June 10, 2012

The Reading Files - Waiting for the rabid dog!

Or maybe you better not wait and instead run as fast as you can now that a rabid dog is trying to get a nice chunky bite out of you. No don't worry, no grisly scenes ahead! Just your typical look back on a week in reading.

Wait (Frank Partnoy)
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Non Fiction / Psychology

Warren Buffett compares stock trading to being at bat, except that you don’t have to swing until there’s a fat pitch. Great athletes agree, but with shorter time horizons. They excel, not because of fast neurological responses, but because of their ability to delay as long as possible before reacting, returning a serve or grabbing a rebound. Successful CEOs, fire fighters, and military officers all know how to manage delay. In this provocative, entertaining book, Frank Partnoy provides a necessary rebuttal to the gurus of “go with your gut.” He shows that decisions of all kinds, whether “snap” or long-term strategic, benefit from being made at the last possible moment. The art of knowing how long you can afford to delay before committing is at the heart of many a great decision—whether in a corporate takeover or a marriage proposal. Exploring decisions from those made in half a second to those that take months and years, Partnoy demonstrates that procrastination is often virtuous, that the ability to wait is the path to happiness, and that our gut instincts often betray us. We do not always make smart choices in the blink of an eye, as this eye-opening book reveals.

Title & Cover: Photographer says, "Wait!" Dog thinks, "You wish!" Photographer was a tad faster, hahaha!
Story: There's a right time for everything, and often it's not the fast decision that makes the most impact - from buying bonds to apologizing, from holding a speech to deciding whether a second date will be worth it. Just. Wait.
Narrative: Quite engaging, yet the examples were often too long winded.
Characters: People making decisions, some slower than others.
Thoughts: Whether story-term or long-term decisions - to wait, to delay, to even procrastinate, is the way to go! While some chapters have been really interesting, all the examples from the world of sports made my thoughts drift. And I still have no idea what the whole Post-it invention chapter has got to do with waiting either!

Rabid (Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy)
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Non Fiction / Science / History

An engrossing and lively history of the fearsome and mythologized virus. In the tradition of The Emperor of All Maladies and The Great Influenza, journalist Bill Wasik and veterinarian Monica Murphy chart the history, science, and cultural mythology of rabies. In the absence of vaccination— as was true for thousands of years, until the late nineteenth century—the rabies virus caused brain infections with a nearly 100 percent fatality rate, both in animals and humans, and the suffering it inflicted became the stuff of legend.
The transmission of the virus—often from rabid dog to man—reawakened a primal fear of wild animals, and the illness’s violent symptoms spoke directly to mankind’s fear of the beast within. The cultural response was to create fictional embodiments of those anxieties—ravenous wolfmen, bloodsucking vampires, and armies of mindless zombies.
From the myth of Actaeon to Saint Hubert, from the laboratories of the heroic and pioneering Louis Pasteur to a journalistic investigation into the madness that has gripped modern Bali, Rabid is a fresh, fascinating, and often wildly entertaining look at one of the world’s most misunderstood viruses.

Title & Cover: Rabid doggie, oh my!
Story: Everything you ever wanted to know about rabies - from the early days to mythology, from literature to the latest in medicine. In parts quite gross (just as a little warning).
Narrative: Entertaining and absorbing, just the way I like it.
Characters: Various, and what they all have in common is ... they're rabid!
Thoughts: Intriguing topic wrapped into a highly comprehensive overview. And for those who don't like non fiction ... there are vampires and werewolves to be found here too! Ah, I knew, that'd get your attention!

A Million Suns (Beth Revis)
#2 Across the Universe
Source: won
Genre: Science Fiction

Godspeed was fueled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos.
It's been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. And everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He's finally free to enact his vision - no more Phydus, no more lies.
But when Elder discovers shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a puzzle that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier, unable to fight the romance that's growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart.
In book two of the Across the Universe trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis mesmerizes us again with a brilliantly crafted mystery filled with action, suspense, romance, and deep philosophical questions. And this time it all builds to one mind-bending conclusion: They have to get off this ship.

Title & Cover: Book one was beautiful but didn't tell you much about the plot. This one's both pretty and reflects the story - well done!
Story: Life has changed on board Godspeed and people are starting to revolt. Then an incredible discovery is being made and it's time to decide the fate of everyone on the ship. Who will stay and who's going to leave?
Narrative: Again, told through the POV of both Amy and Elder, which is really giving the story dimension.
Characters: Amy and Elder have definitely grown, including their flaws. But that's fine, characters don't have to be perfect.
Thoughts: And they say that the second book in a trilogy is often the weakest. Well, guess again, because this one I liked almost a tad more than the first book. Granted, the events were foreseeable, but I had really been hoping that things would progress exactly that way, so I've been a very happy reader indeed. Downside? Waiting for the third book makes me foam around the mouth! I don't do patience when it comes to books, ya know.

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