Monday, March 21, 2011

I am Spock by Leonard Nimoy

I am Spock
Leonard Nimoy
1995, 1996, Arrow Books, London

Auto-biography written by Leonard Nimoy who played Spock in the original series of Star Trek, as well as a number of motion pictures. This is written after the Star Trek: Generations movie.

Leonard Nimoy is a talented writer. And the stories he tell in this are very interesting, there's not too much boring stuff in there as some auto-biographies have. I like the way he talks to Spock throughout the book.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

The Tipping Point
Malcolm Gladwell
2000, Abacus, London

A look at the sociology and psychology behind the reasons certain fads and other social phenomena become very popular.

This wasn't blow-your-mind amazing, but I enjoyed it. It is very well researched and written in an accessible language. It's quite good for pop-sociology.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Awakenings by Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks
1973, 1990, Pan Macmillan, London

Oliver Sacks is a doctor who treated a group of patients with post-encephalitic Parkinsonism following the sleepy sickness epidemic of the 1920s. The patients were treated with the drug L-DOPA and gained remarkable results in which they "awoke" after being nearly motionless and statue-like for half a decade.

This is a terrifying book - I'm surprised I didn't have nightmares. The human body can give so much grief, and the drugs we give to counteract it are just as bad. I liked that Sacks did not gloss over what he did; if the patients had horror reactions to his treatment (and all did), he gave the full details. I must admit some of his philosophical musings at the end of the book were a little over my head and if I gave this book to someone to read I would show them the glossary in the back before they start!