Linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Quick Lit to share short reviews of books I’ve read recently.
Storm in a Tea Cup: the physics of everyday life by Helen Czerski – I picked up this book because I thought its premise was interesting: how the same laws that govern what milk does when you pour it into your tea also help us understand how storms behave. How gases, whether in the form of bubbles at the top of your beer or the oxygen in a giant whale’s lungs, act the same, always. Fascinating! What’s puzzling is how I find evidence for a master designer in all this order, and the author credits evolution. Anyways, reading passages aloud from this book has been an enjoyable addition to our homeschool day.
The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli
Learning about the brain and how it tries to trick us is one of my favorite topics. This book has 99 short chapters, each highlighting a cognitive bias. If you’ve ever wondered why it’s so hard to stop watching a really bad movie (because you’ve already invested an hour in it!), or any number of other irrational things we humans do, read this book. And think better.
The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse by Gregg Easterbrook
This book tries to figure out why people of the developed world in the last 50 years are more likely to be unhappy and depressed, despite having a standard of living their grandparents could only have dreamed of. While I appreciate that the author points to a lack of spirituality as a big part of the problem, his preachy style and strong liberal agenda detracted from his message that happiness is a result of gratitude, not abundance.
I forgot the lesson from the above book about the sunk cost fallacy and slogged through this one despite it. Ha!
Read any good books this month?