Monday, February 20, 2012

Book I've read in February so far.

Following Christ by Stephen E. Robinson
ISBN: 9781590383230
This is a follow-up to his book Believing Christ and it is just as excellent. I love how he breaks things down and brings to light gospel principles and doctrine that there may be some confusion about within the church. Absolutely a wonderful read.

Flushed: How the Plumber Saved Civilization by W. Hodding Carter
ISBN: 0743474090
It was an interesting read but not very good. He was a humorous author and it was interesting to learn about the history of indoor plumbing but it came off as amaturish. Not one that I will own.

Proofiness: The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception by Charles Seife
ISBN: 978-0670022168

This is another one I will not own, I actually couldn't finish it. The concept and thesis was interesting, the fact that we as a people are too trusting in numbers. He mostly referred to the media and how they report. Statistics and even counting were explained to be fallible. The author however, writes so densely and it was quite boring. Having taken a statistics class, I already knew that statistics were a very easy method of data manipulation, and he did show how the media and special interest groups use them. What got me bogged down were the numerous chapters on elections. I just couldn't get through them.

the cult of the amateur: how today's internet is killing our culture by andrew keen
Yeah, I probably won't ever own this one either. I thought it might be an interesting book, nut the majority of it seemed to be written by a man who was nostalgic for days gone by, days before iTunes, blogging, and file sharing. There were some interesting points made about blogging and amateur reporting, but the entire section on digital music just seemed like ranting against the new. He did however, offer solutions to certain problems he poses in his book, which takes away from the ranting.

The Disappearing Spoon and other true tales of madness, love, and the history of the world from the periodic table of elements by Sam Kean

I loved this book. So much history organized into a chemistry table. The author was witty and interesting and made the topic interesting. It could have very easily gotten bogged down in technical jargon that would have been understood by only a handful of people but it was very interesting.

Protecting the Gift: Keeping children and teenagers safe and parents sane by Gavin De Becker

This was a book I had high hopes for because I loved his previous book, The Gift of Fear. And the first part  of the book was great, the middle applied less to my situation because it was talking about daycares, childcare workers, nannies, etc. The last part of the book I didn't like though. From his previous book I did not get the impression he was anti-gun, as a top security consultant you would think he would have an understanding about their place in our safety. What seemed odd to me was his stance that there should be no guns in the home, not even in a safe. Now this seems at odds with all his other assertions about education. About almost every other topic he says that education is the number one thing to keep kids and people safe, talking to kids honestly about predators, learning danger signs, etc. But then when it comes to guns, instead of talking about how important gun safety education is he just says, don't have guns. This was just weird to me because it seems ignorant. If you don't have guns what about somewhere else your kid hangs out, if they have never been taught gun safety and to respect guns they are in just as much danger. So I had mixed feelings about the book.

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