Thursday, April 30, 2015

BROKENOMICS and THE UPRIGHT THINKERS

BROKENOMICS by Dina Gachman is subtitled “50 Ways to Live the Dream on a Dime.” While it might seem like just another how-to on surviving the economy, it’s also a humorous memoir told in the advice of “lessons learned” style, and covers fashion, dating, shopping, budgeting, cooking, and about three dozen other items on the list of anyone who doesn’t own a basketball team and sits in the Shark Tank viewed by drooling masses of wannabes. The “dream” in question is yours (or should be), although Dina plays along with the games we all do in imagining a life (or love) fitting the pop model. She reads the text herself, and so listeners get the bonus of feeling that edge of authenticity to the reading (which is always good for memoirs; the science book below is also an offbeat memoir, and so the same effect is realized.) What’s great about books like these is that you get honest revelations, together with good advice. It’s not some lucky billionaire or diva who has 7 million followers on Instagram (all Selfies), writing an advice book about how to be just like him or her. (Right.) Not all of us win the lottery, genetic or Powerball. But we can be smart and funny, if we put in the effort. This audiobook is for us.
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THE UPRIGHT THINKERS by Leonard Mlodinow is as much about philosophy as science, as much about culture as physics. He makes the link between these, showing how their eras contributed to and informed the work of Galileo, Newton, Lavoisier, Darwin, Einstein, and Heisenberg. It has been the history of great scientists to question current belief systems, against the resistance of accepted dogma. That continues to this day. The author reads this interesting audiobook in a personable way, and is a theoretical physicist who has collaborated with Stephen Hawking, as well as written for Star Trek: The Next Generation. The book was penned in honor of his dad.
A FIELD GUIDE TO LIES by Daniel J. Levitin

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