Spring Reading 2018

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery

I’m really intrigued by Octopuses, so I browsed through Barnes and Noble one day and picked up The Soul of an Octopus. I did not like Montgomery’s style of writing and could have done without some of the personal stories, but I did learn a few things about Octopuses which was the point. Here are some of the cool things I learned:

– Octopuses are sentient invertebrates
– Female Octopuses are really good mothers. They lay thousands of eggs which they hang in caves and keep protected under their arms. They spend the next several months of their lives taking care of the eggs, that are each the size of a grain of rice, and pretty much die of starvation over time just as the eggs hatch
– Octopuses spent a life of solitude, with the exception of briefly mating
– Octopuses are extremely intelligent creatures and keepers in aquariums often have to come up with special, more difficult games to keep them from being too bored
– Octopuses each have their own personalities
– Octopuses have the ability to regenerate their arms, and unlike other species that have the same ability, like chameleons, an octopuses regenerated arms are as perfect as the original
-Each octopus’s arms “has a brain of its own”
– An octopus eats through a beak which is at the center of its underside and taste its food by moving it up its arms by the tentacles to the beak

Rating: 2/5
(I liked the Octopus facts but there was way too much author fluff)

Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall

This was my April Book of the Month club selection that I read during our Galapagos trip. It was a quick, easy read. I liked the first half but then I started getting a little bored after I realized there wasn’t some crazy twist and the guy was just obsessive and crazy. Overall it was pretty good though.

Rating: 2.5/5

The Themis Files trilogy by Sylvain Neuvel (Book 1: Sleeping Giants, Book 2: Waking Gods, Book 3: Only Human)

I started reading Sleeping Giants on our Galapagos trip in April after borrowing it from Kevin once I finished all of my other books. I didn’t realize it was a trilogy and since i’m not a quitter, I continued through. It kind of reminded me of transformers but it was definitely a young adult trilogy.

I actually gave my friend the book to give to a high school student that she is mentoring since it is more of a young adult book and it’s an easy read.

Rating: 2/5

Eat and Run by Scott Jurek

Kevin bought this book for me from Mile High Run Club. It was an okay book, not super exciting. If anything I was in awe of Jurek’s commitment and single-tracked intensity and it made me want to push myself harder during my next workout. The guy definitely has some issues though that he didn’t really address head-on in the book.

Rating: 2/5

The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir

The Book of Essie was my June Book of the Month club selection. I loved it. I liked the plot and MacLean Weir’s style of writing. I devoured this book pretty quickly. It was definitely one of my fav novels that I’ve read in the past few months.

Rating: 4.5/5

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

I ended up skipping my May Book of the Month club selection, but then I kept hearing about The Mars Room so I ended up downloading it to my Kindle. Overall I liked the book but there were a lot of loose ends and I didn’t like the ending.

Rating: 3.5/5

When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri

I heard good things about When Katie Met Cassidy via Book of the Month club though it wasn’t one of my original selections. I ended up downloading it on my Kindle after I read The Mars Room and literally read it in two days. It was a quick, easy read but also fresh and entertaining which is why I sped through it so quickly. It kind of reminded me of Blue is the Warmest Color.

Rating: 4/5

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink

I’m more of a fiction reader but every once in a while I like mixing it up with non-fiction. Pink’s novel was pretty good but I didn’t have any enlightening ah-ha moments. I am considering reading one of his suggested books, A Geography of Time: Temporal Misadventures of a Social Psychologist by Robert V. Levine. Below are the main things I took from it:

– I am a “third bird,” meaning i’m not a morning lark nor a night owl but I do skew a little more towards being a morning person
– Studies show that students perform best on tests early in the morning (but not too early) and need breaks throughout the day in order to maintain strong performance/retention
– Daily naps are actually very good for us but for no more than about 20 minutes. It is okay to drink tea or coffee before a power nap because the caffeine doesn’t actually kick in for about 25 minutes
– It’s better to deliver bad news before good news

Rating: 3/5