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message 1: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jeoblivion) | 4869 comments A place to talk about and recommend your favorite books about Nature and Science.


message 2: by Elisa (new)

Elisa | 206 comments COPIED FORM PERKS - NEUROSCIENCE BOOKS


Oh well, since I have some time let's give advice on both(*)

TEXTBOOKS

So, if you are at college and you take any type of neurosciency course, THE textbook is Eric Kandel's "Principle of Neural Science" - which for some weird reason is not on Goodreads. It is huge, quite complete and not too difficult to understand even if you do not have a medical/biological background.
Slimmer options are Neuroscience, or Fundamental Neuroscience.

POPULAR DIVULGATION
I am quite strongly opposed to the majority of them. Neuroscience is hip at the moment, and people who have no clue about it are cashing in by writing ridiculously non-scientific books. I am all in for scientific divulgation, but as the words say, it has to be science and not chep bullshit!
This said, I would strongly reccomend anything by Oliver Sacks and V.S. Ramachandran. A more recent and less famous good book is The Accidental Mind: How Brain Evolution Has Given Us Love, Memory, Dreams, and God. I know the author, David J. Linden, and he is a really good neuroscientist with the extra gift of being a great communicator.
More towards phylosophy of neuroscience, my favourites are books by Patricia S. Churchland and Damasio's Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain.
History of neuroscience is GREAT FUN! Some good good books include A Hole in the Head: More Tales in the History of Neuroscience, Origins of Neuroscience: A History of Explorations Into Brain Function, The History of Neuroscience in Autobiography:, and this book from one of my previous supervisors Golgi.

(*= I have the presumption to give so many advices on this matter because I am a neurophysiologist, and if all goes according to plan in two months I will be doctor in neuroscience. So I believe that while personal taste in literary stile and approach is a totally subjective thing, when picking books about science the basic requirement has to be that the person writing it knows science and is not just selling fried air. But then again, this is my personal opinion!)


message 3: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 15985 comments Elisa wrote: "... to give so many advices on this matter because I am a neurophysiologist, and if all goes according to plan in two months I will be doctor in neuroscience...."

Have you finished your thesis yet Elisa? Good luck with the thesis defense and congrats on your achievement!


message 4: by Elisa (new)

Elisa | 206 comments Leslie, thanks for asking! Yes, acutally the thesis is done, it arrived yesterday form the printer and it ended up being a 200 pages book in B5 format. It's nice to look at a book with your name on it :-)
Now it's just waiting time until the date of the official defence cerimony, and then finally holidays!!


message 5: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jeoblivion) | 4869 comments Oh congrats! When will defence happen?


message 6: by Elisa (new)

Elisa | 206 comments September 25th
I will have 15 minutes to present my work with a power point presentation and then the committee (9 professors in neuroscience) will ask questions for 45 minutes. And after that party and moving to London
:)


message 7: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jeoblivion) | 4869 comments Good luck! Go sparkle :)!


message 8: by Elisa (new)

Elisa | 206 comments thanx!


message 9: by Charbel (new)

Charbel (charliecosmos) | 2654 comments I wish I had explored this thread earlier. We just need to get the conversation going again.
Elisa, brilliant advice. The closest thing I read to a neuroscience textbook is my uni bio textbook.
I'm going to take a crack at an entire biochemistry textbook soon, does anybody have any tips on how to approach it?


message 10: by Gökhan (new)

Gökhan (darkorder) | 41 comments We need more activity here. :) What are you interested in? I like Cosmology and Astrophysics the most, even though i am a layman. Best regards.


message 11: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Here is a very good book about birds and how they survive in winterWinter World : The Ingenuity of Animal Survival. i would recommend anything about this author. My most favorite, given my penchant for biographies, is in fact The Snoring Bird: My Family's Journey Through a Century of Biology.

I also like this a lot: Einstein: His Life and Universe. Now there is a lot of physics in this book, and there are sections that went over my head. This annoyed me. Although it is not a criticism of the author, but rather a criticism of myself, IF the author had managed to make clear for me more of the scientific theories, I would have to call the book amazing. I do highly recommend the book. Actually Einstein's own explanations are the ones that are the easiest to understand. He draws little world-life experiments that make everything sensible, but don't ask me to explain them after reading the book.


message 12: by Charbel (last edited Mar 21, 2014 02:09AM) (new)

Charbel (charliecosmos) | 2654 comments I like all science books. But my favorite subjects are cosmology and astrophysics, quantum mechanics, and evolution.
The last science book I read was Letters to a Young Mathematicianby Ian Stewart, an inventive way to learn about math.
My favorite science authors include Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins,and Leonard Susskind.
Gonna be readingA Brief History of Timeby Stephen hawking if anybody's interested in joining me and Jenny.


message 13: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) I agree Gokhan - this thread could be great! So can I come out of left field a bit and pick up Chrissie's venture into the "Nature" element of this thread?

I'm currently reading A cry from the wild by Lissa Ruben. It follows the progress of two baby elephants at Daphne Sheldrick's elephant sanctuary in Kenya. This book is an early one from 1991, but for decades now the Sheldricks have rescued baby elephants when their mother is killed (for ivory) by poachers, helped them adjust to living with other elephants and eventually after several years, released them at a safe site. It is a time-consuming and heartbreaking task. A documentary TV series was made about one week's events there, called "Elephant Diaries." The centre is still very active and campaigning.


message 14: by Charbel (new)

Charbel (charliecosmos) | 2654 comments Jean wrote: "I agree Gokhan - this thread could be great! So can I come out of left field a bit and pick up Chrissie's venture into the "Nature" element of this thread?

I'm currently reading [book:A cry from t..."


Sounds like one of those books that I'd keep thinking about even after I finish it.


message 15: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Very much so Charbel. I must confess to having a link set up on my Facebook page to the David Sheldrick sanctuary, so I get regular updates on their progress, but there are some tragic stories too. It seems virtually impossible to stop all the illegal poaching in Kenya, but some brave people give most of their lives to it. And to educating future generations.


message 16: by Charbel (new)

Charbel (charliecosmos) | 2654 comments Jean wrote: "Very much so Charbel. I must confess to having a link set up on my Facebook page to the David Sheldrick sanctuary, so I get regular updates on their progress, but there are some tragic stories too...."

And the reasons behind the poaching! It really gets me angry. I better count to ten!


message 17: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Jean I read Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story by Daphne Sheldrick, and it is good. Another one about elephants is Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived.

Talk about animal books.....if you like them, then a must read is Wesley the Owl.


message 18: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Thanks Chrissie - added to my TBR shelf! It does seem as though one has to set aside the upper-middle class white "Englishness" (although two are technically not English) of some of these early pioneers into conservation.

Others who speak with those biases are Michaela Denis and Joy Adamson. I try to view it as their burden, as at least they did speak out, and try to make a difference!


message 19: by Diane S ☔ (new)

Diane S ☔ I loved The Geese of Beaver Bog and want to read more by this author. Also Gerald Durrelllove the books by this author as well.


message 20: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Oh that looks fascinating Diane! I know it's partly fiction, but I love the film "Fly Away Home."

I'm actually working my way through all Gerald Durrell's novels again, but in order this time, as time permits! Here are links to my reviews of the ones I've read so far:

The Corfu Trilogy
Three Singles to Adventure
The Drunken Forest
and The New Noah


message 21: by Diane S ☔ (new)

Diane S ☔ I am on The Drunken Forest. Love his sense of humor.


message 22: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Jean wrote: "I try to view it as their burden, as at least they did speak out, and try to make a difference! "

That is a good way of looking at it! Have you read my review or is it others who have expressed similar views? I should point out that for me a three star book IS a good book, otherwise I wouldn't have liked it. Definitely worth reading, even if some aspects weren't to my liking. Also it bugged me all the praised she heaped on her deceased husband, but that is no reason to NOT read the book.


message 23: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Chrissie - Yes, I read your review of Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story before I posted my comment, and clicked the "like" tab so that you would know! I also read another full review, which made similar points. It set to me to thinking of other authors who fall prey to this kind of bias, which is why I mentioned them.

I too think 3* is "good" rating. A book has to be pretty special before I give it 4*!

Hope you and Diane enjoy reading my Durrell reviews :)


message 24: by Chrissie (last edited Mar 21, 2014 03:15PM) (new)

Chrissie Jean, yes, I did enjoy your perspective on particularly the Corfu Trilogy. I have not yet read all the books yet.

I prefer Gerald's over his brother's writing. The two are very different!


message 25: by Bionic Jean (last edited Mar 22, 2014 03:37AM) (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Oh I'll say! I turn to Gerald when I want a bit of fun with my information. Lawrence I found fearfully dull, although I know he is highly regarded. I love the way Gerald includes cameos of his brother's eccentric Arty friends world-wide in his novels though :)

I did find I couldn't remember which of Gerald Durrells' book I had read though, which is why I started them again in order! I usually include spoiler tabs in my reviews, though with these maybe it isn't strictly necessary...


message 26: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) I've now finished and reviewed the incredible book A cry from the wild :)


message 29: by Charbel (last edited Aug 26, 2014 05:07AM) (new)

Charbel (charliecosmos) | 2654 comments On my shelf is the 1200 page volume of On The Shoulders Of Giants by Stephen Hawking. It contains works by Copernicus, Newton, Einstein, Galileo, and Kepler. Not to mention comments by Hawking himself.
So any physics buffs here who just got a need to read this, other than myself?


message 30: by Pink (new)

Pink Charbel, that sounds too hardcore for me! I have recently been reading through some Richard Dawkins and hope to move onto some of Stephen Hawkings other books, though they may be quite a challenge!


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

I think that is a bit much for me, Charbel! Enjoy it though!


message 32: by Noorilhuda (new)

Noorilhuda | 185 comments Darwin?


message 33: by Greg (new)

Greg | 7363 comments Mod
That book actually sounds interesting Charbel, but it's just a little long for me at the moment. I've read a few of those authors though and found them interesting. A couple years ago, I read Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo by Galileo Galilei, and I found it absolutely fascinating. It's so amazing all he managed to figure out with the limited tools that were available to him. Such a clever, fascinating man.


message 34: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) I enjoyedGalileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith and Love by Dava Sobel. Here's my review which tells you about the angle of the book.


message 35: by Charbel (new)

Charbel (charliecosmos) | 2654 comments @Pink and Heather- I understand. It's not exactly beach reading.
Pink, if you're interested in Hawking, The Grand Design is small, easy to read, and quite fun. I definitely recommend staring with that.

@Greg- I've never anything by Galileo but I've always admired his contributions to physics. Really excited to read something by him!

@Noorilhuda- have you read On the Origin of Species by Darwin. It's mind blowing!


message 36: by Paulfozz (last edited Sep 11, 2014 10:22PM) (new)

Paulfozz | 1001 comments Jean wrote: "I enjoyedGalileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith and Love by Dava Sobel. Here's my review which tells you about the angle of the book."

I've yet to read this one, but I found her book Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of his Time absolutely fascinating. In comparison The Planets seemed a bit hit and miss though, it didn't really hold my attention at all.

I read James Watson's book The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA at Christmas (very festive!) and that was really interesting, both for the background of the search and for what it showed about the scientific establishment of the 1950s.


message 37: by Paulfozz (new)

Paulfozz | 1001 comments I'm feeling the urge to dip into Darwin's The Origin Of Species after seeing a first edition copy in the Natural History Museum yesterday! I've too many books on the go already though, and too many others I also feel the need to read 'right now'. I know it will be one of those books that I'll have to read over a long period rather than just sit down and rattle through.


message 38: by Charbel (new)

Charbel (charliecosmos) | 2654 comments Paul I find that On The Origin of Species is worth it.


message 39: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) I want to read The Double Helix too! One of those books which has been on a mental list for years...

The Planets is a bit of a mixed bag, isn't it?

Link to my review here, which starts, "What is so unusual and engaging about this book is that it incorporates science, myth, history, story-telling, culture and poetry."

I have yet to read Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of his Time


message 40: by Paulfozz (new)

Paulfozz | 1001 comments Charbel wrote: "Paul I find that On The Origin of Species is worth it."

I can well imagine it is; I am probably going to start it soon and read it alongside some fiction, but I have to finish some other books first. I also have a lovely old 1890 copy of his Journal Of Researches (his account of the Beagle voyage) to read.

Jean: The Planets really was too unsettled for me to enjoy, I didn't really know what to make of it and couldn't get into it at all. Longitude was far, far, far better!


message 41: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) I shall take that as a recommendation, alongside your 5* review, Paul.


message 42: by Charbel (new)

Charbel (charliecosmos) | 2654 comments Almost finished with Richard Dawkins' memoir. Here's an interesting fact he mentioned: to honour him for contributions to science, a group of scientists in Sri Lanka named a species of fish after him. Now there is an official genus called Dawkinsia.


message 43: by Rowena (new)

Rowena | 364 comments Mod
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plantsis just absolutely wonderful. One of the best nonfiction books I've read this year.


message 44: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Rowena, that one looks just amazing. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.


message 45: by Rowena (new)

Rowena | 364 comments Mod
Hi Chrissie, you're welcome! It gives a lot of food for thought:)


message 46: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie I am going to like it I believe because it covers the three themes Native American beliefs, its biographical and of course ecology. Thank you. It is on Kindle!


message 47: by Rowena (new)

Rowena | 364 comments Mod
Oh great! Do you think you're going to write a review, Chrissie? Would love to read it of you do.


message 48: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie When I read a book I usually do write a review. Right now Kindle is too difficult for me, due to poor vision, but I have also requested it at both Audible and Downpour....If / when vision improves I will try and read it then on Kindle, but I cannot say when.


message 49: by Rowena (new)

Rowena | 364 comments Mod
Sure, no pressure! I hope you enjoy the read:)


message 50: by Chrissie (last edited Sep 18, 2014 03:50AM) (new)

Chrissie Rowena, I COULD read the sample from kindle. Wow, it was wonderful. Does the book continue in the same manner as the beginning?


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