I checked out the e-text version of this book based on a SDMB recco (ChinaGuy) and a general interest in the topic.
The author basically explains why...moreI checked out the e-text version of this book based on a SDMB recco (ChinaGuy) and a general interest in the topic.
The author basically explains why he does what he does and how he feels about his life, with some fictional interludes. It's very different from Temple Grandinin both style and content, yet with some similarities. For example, they both discuss difficulties in dealing with people, and how they feel much more connected to animals/nature.
There's plenty of skepticism about whether or not Higashida is really the author & how much his assistant really just "assisted" in getting the words down versus adding to the text, but I'm not sure it matters too much. A lot of the basic explanations held true with what I've heard and read about people with autism; and the extra little stories included felt very Japanese to me.
It was an intriguing read - and I'd recommend it if you have an interest in the topic. (less)
Another library read, recommended over on the SDMB by Alba.
It was an interesting blend of pop-science/sociology and personal experience. Foer explore...moreAnother library read, recommended over on the SDMB by Alba.
It was an interesting blend of pop-science/sociology and personal experience. Foer explored the history of memorization, including the "memory palace" technique first used by the Romans. Foer also touched on at the neuroscience of memory, and visited with a man suffering from one of the most severe cases of amnesia ever documented; he forgets who you are during the course of the conversation. Foer became intrigued by the world of competitive memory training after covering the World Memory Championships, and starts training in order to compete the following year.
Foer's writing is engaging, and the science is solid, tho if you've read Oliver Sachs, you've seen some of this before. I appreciated the detail he went into on the memory palace and PAO (person, action object) techniques, and can see where they would come in handy in certain circumstances; however, as someone who misplaces her keys regularly and has terrible trouble with names, I found this book to be more of a diversion than a self-help manual.
Worth a library read, at least, if you're interested in the topic and/or enjoy participatory journalism. (less)
Emmins' first contact with Neal Smither, the proprietor of "Crime Scene Cleaners" paints Neal as more than a bit of a jerk. While he is all polite business in front of the customer, once he's on the job - he sings disrespectful ditties about the deceased, and tells Emmins that most of the people he cleans up after are freaks and scumbags. However, as the book continues, Neal is shown to be an incredibly driven man, who loves his family fiercely and supports his workers 100%. Gallows humor is perhaps the only way to deal with a job where you cope with gore, decay and pestilence on a daily basis.
I was intrigued by Emmins' approach to following one of the cleanup cases through the associated criminal trial (apparent murder, with the victim left in a bathtub for weeks), talking with acquaintances of the victim, and even providing excerpts of the arraignment and trial. It gave a sense of humanity to the larger story; much more so than Emmins' personal tales of woe - how he felt caged by his hotel room in suburban San Francisco, waiting almost like a junkie for a call from Neal about the next job.
While Mop Men is almost too self-centered, IMHO, it is a fascinating look at a profession most people never even think about, filtered thru a bit of a whiny prat's viewpoint. I'd probably recommend Aftermath, Inc. over this book, but they were both worth the read.(less)
While Roach brings her same intensely curious, yet tongue-in-cheek approach to this book, I didn't find myself quite as caught up this time around. I can't quite put my finger on why; whether the material was at fault, or if her schtick is starting to wear thin... I'm leaning a bit toward the former.
I did buy the Kindle version of the book, as it was on sale (and I had a gift cert burning a hole in my virtual pocket) and I'm sure I'll re-read it, tho perhaps not as often as Stiff, Bonk or Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void. Recommended to those interested in food science, GI ailments and cures or just have a general interest in the human body and how it ticks. (less)
Lesley has as To-Read; SDMB recco: Le Ministre de l'au-delà "The Storytelling Animal has a lot of really interesting ideas behind it, but I couldn't h...moreLesley has as To-Read; SDMB recco: Le Ministre de l'au-delà "The Storytelling Animal has a lot of really interesting ideas behind it, but I couldn't help comparing it (unfavourably) to the outstanding Daniel Levitin's This Is Your Brain on Music and/or Oliver Sacks' Musicophilia."(less)
SDMB mention: DZedNConfused " highly readable and written in a very non scholarly fashion... POV is entirely from the American and Britsh perspective"...moreSDMB mention: DZedNConfused " highly readable and written in a very non scholarly fashion... POV is entirely from the American and Britsh perspective" - general good GR reviews (less)
I picked up this book from the library thanks to a SDMB mention (bup).
I find explorations of animal cognition and emotions interesting in and of them...moreI picked up this book from the library thanks to a SDMB mention (bup).
I find explorations of animal cognition and emotions interesting in and of themselves, and Morell has found some excellent research to write about - including laughing rats and grieving elephants. I found the story of Alex the grey parrot fascinating - and wonder how much more we could have learned if he hadn't died early (age 30 vs the 50-60 year expected life span) of heart problems.
Morell writes engagingly about her interactions with these researchers and (when applicable) with the animals themselves. It's becoming more obvious that a large range of animals have cognitive abilities far beyond those traditionally thought - even into the realms of fish and insects. I haven't finished the book yet, but would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in animal psychology. (less)