Thursday, September 21, 2017

Book Reviews: 21 - 25 of 2017

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** is pretty much exactly as it sounds: a wake up call for those who think they should care about everything all the time and have made themselves vastly unhappy. A lot of the information has scientific research to back it up, but a lot of it is also just good common sense. We cannot care about everything all the time and still live our lives. It's just not possible. By worrying and making everyone else's problems into your own problems and thinking you can control anything about other people will just make you feel like a failure. This book really drove home a lot of concepts I have learned for myself and in a poignant way. All I can say is that everyone should read this book. Obviously there is language, but the underlying message is something we all need to embrace to be happy. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

My Ántonia by Willa Cather is a classic story of turn of the century middle America. Jim is orphaned young and moves from Virginia to Nebraska to live with his grandparents. On the same train with Jim are the Shimerdas, a Bohemian family moving to the area next to his grandparent's farm, and the book chronicles Jim's friendship with the daughter named Ántonia. Jim has an obvious crush on Ántonia that carries with him throughout his life. The Shimerdas speak almost no English, so Jim is enlisted to teach Ántonia. They spend a lot of time together before tragedy strikes and their familys fall out of favor with each other. Jim's family eventually moves to town for an easier life, and Ántonia follows to work for another family in the town. Their paths always seem to cross, and even when Jim is much older and Ántonia is married with lots of children, they still have a deep fondness for each other. I enjoyed this little glimpse into life in the late 1800s in the midwest, and the story keeps you engaged. While I wouldn't call this a great work, it's a nice little window into a different time and place. I give this book 3 out of 4 stars.

Who's In Charge? is an interesting look at brain science and what they know about "free will"... if you can get past the very long intro of technical jargon first, and if you don't mind seeing the word "homunculus" more times then you ever thought possible. The information this book offers is great. I found the section on what problems different lesions in the brain caused for some patients (my fav: apparently there is a type of brain lesion that makes the victim unable to identify fruit but is normal in every other way). The info is engaging even if the writing style is not. If you can push forward, you should find something to enjoy. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking is an entire book that could technically just be a paragraph when you get down to it. The idea is cute enough: Hygge is the cozy, contented feeling that the Danish try to build their lives around. Of course that's a good idea by anyone's standards. The book starts off interesting, but quickly begins repeating itself, then turns to things like recipes and recommendations on home decor to fill the space (and it's still a small book). While I like the overall idea, I don't feel I really needed to read a book about it. Maybe if I'd lit a candle in a reading nook next to a fire with candles around me while wearing woolen socks with a cold storm outside while I read this book then I would have appreciated it more. Alas, I live in Florida. Hygge for me has nothing to do with woolen socks and fires. Cute, but not worth the hype in my opinion.  I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie is not a book I would typically go for. I read the synopsis and realized this is the book that the movie Clue was based on, so I had to give it a read. 10 people arrive on a remote island off the coast of Devon, England with only vague ideas of their host or reason for being invited. When people start dying off in a style that consists with the 10 Little Soldier Boys nursery rhyme the book touts, the island visitors become distressed trying to figure out Whodunit. The book was enjoyable - a decent mystery escape, typical of Agatha Christie. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for joining in the conversation!