Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Candy Freak by Steve Almond

Candy Freak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of AmericaCandy Freak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America by Steve Almond
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book isn't exactly what I thought it would be about; it's not a typical nonfiction book with interesting information candy generally. It's more a book about candy in America 50- 100 years ago, when candy was produced by many different small business owners. Some small business owners are still barely hanging in, but competition against the big manufacturers is killing them. Almond (ridiculous that this is his name- sometimes you feel like a nut?) travels to many of these small candy operations and visits their often beautiful factories, or at least Almond sees and describes them as beautiful.

Also, there's a memoir aspect to the book, but it's not really a memoir either.

Overall, not a very exciting read, especially since I can't get any of the candy he describes.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

A Brief History of TimeA Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this book many years ago. It was my first book about physics, and I'm so lucky that it was because it inspired an interest in other books about physics, not all of which have been as enjoyable as this one. At the time I read it I did not have any understanding of what Einstein's theories of Special and General relativity meant for humans' understanding of time and space. It was also my first introduction to quantum mechanics and the uncertainty principle. That changed my understanding of reality (or lack thereof?)

Particularly because it was the first to introduce me to these ideas, this book was one of the most important books I've read. It changed the way I saw everything.

It's also a good history of physics. It's not completely clear on the current controversies of physics because Hawking favored his own views over the controversies generally.

Update: I lowered the number of stars from 5 to 4 only because Hawking's book The Universe in a Nutshell is *very similar but I think the organization is way better.


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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle

A Wind in the Door (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #2)A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don't care for the title of the book. It would be better named The Hole in the Sky, The Nothingness, The Wind in the Trees, or um, The Sick Mitochondria? Haha, okay the last one is bad, but at least then I could remember what the book is about when I see it on my shelf.

I gave this 3 stars as an adult, but to be fair I gave it 4 stars in my reading journal when I was a kid.

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