Daniel Tammet is considered by many to be the most intelligent living human being, but why? In this fascinating book, Tammet examines the very nature of intelligence and how our social values determine what we consider to be intelligence. Tammet has Asperger's Syndrome and is a mathematical savant, but he is quick to debunk the notion that he is so different from anyone else. He explains clearly how his thinking processes and perceptions differ from typical thinkers. Tammet has had to make conscious choices to adapt his thinking to be able to interact socially and he asserts that typical people have every potential to adapt to think more "savant-like" for things like memory, math, physics and improved awareness. Throughout the book there are interesting and fun mind puzzles and games to test and improve one's mental acuity. Tammet gives some hints on how to improve memory by thinking more like he does. He also discusses many different types of intelligence tests, showing how most of them completely neglect intuition, wisdom and adaptability and are culturally biased. Embracing the Wide Sky is a very pleasant read. Daniel Tammet is a poet, mathematical savant and a fairly witty guy for a super-genius.
This is a food-travel book by the host of the Travel show No Reservations. The author takes us on a world tour in search of the perfect meal,from poisonous Fugu fish in Tokyo to live Cobra heart in Saigon to sothern France where 40 years ago he had his first oyster. This book is funny, he writes like Hunter S. Thompson, and would be enjoyed by travel and foodie fans alike. I also would reccomend Kitchen Confidential by the same author.
In this new book, Leonard brings together three of his more memorable characters from three of his past novels. Reading this book is like watching crossover sitcoms on CBS. Jack Foley, the bank robber with over 127 successful bank robberies on his resume meets up with a Tony Montana wannabe in prison. This short, 50-something Cuban gangster with the greased black ponytail takes a liking to Jack and they become road dogsfor three years while behind bars. Each one has the other's back covered. Jack is serving 30 years and Cundo Rey using his money and influence, springs Jack. Rey soon follows, having served nearly 8 years. Waiting on the outside is the supposed psychic, Dawn Navarro, who has been waiting those 8 years for Rey to get sprung so she can bilk him outta his fortune. All three are on a collision course that only Leonard could create. Leonard, like David Mamet has a gifted ear. He is a master of capturing dialog spoken in real-life words, not just words written as prose; which is the failures of so many less talented published authors today. For a man who lives in a quiet town in Michigan, Leonard sure has a handle on the underworld and what makes criminals tick. A must read for all his fans.
Many lives intersect in Virginia's fictional Manchester County before the Civil War. Blacks, whites, and Native Americans, from every level of society and every kind of family background. Edward P. Jones introduces a multitude of remarkably distinct individuals.
Particularly interesting: some are free blacks who own black slaves.
This remarkable book changed the way I see people. A Finalist for the 2003 National Book Award for Fiction. It won the 2003 National Book Critics Circle Award- and the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
A great book for discussion - your group may find a wide range of subjects to probe!
Zivitar is a small town in Hungary that was never touched by World War II. But its mayor wants to bring it into the 21st century. Valeria, the 68 year old curmudgeon of the village could not care less. But then she sees the town potter, as if with new eyes, and finds herself reluctantly and frighteningly falling in love. The potter has been having an affair with the tavern owner but finds himself drawn to Valeria who seems to understand his pottery as art just as he sees it.
This town is not big enough for two strong women in love with one man. One of them will have to go. Valeria and Ibolya the tavern owner make their stands and the town will never be the same. A beautifully written story about how love changes all, but one must change to admit love.
Ray Dudgeon is a Chicago private investigator with an attitude. In his short career he has been involved in more shootings than 99% of policemen whose job it is to serve and protect. And yet he has been cleared on all of them and still has his PI license. This in itself is a major life's accomplishment. In this, Chercover's first novel, Dudgeon takes on the task of protecting a mid-level Hollywood studio employee who has insulted a Chicago Outfit's made man. Not wanting to ruffle any gun-toter's feathers, Dudgeon is very cautious about agreeing to take this client. He has just met a very nice nurse who is not overly excited bout his chosen profession. In fact, she wants their relationship to go to the next level, but she gives him the ultimatum: find a new career or a new woman. This is an enterprising 1st novel. The writing is crisp and the characters are well-developed and gritty. I was a little disappointed that for being based on characters living in Chicago, the story didn't have a lot of Chicago details. It could have been written with by someone who was knowledgeable using Google Maps.
This is the fourth book in the "Elvis Cole" series by this author that I've read and they just keep getting better. The story is a complex one involving the murder of a former girlfriend of Cole's partner Joe Pike, it leads to a series of five other murders and the framing of Pike. The plot is complicated involving police coverups and old grudges, yet we learn more about Pike and Cole's past. The fleshing out of these two let's you understand why they do what they do and how they got to their present places in life. I loved this book and am looking forward to more.
The year is 1916 in Russia. Rasputin, the "Mad Monk" whom Tsar Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra viewed as a saintly mystic, visionary, healer and prophet, has prophesied his own murder, the downfall of the Romanov dynasty and the coming of the Bolshevik Revolution. But there were also visions of hope – "There will be salvation. The blood of our body will resurrect itself. Only a raven and an eagle can succeed where all fail and that the innocence of beasts will guard and lead the way. God will provide a way to be sure of righteousness."
Fast forward to present-day Moscow where Miles Lord, an Atlanta lawyer, fluent in Russian and it’s history, is thrilled to be there on the eve of such a momentous event. After the fall of Communism and a succession of weak governments, the Russian people have voted to bring back the monarchy. The new tsar will be chosen from among the distant relatives of Nicholas II by a specially appointed commision, and Miles’ job is to perform a background check on the tsarist candidate favored by a powerful group of Western businessmen. But in his research Lord stumbles on letters and evidence long-buried that reveal the strong possibility that two of the royal children survived the Romanov masacre – Alexei and Anastasia. This knowledge puts his life in danger. Running for his life leads him to a Russian history professor and a Russian circus performer, Akilina Petrovna. The history professor reveals to Lord Rasputin’s cryptic message, convincing him that he is the “raven” of the prophecy, and that he and Akilina, whose name means “eagle” in old Russian, are to be the team that will succeed in finding the lost heirs of the Romanov dynasty. The search takes them across continents to find the meaning of clues hidden a century ago by the protectors of this secret.
If you like Dan Brown’s books, you will love this and all Steve Berry’s novels. They are rich with history and suspense, a great combo for a great read.
At a recent Readers Advisory Training, reknown book reviewer Nancy Pearl mentioned that she was currently reading The Girls by Lori Lansens and found it to be a well written interesting book written from the perspective of conjoined twin girls. Based on her recommendation, I checked this book out of the library and was engrossed in this fictional account of conjoined twins from page one. The Girls are Rose and Ruby Darlen, craniopagus conjoined twins, connected inseparably, facing the world side by side. The book chronicles their life journey; a story of love between sisters. The narrative switches between sisters; each chapter giving the reader a personal glimpse into the spirit of each girl. The writing is rich in detail and provides you with an intimate look into the struggles and triumphs of the "girls".
Not only does main character, Tim Wallace, have to try to cope with the recent death of his wife, he has to deal with the fact that someone has set into motion a diabolical plot to frame him for several, seemingly unrelated murders and ongoing terrorism against the USA. Wallace is hounded by the detective who investigated the accidental murder of his wife. Detective Novack never bought into the accident theory. He has dedicated his spare time to proving that Wallace committed murder and will not rest until Wallace is behind bars. This new mystery by Rosenfelt does not have his popular series character, Andy Carpenter, but he still delivers a well thought out plot that keeps the reader guessing up until the final scene.