( o38. my stoke of insight; dr. jill bolte taylor. )
My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey was published in 2006. The title is fairly self-explanatory. Dr. Taylor is a brain scientist and gives a bit of information about her background as well as a basic brain science lesson. It's short, and, well I liked it because I'm interested in such things. From that point on, she details the stroke that affected the left hemisphere of her brain. It's a very descriptive and compelling account of her experience with stroke and the road to recovery. Her road to recovery, however, is quite unlike what you would imagine, as she often brings in some thoughts regarding spirituality. Honestly, I wasn't expecting it, but I thought it was an interesting account. I have read only a smattering of accounts written by people who have spent their lives studying something, only to have that something affect them in a way they hadn't anticipated, and it gives them a fresh perspective that I wouldn't bother to counter. Dr. Taylor intended for this book to be for people who maybe want to learn more about strokes and the warning signs or how to interact with people who have had strokes. Either way, it's a great read.
Genre : Biography, non-fiction, medical, memoir.
Length : 187 pages, not counting some interesting/entertaining appendices.
Rating : 3/5 = Worth the read.
( o39 & o4o. the hunger games & catching fire; suzanne collins. )
Suzanne Collins is the author of The Hunger Games Trilogy. So far, there are two books out: The Hunger Games came out in 2008, and Catching Fire came out this year. I don't really consider it to be a dystopic novel, in that I don't think a Utopian society was the aim of the people in the story. The books follow the perspective of Katniss Everdeen, a young woman living in District 12 of Panem, what was once North America until war broke out and the country was split into 13 districts. The Hunger Games is a ceremony that comes about once a year, to show the power that the Capitol has over the districts that rebelled against the government. The characters are, for the most part, realistic. As you follow through the two years with Katniss, you see how she matures and grows through her fairly dismal circumstances. I really like the way the situation is described to catch you up with what's going on. The style flows easily and the books read fast. I found the second book hard to put down and am anxiously awaiting the third book in the series. After reading this second book, though, I agree with people who have a hard time seeing how Collins can wrap this up with just one more book.
Genre : Fiction, speculative fiction, teen fiction, science fiction.
Length : 374 + 391 = 765 pages.
Rating : 4/5 = Pretty darn good.
Currently reading: Still working on Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampire Mysteries (I'm at Living Dead in Dallas). Will soon be starting Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America by Barbara Ehrenreich and The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood.