Incredibly honest, almost surprisingly so. I felt like I was reading someone's private diary. Portia de Rossi has some balls--she suffered, she battleIncredibly honest, almost surprisingly so. I felt like I was reading someone's private diary. Portia de Rossi has some balls--she suffered, she battled, she overcame... this woman is my fucking hero....more
Emotional, gripping, horrifying, and uplifting, all at the same time. I read this in one sitting and was close to tears twice. I admire Jaycee's outloEmotional, gripping, horrifying, and uplifting, all at the same time. I read this in one sitting and was close to tears twice. I admire Jaycee's outlook on life--she is a true survivor....more
A great intro to science and our not-so-humble beginnings.
Some of my favorite quotes:
"Consider the fact that for 3.8 billion years, a period of time o
A great intro to science and our not-so-humble beginnings.
Some of my favorite quotes:
"Consider the fact that for 3.8 billion years, a period of time older than the Earth’s mountains and rivers and oceans, every one of your forebears on both sides has been attractive enough to find a mate, healthy enough to reproduce, and sufficiently blessed by fate and circumstances to live long enough to do so. Not one of your pertinent ancestors was squashed, devoured, drowned, starved, stuck fast, untimely wounded or otherwise deflected from its life's quest of delivering a tiny charge of genetic material to the right partner at the right moment to perpetuate the only possible sequence of hereditary combinations that could result - eventually, astoundingly, and all too briefly--in you."
"Using huge amounts of energy, [physicists] can whip particles into such a state of liveliness that a single electron can do forty-seven thousand laps around a four-mile tunnel in a second."
You read that right. That's 47,000 laps around a 4-mile tunnel in a SECOND.
"Even the most substantial ocean creatures are often remarkably little known to us—including the most mighty of them all, the great blue whale, a creature of such leviathan proportions that (to quote David Attenborough) its 'tongue weighs as much as an elephant, its heart is the size of a car and some of its blood vessels are so wide that you could swim down them.'"
"The fact is, we don't know. Don't have any idea. We don't know when we started doing many of the things we've done. We don't know what we are doing right now or how our present actions will affect the future. What we do know is that there is only one planet to do it on, and only one species of being capable of making a considered difference. Edward O. Wilson expressed it with unimprovable brevity in The Diversity of Life: "One planet, one experiment."
Bill Bryson has a wonderful talent for sprinkling humor throughout all the scientific facts that he repeatedly throws around in this book. He uses great analogies to drive the point home without boring you to death. He also makes it a point to use as many credible sources as possible, and mentions them almost as if to say, "Here, please check this out on your own time."
He breathes life into old scientists, researchers, and scholars. You almost feel like you know them. You feel bad for a lot of those who made great discoveries and never got anywhere in life or died in poverty.
I was surprised at how little we know. How little we've always known. Even after Bryson describes discovery after amazing discovery, he makes it a point to let you know just how much we don't know. It's both fascinating and disappointing.
I recommed this book for anyone who wanted a brief overview of our early beginnings, how we got to where we are, and a nice concise history of science as we know it today. ...more
I am incredibly proud of myself for having finished this TOME of a book. If I were to have read this in paperback, it would have totaled 960 pages.
II am incredibly proud of myself for having finished this TOME of a book. If I were to have read this in paperback, it would have totaled 960 pages.
I have the utmost respect for Edmund Morris. You can feel just how passionate he is about the subject of Teddy Roosevelt. The time his research alone must have taken... I am in awe. After reading this book, I feel like I know Roosevelt on a personal level.
This book deals with Roosevelt's childhood, his college years, his first marriage, his early political career, and his path to the Presidency. The book ends with him receiving word that he is about to become President.
I firmly believe, after reading this incredibly detailed account of his life, struggles, and personal convictions, that Roosevelt was one of the most interesting people in American history. Just reading about all of his accomplishments is exhausting. How could one man do it all? But he did. I feel he lived at least three lives. And Edmund Morris makes sure to tell you about every second in an interesting and thought-provoking way.
I'm extremely proud for finishing this and look forward to reading the next chapter of his life....more
Interesting look into the life of Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor. What intrigued me most about her story was her background. She is Puerto RicaInteresting look into the life of Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor. What intrigued me most about her story was her background. She is Puerto Rican, like me, and her family history was both heartbreaking and inspiring. Sonia is truly a force to be reckoned with and I'm excited to see what she does with the justice position....more
Very in-depth look into the many reasons for why evolution is true and the various pieces of crucial evidence that have been found over the past centuVery in-depth look into the many reasons for why evolution is true and the various pieces of crucial evidence that have been found over the past centuries supporting it. Coyne does a great job using analogies to really illustrate the different ideas supporting evolution. The drawings and figures in the book also help paint a picture of evolutionary concepts.
The author does make a point to bring up the criticisms of evolution by creationists and it's a bit distracting at times, but given how he wrote this book specifically because of the huge issue of scientific illiteracy in this country and especially in our schools, it's no surprise to me that he went to such lengths to disprove some of their points so I let it slide.
I recommend this book to anyone who has had difficulty explaining evolution to those who know nothing about it, or are interested in evolutionary evidence found in the past leading up to now. ...more
I wasn't going to review this book, but it's been months later and I still think about it, so I thought I'd write a few thoughts down in case anyone eI wasn't going to review this book, but it's been months later and I still think about it, so I thought I'd write a few thoughts down in case anyone else is curious about it.
If you are reading this and are not sure if you should read 12 Years a Slave, I encourage you to give it a chance. I promise you it will leave an impression, and isn't that one of the best things about reading great books?
This book was powerful, not only because of the plot and the events that take place, but because it is written by Solomon Northup, in his own (wonderful) voice.
His voice is what sticks out to me the most. His story is full of despair, heartbreak, pain, loss, and a sliver of hope. The way he recounts these events, his eloquence, how he paints the dialogue, how paragraphs drip with emotion, his thoughts throughout it all--it affected me deeply.
Don't be fooled. Even though Solomon was freed in the end, and was able to return to his family and his home, this story has no happy ending.
Solomon survived, yes, and that is wonderful that he received a second chance, but the rest of the characters he writes about stayed. The rest lived out the remainder of their days in bondage. And that is something I will ever forget.
I will never forget those characters and their stories, knowing that they were real, that this was their life for so many years, that they died there, that they were so unjustly treated. That these plantations, this way of life was normal, and accepted, and expected. That this was someone's life, every day, until they died.
It will weigh on you. It will have you question everything you believe about the human experience, the cruelty of people's actions, the incredulity of it all. You will not only read about how they suffered, but will be forced to read about how they felt, how Solomon viewed their plight, how he pictured his opressors. You will be forced to look within and it will change you. It will stay with you forever....more
Mock doesn't hold back as she describes her childhood in Hawaii, her turbulent relationship with her pRaw, unapologetic, heartwarming, and inspiring.
Mock doesn't hold back as she describes her childhood in Hawaii, her turbulent relationship with her parents, and her difficult experiences while growing up.
It's safe to say she has left nothing out in this memoir. She describes in detail really tough situations she faced as a child and as a young adult. Some of those choices she is very self critical about, but at the same time she's also unapologetic about them, knowing that they shaped who she is today.