Thursday, March 11, 2010

Brain Asplosion

Obviously my brain didn't actually explode when I read God Soul Mind Brain by Michael Graziano. XP

Though I do believe it's a bad sign when a book aimed at "the most general, non scientific audience"(p 11) has me searching for a dictionary multiple times throughout the course of the book. The author adores ten-dollar words. I have a fairly large vocabulary myself, or I thought I did before reading this book.

For example, the author really likes the word ubiquitous. I thought I knew what it meant, but I wasn't sure. According to Merriam-Webster Online, the word means "existing or being everywhere at the same time: constantly encountered: widespread [a ubiquitous fashion]". Why not just say widespread? The meaning isn't identical, but it would get the point across. Without making people look for a dictionary.

There were other words I had to look up but ubiquitous was the most, well, ubiquitous of the lot. ^_^

My only other issue with the book is the length of some of the paragraphs. A single page of uninterrupted text is hard on the eyes. Why do that to your readers? Give the eyes a break!

The book has a lot of science in it, which is to be expected. It is, after all, about neuroscience and the search for the soul. I have a pretty good background in science, having taken the equivalent to two semesters each of biology, chemistry, and physics - all at a college level. (Biology and Chemistry were AP courses taken in high school. I actually did take two semesters of physics in college.) Surprisingly, none of that helped my understanding of the various neuroscience principles outlined in this work as much as my single semester of general psychology. Turns out there is a lot of overlap between the two.

I don't recommend reading this book unless you have a good background in the sciences and a good vocabulary. Or at least a good dictionary.

Also, a good memory. By the time I got to the end of this book, I had forgotten what point the author was trying to make. Obviously, it didn't come across very well.

Source: I read this book as an e-ARC from NetGalley. God Soul Mind Brain releases September 1, 2010.

Where to Pre-Order: Barnes & Noble

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