autistic than ever before; it's just that recent corrections in diagnostic guidelines have made it easier for people to receive "on the spectrum" diagnoses, and therefore more people are now able to gain access to the support and services they need.
Silberman goes through all of this in a very balanced way, and without demonizing anyone, recognizing that the data can seem misleading, and that parents on both sides just want what's best for their kids. But I love that he does bend the focus more towards working on gaining support and services for autistics and their families than working towards finding a cure for autism. His opinon, and I think what a lot of his research shows, is that people on the autism spectrum have made and continue to make a lot of really important contributions, especially in the fields of science and technology, but in lots of other areas as well, not in spite of the ways their minds work, but because of it, and that we're all just working on different operating systems. I like that description a lot.
Anyway, this is a really good look through how our view of autism has changed throughout history, as well as how it's been diagnosed and treated. And definitely well worth a read if you're looking for a fairly balanced account of how and why the whole vaccinations-might-cause-autism debate began. ...more
Really interesting book about the Mars rover Curiosity and how it came about. I somehow hadn't really thought before about how much time and effort goReally interesting book about the Mars rover Curiosity and how it came about. I somehow hadn't really thought before about how much time and effort goes into just the planning stages of a mission like this--so much had to be developed from scratch, there were some major time and budget constraints, and the fact that there's no way to accurately test anything for the conditions on Mars before it is actually sent to Mars is kind of crazy! Anyway, this definitely made me appreciate just how much goes into each and every project!...more
Welp, didn't enjoy this one nearly as much as I did Tammet's first two books. But then, it's a book of essays and I almost never do very well with thoWelp, didn't enjoy this one nearly as much as I did Tammet's first two books. But then, it's a book of essays and I almost never do very well with those. This collection is kind of a mixed bag, too--a couple really good essays, and then a bunch that just...eh. I'll read his next book for sure, if he writes another one, but I'll hope that it's a little more focused than this one is....more
It took me awhile to get into this because I wasn't super fond of the audiobook narrator (she just always sounded so condescending to me!), but it's aIt took me awhile to get into this because I wasn't super fond of the audiobook narrator (she just always sounded so condescending to me!), but it's a really interesting book, and very scary. I could relate to a lot of it thanks to some mysterious health issues of my own years ago (it's all in your head, the tests don't show anything, a million different doctors, oh wait, maybe it's this thing that nobody really knows anything about--let's just try a bunch of things and maybe something will work, good luck!), but I can't even imagine going through something like this!
The thing I find the most haunting, I think, besides Cahalan not remembering much of her life during this month, is that what she does remember are her hallucinations, and that she remembers them like they really happened, even after the fact and knowing that they were hallucinations. And also the idea that there could be thousands of people going un-diagnosed with this rare autoimmune disorder. It's so crazy that so many things can go wrong with our bodies and our minds and that doctors still know so little about what's really going on.
Anyway, I really hope things are going well for Cahalan these days, and that this book has gained enough attention to help a lot of other people suffering from anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis get properly diagnosed and treated....more
Definitely a fascinating group of women--I liked the really broad range of people highlighted here--scientists, musicians, artists, political activistDefinitely a fascinating group of women--I liked the really broad range of people highlighted here--scientists, musicians, artists, political activists, lawyers, doctors, athletes (Flo Jo!!!)... And I loved the list at the end of what you can do to make a difference, and that boys are not excluded. Great book for learning more about just a few of the women that have had a big impact on our country (and the world) in various ways....more
Loved this!!! At first I thought the illustrations looked kind of dull, but I can't resist a book about Antarctica, and about the heroic age if explorLoved this!!! At first I thought the illustrations looked kind of dull, but I can't resist a book about Antarctica, and about the heroic age if exploration especially, so I brought it home with me. And the more I looked at the illustrations the more I realized how beautiful and detailed and amazing they are! Okay, like, I love that at the beginning all the crew members are drawn in clothes that make them all identifiable, so for the rest of the book, even if they're not named in a scene, you can still figure out exactly who they are. So cool!!! And just...how all the supplies are drawn out, and all the dogs, and the maps, and the men performing chores while the Endurance is stuck in the ice, and the tiny James Caird in the vastness of the Southern Atlantic... It's wonderful! Dull? Really? You dummy (rolls eyes at self in disbelief and disgust)!
I think it's interesting the bits that are left out, but to be fair, a lot happened on this expedition, and Grill does give a really great overview here. I appreciate that the Ross Sea party is also covered here (even if they only get two pages). But seriously kids, there are some other really fascinating stories about this adventure that are not even mentioned here, so go check out some more books about it!
Anyway, fantastic book, and I'm definitely planning on buying a copy for myself at some point. And hoping for another book from Grill about, say, Scott or Mawson. Or maybe Norgay and Hillary? How about it? :)...more
I feel somewhat let down by this book, but I'm not sure why. It might just be that Elwes tells these stories about the filming of The Princess bride sI feel somewhat let down by this book, but I'm not sure why. It might just be that Elwes tells these stories about the filming of The Princess bride so sweetly, and I kind of wish there'd been a little more humor to it. But I enjoyed hearing everyone speak about what they found memorable about it. Definitely worth a read (or listen) if you're a fan of the film....more
So yeah, I'm not a big poetry reader. I feel like I keep running across things written as poetry that...just, why? I get it stuck in my head that writSo yeah, I'm not a big poetry reader. I feel like I keep running across things written as poetry that...just, why? I get it stuck in my head that writing something as a poem is lazy somehow, because so many things I've read in verse just feel empty of all depth and emotion and beauty. But then there are people like this guy who make me get it.
I only read this because I've read two of Sáenz's books and thought they were fantastic and I got curious about what he could do with a poem. I really liked the first couple in this book and then I hit a section that felt a little too..."look at me, I'm writing poetry," you know? Like...weird spacing and line breaks and that annoyed me. But then all of a sudden I just couldn't put this book down and I read the whole rest of it all at once and felt like going back and reading it again almost.
I love the raw honesty of these poems. I love his thoughts on dogs and living in the desert.
I love the depth and the emotion and the beauty.
No, this collection isn't perfect, but I mean, this guy can write! And it's definitely reconfirmed my desire to read everything he's ever published. He's fast becoming one of my very favorite authors. ...more
This is one of those books where you just think, "Why is this story not more well-known? And why has the original court decision still not been overtuThis is one of those books where you just think, "Why is this story not more well-known? And why has the original court decision still not been overturned?" Hopefully this book will make a very belated difference for these men. Anyway, Sheinkin once again does an excellent job of telling a non-fictional story in a super compelling way. I'm glad this one made the Texas Lone Star list this year....more
Really enjoyed this! Didn't always like Marjane as a teen, but I appreciate how honest she is about who she was and how she thought, and her reactionsReally enjoyed this! Didn't always like Marjane as a teen, but I appreciate how honest she is about who she was and how she thought, and her reactions were sometimes really hilarious. This definitely gave me a better picture of what life was like in Iran in the 80s and 90s, but I felt like it ended really abruptly and I wish there were more. Glad I finally got around to reading it though--my will-finally-read-in-2015-for-realz shelf is totally working, you guys!...more
I really enjoyed this! The narrator does and excellent job, and I found myself laughing out loud a number of times. Hanagarne's story is super interesI really enjoyed this! The narrator does and excellent job, and I found myself laughing out loud a number of times. Hanagarne's story is super interesting, and I enjoyed hearing a little bit more about Mormonism and Tourette's than I ever knew before. It's definitely been a rough road for Hanagarne at times, but he seems to have weathered it all with good humor and grace. Glad I ready his story!...more
I always feel compelled to say in my reviews of Bear Grylls' books that he's not a great writer. And it's still true. But his books are fun and intereI always feel compelled to say in my reviews of Bear Grylls' books that he's not a great writer. And it's still true. But his books are fun and interesting and entertaining and inspiring, so who cares? I knew a lot of the stories he retells here, being a little obsessed with the heroic age of Antarctic exploration, mountaineering, and nautical survival stories, but there were also quite a few I didn't know, and this made me want to delve into those stories a bit more. Grylls and I seem to have quite a few heroes in common, although he has actually followed in their footsteps somewhat while I...um...watch their footsteps recede into the distance from my comfy spot on the couch? Anyway, I enjoyed his take on these fascinating men and women and look forward to whatever he does next!
P.S. I bought this at Heathrow to read on the flight home from the UK and the first several stories turned out to involve plane crashes. Ha! Luckily I survived the flight without having to resort to cannibalism, so it was all good....more
I'm struggling a little with how I feel about this book. On the one hand, I like how Cumming weaves the stories of his mysterious grandfather and hisI'm struggling a little with how I feel about this book. On the one hand, I like how Cumming weaves the stories of his mysterious grandfather and his abusive father together, and it's interesting how he sort of travels back and forth in time to tell those stories. On the other hand, I found something a little...off-putting about the whole thing, though I'm not sure I can place my finger on why. Perhaps it was the way Cumming describes his responses to things--it seems like he's always physically jumping back in shock or something, and it came across to me as fake and overly exaggerated, which made it difficult for me to believe everything he says 100%. Or it could be that I hadn't actually read anything about the book before I picked it up, and was just expecting a more straightforward type of autobiography. I'm not sure.
Anyway, I enjoyed it, but with reservations, I suppose....more
I feel a little bad rating this three stars, because obviously Carolyn Maull McKinstry's story is an important one, and she has some really good thingI feel a little bad rating this three stars, because obviously Carolyn Maull McKinstry's story is an important one, and she has some really good things to say here about forgiveness and treating all people with kindness and respect. I think I was just left wanting more details about...well, everything. There are a number of long passages quoted from speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s, which most people these days are pretty familiar with, but very little on, for instance, an inexplicable time when she was subpoenaed to act as a witness during trial for one of the men involved in the bombing of her church and the deaths of four of her friends. I wanted some speculation on why on earth that happened, and what kind of questions she was asked and what kind of answers she gave. But...nothing.
I most definitely admire the way her faith has gotten her through such hard times, and how much work she's done towards both preserving the memory of the terrible tragedy of the church bombing and encouraging people to move on from it and learn from it. I just had so many questions that were left unanswered is all.
Certainly worth a read though, as a first-hand account of what growing up in that time was like. Sometimes I forget that all this happened so recently!...more
This was interesting--Sheridan tells a (somewhat ridiculous) end-of-the-world story involving earthquakes, zombies, alien attacks, etc. with stories oThis was interesting--Sheridan tells a (somewhat ridiculous) end-of-the-world story involving earthquakes, zombies, alien attacks, etc. with stories of learning real-life skills--hunting, stunt driving, wilderness survival--interspersed. It was one of those books that I think I might have enjoyed more reading the print version for some reason though. The best part, for me, was the final chapter, where Sheridan talks about the fact that previous disasters have shown that society doesn't actually break down anywhere near as quickly or consistently as it's rumored to or shown to in books and movies and in the media. And the statement that we might have more to worry about from police response than from other survivors seems pretty timely, what with all the discussions about this that have followed from Michael Brown's death in Ferguson--the idea that police are trained to see and respond to the worst case scenario and can mistake or misinterpret what's actually going on is definitely scary. Anyway, this book did not make me want to go all out prepper, but yeah, it did kind of make me want to keep a few gallons of water and some canned goods on hand and learn how to at least garden or something......more
Good info on Oban, and I like all the restaurant info in this book, but I couldn't help but wonder if perhaps it was a little out of date even in 2010Good info on Oban, and I like all the restaurant info in this book, but I couldn't help but wonder if perhaps it was a little out of date even in 2010 when I read something about all the rooms in a certain B&B containing VCRs. Still, it's given us a few more ideas of (mainly food) options to check out. ...more
I think I need to revisit this one now that we're a little farther along in our planning. It was a bit underwhelming the first time I picked it up, buI think I need to revisit this one now that we're a little farther along in our planning. It was a bit underwhelming the first time I picked it up, but looking at reviews I feel like it might be worth a second attempt, if only to find some more interesting out-of-the-way places to visit instead of all the big tourist attractions all the other guide books seem to focus us....more
I've found this to be one of the most useful of the Scotland guide books I've picked up lately--some different and more interesting ideas for things tI've found this to be one of the most useful of the Scotland guide books I've picked up lately--some different and more interesting ideas for things to do than I've seen elsewhere, and the way all the accommodations and restaurants are listed by price range is very helpful. It might not be one I'd choose to buy and have with us when we take the actual trip, but it's been great for the initial planning stages!...more
Ehhhhhh, I didn't find this one particularly helpful. Lots of the sorts of tourist attractions we're not all that interested in, and a number of interEhhhhhh, I didn't find this one particularly helpful. Lots of the sorts of tourist attractions we're not all that interested in, and a number of interesting things we found on our own aren't even mentioned. Worth it for a general overview, but I'm not using this one for much more than that. So far the Frommer's is working a lot better for me....more
I put off reading this one for kind of a long time because I thought it would just be the same ol' same ol', you know? I thought it would be mostly thI put off reading this one for kind of a long time because I thought it would just be the same ol' same ol', you know? I thought it would be mostly things I already knew, and therefore boring. Not so! Well, a lot of things I did already know, but the thing is, I kind of loved Hazen's way of describing things--for the first time I felt like I could actually SEE what the earth looked liked waaaaaaaay back when, and that was super cool. Anyway, I totally enjoyed this one a lot, and the narrator is great as well. I'll probably give other books of Hazen's a try at some point too....more
Not a perfect book (there are a few things I'll chalk up to slight translation errors), but I really enjoyed this honest and inspirational look at EduNot a perfect book (there are a few things I'll chalk up to slight translation errors), but I really enjoyed this honest and inspirational look at Edurne Pasabán's journey to becoming a mountaineer, as well as to successfully summiting all fourteen of the world's 8000+ meter peaks (or 26,247+ foot peaks, for us Americans). She is the first woman to have done so. Pasabán is very open about the struggles she's faced with depression and with not being able to take herself and her accomplishments seriously, and how important it is to be able to be yourself and learn what you really want out of life and not feel constrained by what kind of life works for others.
Her descriptions of her various expeditions are really well-done--beautiful, horrible, awe- and fear-inspiring... I always forget how dangerous a sport mountain climbing is, until tragedy strikes, as it does all too often.
Anyway, while I have absolutely no desire to ever attempt to climb any sort of mountain, ever, I love reading about others who feel the need to conquer them, and Pasabán is very clear about the fact that while not many of us choose to climb literal mountains, we all have hurdles to jump and goals to complete, whether that's just learning something new, doing a better job at work, or raising a happy, healthy family. As Maurice Herzog says in the final line of Annapurna, "There are other Annapurnas in the lives of men.”
Definitely recommended for mountaineers, folks who like reading about mountaineers, or people who just like reading stories about other people working hard to achieve things that are important to them....more
This book totally sucked me in from the first page! Totally fascinating story of an Arctic expedition that took place in the late 1800s--a quest to reThis book totally sucked me in from the first page! Totally fascinating story of an Arctic expedition that took place in the late 1800s--a quest to reach the North Pole through the warm polar ocean that was thought by many to exist past the ice. Adventures and tragedy ensued.
This was my first time reading a book by Hampton Sides, but I'm pretty sure it won't be my last. He does a fantastic job here of bringing the people involved in this story to life and imparting a sense of immediacy to his descriptions of what was happening, so that most of the time I forgot that this all happened more than 100 years ago and not right now!