Sunday, September 30, 2012

Readings & Writings. Or, I am sorry the day is not a Sol.

Although I am a bit behind on my SF magazine reading queue (I haven't read latest Asimov's, Analog or F&SF yet), I have read several classic short stories. I wish a day was as long as a Sol (Martian day). I will quickly review them in this post. 
For your information, right now I am reading "The power of habit - How we do what we do in life and business", by Charles Duhigg. I am halfway though it and I can gladly say it's a nice, easy, reading. I never realized how similar we are to apes and mice, at least in regards to how habits form in our head. My loving wife is studying psychology - I guess she needs to use me as a guinea pig - so when I told her about what I am reading she was already aware of the subject. Since the book deals with habits, how they form and how the companies exploit them I guess my wife is ready...
... check check ... interruption!...
I was writing the above section at a Starbucks with the book next to my computer, when a funny looking guy, wearing a "New York City" baseball hat and Woody Allen glasses, interrupted me asking about Duhigg's book. Apparently he is a brain-fanatic, he loves studying the human brain and learning. He told me he is an instructor and he reads a lot. He suggested three books to me. Here they are:
- "Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything" by Joshua Foer.

-"Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious" by Gerd Gigerenzer

-"Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking" by Malcom Gladwell

The topic seems interesting enough to put the above readings on my infinite queue.
... going back to what I was writing:
Since the book ["The power of habit"] deals with habits, as the title implies, how they form and how companies exploit them I guess my wife is ready to work for the malevolent Umbrella Corporation and use humanity for her scientific experiments.
I plan to write a better review when I am done with the book, but just let me tell you that even if the subject is not simple at all, it is a very easy read.

Short Stories:
-"The Tell-Tale heart" by Edgar Allan Poe. This is a beautiful short tale by the Master of horror himself . Obsession, darkness and madness all come together in just a few pages and all because of what the protagonist perceives as an evil eye. Should we believe the narrator? Read it here:
-"The storm" by Kate Chopin. A nice little story about betrayal and freedom. It is clear since the opening lines that the real focus is on the settings rather than on the characters. I didn't enjoy it that much, but I have to admit it is written with a very good style. Read it here:,9668,1606831-,00.html
-"A&P" by John Updike. Written in 1961 this story puns closed minds and preconceptions. It is a beautiful story about rebellion, freedom and wasted lives. For sure it's one of the best storied I read in 2012. In it a young kid analyzes the reactions of a very conservative society after it gets stimulated by an external, unexpected, event.