Monthly Archives: February 2013

Proust & the Squid Maryanne Wolf

 

wolf proust and the squid

Cognitive Neuroscientist and Child Development expert Maryanne Wolf delivers a superb book on the history of the reading brain and it’s evolution into our modern day. This book has been one of the longest residents on my ‘to read list’ and I’ve finally gotten around to it, and it was great. Wolf covers a lot of information which spans thousands of years as we learn about Socrates’s fears of the written word and the evidence of some of those fears in subsequent technology. Wolf explores patterns in children’s brain development and how dyslexia can, neurologically, be a barrier. She however gives great information on how to combat potential problem areas in child raising and gives some good pointers on how to encourage the best possible start.

I really enjoyed how her true love of books and reading permeated throughout the book and found some of the research her and her colleagues are doing fascinating. It was good learning how the brain works to accommodate for reading due to us not being naturally wired to do so. There were a few boring bits in the book, but probably only due to some of the topical tangents not quite being an area of interest.

Overall a great read, I’d give it a 8/10 for it’s breadth and purpose.


Magician – Raymond E. Feist

Magician

I attempted this book many years ago and after a couple of hundred pages decided it wasn’t quite my cup of tea. However it has plagued my consciousness for years and I knew that one day I’d have to give it another go. And the time came a couple of weeks ago.

I can’t understand for a second what persuaded me to put it down the first time because this book is an extraordinary story which I absolutely loved. There is nothing quite like a story that yanks you out of reality and plunges you into a gripping tale of wizardry, magic, war and intrigue. This book has it all and Feist has a fantastic writing style that weaves a vivid blanket of imaginative storytelling. I loved following all the characters, especially Pug, Kulgan’s apprentice, and seeing how they develop as war between the rifts grows.

One thing that really is annoying, but I suppose is a good way to write, is finishing a chapter on a cliff-hanger and then having to read a hundred pages of other characters before finding out what happened to the one you were reading about. Arrrggghhh!!

Anyway, this was a brilliant book and I’m looking forward to getting into the next one in the series, which by the way, is a gigantic series. 10/10 for greatness.


Biology of Belief Bruce Lipton Ph.D

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This has been on my ‘to read’ list for years and I’ve finally gotten around to it, and now wish it had been sooner, and wish that I hadn’t just got the abridged audiobook (which was awesome but just too short). A fantastic, brilliant book that spans philosophy, science, genetics, epigenetics and quantum mechanics. It’s mainly based on the ground-breaking field of epigenetics, the field where cells are reactive to the environment, not just the blueprint of DNA and the implications for rewriting our biology, awesome eh. Lipton does a superb job of explaining complex concepts easily and delivering them in a way that I found myself musing on them for hours and hours. The field of epigenetics is fascinating and now I’ve found other book to go on my ‘must read’ list on the subject. Lipton discusses the research he’s done and how it can be incorporated into many aspects of our lives such as childcare, goals, healthcare and biological research.

Overall a must read, even if you disagree with his theories and research, it’s great food for thought. A 10/10. Get it!


Booky Wook Russell Brand

 

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What a wild life Russell! I really like Russell Brand, his stand-up comedy and his roles in major movies… he’s a quick, quirky and a hilariously dirty comedian. I wanted to know a bit more about him, his life and what got him to where he is today. And what a ride it was. His Booky Wook covers the troubling years of his childhood, which it seems he didn’t overly enjoy, and with a somewhat sexualised and traumatic childhood he launches himself into a drug induces rollercoaster of an adult life. At times it almost feels like fiction as it’s just soo wild. Decades on drugs, sexual addiction, absolute mad antics, crazy jobs and a total mess. It’s not until he is ultimately on the verge of either death or prison does he clean up, a bit.

Worth a read, but not for the faint hearted. 8/10 for an insightful book and a great writing style, if not a tad too erratic at times.