Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions

4 out of 5 stars

Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott  Tip: *Read the illustrated version. The text refers to the pictures as means of explaining the overall story. If you read the text only version, you will be robbed of the full experience of this wonderful book.

Prior to Reading: This book is fantastic if you understand that it is a satire of Victorian England’s class system. It is also important to understand that this book is a metaphor for higher dimensions which is an extremely important topic in both physics and mathematics.

Pro: The book,”Flatland”, does a terrific job explaining how difficult it is for people to comprehend higher dimensions as most of us have no real concept of dimensions higher than our own. This is a great book for people who want to read something quickly and understand more about both lower and higher dimensions.

Con: If you don’t know anything about different dimensions, this book may seem like utter nonsense. If you don’t know anything about Victorian England’s class system, then, you will not catch and enjoy all of the indirect references to it. 

 

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Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the 10th Dimension

4 stars out of 5

  Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the 10th Dimension  This book, as the name might imply, discusses different dimensions such as the 10th and the 26th dimension. Michio Kaku refers to another book called “Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions” in order to coherently explain why higher dimensions can simplify the laws of physics rather than complicating them. 

Pro: This book is great for people who want to learn more about higher dimensions and how it might affect future civilizations as we go from what we currently are a Type 0 civilization to what we potentially could be which would be a Type III civilization.

Con: Unfortunately, a lot of what he talks about cannot be proven in the lab. We simply do not have the technology or know how to show experimental evidence for higher dimensions. The author knows this but is still rather fascinated by the idea that there might be.

 

 

Cracking the SAT Biology E/M Subject Test, 15th edition

5 out of 5 stars

Cracking the SAT Biology E/M Subject Test, 15th Edition  Pro: This book will definitely help prepare you for the SAT Biology exam. Before reading it, though, choose if you want to study molecular biology or ecology first. This will save you an immense amount of time. The book covered practically everything that was on the exam. I would recommend this book to someone studying for either of the two versions of the exam.

Con: It would have been better if there were more scenario-based facts and questions. Most of the exam was scenario-based. When I took the exam, I did not feel prepared for those type of questions.

Beyond Einstein

5 stars out of 5

Beyond Einstein: The Cosmic Quest for the Theory of the Universe  Pro: Readers can learn about different types of elementary particles such as the different types of quarks and leptons. In this book, I learned that there were up, down, strange, charm, top, and bottom quarks that were not all part of the same family. Page 110 shows a chart with up and down quarks in the electron family, the strange and charm quarks in the muon family, and the top and bottom quarks in the tau family. Michio’s book talks about supersymmetry, string theory, and the grand unified theory or GUT.

Con: Some readers familiar with particle physics may find that this book is unsatisfying. Others may note that this book is one of Michio’s earlier efforts in writing. Meaning his writing skills may not be as great as they are today. Personally, I really enjoyed the book, especially since I learned from it.

2017 Reading Challenge

In 2016, I read 19 books and reviewed 18 of those which means that I accomplished my goals for that particular year. For 2017’s reading challenge, I plan on upping the ante by reading 40 books. This is quite an increase in reading, so, I carefully planned out what books I was going to read last year by using the website GoodReads. I also counted up how many pages I would have to read for this year. 

What are your reading goals for this year? Do you think you can read more than 40 books for 2017?

Naked Ape

4 stars out of 5

naked-ape-cover  Pro: This can be a thought provoking book for some individuals. Readers may enjoy how Desmond Morris compares humans to other primates when it comes to both anatomy and behavior. The author questions older theories like the aquatic theory and dives into how we went from tree dwellers to ground dwellers. He discusses coitus, rearing, fighting, and feeding in his book.

Con: This book was published in 1967. So, there are a lot of facts that need to be updated. The first page, for instance, says there are “one hundred and ninety-three living species of monkeys and apes”. This is not correct anymore. There are more than 260 known species of monkeys, 4 types of great apes, and 2 types of lesser apes.