sarahmichigan: (reading)
[personal profile] sarahmichigan
Book No. 33 was "Mindwise: How We Understand What Others Think, Believe, Feel, and Want" by Nicholas Epley. This book covers the way we humans naturally "mind read" the thoughts of others, how we get things right, how we get things wrong, and how we can do a better job of understanding other people's viewpoints (not too surprising, "Ask them!" is a serious suggestion for better mind reading). I keep up with neuroscience findings and know that a couple of the studies he mentions about "priming" are problematic and findings couldn't be replicated, and I'm guessing/hoping he may have addressed that in subsequent editions of the book (I read the original from 2014). Other than that, I really appreciated this slim volume that comes in under 200 pages but which packs in a lot of information. Everybody should be more aware of the ways we get it wrong when trying to figure out what other people are thinking or feeling, and if just being aware that your "mindreading" skills aren't perfect is the only thing you get from the book, it's very valuable. Recommended.

Book No. 34 was "The Mistress's Daughter" by A.M. Homes. I'd read one of her novels "This Book Will Save Your Life" several years ago and liked it and always intended to read more by her. This short memoir (just over 200 pages) starts when her biological mother contacts her, setting A.M. off on a journey of discovery, digging into her biological parents' lives, her ancestry and genealogy back through the 1500s, as well as the history of her adopted family. The reunion with her biological parents is not the happy ending many adoptees look for. It's messy and emotional and complicated. Her biological father is a bit of a cad. Her biological mother is a bit unhinged. If you're looking for happy endings or even for closure, the book doesn't really provide it, but it's beautifully written, and A.M. Homes strips it all of sentimentality and writes with the raw, brutal feelings she experienced herself during these events. It's a powerful book, and I plan to read more of the author's fiction.

1. Death's End (3rd in the "Three-Body Problem" trilogy) [fiction]- Cixin Liu (translation by Ken Liu)
2. Brat Farrar [fiction]- Josephine Tey
3. Notorious Victoria: The Life of Victoria Woodhull, Uncensored [nonfiction]- Mary Gabriel
4. Nine Years Under: Coming of Age in an Inner-City Funeral Home [fiction]- Sheri Booker
5. Heap House (1st in the Iremonger trilogy) [fiction]- Edward Carey
6. Air [fiction]- Geoff Ryman
7. The Intuitionist [fiction]- Colson Whitehead
8. The Monster of Florence: A True Story [nonfiction]- Douglas Preston, with Mario Spezi
9. Foulsham (2nd in the Iremonger trilogy) [fiction]- Edward Carey
10. The Secret Place [fiction]- Tana French (unabridged audiobook)
11. Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga [nonfiction]- Pamela Newkirk
12. Between the World and Me [nonfiction]- Ta-nehisi Coates (unabridged audiobook)
13. Everfair [fiction]- Nisi Shawl
14. The Departed (first in the "The Departed" trilogy) [fiction]- Kristy Cooper
15. The Night Circus [fiction]- Erin Morgenstern (unabridged audiobook)
16. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall [fiction]- Anne Bronte
17. The Story of My Tits [graphic nonfiction]- Jennifer Hayden
18. Long Black Curl (a novel of the Tufa) [fiction]- Alex Bledsoe
19. Ursula, Under[fiction]- Ingrid Hill
20. The Witch of Lime Street: Séance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World [nonfiction]- David Jaher
21. The Sheltering Sky [fiction]- Paul Bowles
22. Into the Woods: Tales from the Hollows and Beyond [fiction/short stories]- Kim Harrison (unabridged audiobook)
23. The sound the stars make rushing through the sky: The Writings of Jane Johnston Schoolcraft [fiction/poetry/biography]- writings by JJS, ed. Robert Dale Parker
24. Love in the Time of Cholera [fiction]- Gabriel Garcia Marquez
25. The Golden Ass [fiction]- Apuleis
26. Ghetto Klown [graphic memoir]- John Leguizamo (illustrated by Christa Cassano and Shamus Beyale)
27. Good Kings Bad Kings [fiction]- Susan Nussbaum
28. The Night Gardener [fiction]- Jonathan Auxier
29. Close Range: Wyoming Stories [fiction/short stories]- Annie Proulx
30. The Things They Carried [fiction/short stories]- Tim O'Brien
31. Elephants Can Remember [fiction]- Agatha Christie
32. The Shadow Hero [graphic fiction]- Gene Luen Yang (illustrated by Sonny Liew)

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