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review 2017-09-23 01:28
Just Haven't Met You Yet - Cate Woods

Funny story that I should have loved but Percy was so confused and annoying (and arghh....why did she have to lie so much?) that I couldn't stop sighing with indignation at every other thing she did. I actually felt sorry for the person she ended up with but, on the up side, I wanted to see where the story went so it was a page turner of sorts. If you're easily annoyed by silly slightly aloof protagonists, brace yourself. If you're not, you'll love this book.

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review 2017-09-05 02:31
Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel
Waking Gods - Sylvain Neuvel

My review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I had so much fun reading this book! I recently listened to the first book in this series so I was pretty eager to fit this book into my reading schedule. It turned out to be one of those books that are almost impossible to put down. Every time I would tell myself that I was just going to read one more chapter something would happen in the story and one more chapter just wouldn't be enough. I ended up reading the whole book in a single day and enjoyed every minute of it.

This book picks up ten years the events of the first book. This is a series that really does need to be read in order since it really is a continuation of the same larger story. Due to the nature of the series, there may be some spoilers for the first book in this review. If you haven't read the first book yet and plan to, I would recommend trying not to read anything about the later books in the series in order to avoid spoilers.

Things have been pretty calm for the Themis team since the events of the previous book. That changes quickly when a second giant robot shows up in the middle of London. It doesn't really do anything at first but its presence alone seems threatening enough. The world is at a loss as to what they should do about it and fear what the robot is planning. Events get exciting really quickly and there may be more danger than they ever imagined.

All of the characters from the first book are back for this installment. Since I recently listened to the audio of the first book, I had their voices in my head as I read through the journal entries, interviews, and reports. I think that this really added to the enjoyment of the story for me. Rose, Kara, and Vincent all have personal issues to deal with in this book in addition to the world events. There are some new characters that make an appearance and add to the story as well.

I would recommend this series to others. It is a really great mix of characters cast in an incredibly exciting story. The book is told in such an interesting manner through journal entries, interviews, and documents. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book in this exciting series!

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
I am thinking that this book is somewhere between 4 and 5 stars right now. This book is even more exciting than the first one. I would have never guessed some of the directions this story went. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book.

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text 2017-08-15 17:51
Looks interesting ...
Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain - Maryanne Wolf

An older book but new to me (Barnes and Noble Readouts mention reminded me).  Synopsis from publisher page for Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain:

 

"Human beings were never born to read," writes Tufts University cognitive neuroscientist and child development expert Maryanne Wolf. Reading is a human invention that reflects how the brain rearranges itself to learn something new. In this ambitious, provocative book, Wolf chronicles the remarkable journey of the reading brain not only over the past five thousand years, since writing began, but also over the course of a single child's life, showing in the process why children with dyslexia have reading difficulties and singular gifts.

 

Lively, erudite, and rich with examples, Proust and the Squid asserts that the brain that examined the tiny clay tablets of the Sumerians was a very different brain from the one that is immersed in today's technology-driven literacy. The potential transformations in this changed reading brain, Wolf argues, have profound implications for every child and for the intellectual development of our species.

 

Critical Praise :

 

“[Maryanne Wolf] displays extraordinary passion and perceptiveness concerning the reading brain, its miraculous achievements and tragic dysfunctions.” — BookForum

 

“Everything Wolf says makes sense....She clearly knows her stuff.” — Washington Post Book World

 

“Brilliant and eye-opening.” — Albany Times Union

 

“...intriguing...” — New Scientist

 

“Fascinating....Wolf restores our awe of the human brain.” — Associated Press

 

“[Wolf’s] conversational style, reflective comments and insights from work with children...create a narrative flow and bright tone.” — Minneapolis Star Tribune

 

“The squid of Wolf’s title represents the neurobiological approach to the study of reading....Given the panic that takes hold of humanists when the decline of reading is discussed, her cold-blooded perspective is opportune.” — The New Yorker

 

“A book worth talking about.” — U.S. News & World Report

 

“Enjoyable....Wolf, with remarkable agility in a relatively compact book (intended for both aficionados and the uninitiated), transitions seamlessly between disciplines as diverse as linguistics, neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and archeology, among others. Her voice comes through clearly; she is fascinated by reading and shares that energy.” — New England Journal of Medicine

 

“Wolf’s alarm about the spread of semi- literacy among the young is obviously justified, and her book provokes thought about it as only reading can.” — Sunday Times (London)

 

“This humane and fascinating book...is a paean to what Proust, über-reader, called ‘that fruitful miracle of a communication in the midst of solitude,’ to all that has been and can be achieved for individuals and for mankind through literacy.” — The Evening Standard (London)

 

“Blindingly fascinating...detailed and scholarly....There’s a lot of difficult material in here. But it’s worth the effort....For people interested in language, this is a must. You’ll find yourself focusing on words in new ways. Read it slowly--it will take time to sink in.” — The Sunday Telegraph

 

“Proust and the Squid is an inspiring celebration of the science of reading....Wolf’s insights are fascinating....Proust and the Squid has much to offer on this important--perhaps the most important--subject” — The Guardian (London)

Source: www.harpercollins.com/9780062010636/proust-and-the-squid
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review 2017-07-03 14:54
I couldn't help but finish this last night
It's Not Yet Dark - Simon Fitzmaurice

Thank you to the publisher for the ARC.   It was compelling me, and still staring at me at the end of my shift, and I decided to read this book.  I did so of my own volition and no one contacted me at any point, not to leave a review, much less a positive one.   

 

And once I started, it still just compelled me.   With a lot of short sentences, this manages to be truly poetic.   The cadence after a while is calming, lulling, partly because the words, and the sentiments, are so beautiful. 

 

This is a memoir of a young man who is diagnosed with ALS, and yet it's so much more.   It's a musing on life, without giving concrete answers.   It's one man's journey from grief, to hope, from the diagnoses of death to living with the specter of death, but also living life fully.  

 

It's a book that flows through past, and the present, to create a full picture of a life full of love and support.   It's gorgeously written, an even more impressive feat when you realize it's written with an eye gaze computer.   (Which is also how he's directing movies, now.)

 

This was a hard read in so many ways, and I found myself crying at more than one point.   Sometimes out of sadness, but more times than I expected out of happiness.   When his wife stands by him, when he finds ways to connect with his young children, when he decides he can not only live but still do the work he loves.    Small moments.   Moments from the past that you know won't be repeated as control is stripped from him, something that is made clear from the back of this book. 

 

I wanted to read more by him, but alas, there is no more.   His wife has a book coming out, another memoir, and I plan on checking it out as well.   

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text 2017-07-02 21:53
Reading progress update: I've read 152 out of 176 pages.
It's Not Yet Dark - Simon Fitzmaurice

This is so lovely, I don't want it to end quite yet.  I'll finish it tomorrow morning on the porch, in the sun.   Tonight, I'm going out to a baseball game, and to watch fireworks later on. 

 

I think the author would approve, as it follows his live life to the fullest credo.

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