Saturday, July 1, 2017

Two Book Reviews

We Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown UniverseWe Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown Universe by Jorge Cham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm not a physicist or a mathematician, but I've always been drawn to the Big Questions. This book is just filled with Big Questions and lots of humor. Whiteson and Cham explain in layman's terms and with cute comics, the five percent about the universe that we do know, while opening up the readers' minds to the 95 percent of the universe that we are still stumped by. They explain how we might tackle these still unanswered questions and give us hope with the fact that we have managed to learn so much about our universe in just the last few hundred years. I admit that I read a few chapters more than once in attempt to absorb the heavy stuff, but that's because I really want to learn. Some of this stuff is downright mind boggling! and who could have guessed that footnotes could be so funny?

* * * *

Goodbye, VitaminGoodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Ruth is visiting her parents for Christmas, her mother asks her to stay for a year to help care for her father, who is starting to suffer the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s. Meanwhile, Ruth is trying to find her own footing, after her fiancée left her for another woman. "Goodbye, Vitamin" is narrated by Ruth in short diary-like entries that are often very funny, but by the end of the book these vignettes add up to a moving chronicle of familial love, as Ruth finds meaning and connection in some unexpected places. "Goodbye, Vitamin" sneaks up on you and may have you laughing out loud and then bring you to tears on the same page!

Rachel Khong was the managing editor then executive editor of Lucky Peach magazine from 2011 to 2016. "Goodbye, Vitamin" is her first novel.


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