I love reading about the explanations behind events, situations or things we think we know about but have probably never really thought in-depth about...moreI love reading about the explanations behind events, situations or things we think we know about but have probably never really thought in-depth about. This book fits that perfectly! Fascinating explanations backed up by statistics, research and good science as well as theory -- not opinions or suppositions. Some of the connections are unexpected and you may feel uncomfortable with them, because they go against what has been touted or bantered as 'common sense'. That's what makes this book all the more powerful and interesting. [although in the most recent edition their work on climate change is spurious & suspicious and does perhaps cast into doubt some of their other methodology:]
The problem with classic economics, and much other thinking on human behavior, is that theories and models are built on the notion that we humans beha...moreThe problem with classic economics, and much other thinking on human behavior, is that theories and models are built on the notion that we humans behave rationally. Well, we don't. We're highly irrational, and often act not in our own interest, hardly knowing what we'd really do under pressure, or excitement, arousal, or other stresses. But Ariely knows -- his research shows we behave "irrationally" but in wonderfully predictable ways - if you only know how to find the patterns. This books shows all the tricks, traps and moments of "huh" that he discovered. Great stuff!(less)
Thorough, intricately researched, and honest story of the life, death, and continued 'life' of a woman and her contribution to science. Skloot takes r...moreThorough, intricately researched, and honest story of the life, death, and continued 'life' of a woman and her contribution to science. Skloot takes readers on 50+ yr journey, bouncing back and forth in time, and between the science and the pain of the family. Skloot literally takes on the 'burden of the cells'. The book is as much, or more, about the consequences of that continued 'life' of the HeLa cells as it is about their science, or even Henrietta Lacks. An interesting take on science writing and memoirs. (less)
Fascinating book from Ms Robbins, who is making a name for herself in the sociology of young adults, education and being a nonconformist. Great storie...moreFascinating book from Ms Robbins, who is making a name for herself in the sociology of young adults, education and being a nonconformist. Great stories, engaging characters, & anecdotes plus sound research and reporting make this a must-read. Compelling work on why those who feel like no one understands them, that they will never 'fit in' or be 'normal', are often the ones who grow up to be the most interesting people. (and really, what is "normal" anyway, other than a setting on the washer?) What can we learn from the geeks, nerds, dorks (yes, they're all different categorizations, especially in the eyes of those in those groups themselves), scenes, emos, jocks, preps, bandies, wannabes and more? Mostly we learn that no one group is better or worse off than others, that all are insecure, all can be happy in their own worlds, all yearn for more, and schools and parents are often the ones making students lives miserable.
As a student who painfully lived many of the same moments as the characters in her book, and who easily agrees that middle school may have been more hellish even than high school - this book hit home. At the same time I also recognize that compared to some kids today, I had it easy. I ended up in a high school where I could be a nerd in National Honor Society & National Merit Semi-Finalist, plus a serious drama geek, and also an athlete who lettered in 3 sports. I 'floated', and the hell that was middle-school and early HS, went away. But pressures have increased now, and students who are 'different' today may suffer so much more. This book should be a wake-up call to parents, teachers, and teenagers.(less)