I have been reading, just not updating. and I am so behind on the goal of 52 books this year, I’m not even thinking about it 🙂 I tend to have several books on the go at the same time… a bit like knitting projects. I also read small amounts of books, technical tomes, so I’ve been in and out of several anatomy books, as I teach from them, and research papers, but they won’t count for the golden 52. I have read some books from start to finish though, and here they are.
Latest book is Norman Doidge’s ‘The Brain that Changes Itself’, subtitled ‘Stories of personal triumph from the fontiers of brain science’. This is a collection of clinical experiences and research, which puts paid once and for all to the ideas that used to prevail about brain functioning. These are 1. that the brain has different areas that perform different functions, and that if an area is damaged that is the end of that function, and 2. that brain cells cannot be ‘regrown’ or new ones formed, i.e. that neurons in the brain cannot be formed like in other parts of the body. Both these ‘principles’ – upon which modern western medicine still relies to a greater extent – have actually long been discredited. Let’s hope modern western medicine catches up soon!
Before that I read ‘Head Trip – A Fantastic Romp Through 24 Hours in the Life of Your Brain’ – an overview of the different states of awareness, conscious or not, throughout the day and night, from different sleep states, lucid dreaming, day dreaming, to zen states and more. Polularised science and very entertaining.
‘The 13 1/2 lives of Captain Bluebear’ is a delightful novel by Walter Moers, reads like a rather dour German children’s book but very funny on several levels from social commentary to psychoanalysis. Borrow it rather than buy it – some people hate it, others love it. There are not many inbetween.
Heinrich Boell’s ‘Irishes Tagebuch’ (Irish Journal) is set in the 60s and evokes so much of the rainy, poorly educated, claustrophobic feeling of some of Ireland, particularly in the West, that it was extremely easy to imagine myself back there. We holidayed there last summer for a few days and he could have been describing our experiences, although we were 40 years on. A very weird feeling. Beautiful language and occasionally hilarious, as in his rant about the stupidity of opening (or rather closing) hours for pubs and how they do nothing but encourage binge drinking.
Before that another German novel, borrowed from the Edinburgh library… totally forgotten author and title, obviously not that gripping! Set in Hamburg in the 17th Century, about a phytotherapist / apothecary and collector … I have, however, started a Terry Pratchett in German, also a weird experience. I’ll let you know 🙂