This book, written by neurologist V. S. Ramachandran, suggests that by looking at case studies of individuals with particular types of brain injuries...moreThis book, written by neurologist V. S. Ramachandran, suggests that by looking at case studies of individuals with particular types of brain injuries we can learn a lot about the the human mind. He looks at examples of patients with phantom limb syndrome, vision problems, paralysis and other problems and uses his understanding of their neurological (physiological) causes to speculate on their implications about the structure and functioning of a "normal" human brain.
I found this very interesting to read, with descriptions of both symptoms and anatomy being very clear and easy to follow, although it is a little repetitive in places. However, although I know very little about neurology myself, I found some of his theories hard to swallow - it was often unclear if he was neglecting to mention the evidence he had to back them or if there was no evidence at all. I am particularly skeptical of his explanations for foot-fetishes and anorexia.
A quote which I think sums up Ramachandran's view of the brain well: "Freud's most valuable contribution was his discovery that your conscious mind is simply a facade and that you are completely unaware of 90 percent of what really goes on in your brain." (less)
This reminded me a LOT of The Forever War, only with less weirdness about gay people and fewer references to Vietnam. I enjoyed this on the whole, but...moreThis reminded me a LOT of The Forever War, only with less weirdness about gay people and fewer references to Vietnam. I enjoyed this on the whole, but the third part was a little over-explained in places. Much lighter than I expected.(less)
Okay so. Before I started reading this book, which is a collection of Wil Wheaton's blog posts and some extra auto...moreFrom the second Humble eBook Bundle.
Okay so. Before I started reading this book, which is a collection of Wil Wheaton's blog posts and some extra autobiographical commentary, my opinion of him was on the positive side of indifferent: I watch his show Table Top and he's alright in that and I liked him in Eureka, but since his characters in that show, Leverage, The Guild and The Big Bang Theory all seem to have the same personality I didn't believe him to be a particularly good actor. So I didn't understand why my boyfriend and large portions of the internet love him so much, since it's apparently not because of Star Trek.
After reading this book, my opinion of him is that he is an entitled, misogynist snob and that no matter how many times he tells me he's totally over the fact that quitting Star Trek to make films, no really he is, his constant bitterness every time he talks about anything to do with the show doesn't inspire me to believe him.
For the entitled snobbishness, please see this Goodreads review, which I agree with except that I also disliked the first half of the book, particularly the part where he made his aunt's funeral all about him.
Misogyny-wise, I particularly disliked the part where he compares not enjoying appearing at conventions to being a domestic abuse victim. Also, near the beginning of the book with an anecdote about the time a Hooters waitress asked him if he "used to be an actor", and he was offended but then told himself that her opinion didn't matter because she was only a Hooters waitress and also a bimbo with over-processed hair and "ample cleavage seductively long[ing] to bust out from beneath her thin cotton T-shirt" (ugh are you serious). In the epilogue, he returns to Hooters, and this time a waitress with a different name and hair colour but otherwise identically described does know who he is and also sits on his lap. How marvellous for him.
In conclusion, I now dislike Wil Wheaton much more than I did before reading this and I wish I had not read this book, because it annoyed me so much it gave me a headache. But at least it was short.(less)
A collection of fantasy-ish short stories, many of which are based on fairy tales. I liked the Snow Queen one, but otherwise they mostly seemed like t...moreA collection of fantasy-ish short stories, many of which are based on fairy tales. I liked the Snow Queen one, but otherwise they mostly seemed like they were trying too hard to be weird for weirdness' sake. Honestly, if you want good fairy tale rewrites you can get better for free in the Yuletide archive.(less)
A very readable and informative guide as to what to expect and what needs to be done in order to do what the title describes. A lot of the advice is q...moreA very readable and informative guide as to what to expect and what needs to be done in order to do what the title describes. A lot of the advice is quite obvious but still, I found it useful to be reminded of it, and there are definitely some aspects I hadn't considered before reading this book as well as a lot of useful links. I found the advice in the following quote quite surprising (and therefore useful!): "If you would like to find four to eight agencies that will become regular clients, plan on applying to at least 300 to 400 agencies during your first year in business."
One thing to point out is that the author of this book is American and so some sections, such as the section on tax, are very American-centric.(less)
A collection of short stories by Argentinian writer Angélica Gorodischer, translated into English by Ursula K LeGuin. The stories are all set in the s...moreA collection of short stories by Argentinian writer Angélica Gorodischer, translated into English by Ursula K LeGuin. The stories are all set in the same world, written as stories being told by storytellers about the history of a vast and ancient empire. It's fantasy-ish in tone, but there aren't many particularly fantastical elements. A lot of the stories are about various Emperors and Empresses and their lives, but my favourite was the history of a city, starting from its founding and covering its changing role within the empire (a stop on the way to a port, a spa town, a centre of religion, the capital city) over many generations. I enjoyed this collection a great deal.(less)