Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fast and Furious Book Reviews (Long Overdue)

The Red Queen : Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature by Matt Ridley

Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: The only reason this book doesn't get a 5 is because it can get heavy with the science at times. Sometimes it almost felt like I was reading a Biology textbook, but the momentary suffering was worth it. He uses sexual selection and the behavior of other animals to make some fascinating conclusions about human nature. It certainly does make you look at humans (and animals) in a different light. I highly recommend this book, but realize that there are some dense parts.

The Miracle of St. Anthony: A Season with Coach Bob Hurley and Basketball's Most Improbably Dynasty by Adrian Wojnarowski

Rating: 5/5

Thoughts: I'm a sucker for a good sports book and this is one of them. If you like books like The Last Shot, Heaven is a Playground, or Friday Night Lights, you'll enjoy this book. You'd have to be a sports fan, but this is more than a sports book and I got more than I expected. It's an inspirational story and Bob Hurley embodies the notion of service in many ways (although he does have his shortcomings).

Open by Andre Agassi

Rating: 5/5

Thoughts: I don't read many biographies or autobiographies, but this was a book I had trouble putting down. He doesn't leave much to the imagination and it will raise some eyebrows. Right off the bat he confesses his hatred for tennis, which only his closest friends knew about before the book's release. There's a number of lessons to take away from this book and you don't have to be a sports fan to enjoy it.

Country Driving by Peter Hessler

Rating: 5/5

Thoughts: I don't consider myself to be a "worldly" or "cultured" person, so this was a different kind of book for me. Hessler tells the story of the several years he spent in China during the 00's, during which he witnessed China's boom and all the affects that accompanied the boom. He has a good sense of humor and he blends history with his own experiences expertly. I was able to learn about China and actually enjoy myself (I never thought that could happen). People interested in international affairs or China will enjoy this book, although I enjoyed it without much interest in the topic beforehand.

Last Words by George Carlin

Rating: 5/5

Thoughts: I picked this one up on the recommendation of my English teacher. In retrospect, it seems odd that a teacher would recommend a book that spends a good deal of time discussing drug abuse... Regardless, it was an entertaining read and provided insight into the counterculture movement, the life of a comedian, and, duh, George Carlin. It's not a short book, but it is hard to put down. After finishing the book I watched some of stand up on youtube, which added some perspective. Almost anyone will enjoy this book as long as they enjoy gratuitous amounts of profanity.

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