Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Hidden Life of Trees

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate
by Peter Wohlleben, Translated by Jane Billinghurst

Very informative read that shows but a sampling of what humans understand about tree biology. More than just a backdrop to animal activities, trees communicate, form social connections, have memories, exhibit violence and adaptability. The book is organized into pockets of knowledge, with each bite-sized chapter exploring one topic or species.

3.5 out of 5 stars: Wohlleben's friendly, easy-going voice makes it feel more like a child's book of short stories than a textbook: caveat emptor.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Man Who Planted Trees

The Man Who Planted Trees: A Story of Lost Groves, the Science of Trees, and a Plan to Save the Planet
by Jim Robbins
Published: March 2015

Immensely powerful read, spanning the realms of science, spirituality and history. This book follows one man's journey to save the environment while seamlessly expanding into a textbook overview of various tree species, from their symbiotic micro environments to their contributions to the global community.

5 out of 5 stars:  An easy informative read, but not without a sense of urgency: a call to action.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
by Haruki Murakami, translated by Philip Gabriel
Published: August 2009

Interesting to hear Murakami's voice in a nonfiction, autobiography setting. While nonrunners can still appreciate this collection of anecdotes and musings, they will definitely strike a much more resonant chord with those people who are constantly pushing their bodies limits in a repetitive, mechanical way. Or people who have ever tried to write a novel.

4 out of 5 stars: Autobiographies do a great deal to humanize our idols.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins
Published: January 2015

So uhm, may have powered through that book in the span of a weekend... I guess I get why it's so popular! Very well written, entrancing even before the "Mystery" develops. I felt deep emotional resonance with the characters, whether or not their struggles are relatable.

4.5 out of 5 stars: Love me some unreliable narrators. Time to watch the movie and criticize it relentlessly!