Category Archives: reading room

My Stroke of Insight – Review

My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal JourneyMy Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey by Jill Bolte Taylor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A close friend gave me a copy of this book, knowing I have a strong interest in the mind, how it works, and how we can change parts of it. Taylor has had the incredible gift of intelligence and awareness to be able not only to recall the events of her stroke and recovery, but also be able to communicate the events and the things she learned throughout the process. I found the information deeply moving, and was encouraged to know that the things I experience (my left brain negative loops) are not only normal, but somewhat controllable. While I know the stroke was a big challenge to Dr. Taylor, her story has SO much value to people who have had a stroke, friends/family of stroke victims, and pretty much anyone interested in how he can change his perspective on life. We all have a left and a right side of our brain, and it’s a matter of how much practice each side gets.

Highly recommend. It’s a pretty easy read, even the neurosciency stuff.

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Under the Dome – Review

Under the DomeUnder the Dome by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was really excited to read such an intriguing tale, and I was certain King could deliver. The story was intricate and the characters spanned a wide range of good, bad, and ugly. All manner of angles were touched on as well. What happens when you put a small town under a dome, cutting them off from all society, supplies, and the things we all take for granted? Who holds the real power in those situations? And when an evil person gains immense power, how do the good people of the town react to save themselves and the town? So many questions about the true humanity of people. The only reason I couldn’t give it 5 stars is I felt like the story just kind of ended. There is some big stuff that happens, but the wrap-up was nothing to speak of. Definitely recommend it.

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A Clockwork Orange – Review

A Clockwork Orange A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I had really high hopes for this book. When I first began the book, I was surprised at the language used by the narrator, and found it fascinating how you can learn a language simply by context interspersed with known language. That “side-journey” definitely added to the story. However, much like Slaughterhouse-V I was disappointed as a result of my expectations. The book definitely touches on some interesting aspects of society and how we handle violence and disrespect of authority. It also addressed some of the ethical challenges in reforming violent offenders. All interesting topics, but I really was looking for more twists and turns, more commentary on how society deals with the issues, and in general deeper exploration of things only touched on. I can’t wait to see the movie now, though.

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House Of Leaves – Review

House of Leaves House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I was really looking forward to the quirkiness this book promised. I had heard it’s a tough read, and just flipping through it proved that with some of the pages having only a couple of words, paragraphs written upside down or even backwards, and footnotes upon footnotes (making reading rhythm somewhat broken). The first few hundred pages were fascinating as the story builds, and freaky tales unfold. However, as I moved into the last hundred pages or so, I got a little tired of the psycho-babblings of a messed up crazy guy. I felt like the end of the book was a huge letdown with very little closure on any of the characters’ perils. It seemed as if Danielewski simply got bored of writing it, and just trailed off.

I actually enjoyed the whackiness in which the book was formatted as I felt it added to how the broken story was communicated (very effective technique, IMO). It really spoke to the fear, confusion, and general “crazy” that the characters were experiencing throughout. If you’ve been curious about this book, I recommend it on the sheer fact that most of it was entertaining to read, but don’t feel obligated to finish it lol.

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slaughterhouse-five review

Slaughterhouse-Five Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
i wish there were half stars because i really want to give it 4.5 stars…not 4 but not 5 either. it wasn’t the most amazing, rivetting book for me. however, i found myself wanting to read the book, wanting to find out how the details of billy pilgrim’s life fit into his own world view.

vonnegut’s writing style is very unique, and it did take some time for me to adjust (especially coming off of middlesex). i think his writing style is what can really turn a reader on or off towards him, so keep that in mind when you read other reviews. this was my first vonnegut book, and found the story fascinating. sure you get some basic details about the entire story up front, but they were only teasers to me. vonnegut has a way of giving you bits and pieces that make sense, but leave you wanting to know more.

i will definitely be reading more vonnegut in the future. and ultimately, if you’ve never read any of his work, you should at least give him a try.

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snow crash

Snow Crash Rach gave 5 of 5 stars5 of 5 stars5 of 5 stars5 of 5 stars5 of 5 stars to: 
Snow Crash (Paperback) 
by Neal Stephenson 
my rating:

didn't like itit was okliked itreally liked itit was amazing (my current rating) 
edit my review 
shelf: read

 
recommended for: philosphers (lots of ideas in this one), geeks
read in October, 2008 

RachRach said: ” great book! lots of twists and turns amongst the various worlds of a “not so distant future.” there were glimpses of a “1984” influence which was neat since i read that not too long ago. really intriguing topic in terms of what’s a virus and what’s the antidote.