Science Books

book review | The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins the Magic of Reality book reviewAuthor: Richard Dawkins
Title: The Magic of Reality
Series: –
Genre: Science; Philosophy
Pages: 271
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

The Magic of Reality” by Richard Dawkins is an amazing book. Just what I needed for the weekend.

About the Book: With great passion author tells us how magical our reality is. And how unfair it is to call things we don’t understand – supernatural. That sort of implies it cannot be explained and creates a dead end for progress. Instead, he tells us myths that explained earthquakes and rainbows and what they really are. Tells us how we know there are planets out there, and how we found out that Earth isn’t, in fact, flat or at the center of the universe. Author tells us, in short, that the very fact we are here, made out of stardust, is magic itself, even if we know the science behind it.

My Opinion: A very interesting and very engaging book. Went from cover to cover in one sitting and regret nothing. There’s some science, not too much, with author very willingly admitting to the things he doesn’t know, understand, and therefor – cannot explain to us. The rest is just beautiful bunch of pointing in awe, look at this, look at that, do you know what ancient people called this? The only con I have got downgraded at the end. Author seemed to be very condescending towards people with different beliefs. But by the end of the book I realized that it is because he feels like it devalues otherwise a priceless phenomena.

Even though I believe some things can be said with a little more manners, I’ll give this book a 5 out of 5 nonetheless.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Philosophy, Self, Science Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics Carlo RovelliAuthor: Carlo Rovelli
Title: Seven Brief Lessons on Physics
Series: –
Genre: Physics; Science
Pages: 81
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Never thought I’ll describe a book on physics lovely, but… “Seven Brief Lessons on Physics” by Carlo Rovelli was a lovely read.

About the Book: The book describes the birth of seven discoveries in physics. From general relativity and what else it triggered, to black holes, dark matter, and the beauty of our universe. Our part within it, and the future we might witness.

My Opinion: It’s very well written for someone like me, who isn’t versed in physics. Author’s love for the subject (or the whole seven of them) shines out of every page. A pleasure to read.

Time well spent. 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Science Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Apollo 1: The Inside Story by David Whitehouse

apollo 11 the inside story david whitehouse book reviewAuthor: David Whitehouse
Title: Apollo 11: The Inside Story
Series: –
Genre: History; Science
Pages: 320
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Somehow I have quite a few books on Apollo missions. Among which was “Apollo 11: The Inside Story” by David Whitehouse. A tale of the great space race to reach the moon.

About the Book: Author David Whitehouse has collected the tales of all the key players and put together a story of tension, rivalry, drama, and tragedies. From pioneers, to satellites, to rovers. The path to success, to the moon, is splattered with sweat, tears, and blood.

My Opinion: There’s quite a bit of tech stuff, but nothing’s too big or too serious. Worst is the dark side of the human beings. With rivalry unfolding there were true tragedies. And then once the goal got achieved, heroes got forgotten, in a sense, their troubles – no longer interesting. Kind of makes you wonder why we try so hard.

If you enjoy the moon landing tales, then go for it. A 4 out of 5.

Categories: 4-5, Biographies, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Historical Books, Science Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | “Atomic Habits” by James Clear

atomic habits james clear book cover reviewAuthor: James Clear
Title: Atomic Habits
Series: –
Genre: Self-Help; Productivity
Pages: 319
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

A friend just recently recommended me a book she got as a gift and loved. “Atomic Habits” by James Clear, a nice and short book about habit forming and productivity.

About the Book: It’s not that we don’t want to be productive, healthy. It’s not even that those who are – have endless well of motivation, or never slip. It’s about consciously making the decision to be more productive, better to yourself, seeing a better version of self tomorrow, a year later. We’re creatures of habit who crave rewards, satisfaction. And, knowing that, we can do something about it.

My Opinion: It’s a good, easy to follow book that explains well enough how habits are formed, why they’re formed, and why it’s the worst that are the hardest to abandon. And while author does believe that it’s all in our hands to take and mold, he does remind the reader that we’re all different, with different needs, and what fits that guy, might not fit this guy, so we need to find what suits us best, what works for us, how can we play with our strengths and improve our weaknesses.

It’s a good book, a 5 out of 5. But remember one thing: nothing will change, unless you do.

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Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Philosophy, Self, Science Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari

homo deus a history of tomorrow yuval noah harari book reviewAuthor: Yuval Noah Harari
Title: Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow
Series: –
Genre: Science; Philosophy
Pages: 450
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Very unlikely sources have recommended me “Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow” by Yuval Noah Harari, which led me to reading it just to see why.

About the Book: The book casts a wide net over humanity and dissects the biggest, most groundbreaking lightbulbs that have brought humanity, us, from a monkey in survival mode to a book blogger bent over his laptop. And what, keeping those revolutionary happenings, their pattern, in mind, might be the future that will propel us farther from this, higher from here, towards this concept of homo deus.

My Opinion: Let me just get this out of the way – as many of my peers, I have attention span disorder of this or that type. This led me to very long end tedious re-reads when the book lost me somewhere. And while it would seem like it’s my own fault – it is, and it is isn’t, since I read over a hundred books a year somehow, and needing to go back a whole ten pages or an hour isn’t really a norm. So there’s that and only that. The book itself is worth the time for it will truly feed your mind and make you ask many questions that might not yet have answers and require your honest input.

Definitely a good book. Firm 4 out of 5.
Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Philosophy, Self, Science Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Darknet: A beginner’s guide to staying anonymous by Lance Henderson

darknet lance henderson anonymous book reviewAuthor: Lance Henderson
Title: Darknet
Series: –
Genre: Science; Technology
Pages: 89
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Needed something short for my puzzle, so I picked up “Darknet: A Beginner’s Guide to Staying Anonymous” by Lance Henderson. It’s pretty good, like a short summary of anonymity breaches and tools to patch it.

About the Book: Author, not even hiding the heightened sense of paranoia, tells us the how and what destroys anonymity and makes us vulnerable, even those of us who feel like they have nothing to hide or no one to hide from. As well as steps and tools required to prevent this.

My Opinion: Let’s face it, most of us now and again toss the anonymity for sake of convenience. Why register to that site you want to purchase candy from, if you an log in with facebook? Why would you log out before closing the browser? Why would you use that other, safer, but way slower one? What do you mean turn off java and use less add-on’s?… The book explains what happens, why it happens, to whom it is beneficial, and what can we do to avoid being someone’s product to be sold in a form of data. I will disappoint you and spoil it: pressing a single button on a VPN you just bought is not enough.

It’s not bad for what it is. Yes, there’s room for more, even for beginners, but read it as a summary towards whatever you’ll pick up next. A 5 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Science Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Confessions of an Alien Hunter by Seth Shostak

confessions of an alien hunter seth shostak book review knygos apzvalgaAuthor: Seth Shostak
Title: Confessions of an Alien Hunter
Series: –
Genre: Astronomy; Science
Pages: 309
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Not gonna lie, when I picked up “Confessions of an Alien Hunter” by Seth Shostak, I kind of expected a book by someone who drives around strange roads at night, looking up at the sky, visiting known spots, and not a book by an actual scientist. Strangely… Disappointing. But I learned quite a bit, so there’s that.

About the Book: Author, balancing between skepticism and hope, or rather, trust in science, tells us of his life’s work, and does his best to answer the age old question, and every other that arises out of it: so are we alone in the universe? 

My Opinion: It’s well written, but sometimes forgets about such mere mortals as myself, with gaps in either knowledge or education. Still, was interesting. Just, I guess, not what I expected or wanted.

Can’t fault the author for my shortcomings, so the book gets a solid 4 out of 5.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Science Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Black Holes and Baby Universes by Stephen Hawking

stephen hawking black holes and baby universesAuthor: Stephen Hawking
Title: Black Holes and Baby Universes
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction; Science
Pages: 192
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I’ve read “Black Holes and Baby Universes” by Stephen Hawking for about a year. Not fully due to my understanding of physics being too small, and want to understand – too great, thus with a need arising constantly to go find more information and some explanations. But also due to this book being a very pleasant exercise for brain, something to wake up to that doesn’t instantly dumb you down for the day.

About the Book: The book consists out of shot little varied essays. From biography, life, illness, and what it meant for the author. To theories of black holes, particles they radiate, space travel, imaginary time, our universe, how it began, how it might end. Most of it is very easy to grasp and understand, and all of it is interesting and very easy to read.

My Opinion: The book, the essays, are written so well that at times you find yourself cold, because you just sat there, in the open cosmos, staring at a black hole radiating particles, or chasing after dark matter. It was very interesting and pleasant to learn more of topics seemingly so widely discussed nowadays, what with the unbelievable photograph of an actual black hole having happened. And even though, yes, I needed to ask friends in the field of physics, to explain me some things, which they graciously and patiently did, the book was so worth reading, and is absolutely accessible even to people like me – with less than bare minimum of physics knowledge. Besides, author has a pretty great personality that shines through. And if Hawking himself says everyone and anyone can achieve greatness, well, we better get on with it.

Which Hawking book should I take next? Because I absolutely need another one. This one gets a firm 5 out of 5, and I can highly recommend it to all the curious souls out there.

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Categories: 5-5, Biographies, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Science Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Gifts of the Crow by John M. Marzluff, Tony Angell

gifts of the crow john marzluff tony angel corvidAuthor: John M. Marzluff, Tony Angell
Title: Gifts of the Crow
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction; Science Literature
Pages: 304
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Gifts of the Crow” by John M. Marzluff and Tony Angell is full of real, wonderful stories of corvid family birds, and a study of their thought processes, biology behind it. The latter I didn’t fully grasp, but it didn’t take away anything from the book.

About the Book: The book tells an in-depth story of corvids (crows, ravens, etc.), and what fantastical birds they are, able of learning, recognizing, remembering events. From there they can make proper judgement calls and react accordingly. From throwing nuts on the road for cars to crush, to waiting for the traffic to stop so they could feast. From working together to trick a bigger animal into abandoning food, to sharing the bounty. From offering a bartering gift to a human, be it a little found item or just outright company, when in need of human aid, to a thank-you gift once this aid has been provided.

My Opinion: What’s safe for them to eat? Can I just carry around a ziplock bag with some kibble in attempts to make friends with these magical birds? The book is superbly interesting, and the science part, if you don’t get it the way I don’t, will not interfere with anything, nor take anything away.

I can’t recommend this book enough. A firm 5 out of 5, well earned.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Science Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Dopesick by Beth Macy

dopesick beth macyAuthor: Beth Macy
Title: Dopesick
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction; Science
Pages: 384
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Dopesick” by Beth Macy is dark, strong, and very scary. Mostly because that the tale it tells is true, happening today and will happen tomorrow.

About the Book: Mind ruled by opium is mind not your own, and yet… How are you supposed to live in reality, when you saw life, world, at its very best? Starting with Soldier’s Disease, to whom opium was given for obvious reasons, later in form of heroin, from where the title of the drug originates. Continuing with pharma pushing medicine and claiming its not addictive, doctors who over-prescribed them, and people who believed these greed embodiments have their best interest at hand. And ending with a system meant to keep you, and never let you go. User, abuser, gets arrested, gets no treatment, then is thrown out with no means to get apartment or food stamps, with very vague possibilities of job… They go back to dealer, ask for a favor, resell some, pay back, use up some to not see this darkness a failed system put them in. They get arrested, get no treatment, and the cycle continues until, usually, young death.

My Opinion: It’s scary to read of a mother who cared for household and kids like a superhero. Who needed a simple surgery, and got oxyContin prescribed for the pain. It’s scary how fast her life becomes a slope going down at terrifying speed. Scary how systematic racism ties into this too. The book is strongly written, it’s very clear, and will scare off many, I hope.

Read it. Give it to your kids to read it too. 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Science Books, True Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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