Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain is a popular science look at the differences in personality type. She argues that introverts are just as necessary in leadership as the more outspoken extroverted power types.Continue Reading
Awwwww … newborn babies! I am a bit excited by the image of an innocent, soft, wrinkly newborn baby these days, for obvious reasons. Less than eight more weeks until a newborn daughter joins my family!
I found Birth Day by Mark Sloan (published 2009) one day when I was browsing the shelves looking for something about pregnancy or babies, and it was just perfect! Dr. Sloan is a pediatrician, regularly on rotation at the hospital to care for the newborns who may need a little assistance getting started in the world. But Birth Day is far more than a memoir of doctoring: it’s a reflection on his own experiences as a husband to a laboring woman, a personal account of his own experiences as a man becoming a father for the first and then second time, and a researched history of childbirth practices throughout history. The subtitle is “a pediatrician explores the science, the history and the wonder of childbirth” and that is an apt description. All those aspects are central to the book, and Dr. Sloan’s casual voice and personal presence makes it a pleasant read.
Just months before Molly Birnbaum was to enter the Culinary Institute of America to fulfill her dream to become a chef, she met with a violent accident. Although she escaped with her life, in addition to other physical wounds she had lost her sense of smell. Season to Taste: How I Lost My Sense of Smell and Found My Way (Ecco, July 2011) is Molly’s story of finding her place in the kitchen again. But Season to Taste is far more than a personal memoir: it’s also a journalistic study of what smell means to flavor, cooking, and daily life. Continue Reading
This is the kind of book that I don’t like to review (because I didn’t really like it and many others in the blogosphere do), so I’ll keep this post short.
I liked bits of Woman: An Intimate Geography by Natalie Angier (1999), and then the author started really irritating me. My main issue was a misunderstanding of what Ms Angier hoped to accomplish in her volume. When I began reading, I thought I was picking up a pop science book about the majesty of woman’s body, scientifically examined. That is not what this is. After a hundred pages, I realized that this is a personal view of women as written by a journalist with a background in science.
In the introduction, Natalie Angier calls this her “fantasia” on women. One definition of “fantasia” on M-W.com is “a work in which the author’s fancy roves unrestricted.” This is what Ms. Angier does in her tome about womanhood, so given her self-description I should not have been surprised by the non-scientific tone. From chapters on the organs specific to women (some of which garnered double chapters) to the hormones that function in the background, Woman certainly does cover a lot of ground. I didn’t want an incredibly scientific tone – pop science does appeal to me. But Woman became far more political and opinionated than I had anticipated.
I consider myself middle of the road politically – conservative on some issues, liberal on others. But this liberal author became irritatingly overbearing as she discussed some issues1 Especially her later chapters felt like opinion and not fact, and it was a major turn off as I continued reading.
I was incredibly disappointed, since I had hoped for a more fact-based look at that majesty of my womanly body. If you don’t mind opinion mixed in with scientific facts, then this may be just the pop science/journalism book that you want to read about women.
For a positive “must read” post about this book, see Eva’s blog.
- I choose not to go in to the specifics that annoyed me. ↩