Aardy R. DeVarque (aardy) wrote,
Aardy R. DeVarque

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Books that I read in April

Books that I read in April:

14. Lowe, Derek B. The Chemistry Book (527 p.)

15. Olson, Ken. The Art of Hanging Loose in an Uptight World (204 p.)

16. Newman, Mildred & Bernard Berkowitz. How to Take Charge of Your Life (115 p.)

April total: 846 pages
2016 YTD total: 4736 pages

The Chemistry Book is a a history of chemistry's milestones (some major and famous, some mundane but important), presented as one page of text opposite a full-page illustration. The author is a long-time blogger, mostly about the pharmaceutical industry, but also about chemistry in general--his Things I Won't Work With category is both absolutely scary and absolutely hilarious, usually at the same time. (Keep an eye out for his blog posts about chlorine trifluoride--especially "Sand won't save you this time".) This book is absolutely fantastic, a must-read. Lots of solid history, fascinating trivia, basic information, and mostly accessible to the average person--or at least the average person who has survived a high school science class or two.

The Art of Hanging Loose in an Uptight World and How to Take Charge of Your Life are both pop psychology books from the 1970s. I think they reflect more what was in the air at the time, and any timeless truths are few & far between, at least for me. They generally come off as quite dated now (especially the former, as it is primarily centered around a set of analogies to audio reel-to-reel technology or perhaps to teletypes--i.e. "running a tape of [something]"), and are aimed at people who are basically doing okay but just want a little direction (as opposed to people with, say, clinical depression), but both still include some useful tidbits; the latter book had more for me than the former. I wouldn't recommend seeking them out these days, but if you happened to stumble across them, you might find a helpful nugget or three.

Feudalism: Serf & Turf
Tags: books, reviews

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