March 27, 2012

Brain Cuttings

Well, looks like this is my last book for the TBR Double Dare.  I may write up a final reflection on the books I read and the process of going through this dare, but I'd call it a big success for me.  Got a lot of stuff I'd bought but never got around to reading.  I even came up with a new system to tackle all the books on my list, the ones I own and the ones I'm just interested in reading at some point and plan on giving priority to the ones I own to keep whittling away at this TBR pile (physical and electronic).

I'm a big fan of Carl Zimmer's writing.  He's a popular science writer and writes both books and articles for publications such as Discover, New York Times, Smithsonian and National Geographic.  Here's a list of some of his books.  But for some reason this title isn't currently available at that online retailer.  Here's one that still has it.

He tells the story that while on vacation a couple years ago his wife finished reading whatever she'd brought along, so used her iPhone to download another book to read.  And another.  And another.  She flew through half a dozen books and he thought: "Maybe there's something to these ebooks after all."  Now not only has he published this and other titles only in the ebook format, he's one of the founding editors of Download the Universe,  a new website which reviews only science ebooks and apps!

This book, Brain Cuttings, is a collection of some of his magazine pieces just on neuroscience.  There's another one out now called More Brain Cuttings.  He decided to self-publish the title but to get a good graphic design house to create the cover and layout rather that just sell a Word document.  The extra effort shows in a well-designed and nicely formatted book.  It still has the occasional typo, tough.

It's just what it's advertised to be, so don't expect more.  It's a collection of fifteen interesting articles on the brain and current brain science.  It has a great section of references at the end.  It's a light, breezy book, as you would expect from a collection of magazine articles.  I'd call it brain candy, but that might be gross, considering the cover.

Now to start on my April and May book club selections!