Reader, Come Home; Bartleby the Scrivener; Grandma Says

Reader, Come Home by Maryanne Wolf

Are social media and the internet affecting our ability to read well? If so, what will be the long term affects on individuals and on society as a whole? These are the questions Maryanne Wolf attempts to answer in this well written and researched book. It gets quite technical in the early chapters where she examines how different sections of the brain work and what they need to function well, but it all comes together later and is helpful in understanding the conclusions she draws. She takes a fair and balanced approach throughout, seeing both the benefits and the drawbacks of technology in our daily lives. I think this is an important book for our times, one that raises immediate concerns it might prove tragic to ignore.   

Bartleby the Scrivener

A short novel about a Wall St. office worker who at first seems to be a hard worker but soon begins to reply to every request with "I'd prefer not to." As frustration mounts amongst his fellow workers, his boss begins to pay closer attention and sets out to learn more about his troublesome employee's life. It's a unique and interesting story, and well written, but I hoped some reason for his odd behavior would be revealed before the end. That didn't happen and I was left wondering what the point was.   

Grandma Says by Cindy Day

The author grew up on a farm in Quebec with a Grandmother who predicted the weather based on years of careful observation of nature. Cindy Day went on to become a Meteorologist, and in this book has brought together many of her Grandmother's weather sayings to look at the science behind them. There are some we've all heard, like counting the seconds to see how far away the thunderstorm is and snow being the poor man's fertilizer, and many that were new to me: Flies bite before it rains; Rain before seven, fine by eleven; When ladybugs swarm, expect a day that's warm; Mackerel sky, mackerel sky, never long wet, never long dry; and many more. She explains the history behind them and looks at the science to see how valid they are. It turns out the older generations were pretty good forecasters long before they could turn on a tv to watch a weather report. 

It's well written and entertaining. The cover might lead you to think it's a children's book, but it's for anybody with an interest in weather lore. Fun, informative, and hard covered, it would be a nice book to give as a gift.   


Post a Comment