I'm going to give this book five stars because it was a terrific eye opener. I am passionate about microbiology and have been particularly focused onI'm going to give this book five stars because it was a terrific eye opener. I am passionate about microbiology and have been particularly focused on the human microbiome. This book opened up the microscopic community of the soil and the earth and atmosphere as a whole. Content was eye-opening and a true delight. Narrative was playful, grounded, and brought me into the word of agriculture, agri-science, and agri-business, and painted a thoughtful picture of the intersections of all of these. Narrative was not perfect, but I hope all will read this and I will watch for anything else by Kristin Ohlson for sure....more
This is a well written and fascinating book. Especially for the layperson with an interest in neuroscience and the workings of the brain. Useful and pThis is a well written and fascinating book. Especially for the layperson with an interest in neuroscience and the workings of the brain. Useful and practical, with a good balance of science and anecdote. One criticism I had was that from the first mention in the intro of the subjects of the example stories, every one was highly likely to be male. Off the top of my head the author said we would look at quarterbacks, commercial airline pilots, and a navy general. Seemed glaringly obvious even just in the intro. Other that that, a great read. ...more
I suggest taking this book on when you are in a hopeful mood with unshakable faith that there is goodness in humanity...because even then this book wiI suggest taking this book on when you are in a hopeful mood with unshakable faith that there is goodness in humanity...because even then this book will leave you sobered, if not despondent. Jelinek imagines a character with no filter between her deepest, darkest desires and curiosities and the way that she lives in the world. Like a child raised in a basement, she is filled with the kind of base thoughts and longings that have not been softened or enriched through any connection with, or understanding of, others. No compassion tinges the motivations of the main character, and compassion is not triggered as the reader is invited to coldly consider all of the characters in this book. The word unrelenting comes to mind. I relied on morbid curiosity to motivate me to the next page, and when that failed, I saw it through out of respect for the hard, cruel skill Jelinek shows in leaving no out for the characters or for the reader.
I had heard that Jelinek doesn't pull her punches. This, for me, goes beyond punches into more of a dark and disturbing place (say, solitary confinement). All human psyches have something of the grotesque and the distorted somewhere inside. Be prepared to face that as fact, without redemption. ...more
This book is a great example of complex and layered storytelling. I really enjoyed Gaiman's skillful weaving of character development, fantasy, mysterThis book is a great example of complex and layered storytelling. I really enjoyed Gaiman's skillful weaving of character development, fantasy, mystery, and the twists and turns of a strong plot. Having some background with world mythology added extra intrigue. As he conjured up familiar characters, I wanted to see what he would do with them. However, I don't think you need to know mythology to appreciate the novel, as it basically creates its own mythology sprinkled with reference to various other cultures. It is an interesting way to think about globalization and certainly rings true to the title, as there is nothing more American than borrowing from all other cultures of the world. For me, this was a fun ride with some lasting images and thought provoking moments that made it a worthy read....more
I read this first novel by John Fowles because I have been a long time fan of the beautiful film by William Wyler (Ben-Hur, Funny Girl...). The book wI read this first novel by John Fowles because I have been a long time fan of the beautiful film by William Wyler (Ben-Hur, Funny Girl...). The book was split into parts that change perspective, beginning with the Fred character and switching to Miranda. This is an immersion experience deep into the first person perspective in a very unique situation. It is simply written, but creates a powerful exploration of the vastly different viewpoints and experiences of the two characters.
There is a philosophical thread running through the work that touches on classism, views on art, and a kind of few versus many - de-evolution of the masses concept. I also find it to be a fascinating enactment of the objectification of a woman to the extreme and the destruction that this idealization causes.
This is a dark piece, but also a quick and compelling read. Also, the movie is a must-see in my book. ...more