Readings: The Brain that Changes Itself

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Book cover from normandoidge.com

I recently picked up a book I started reading about 3 years ago. It’s a book about brain plasticity and current research that will seriously blow your mind away. While I do want to spend more time devoting a review post about the book, I just felt like giving Dr. Doidge (the author of the book) a quick shout-out. Kudos and hats off to you! It is books like this one that really motivates me and wants me to go back to school and learn about this kind of thing all over again.

Readings: 1Q84 (finished)

I finished reading this epically long novel about two weeks ago. *runs victory lap*

I wrote a very brief review of the book on my Goodreads account, and I also wanted to paste it on here just for the sake of continuing my monologue on the book:

I seriously think that the best part of the book was the last 10 percent. Oddly enough, the book drew me in and despite its snail-pace development, I made it to the end. At 900 plus pages, Murakami certainly takes his time in developing his characters and leisurely builds up events that actually mean something. Part mystery and part fantasy, the combination is an interesting exploration of reality and non-reality. How do we know that the world we live in and the things we see and experience are real? This book ponders on this thought amid a love-story that lacks … love. There is no build-up for the attraction between Aomame and Tengo. They just inherently love each other and dream about each other romantically and sexually over the last 20 years of their lives. Believable? I think not.

Overall, I did not enjoy reading 1Q84 as much most people did, and the book is much too long to warrant a re-read. Sorry, Murakami.

Readings: 1Q84

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Cover of 1Q84 found on npr.org

I’ve started reading 1Q84 about 3 months ago. The book is by Haruki Murakami. I am now about 91% done, according to my Kindle. Here’s an excerpt:

Ushikawa kept up his surveillance until eleven. He gave a big yawn and called it a day. After he brushed his teeth, he stuck out his tongue and looked at it in the mirror. It had been a while since he had examined his tongue. Something like moss was growing on it, a light green, lie real moss. He examined this moss carefully under the light. It was disturbing. The moss adhered to his entire tongue and didn’t look like it would come off easily. If I keep up like this, he thought, I’m going to turn into a Moss Monster. Starting with my tongue, green moss will spread here and there on my skin, like the shell of a turtle that lives in a swamp. The very though was disheartening.

He sighed, and in a voiceless voice decided to stop worrying about his tongue. He turned off the light, slowly undressed in the dark, and snuggled into his sleeping bag. He unzipped the bag and curled up like a bug.

My face scrunched up while reading this passage, and I unconsciously verbalized a big “EWWW”. What did I get myself into? The book is getting weirder by the page, and yet… hardly any development. The big events of the book come every 40 some pages (exaggeration), and I’m afraid I’ve already exhausted the key points of the book. The pacing ┬áis not what I’m used to, as I like books that build up and keeps me on the edge of my seat. I admittedly cannot wait to finish up this book and move on.