I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
I would categorize the author as an expert on his home state, Florida. He has written ten booksI received this book in exchange for an honest review.
I would categorize the author as an expert on his home state, Florida. He has written ten books all of which are about Florida. He is currently a news and features writer for the Palm Beach Post in Palm Beach County, of course in Florida.
The central focus of this book is the Hurricane of 1928 that hit Guadeloupe (Sept 12), Puerto Rico (Sept 13/14), the Bahamas (Sept 15) and then Florida (Sept 16). Having struck West Palm Beach, it continued inland flooding the land bordering Okeechobee Lake where it was most destructive killing large numbers of poor, black, migrant farm workers before heading north passing by Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Finger Lakes north of Toronto and finally petering out in Ontario, Canada. This cyclone remains one of the three Atlantic hurricanes to strike the southern mainland of Florida with a central pressure below 940 mbar (27.76 inHg), by which the ferocity of the storms are most commonly measured. The other two were the 1926 Miami hurricane and Hurricane Andrew of 1992. The different methods by which these storms are measured and categorized are fully covered.
The 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane claimed most likely 2500-3000 lives and is judged to be the second-deadliest hurricane in United States history. A south-blowing wind caused a lake surge of 6 to 9 feet to overflow the lake's inadequate dikes. The land was flooded for hundreds of square miles, survivors and dead bodies eventually deposited in the Everglades. Many were unidentifiable. Discrimination against the black and the poor being what it was in the South in the 20s and given the numbers killed, authorities simply were not up to the task of providing proper burial. Mass graves where Whites were separated from Blacks were as good as it got.
The book is extensively researched, but I never felt I was drowned in dry facts. I was given information I needed to know to understand what happened.
The flooding around Okeechobee Lake is the setting for the conclusion of Zora Neale Hurston's novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. An entire chapter focuses on the author’s life, the book and how it came to be written. This is just one of the many examples of the author’s extensive research. It is the depth of the research that makes the book so interesting.
This storm affected the lives of many, many people. To make the telling something a reader can emotionally relate to it is helpful to focus on a smaller, limited group. This the author does. The book begins by introducing those that we will meet up with later as we follow the storm’s path. The book ends by telling us what has happened to those that survived and of the descendants of those who perished.
At the book’s end is a chronological summary of the events as they unfolded. Also a listing of statistics, such as deaths, injured and damages.
The audiobook is very well narrated by Lee Ann Howlett. She reads clearly and steadily in an even, stable tone. As she gets into the telling it improves. It feels as though she comes to stride, she gathers strength and knows what she is speaking of. This is simply the feeling I got! She is immersed in the events and tells them to the listener step by step so all will become clear....more
The book gathers momentum; the topics covered near the end - the AIDS crisis of the 80s and 90s, the rape and murder of the pregnant 33-year-old pathoThe book gathers momentum; the topics covered near the end - the AIDS crisis of the 80s and 90s, the rape and murder of the pregnant 33-year-old pathologist Dr. Kathryn Hinnant within the walls of the hospital in 1989, Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and finally the care of Dr. Craig Spencer who contracted and survived the deadly Ebola virus in 2014 - close the book with a bang. They are exciting and engagingly told and they all relate directly to the management and underlying spirit of this renowned public hospital. I believe such an ending will influence how readers rate the book. I am rating the entire book, the book as a whole. It is interesting throughout, but much of it lacks the powerfully engaging feel of the ending.
In focusing on the history of one hospital, Bellevue, the author has as well covered the development of medical science in the US from the 1700s up to 2015. Diseases, epidemics, treatments, social conditions and changing attitudes. Bellevue began as an almshouse, pest house and death house. The guiding rule being that no one would ever be turned away, a place open to all - the diseased, the destitute, the criminal and the insane. A "place of last resort", that is Bellevue.
The telling moves forward chronologically. We follow The Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1795, the Cholera Epidemic of 1816, the 1847-1848 Typhus Epidemic, the long string of resident doctors, early attitudes toward dissection in the US and abroad, teaching, education and the development of associate medical schools, discrimination by religion, race and gender, medical innovations and theories, anesthesia, germ theory, antisepsis and urban sanitation. The maimed of the Civil War, victims of the Great Influenza and always the poor and down-and-out of the largest growing urban metropolis in the US, New York City. Prohibution 1920 - 1933, the stock market crash in 1929 followed by the Depression, the opening in 1933 of the separate Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital, seven years in the making with the support of scandal and gossip riddled Tammany Hall politician Mayor Jimmy Walker, Dr. Lauretta Bender’s work with insulin shock therapy and electric shock therapy as head of the children’s ward of the asylum. What were the effects Lyndon Johnson’s Medicare and Medicaid Bill of 1965 and of the deinstitutionalization of the 80s on the homeless and poor and the hospital’s clientele? We are delivered an overview of how historic world, national and events tied directly to New York City played out within the halls of Bellevue. Of course, this cannot be a complete compendium on the progress of medical science.
There are numerous quotes, but rather than clarifying they often made that being said less rather than more clear. The quotes were too often ambiguous, open-ended or with implied innuendos. The same is true of the wording in other lines. Varying interpretations could be drawn. I remarked on several occasions, “What is that supposed to mean?”
Details were at times excessive. I don’t necessarily need to know the names of the individuals who died. Providing adequate data and yet not overloading is a tricky balance. At times my attention wandered and I wished for better editing.
On completing the book, I asked myself why it had not reach up to the quality of David McCullough’s nonfiction books. Where did the difference lie? In McCullough’s books the details serve a purpose; on the basis of them you can draw meaningful conclusions. Excessive details are removed. Secondly, his characters are introduced with pertinent observations about their respective personalities. The reader quickly understands and has a feeling for who each individual is. I never felt the slightest sympathy, empathy, distaste or appreciation for any person mentioned in Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America's Most Storied Hospital. They are named; they are not known. McCullough, on the other hand, recreates live human beings. He does this superbly in his biographies, but even in books about inanimate objects, such as The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge, McCullough draws the readers toward the individuals. In The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, McCullough brought to life the numerous doctors. Both of these books overlap with Bellevue’s content.
The audiobook is very well narrated by Fred Sanders. Read clearly and at a good speed. One has time to absorb details. Not over dramatized; Sanders lets the author's words speak for themselves.
Definitely a good book which I can recommend to others, but not as engaging as a book by McCullough. ...more
I do recommend reading this book, even though I have given it only two stars! Remember two stars is a book that is OK! Read it for the new and interesI do recommend reading this book, even though I have given it only two stars! Remember two stars is a book that is OK! Read it for the new and interesting information it contains.
The book reports up-to-date information about the complex, symbiotic networks underlying communication between trees. It stresses that trees should be seen not as separate entities but rather as parts of a community where individuals are aware of their neighbors, relate to them, communicate with them and help each other survive. Absorbing information about particular tree species, plants, fungi, insects and birds is provided. Anyone who appreciates nature, anyone who quite simply enjoys a walk in the woods, will find tidbits of interest.
So what was wrong?
The writing all too often lacks clarity. Ecological and natural processes were not clearly explained. I would follow an argument and not understand why a particular conclusion was drawn. I would see other alternative explanations. One example is the discussion of the respective amounts of CO² stored by young respective old trees. We are told that plants of the same species living in the same soil and under the same conditions do not act in the same manner. An example is given of three oaks that dropped their leaves at different times. What we are told is that this was an “individual choice, a question of character.” Ah huh……..no more explanation than that?! Later in the book it is said that plants of the same species often have widely different genetic composition. (It is interesting to note that the variation is much more limited in animals.) Anyhow, this must be the explanation but this is just my guess. It should have been explained more clearly.
Conclusions drawn should more often have been backed up with reference to particular scientific studies.
The writing reeks of anthropomorphic expressions. This became extremely annoying. It made the entire content of the book feel childish. Yet this is not a book for children; previous knowledge of plant processes is a prerequisite. I will give some examples. Beech trees are referred to as Beech & Co., Spruce as Spruce & Co. Perhaps this is amusing once, but not ten times. “Ouch” is interspersed frequently - when discussing a lesion in bark, the loss of a tree limb, a hit by lightning or any damage done to a tree. The upper branches of trees are called “the executive offices”. “Foolish trees” are said to have not obeyed the “tree etiquette manual”. A volcanic eruption is “the shuffling of cards in the game of life.” We read sentences such as, “If we think back to tree kindergarten……” Maybe it is me, but this type of writing switches the book from being a scientific book of merit to a book of farce. This is a shame. Let me repeat, the book has valuable content.
The content is poorly organized. Similar information is repeated in different chapters. The chapters are exceedingly short with ambiguous titles. Here are examples of titles: Let There Be Light, Street Kids, Burnout andDestination North. On completing a chapter you are left wondering what exactly had been the point of the chapter! What was its message? While there is definitely interesting information it is hard to absorb due to it being poorly organized.
Beside the main themes, what miscellaneous information caught my attention? How woodpeckers make their homes in trees, working on several at the same time and in conjunction with fungi. The parasitic plant mistletoe can kill a tree, but moss and algae aren’t usually dangerous. It is normal that you don’t hear lots of birdsong in forests. The value of and conditions found in “old growth forests” were interesting, as well as how long it takes to establish such forests and how they differ from commercial forests. Leaving fallen trees is important - they make it harder for herbivore to consume undergrowth and they are home to a multitude of beneficial insects. This is just a smattering of assorted information. Each person reading the book will find different points of interest. I don’t regret reading the book, but its organization, and the author’s way of expressing himself could certainly have been improved.
The audiobook narration by Mike Grady was clear and easy to follow. The German words are accurately pronounced.
The author is a German forestry manager, writing on ecological themes. The book closes with a note by Susanne Simard. She is a forest ecologist. She has worked more than thirty years in the field and is currently doing scientific studies such as those discussed in the book. She is at the University of British Colombia in Canada. Her research confirms most of Wohlleben's observations about the communication among trees. ...more
I liked this a lot, thus I knew immediately it deserved four stars. It is historical fiction and it does what I think historical fiction should do. ItI liked this a lot, thus I knew immediately it deserved four stars. It is historical fiction and it does what I think historical fiction should do. It gets you into the head of the main character, which is here Leonardo da Vinci. In my view, if a reader is primarily looking for historical details and facts one might as well turn to non-fiction. What historical fiction can do and which is often not attainable when relying solely on historical data is to reveal the thoughts, feelings and emotions of a person. A talented author of historical fiction can do this by first carrying out a thorough study of the known facts. With then a deep understanding of the person, using empathy, creativity and imagination they can recreate thoughts and dreams and fictive dialog that feel utterly real. THIS is a true art. It is not merely a collection of facts, but provides a deeper understanding of what made that particular person tick. This is what Lucille Turner has done with Leonardo da Vinci.
In this book you understand the man; you don’t merely understand, you get into his head! If instead you are looking for emphasis on history and precise details describing the world of Leonardo da Vinci I wholeheartedly recommend The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone. I gave that four stars too. I am not implying that the historical details are incorrectly presented in Turner’s book; they are simply not the main focus. Two different approaches, two different levels of information are provided, two different emphases. If you haven’t read anything about da Vinci and the Italian city states of the Renaissance, start here with Turner. Then you will want more and can turn to Stone’s book.
I do have one complaint though. No I guess there are actually two, although neither destroys my enjoyment in reading the book. Gioconda, Lisa Gherardini (1479 – 1542) who today is thought to be the woman portrayed by Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519) in his famed Mona Lisa, is not the central focus of the book; the title is misleading. Mona Lisa is called La Jaconda in France and La Gioconda in Italian. The painting was commissioned by Lisa’s husband, the Florentine silk merchant Francesco del Giocondo. In 1516 Leonardo came to work for the French King Francis I and it is in France that the painting is believed to have been completed. It was bought by Francis I after Leonardo’s death. After the French Revolution it came to be housed at the Louvre. The book ends with Leonardo’s departure from Italy with the painting not fully completed. Lisa’s presence scarcely figures in the novel. Secondly, I totally discount the idea that Leonardo met and was attracted to Lisa at a young age. Their friendship, drawn in the book (view spoiler)[as a growing attraction between two youngsters (hide spoiler)], is not credible. Look at the age difference.
The narration by Mark Meadows was also very good. Easy to follow, even if you have difficulty snapping up Italian names. It is so very nice when a narrator doesn’t get in the way of appreciating a good book.
It is an utter shame that no one is talking about this book! You get a feel for the Italian Renaissance, rub shoulders with Lorenzo de’ Medici, the Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola and Niccolò Machiavelli and most importantly get a glimpse into the remarkable mind of the polymath Leonardo da Vinci. ...more
I cannot give this book less than three stars because it contains lots of totally fascinating information about animals - the greater and lesser apes,I cannot give this book less than three stars because it contains lots of totally fascinating information about animals - the greater and lesser apes, whales, octopus, fish, birds and elephants for example. The author is a Dutch primatologist and ethologist. He is the Charles Howard Candler professor of Primate Behavior at the Emory University psychology department in Atlanta, Georgia, and director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. Primate social behavior is his central focus but this book goes beyond primates. The latest research about the abilities of animals and animal cognition is exciting. Our knowledge concerning the science of animal cognition, self-awareness, understanding, cooperation, inequity aversion, conformism and empathy has progressed far from the early days of behaviorism. The book starts with a review of the history of the science.
Nevertheless, I did have problems with this book. I found it poorly organized. I would have appreciated clearer chapter titles so you knew what the coming chapter would contain. The chapters had diffuse titles such as Cognitive Ripples, Know What You Know, Talk To Me. The same experiments are mentioned several times with additional information added the second time around. Neither was there organization in terms of the species covered; one gets a smattering of species in each chapter. Quite simply the book was put together in a messy fashion. The author has a central message, namely that experiments must be designed to fit the animals being tested and that we must stop overestimating human cognition and underestimating other species' cognition. These became the author's mantras. I don't disagree with what he is saying but the preachiness with which the messages were delivered became annoying. The book is said to be written for the layman. One minute he addresses his readers as if we were children. Soon after the lines read as academic bickering. The author comes across as “thinking he knows all” and negatively viewing others. The tone is negative, which gets tiring. The result? You have to wade through a lot to get to the fascinating ground information.
One more complaint – in comparison to the books listed below, the presentation of the experiments in de Waal’s book does not let readers get close to the animals. You do in the books listed below. Too often in de Waal’s book we are told what particular experiments prove, rather than letting readers judge for themselves.
So yes, I do have a bunch of complaints with the way the book is organized, its tone and manner of presenting the data. The information presented is nevertheless thorough and fascinating.
I spoke of the author’s negative tone. This is further enhanced by the audiook narration performed by Sean Runnette. The words are clear but the tone is one of sad despondency.
This book starts out slowly; give it a chance. By the end you will see that all the separate parts hold together providing a complete, cohesive and stThis book starts out slowly; give it a chance. By the end you will see that all the separate parts hold together providing a complete, cohesive and strong argument confirming the intelligence of ravens. I knew very little about ravens when I began. Now they fascinate me, and I am convinced that Bernd Heinrich, an experimental biologist, has in a balanced fashion woven together both his own scientific experiments and numerous anecdotal stories.
The book is well organized. It starts with his capture of four 1-month-old ravens followed by description of his aviary and the birds’ maturation, pairing, nesting, copulation and hatching of subsequent generations. The original four and their offspring become individual characters to the reader. After first becoming acquainted with these basics, the book delves into the fascinating discussion of behavioral patterns, intelligence and emotions, continually gathering information from both scientific experiments and anecdotes. Their play behavior will certainly make you laugh. You will even learn how and why they come to bathe in dirty puddle water when it is freezing cold! Bathing is play, and play behavior, curiosity and intelligence are directly correlated. The symbiosis between ravens, wolves and early man is fascinating. Sources and statistics are documented. The book concludes with an exemplary summation of all that has been covered.
I wasn’t impressed with the audiobook narration by Norman Dietz. He drones on an on in a level boring tone. He makes the content sound uninteresting, which is really a shame. I am giving the narration two stars because you do hear the words clearly. If you choose the audiobook be prepared to listen to the author’s words and not what is coming through your ears!
What started in a boring fashion with what seemed unnecessary details became a totally fascinating book and wonderful reading experience. A really good book!
Having recently read Silent Spring, I wanted more of the author's fantastic writing.
Nature writing at its best in vivid, lyrical prose. She writes aboHaving recently read Silent Spring, I wanted more of the author's fantastic writing.
Nature writing at its best in vivid, lyrical prose. She writes about ocean and shore life so you feel you are there. The reader follows birds, fish, crustaceans and even eel! You follow an interlude in these creatures’ respective lives. It is utterly amazing the extent to which Carson makes the reader feel part of their aquatic existence. Violent storms, dense fog and lulling, lapping seas under blue skies. Predators and prey, the cycle of life to death to food and new life.
Carson assigns names to the creatures. Often she uses the scientific names of species as character names. It is a great technique and coupled with her engaging writing you follow each one with rapt interest. I thought this would be childish but it wasn't. The vocabulary is too advanced and the scientific details too plentiful for the lines to feel childish. Everybody, even expert naturalists, will learn something new.
I was continually drawn to searching the web to view the animals. The original book is illustrated. I listened to the audiobook narrated by C.M. Hébert. It was very good. It is slowly read, and it should be! This allows the listener to marvel at the beauty of the prose. Some of the lines are exciting. I listened with trepidation as the mackerel (Scomber) was about to be netted. No, that just couldn't happen! Even the glossary at the end captivates.
My only reservation in recommending this book is that it fits best those who appreciated nature writing
This is a classic. It has not lost its validity. It has an important global message still today, 54 years after publication. Everyone should read thisThis is a classic. It has not lost its validity. It has an important global message still today, 54 years after publication. Everyone should read this at least once.
This reads as a horror story, but it is true.
-The scientific studies are numerous, clear and to the point. -The demise of habitats and living creatures are lyrically depicted. -The author expertly alternates between poetic expression and scientific accuracy. -Eloquent prose.
That’s the essential.
Carson shows through carefully identified and quantified examples the inherent danger of pesticides, that they not only do not work and that they have serious side effects. She goes one step further and identifies better alternatives - biotic controls.
Here is what I wish. I wish another author would follow up her analyses and describe how pesticides and herbicides are used today. Furthermore it would be interesting to know whether her suggestions concerning alternative methods have come to fruition.
The audiobook narration by Kaiulani Lee was superb! Perfect speed, perfect intonation and performed with a poetic lilt when the lines so demanded. Beautifully and masterfully performed. ...more
Bernd Heinrich is a professor emeritus in the biology department at the University of Vermont. He writes as an academic, a biologist and a naturalist.Bernd Heinrich is a professor emeritus in the biology department at the University of Vermont. He writes as an academic, a biologist and a naturalist. He thinks as a scientist thinks, and his experiments and studies on birds demonstrate this. Statistics are duly recorded and logically analyzed. I would not recommend the book to everyone, yet I like the scientific approach and I like the man's curiosity. He observes individual species of birds and poses interesting questions. The more you know about the birds he discusses the more you will enjoy the book. The latest observations include those up to 2015. Much is based on what he personally has observed in Vermont and Maine, although other scientific findings are noted.
Each chapter focuses on a specific bird: woodpeckers, ravens and crows, starlings, owls, hawks, blue jays, chickadees, blue-headed vireos, red-breasted nuthatches, redpolls, ruffed grouse, great crested flycatchers, red-winged blackbirds, phoebes, evening grosbeaks and woodcocks. He points out interesting observations concerning species specific behavior patterns on topics such as bathing, nest site selection and building, communication, social cohesion, snow tunneling, parental instincts, territorial defense mechanisms, body movements (sky-dancing and body swaying) and loss of a mate. For me the most engaging was the chapter concerning a phoebe that lost his mate. One comes to feel such empathy for the phoebe.
He closes the book with an important message. He urges all of us to observe nature, see what is there before our eyes and pose questions.
The audiobook narration by Rick Adamson is simple to follow.
Interesting and well written. Filled with pertinent information, yet a bit long-winded at times.
The book is not merely a biography covering the lifeInteresting and well written. Filled with pertinent information, yet a bit long-winded at times.
The book is not merely a biography covering the life of one man, Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859). It starts with a description of the world he was born into - Prussia, Pre-Romanticism and the eminent philosophers, poets and writers of the time, i.e. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Immanuel Kant and Friedrich von Schiller, to name but a few. Humboldt came to spend long hours with Goethe. These prominent thinkers influenced who he was to become. Their lives and the lives of others Humboldt associated with are discussed. Another two such men are Simón Bolívar and Thomas Jefferson. Humboldt’s theories, experiments, books, travels and companions are covered. The book does not conclude with his death. It continues, showing how he directly influenced others, in particular Charles Darwin, George Perkins Marsh, Ernst Haeckel and John Muir. It is through these men that ecology, conservation and preservation has become what it is today. Others are mentioned too. The book ends with the hope that we reclaim Humboldt as our hero or at least re-acknowledge the importance he has played in how we view nature. Humboldt's thoughts and writings lie at the beginning of a chain of men who have brought us to where we are today in the field of environmentalism.
How much do we learn about Humboldt’s personality? Well he never kept his mouth shut, and he was indefatigable. In a conversation you couldn't get a word in edgewise. Being with him must have been quite a strain. Whether he was homosexual or not is unclear. How he could have possibly had time for anything other than his artistic, philosophical and scientific pursuits is the prime question. He seems to have had neither the time nor the interest for a lover. He was a fervent abolitionist.
The audiobook narration is by David Drummond. I found it too fast, particularly in the beginning. There is just too much information to absorb. Later it gets easier. Some words are unclear. Narration does not influence my rating.
Rivers, minerals, lakes, parks and many, many places are named after this Prussian. I didn't even know who he was! It is stated that more places have been named after this man than anyone else. His views have shaped our very concept of how we see nature. He realized back in 1800 the interrelationship between all aspects of nature. He understood that nature is one unified whole, and that an interdisciplinary approach is essential to solving problems, one such being climate control. ...more
Review to come. Do I love it....or do I like it a lot? I do definitely want everyone to read this book.
When I think about the book, I automatically sReview to come. Do I love it....or do I like it a lot? I do definitely want everyone to read this book.
When I think about the book, I automatically say, "I liked that A LOT", so four stars.
When I chose to read this book I thought I was going to get something like The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs Are Smarter than You Think which I gave four stars, but rather than concentrating solely on dogs the focus would cover many animals. Carl Safina's book is wider in scope and completely different in focus. Hare's book is very good, but Safina's is better, in my view! Hare's book draws conclusions by looking at particular experiments, stipulating how they were carried out and analyzing their results. It is a book about the latest scientific studies on dogs’ cognitive abilities.
Some of the conclusions drawn in reference to dog behavior are briefly referred to in Safina's book. Safina's book is less about scientific experiments. Safina's book is based on studies of animals in the wild and the resultant conclusions that can be drawn. At first, statements made had me asking, “Where is your proof?!” By the end I was totally in sync with what the author was stating.
There are lengthy sections devoted to the study of elephants, wolves and killer whales, alternately known as orcas (Orcinus orca). They belong to the dolphin family, are toothed and are its largest member. Take one guess what their name implies, yet they do not hurt human beings! I found that revealed about the whales and the elephants utterly fascinating. That about the wolves I found a bit long-winded. We follow the fission of a wolf pack. There are shorter sections on other, widely varied animals (some examples being chimpanzees, bonobos, hyenas, falcons, dogs and bats), the point being to show their emotional and intellectual capacity. We are an animal too and we share a common bond. The author vividly exemplifies how we are similar and how we differ. What is striking are the cognitive and emotional similarities while our outward appearances so differ.
The author goes a step further and proposes ideas that are controversial - on self-domestication, anthropomorphism, empathy, intelligence and understanding. It is here the book gets MOST interesting! Great for lively discussions. I like that he steps back and questions where the facts and evidence seem to point while at the same time stressing what remains unknown. After reading this book, one look at animals, even insects, fish and turtles with a new perspective. It is much more difficult to be cruel to a thinking and emotional creature.
Authors should NOT read their own books! The author does that here. Yes, I could understand what was said, but often he reads too fast. Way too fast. HE is at home with the ideas presented and to him they are not new. Speaking for myself, I had to stop and consider what exactly self-domestication implies and what are its consequences. There are concepts that must be thought about to fully absorb their significance. There is one section concerning some of the author’s pet peeves, an example being the mirror mark test, also known as the mirror self-recognition test (MSR). He was so very angry he simply couldn’t hold himself back; listening became a difficult task. It was hard to keep up with him! I was also disappointed when different animal calls were spoken. In an audiobook it would have been perfect to let us hear them!
The author is a famed conservationist, a marine biologist and has a PhD in ecology from Rutgers University. Reading this book was fascinating due to its depth of information and the wisdom I found in the lines. Here is one quote:
If the world can no longer afford the luxury of natural beauty, then it will be overcome by its ugliness. …..In an entirely man-made world there can be no room for man either.
He dares to ask uncomfortable questions about human behavior. He shows us the nonsensicality of assumptions we have relied on in the past. He shows us that man must begin to work with nature in a moral and ethical manner
The book is not bad, it is OK. It spreads itself thin.
It is an autobiography of one specific woman, a woman both ordinary and exceptional. The book dThe book is not bad, it is OK. It spreads itself thin.
It is an autobiography of one specific woman, a woman both ordinary and exceptional. The book depicts the life of a female botanical research scientist at the turn of the 21st century, a central issue being the difficulty in attaining adequate research grants to survive on. It is about friendship. It is about choosing where one's main interests lie - family or job. What I think it does best is draw the author's fervent passion for plants, research and ecology. She loves what she does almost to the point where it destroys her. It only touches upon the latest research on trees.
The book begins by showing how the author’s Norwegian descent and relationship with her parents led her toward a career in research science. The reader watches her emotional involvement, sense of responsibility and compulsion to do a good job grow as she through scholarships and hard work gets an education. In May 1996she got her Doctorate at University of California Berkeley and began teaching as well as pursuing independent research in paleobiology.
We then follow her for another twenty years, twenty years of struggles to get money, recognition and lab facilities. It is the struggle rather than her particular scientific goals that are focused upon. For example, she travels to San Francisco to give a talk at a conference. We are given a lengthy description of the horrendous trip, rather than what she spoke about! We are told in detail how the four traveling practically killed themselves in a car accident, of their miserable hotel rooms and Hope’s reliance upon her work associate, Bill. This friendship runs straight through the entire book. Any reader of this book will be gripped by the importance of research work to Hope. However, it is not her scientific results per se that is the central focus. The research work that is detailed is more often about lab techniques or sterility procedures or the proper statistical means of accounting data rather than a detailed explanation of her discoveries in plant science. These are merely touched upon. Neither does one get a complete coverage of all that she has done in these twenty years. Near the end of the book she travels with Bill to Ireland; we are told then that she had been to Ireland many times before!
This book contains little about contemporary plant research. It is instead about one researcher’s struggles.
The author reads her own book, and she does it very well. You hear her engagement. You hear her frustration. Her emotions come through very, very well. At emotional crises her voice trembles. However there are parts where she is more detached, in the epilog and the endnote for example, which drag on f-o-r-e-v-e-r! I suppose here the main fault is not the narration, but rather a more rigorous editing would have helped. ...more
It is difficult for me to find good dog books. I have been reading them for years and years, both fiction and non-fiction. Non-fiction has to give meIt is difficult for me to find good dog books. I have been reading them for years and years, both fiction and non-fiction. Non-fiction has to give me something new. Fiction has to capture the immense love I feel for my dogs, and that is pretty darn hard to do.
This book of non-fiction gave me food for thought. It taught me things I had not known before. It has already helped me rethink how I communicate with my dog. What has been learned about dogs in the last decade is more than all that learned in the previous century. This book, published in 2013, has spanking new information. It is a book about the latest scientific studies on dogs’ cognitive abilities.
Dog training is a work in process. Your dog’s needs and behavior as a puppy, as a healthy adult and finally as he grows old are all very different. What worked with one of your dogs may not work with another. Each dog is an individual, even those of the same breed. All of this means that a dog owner has to keep learning. This book is filled with scientific studies that illustrate the latest theories. Some studies contradict others; divergent theories are expressed. I appreciate this. Exactly how the tests are preformed are carefully detailed. The results too.
There is fascinating information on how dogs became domesticated. Dogs are superbly equipped at reading human gestures. Which do they react to most readily - sound or movement, smell or touch or eye contact? I had no idea that eye contact was so important!
This is not a book to be used as a guide for how to train your new puppy - how to choose your pup, toilet train them, walk with them, teach them to come, sit and lie down. If you are looking for that then read The Art of Raising a Puppy. This is instead a book that helps you understand dog behavior. Knowledge of new scientific theories can help you alter your training methods to achieve better results.
At the end the book quickly discusses topics as varied as the role of dogs in Japan and in China both today and in the past, the cruel blood sport dog fighting, puppy mills, hormonal effects on canines and humans, gender specific behavior variations and the benefits of animal assisted medical therapy.
The audiobook narration by Fred Sanders is way too fast! Slow down, buddy! While dog owners read this book they have to have time to think. We dog owners are always being told the right way to train our dogs, and of course everyone says something different! Each must in the end decide for themselves which theories and which training methods make the most sense.
If you love your dog you want to understand all you can about them. With this understanding you can more easily train your dog. The better behavior your dog has the more you can do with them and the deeper you relationship grows.
Rather than repeating all my thoughts I post the link.
I don't give that many books five stars. They have to qualify as amazing. The author writes so you understand the value of nature, of the gift that is given to all of us. She shows us that a gift is tied with responsibility. Only if you understand that you have received a gift do you feel the responsibility to reciprocate. She opens our eyes to what has been given us. She also shows us how to handle the despair one can so easily feel. What is the point? I can do nothing. She gives us hope, and that is what is necessary so we don't just give up!
She wonderfully intertwines science with marvelous tales of the indigenous people. You can read the book just for these tales. You can read the book to learn scientific detail of flora and fauna. For example about strawberries, pecans, cattails, salamanders, maples and of course sweetgrass. Absolutely fascinating! You can read the book for inspiration; she is a single mother who has raised her kids alone. And what a fantastic job she has done. She remains humble. To top it all off she writes beautifully.
Occasionally I felt she was long-winded, but her message had to be made clear so we all really understand. Her message is SO important - to all of us!
This book is available on Kindle. If you try it and you don’t like it, you can get your money back if you return it within a week. What can you lose? I know, I am too pushy……. but I think this is such an important book. ...more
I finished this and thought it was very good, maybe quite simply because Marie Curie had such an interesting life, rather than the author's writing skI finished this and thought it was very good, maybe quite simply because Marie Curie had such an interesting life, rather than the author's writing skills. Fascinating and moving. Science details are explained just enough so you understand.....at least most of the time. Sometimes books go on and on and you drown in the details, but not here. You learn about her childhood, her devotion to science, her love for her children and husband and science. I repeated science twice, and that was done on purpose. I want to keep this short, but you also get relevant details on WW1 and Polish history too. Marie Curie had an interesting life. As a person she is someone to admire, but neither are her failures shied from. I do recommend the book. Fine narration of the audiobook by Eliza Foss....more