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And this just in...

Here's the part of my site where I get to tell you what I've been up to, what I'm currently doing, what I may be into down the pike, or anything I might feel like expressing in a somewhat public fashion. If you see something here and have questions or thoughts that you'd like to communicate to me, you can use my contact form or look up my contact info here.

Note that dates and times for posts are listed using the U.S. Eastern Standard time zone, and times are listed in 24-hour format (e.g. 7:04AM is 07:04, 7:19PM is 19:19, etc.).

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The Rosie Project

Title: The Rosie Project
Rating: 4
Author: Graeme Simsion
ISBN: 978-4767-2908-4
Pages: 295
Format: Hardcover
Started: 2013-10-13
Finished: 2013-10-13

This was a fun little read! What happens when a nerd turns to science as a means of finding a spouse? And what happens when he falls in love with a woman who doesn't fit the “scientific” criteria? A whole lot of humour, that's what! It reads easy and light, but well worth it for the entertainment.

Near-Death Experiences, the Rest of the Story

Title: Near-Death Experiences, the Rest of the Story
Rating: 2
Author: P.M.H. Atwater
ISBN: 978-1-60671-205-4
Pages: 288
Format: Hardcover
Started: ~2013-09-29
Finished: 2013-10-12

I was disappointed by this book. I had hoped that it would be more useful, because it purports to be an observational analysis of near death experiences. Unfortunately, it also contains a bunch of unsubstantiated “New Age Hooplah”. As far as the observation goes, it does show that there are a lot of common elements in these experiences. But the hokum far outweighs the worth of the book. Don't bother taking it out of the library, and definitely don't buy it!

Steve Jobs

Title: Steve Jobs
Rating: 5
Author: Walter Isaacson
ISBN: 978-1-4516-4853-9
Pages: 627
Format: Hardcover
Started: ~2013-09-01
Finished: ~2013-09-29

I've known a little bit about Steve Jobs, but after reading this book (which my wife gave me as a gift), I'm surprised to find out just how driven and volatile the man was. Although he was a visionary, and managed to push some fantastic ideas into being, I have to say that I'm thoroughly and unpleasantly amazed at just how horrible he could be towards others. I have very strong mixed feelings after reading this book. There are some things about him that absolutely inspired me, and other things that are very much an example of how I do NOT want to be. It is definitely a powerful and moving book, and highly recommend reading it.

Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife

Title: Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife
Rating:
Author: Eben Alexander, M.D.
ISBN: ??
Pages: 193
Format: ebook
Started: ~2013-10
Finished: ~2013-10

[Short opinion coming soon…]

Mirror Mirror

Title: Mirror Mirror
Rating: 4
Author: Gregory Maguire
ISBN: 978-0-06-176183-6
CDs: 7 (9 hours)
Format: audiobook on CD
Started: 2013-08-12
Finished: 2013-08-16

This is the same author who wrote Wicked, Son of a Witch, and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister. In the same vein, this book is a re-telling of the Snow White fairy tale, complete with dwarves. Unlike his other books, though, this one mixes fact with fiction: Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia (Yes, those Borgias) are primary players in this story, with Lucrezia being the wicked queen querying the mirror on the wall. And Bianca de Nevada, not yet even in her teens, becomes an object of hatred not so much for her beauty, but because of Lucrezia's incestuous jealousy of her brother's lecherous appetites. As for the dwarves, these certainly aren't the imaginings of Disney. More primordial than Tolkien's creatures, these dwarves start out as beings only somewhat more animated that the rocks and forest they inhabit. Theirs is a natural magic, allowing them to eat stone, and mold glass like putty with their bare hands. And they only become human-like as their essential influence on nature begins to work on themselves through the imagination of Bianca, while they care for her (and she for them). It was a captivating story.

When I first started listening to audiobooks I thought they would be a mildly entertaining prospect during my work commutes. Now, however, I'm beginning to think of them as an excellent way to experience fiction. Unlike television, my mind's eye is still free to create it's own vision of the characters, and much to my surprise, the narrators are neither dry voices nor overly dramatic. In fact, the more they act out the narration, the more it plays into my imagination. There are now days when my commutes have left me more invigorated and refreshed than a night of deep sleep!


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