The Last Lecture

Thoughts  by Randy Pausch, Hachette Books 2008, 206 pages

Challenge:  not applicable
Genre: Memoir
Type/Source: Hardcover, a coworker’s library
 Why I read this now:  This caught my eye and fit my schedule.

MOTIVATION for READING: I didn’t realize he was a computer science professor. I probably knew this once but hadn’t gone out of my way to put this on my read-now list until the opportunity was thrust upon me.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: Randy Pausch had a charmed life andorbu he designed his life to be wonderful; until and despite and through being diagnosed with cancer. This is the book encapsulating the presentation he gave near the end of his life.

WHAT’s GOOD: He seemed to be a pretty cool guy overall and presented much to admire.

What’s NOT so good: I was curious based on other reviews just how privileged-white-male he would come across and yes, he did: but he was, so. He had sound principles to live by and defended them well; he took good advantage of his ‘luck’ and also understood the responsibility side of the equation.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Lots of good nuggets of wisdom, inspirational.

RATING:  Four and 1/2 slices, no pie mentioned.

pierating

Copyright © 2007-2018. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.
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Commonwealth

Thoughts cwbyap by Ann Patchett, Harper 2016, 322 pages Hardback

Challenge: Inaugural Read of my new book club!  BA’s selection.
Genre: Contemporary Lit, Family Drama
Type/Source: Hardback given to me by Katie. Thank you
 Why I read this now: Book club meets 2nd Tuesday of December. I wanted to read it sooner so that someone could borrow if they needed to.

MOTIVATION for READING:  I have a book crush on Ann Patchett.

“Your mom doesn’t know about the movie, does she?”
“My mom doesn’t know about the book,” he said, “It turns out a novel isn’t the worst place to hide things.”

WHAT’s it ABOUT: The repercussions of adults paying little respect for their marriage vows – two divorces, six little children become step-siblings, they grow up and scatter to the four corners. All the family members get a view and a side to the story. There’s an ‘event’ and of course, the adults and even the kids are not quite sure what was true and what was right. Utterly engrossing!

“Now here he was, as thin and as quiet as a knife.”

WHAT’s GOOD: The opening / the setup / the first chapter is captivating. Enthralling. Exquisitely played. I loved the situational “funny” lines that made me laugh out loud but most people probably would NOT call this a comedy. (Actually, now that I’m reading Irving’s The World According to Garp, I have to say that some of these funny moments are eerily Irving-like.*)

What’s NOT so good: Having to read all the bad reviews on goodreads because I disagree. HA!  No offense to anyone who didn’t like this book – I actually enjoyed every review I read — even the ones who thought it had too many characters or jumped around in time too much or that AP went ‘on and on’ and she is too descriptive. That the chapters were too long. I respectfully disagree. For me, it was none of those things. (I never notice chapter length unless I don’t like the book but even rarely then.)

POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD…

FINAL THOUGHTS: I thought it perfect. Oh well, perfect is a pretty strong word, isn’t it… Let’s see. [Me thinking: thinkingface] Nope, I found it well-done. Perfectly paced. Fascinating and insightful about how little things might ‘ruin’ your life or just take it in a different direction. I loved Frannie and her father Fix. I thought Bert to be jerk. I loved how AP’s characters were real and did interesting things – like one of the daughters was a biomedical engineer. WOMEN IN STEM for the WIN! And how Frannie ran into a guy from law school and they end up getting married. And Holly ends up in Switzerland? That Bert’s ex-wife never gave him a thought after so many years though she spent just as many hating his guts. Loved the book. I can’t figure out how she put all that she did into this in just over 300 pages.

RATING: Five slices of apple pie. “They went back to the kitchen and sliced apples for a pie.” [page 292]

“No stupidity in happiness.”

 

FOR MY BOOKCLUBBERS. CLICK THIS –> LINK <– FOR MORE THOUGHTS (but wait til you finish the book…

*I forgot that I referenced a note, page 127, that Frannie read The World According to Garp and considered it my cue to read it next. Which I am, on audio.

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Copyright © 2007-2016. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

State of Wonder

Thoughts sowbyap by Ann Patchett, Harper Audio 2011, 12 hours 25 minutes

Challenge: Readalong!  #StateOfWonder
Genre:  Contemporary Lit, Med Lit even maybe
Type/Source: Audiobook / Audible.com May’s Credit
 Why I read this now: I can’t remember exactly how it all came together…

MOTIVATION for READING: Because I loved This is the Story of a Happy Marriage and it made me want to read all of Patchett’s books.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: Here’s the blurb from goodreads.com:

Set in the Amazonian jungle, State of Wonder is a major and explosively ambitious new audiobook from the New York Times-bestselling author of Bel Canto and Run–both a gripping adventure story and a profound investigation of difficult human choices.

I love short blurbs. This is perfect.

****** YOU WILL BE SPOILED WITH THIS POST IF YOU READ ON. TOTAL SHARING COMMENCING *****  To be honest, I hate doing this because then you are setup that there are SHOCKS and AWE and I wasn’t aware of them until I got it spoiled. Just sayin’.

WHAT’s GOOD: Hope Davis is now one of my favorite audiobook performers.

What’s NOT so good: Ok, I really did love most of all of it. I admit that I had read many not-so-positive reviews looooong time ago that made me not tbr this (though when I look NOW at what my goodreads friends thought of it, all seemed to praise it well enough.)

Katie who no longer lives in Massachusetts but dwells in the dells of Texas now is writing a spoileriffic post where we will be soon discussing THE ENDING! I can’t wait.

I’m trying to anticipate her issues with the ending with my own wonderings of my reactions – including spoilers here, be only slightly forewarned. oh, I already warned you? Are you ready?

I first must say that I want to blame Aths for spoilering me anyway even as I attempted to avoid being spoiled. But she had a comment in her review – WHAT?! WHY THE HECK DID I READ IT BEFORE I WAS DONE WITH THE BOOK!??!!? – about how the wife of Anders suspected he wasn’t dead (“He can’t be dead; I’d know” and the romantic in me wants to believe that.) and that is why Marina agreed to go get answers. Yes, this nagged at the back of my mind without me really examining it.

“…and the wife is convinced that Anders isn’t dead. And so begins Marina’s incredible journey to Brazil,…”

The quote above is lifted directly from Reading on a Rainy Day’s review of this book. Her stating this AND after reading the choice quote she included to kickoff the post nagged at me…

GUESS WHAT!  Anders ends up alive.

  1.  How did he not get killed by the scary deadly cannibals?
  2. She (Marina) was able to find him in a quick trip down the river after many MANY mentions how hard everyone thought it was to find the RIGHT tributary?
  3. Of course, (pls read that ‘of course’ with dripping sarcasm), we had to sacrifice the FAVORITE character in the entire book!!!
  4. OK – I also thought that Marina was going to end up staying to carry on Doc-What’s-Her-Crazy’s work…  I did. I really thought she was going to stay.
  5. I was sad the baby died. I was.
  6. I agreed with Dr. Crazy – women shouldn’t have babies late. I think the idea is nuts. I liked the juxtaposition (simplified as it was) that we could develop a drug for all-aged-women fertility vs malaria vax? Whoa.

FINAL THOUGHTS:  It was fun. The anaconda scene was worth everything. Some of the ‘thoughts’ seem very simple as I think back on it – cartoonish even. Rapp mushrooms?  Lavender moths? Only place in the world? Whatever.

I enjoyed(?) the dilemma discussions of ‘saving’ primitive peoples. Even as Doc rallied against a lot of it, she was still attempting a huge savior move with a malaria vaccine.

Someone on Twitter asked me…  AS A SCIENTIST, does it seem REAL to you and the question threw me. Off-tilted me. Science is so many things. Patchett writes very well and she can put the reader in that time, that place, very realistically. So can Stephen King. Do we ever ‘question’ the reality of his books?! no, we enjoy the ride of crazy because it is buoyed by true imagination, creativity and emotion. EMOTIONS is the button we love.

Does anyone want to discuss the title?

RATING: I rounded up to 5 slices of pie. Fun read. All sorts of existential questions, real or not; the questions ARE real.

No mention of pie.

 

 

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2016. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

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The Dead Key

Thoughts tdkbydmp by DM Pulley, Thomas & Mercer – Amazon Imprint 2015, 477 pages

Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Type/Source: eBook / Kindle Purchase
 Why I read this now: For my neighborhood book club

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  A recent college grad’s first job as a structural engineer is to map the 15 floors of an abandoned bank building in downtown Cleveland. When the bank failed twenty years prior, the doors were locked and everything is still in the building – files, desks with lipstick-stained coffee cups, full ashtrays, and bank deposit boxes. Why did the bank fail? Why did they leave everything? Why is our protag (her name is Iris) finding keys and odd ‘clues’ that inspire her to ask questions like “Why did the bank fail?” and “Why hasn’t anybody claimed their stuff in the deposit boxes?”

The story switches between Iris in 1998 and two bank clerks (Maxine and Beatrice) from 1978 who also have questions about curious goings-on at the bank in the weeks up to the sudden shut down.

It is a fast-paced tale of intrigue and dirty deeds, the rich and the have-nots, powerful men and the women they underestimate.

WHAT’s GOOD: The 1978 story was much more interesting and follows Beatrice who is rather naive and her new best friend ‘Max’ who may be too smart for her own good. Beatrice has secrets of her own — some she herself doesn’t even know but she gets to find out.

What’s NOT so good: Quite a bit, sadly. Iris is complicated but not interesting nor likable – she is supposedly valedictorian of her college engineering class but she has zero ambition and sloppy habits. She is not impressive; claims she wants to make a good impression at work but is constantly late and hungover. She didn’t fit her own story. The minor characters get lost or disregarded along the way. What really was Nick after? Ramone didn’t quite make sense. Max was cool and Beatrice was a kid easy to cheer for – she eventually finds her spunk. But the bank stuff? — the bad guys were hard to differentiate from each other. I found it rather incredulous that so many years would go by and nothing was disturbed. (Spoiler? just highlight the following line:  How and when did they manage to seal up the dead guy when every other office felt like it was abandoned with no notice? Too odd.

The resolution left a lot of unanswered question or maybe only gave unsatisfactory answers. But whatever, by that time I was ready for it to be over. I did race to the ending as one often does with a mystery ; the pacing was OK.

FINAL THOUGHTS:  Iris was a mess; she didn’t make sense and as one goodreads reviewer says, “she was a dolt.” I agree but I also wanted to cheer for the woman engineer!! Go women in STEM. The mystery was OK without picking it apart with a technical fine comb and the pre-bank-closing story line was not too bad.  The Bank Building was probably my favorite character. The idea of all those unclaimed bank deposit boxes and what could be hiding in them IS intriguing so I give credit to the author for running with that idea. I applaud her realized dream to write and see her story published. Cleveland, too, is central to the story so anyone who loves a book set in this Ohio town might get a kick out of it.

I actually think it could make a good film; mini-series, perhaps? Episode of Castle or Bones? (These are the only two shows I watch and infrequently at that.)

RATING: Two slices for “It’s OK.”

Pie Mention:  ~ 19% – “Random customers, mostly older men, were scattered around the room, sipping coffee and eating pie.”

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2016. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

What’s in a Name 2016 Challenge #whatsinaname2016

wian2016 Hosted by The Worm Hole blog. The button will take you there.

The CATEGORIES:

  • A country
  • An item of clothing
  • An item of furniture
  • A profession
  • A month of the year
  • A title with the word ‘tree’

My IN THE HOUSE choices are:  wian2016mine

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton (also for Classics Club)

The Kingmaker‘s Daughter by Philippa Gregory (a Kingmaker is a profession, yes?)

Professor Stewart’s Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities by Prof. Ian Stewart (ya’ll want this one, too, right?)

All About the Months by Maymie R. Krythe (nonfiction) pub’d 1966

 

What will YOU be reading? and WHAT do you have to suggest for item of clothing?

 I’m thinking Susan Jane Gilman’s Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress and/or Maugham’s The Painted Veil.

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

H is for Hawk

Thoughts hifhbyhm H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald, Random House Audio 2014, 11 hours 6 minutes

I’m already declaring this a TOP READ/LISTEN for 2015!

Anonymous Interviewer aka AI: Care, how did you come to read this?

Care: I saw a tweet announcing it as an Audible special for $2.99. Since, I knew I had only a few hours left of my current audiobook and lots of days left in the month to await my next credit, I jumped.

AI: Did you know anything about it? Had you read any good reviews?

Care: Excellent question because no, I didn’t really know much about it but yes, I do think I had read positive things? I DID know that the title fits the What’s in a Name Challenge for the animal category, so it has that going for it.

AI: I thought you were going to read Elegance of the Hedgehog for WiaN8.

Care: So did I, but it just kept getting passed over by my mood to read something else. I do hope to read Hedgehog someday but maybe not anytime soon, I guess.

AI: So what’s the Hawk book about?

Care: H is for Hawk is a fascinating overlapping memoir — and more! It is part nature book, falconry how-to book, grief exploration book and part biography of TH White, the author of The Once and Future King.

AI: So this is memoir?

Care: Yes, nonfiction. (I admit, I didn’t know this until after I started listening to the book.)

AI: Tell us about the author.

Care: Sure, and I first must say if I haven’t already, that the author does an EXCELLENT job narrating her own book.

AI: Is this unusual?

Care: What, that authors narrate their own books or that they actually do this successfully?

AI: Yea, that.

Care: I think Neil Gaiman is one author that does a great job and I have found that entertainers such as comedians always seem to do a very good job narrating their own books, but I can’t say that Donna Tartt pulled off a successful narration. (I did manage to listen all the way to the end of the 16 hour plus audio of The Secret History! YAY ME.)

Care: May I interrupt to give a NEVERWHERE READALONG SHOUT OUT? Nancy is doing a readalong if anyone has ever wanted to read this – I highly recommend the audiobook. My review is here.

AI: Do you have a button to share or maybe a hashtag for Twitter?

Care: As a matter of fact, I do know the hashtag #NeverwhereRAL, but I don’t know about a button. And if you click on the words a few sentences ago about the readalong shout out, you’ll open a window at Nancy’s blog…

AI: OK, tell us more about Helen Macdonald.

Care: Ms. Macdonald, a British naturalist writer, is a college professor who has also been interested in falconry since a very young age. There is also a terrific photo of Mabel on her blog (which may or may not be active; it looks like the events might be for 2014, a year done passed.)

AI: Um, Mabel? Who is Mabel?

Care: Mabel is her goshawk! Macdonald says in her book that if you give a goshawk a mild meek-sounding name, they usually turn out to be terrific hunters! (and vice versa.) Here’s a photo of another goshawk that I found on the internet:

goshawk <– Sindbad the Goshawk, photo credit to The International Falconry Forum

AI: To be totally honest, this book sounds not only boring but slightly depressing, even with a lovely named bird like Mabel.

Care: And you would be wrong. This book is delightful. It has ALL the feelings. Sure, it is about how she went through the stages of grief after losing her father but it also has many funny almost comic moments – also, angry and frightening. Her writing is beautiful, provocative. She is known as a naturalist writer for good reason. She is just an excellent writer! She is smart, she is tender, she is strong, she is brave and she shares every bit of it with eloquence.

And you learn about so much stuff that you didn’t even know you wanted to know about. THAT is a great book.Helen Macdonald

AI: Care to share a quote or two?

Care:

“And I found there were myriad definitions of this thing called tragedy that had wormed its way through the history of literature; and the simplest of all was this: that it is the story of a figure who, through some moral flaw or personal failing, falls through force of circumstance to his doom.”

AI: I have nothing else to ask, maybe your readers will have more questions. This concludes this audiobook review presentation interrogation. Thank you.

Care: Thank YOU.

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Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Final Thoughts — Flowers for Algernon #MayFFA

Thoughts ffabydk Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, Bantam Books 1968 (orig 1959), 216

algernon

So much for trying not to be SPOILED and thus it was ruined anyway. This would be the BEST book to have been warned thoroughly about what it IS about. (Maybe? Jenny could/should have sent me an all-caps email that said PLEASE YOU MUST READ THE ENDING FIRST! YOU WILL THANK ME.) This is NOT one to be in the dark for. Now, you want a totally-blind know-nothing-read then go try Life After Life by Kate Atkinson or We Were Liars by E.Lockhart. These two should definitely be books to go in COLD.

But NOT Flowers!

This is a cautionary tale of how an incorrect misleading spoiler (or just an untruth!) was misunderstood and how my over-imagination caused much confusion.

It’s just too hard to have classics be totally spoiler-free and over-hyped. I shouldn’t try. It also did not help that I had this confused with Harrison’s Flowers because I seriously SERIOUSLY had thought for many years that it was a war torn love story. And when that bubble burst, I somehow got the impression this TRULY had space aliens!  I thought I accidentally saw a spoiler that the mouse was an intelligent space alien!!! Where I got this, I can no longer ascertain. Apparently, I was hoping for Ralph of The Mouse and the Motorcycle.

So, yea. DISAPPOINTED.

I’m thinking I need to write some fanfic for this book involving mice-driven spaceships and romances ripped apart by the savageness of war.

ncspaceshiphouse  Outer Space or Outer Banks NC House… Supposedly the 2nd most photographed building in North Carolina)

According to Wiki, Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginative content such as futuristic settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, time travel, faster than light travel, parallel universes and extraterrestrial life.  Come on, Care, you are SMARTER than to assume all SciFi is aliens and outer space. IKR!?  Well, this did not feel like science fiction. Perhaps because it was based in the past? I’m so out of my league when discussing the SF genre, right? Just because I’ve read Neuromancer and Snow Crash and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I *think* have a grasp on this slippery genre?! Go ahead, banish me from the club. I deserve it. I wish I hadn’t known that it won the Hugo award nor the Nebula Award. Pretty cool that it won, but I wish I didn’t know it.

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OK, then. What is this about? It’s about how a science/medical team attempted to ‘fix’ a low IQ in order to make a human being smarter but they all failed to grasp the consequences on an emotional level. Sometimes, I thought this was expressed well and was quite nuanced in the telling. Other times, I was annoyed at Charlie and often thought he was rude and disrespectful, to women especially; but I have to realize that he learned too much, too fast and the whole point was that he didn’t have the gradual maturing to navigate and understand relationships. Life is complicated… yes, it’s extremely complicated. The story IS sad.

Please read Bellezza’s review, and/or Athira’s Halfway Post.

Two or three slices of pie depending on how I feel when you ask me. I don’t recall any pie mentions.

BIG THANK YOU to ATHIRA and TRISH for reading & tweeting along with me!

freprosys

Sickness Quotient: 76% — Your “Sickness Quotient” of 76% indicates therapy may be useful.
Detailed Diagnosis

  • Interpersonal Insights: Your sense of self-entitlement means you’re probably the kind of person that pulled the wings off of butterflies when you were little. You think everyone is out to get you, and you’re absolutely right. It’s because you’re an awful person without any redeeming qualities.
  • Job Performance & Attitude: Your work is of so little value they should just put a shredder in place of your Out basket You frequently mention terms like “core competencies” and “paradigm shifts” while at work. Stop acting like such a tool.
  • Personality Insight: Your personal motto is “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.” You must not have been saying this for very long.

ouch.

Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

YAY! It’s June

Hello, I could write some reviews – I do have a backlog, but thought I would just type up some stuff to post and call it good.

I had a fabulous May of reading and am proud to say I read 10 books. Or read five and listened to five. Yikes! FIVE AUDIOBOOKS in ONE MONTH!? Well, whuddya know. Only TWO were print books and the rest eBooks.

That is 74 hours listened…   1864 pages read (if I read 60 pg/hr = ~31 hours).

Wow.

In order of latest read:
Omnivore’s Dilemma / Michael Pollan (2006,16 hrs) **** Audio 39
A Good American / Alex George (2012,389) **** eB 38
A Survival Guide for Parenting Teens / Joani Geltman (2014,288) eB **** 37
We Were Liars / E.Lockhart (2014, 6’24”) Audio ** 36
The Yearling / Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (1938,509) Classics/WiaN TB **** 35
Daughter of Smoke and Bone / Laini Taylor  (2011,12.5 hrs) Audio *** 34
The Delusions of Gender / Cordelia Fine (2010,338) NF eB **** 33
The Martian / Andy Weir (2012, 10’53”) *** Audio 32
Silver Sparrow / Tariya Jones (2011,340) TB ***** 31
The Sparrow/ Mary Doria Russell (1996, 15.5 hrs ) Audio, SciFi **** 30

Three were nonfiction. One was a READ-RIGHT-NOW-BEFORE-IT-GETS-SPOILED! which means I read it in the year published which is really a thing I’ve only recently been managing. I usually am not a bandwagon recently-released paying attention kind of reader. I did get in a few classics – The Yearling and what I assume will be a classic eventually, The Sparrow. Hey – both animals.

What is UP with The Yearling not being on the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die?!  Answer me, that.

I found many linking opportunities and coincidences in my readings this month; mostly associated with eating/nourishment/survival.

One fantasy. Two sciency / science fiction. Put Omnivore’s Dilemma in the ‘sciency’ category, too. Seven female authors, three male. Six were 4 star reads, one a 5 star because it suited ME perfectly. Two 3 star, and a two star that has been extremely highly rated elsewhere by smarter readers than me – but I let overhype/crazy-expectations get the better of the experience.

If you have ever read/reviewed The Fault in Our Stars, are you experiencing LOTS of traffic for that post? I am. In anticipation of the movie which I think is coming out this week. I know I am looking forward to it, too, but I will probably wait for it to be available for home-viewing.

I changed my header photo to a scene of an island in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island. Not sure which island, though.

cropped-img_1153.jpg

Jill of Rhapsody Books has informed me that June 9 is Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day so I hope you all can benefit from this knowledge and on that day, have a pie celebration. Consider this advance notice and plan accordingly. IMG_2960 Thanks Jill for thinking of me!

I have enjoyed reading all the BEA posts though I have hesitated in commenting. Maybe I’m nostalgic. Maybe I want to go next year?

 

copleyl-1 June 15 is Lobster Day… photo-72 (Thanks Amy!)

And since, we started this post with the amazing announcement that I’ve been binge-ing on audiobooks, do know that I just downloaded Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes (released YESTERDAY, PEOPLE.) and Maya Angelou narrating her I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Shame that her death is what is prompting me to finally get to this. RIP

I am currently listening to The Good Earth even though it is not due for our book club discussion until late July. Another Pulitzer winner, I am pleased to say.  Did I read somewhere that JUNE is actually Audiobook Month? Well, I will have a few reviews to add anyway.

Anything pie-related or any fun reading experiences happening with you? Do tell.

loveCare
HIdeinWhitetoSkipLine

Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

 

Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea

Thoughts    Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife, Viking Penguin 2000, 248 pages.

Hardback; from the library. Nonfiction: Science genre.

FIRST Sentence: “Zero hit the USS Yorktown like a torpedo.”

I loved that this started with a story of how a computer program includes a zero where a zero should never be: in the denominator of a fraction; in a “CANNOT-HAPPEN” equation that attempts to divide something by zero. Program fails, engines seize, big boat stops. In this case, a billion-dollar missile cruiser stuck on the open seas.

The history was fascinating but a little over-bearing and repetitive that “zero was bad.” A few uninteresting tidbits that stopped the narrative for me and made me question why these tidbits were included. Sure, a fair share of complicated mathematical concepts that didn’t inspire me to think at all.

RECOMMENDED for math geeks and ‘odd subject’ historians; possibly for fans of the Big Bang Theory TV show.

FINAL Thought(s):  One of the more difficult to write reviews because I fail to find the words for why this didn’t captivate me as much as I had hoped.

RATING: Three slices of pie. Coconut pie because it seems you either love coconut or hate it. Infinity or zero.

  

OTHER Reviews:  Eva at A Striped Armchair mentions this in a lengthy post from 2009.

HIdeinWhitetoSkipLine

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BAND: Reading for a Cause

BAND — Bloggers’ Alliance of Nonfiction Devotees — is a group organized to promote the joy of reading nonfiction. We are “advocates for nonfiction as a non-chore,” and we want you to join us. Each month, a member of BAND hosts a discussion on their blog related to nonfiction. 

The host for November’s BAND discussion is Amanda (Opinions of a Wolf) who writes about her tendency to read books related to specific social causes. She asks:

Do you read nonfiction to help support a cause(s)?

I do not often choose my nonfiction reads by cause. But I have been WANTING to collect titles on a subject dear to me. I have yet to work actively on this endeavor. In fact, I just went to my goodreads tbr to see what I had so far and realized I never created a category*. SO this post is just what I need to jump start and/or define that motivation.

My cause is the support and encouragement of women in STEM careers.

STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

First off, I would LOVE to have anyone – male and female – cease and desist saying such things like “I’m not good at math.” Stop saying this!  and NEVER EVER SAY it around children.  People say it like it is a badge of honor and you should all be ashamed of yourselves.   *GLARE*

Second, buy this book:  Math Curse  by Jon Scieszka.   So darn CUTE and adorable.  ~4th grade humor? Loved this kids book.

Third, biographies. I want the one on Ada Lovelace. I’m taking suggestions, please let me know of any awesome women in technology I should know more about. Searching Ada Lovelace – I find many MANY books written about her and I only became aware of her from blogging**. Shameful! It’s possible that I *did* know of her once and just forgot. These things happen.

I have read many terrific nonfiction books that could be classified STEM but they weren’t specific exclusive to my theme here. I did read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – this might count as a fascinating STEM book for this topic. My favorite part of this book is when Rebecca Skloot mentions she hated school until she heard about HeLa cells in science class.  Thus she begins her odyssey of chasing the Lacks’ story.

But would it fit into the ‘CAUSE’ category? I am not sure.

Fourth, the ONE book I did find that I have read that touches on this cause is They’re Not Dumb, They’re Different and it was an academic treatise full of statistics from 1990 about how to keep students (not gender specific) from dropping out of and/or changing their majors from the sciences. See my previous post, also from today.

Clearly, I need a focus and some dedicated time to work on this.  I thank the BAND for giving me this little kick.

* I have collected many twitter friends who subscribe to this cause – now I just need to solicit book titles.

** I included a link to Nymeth’s blog and her post on Women in Science to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day.  Or click the underlined part a few words back.

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