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Showing posts from December, 2014

Top Reads of 2014

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Full Length Novels

1. We Learn Nothing by Tim Kreider - Kreider writes with an x-ray vision like perceptiveness that I felt a little bit unraveled.

2.We Live in Water by Jess Walter -There is such tender pathos and smart wit seeping through the lines that despite the bleak and dismal tone, it is strangely satisfying.

3. A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. MartinIt still has that unpredictability and danger and mystery.

4. Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman - Gaiman turns stock stories into new ones, more bewitching, more chilling and more surreal that it’s derivative.

5. Cloud Atlas by David MitchellHe speaks of souls never leaving this earth, only crossing and recrossing each other, and evolving from from good to bad to something in between, and back again. It's a beautiful, ambitious piece of storytelling.

6. Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos - I will remember this book not only for it's comedy. But also for it's very insightful and honest look at the live…

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Dr. Oliver Sacks

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Summary from Goodreads:

Neurologist Sacks, author of "Awakenings" and "A Leg To Stand On", presents a series of clinical tales drawn from fascinating and unusual cases encountered during his years of medical practice. Dividing his text into four parts -- "losses" of neurological function; "excesses"; "transports" involving reminiscence, altered perception, and imagination; and "the simple," Sacks introduces the reader to real people who suffer from a variety of neurological syndromes which include symptoms such as amnesia, uncontrolled movements, and musical hallucinations. Sacks recounts their stories in a riveting, compassionate, and thoughtful manner. --Library Journal

Although I am not quite well-versed in case studies, I have a feeling that it is more structured and scholarly than the manner in which Dr. Sacks presented his. This is not a complaint on my part because he made his clinical studies more accessible, not only …

Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos

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Summary from Goodreads:

“I hate myself but I love Walt Whitman, the kook. Always positive. I need to be more positive, so I wake myself up every morning with a song of myself.”

Sixteen-year-old James Whitman has been yawping (à la Whitman) at his abusive father ever since he kicked his beloved older sister, Jorie, out of the house. James’s painful struggle with anxiety and depression—along with his ongoing quest to understand what led to his self-destructive sister’s exile—make for a heart-rending read, but his wild, exuberant Whitmanization of the world and keen sense of humor keep this emotionally charged debut novel buoyant. 

I have always gravitated towards long and kooky titles, the likes of these. I mean, how could you not give a book, entitled such, a second look? And its contents matches, or even exceeds the title in humor and wit and heart. 

The thing that really stood out for me, with this book is the humor. It is never dismissive of the seriousness of mental illness, specifical…

December 2014: Required Reading

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November Required Reading Report:

1. Dwellers by Eliza Victoria - (3.5/5) Excellent writing. The tone, in particular is wonderful.. It feels creepy and suspenseful. And judging from it's awesome beginning, I thought I'd be more invested in the main characters and the plot. But I wasn't. At least, not all the way.

2. Geeks vs. Jocks by Jessica Zafra - (5/5) I miss Zafra's essays. As always, it is still as sharp and witty and funny as ever.

3. Twelfth Night, or; What You Will by William Shakespeare - (4/5) Cross-dressing, tomfoolery, pranks, love sickness, faux deaths, singing, dancing, drinking, madness, yellow stockings. Think what you will. 

4. JL8 by Yale Stewart (5/5) - A webcomic about the adventures of DC superheroes as elementary school kids. It's quite charming and funny, seeing Justice League characters as kids having to deal with playground bullies, and crushes, and birthday parties, and camping, and evil gym teachers. Sadly this was left unfinished by the aut…