As I got towards the end of this book, I was wondering how I would sum up my thoughts on it. It’s not the longest book I’ve ever read, but it felt extremely long. I try not to read other reviews until I write out my own thoughts, but in this case I cheated.
I’m not sure that I love the title of the book, but at the same time – it was accurate. This book explained astrophysics from the Big Bang to quarks and atoms to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and on through to the multiverse, in plain English (mostly). Some of it was a general overview of Science – physics and chemistry – and some of it was a look out into the cosmos through the Milky Way and beyond. It was not a hard read, but I sure thought hard about some of the topics.
lowing Austin Kleon for a couple of years. This year I had been trying, fairly successfully, to keep an Austin Kleon style logbook. Recently, I started to really pay more attention to his work and listened to a few podcasts he was on and decided that possibly his books might be just what I was looking for.
As I read the introduction to this book, which it labels as “The Declaration of Personal Power”, it was getting me pretty excited to read the rest of the book.
“Why, having been endowed with the courageous heart of a lion, do we live as mice?
It seemed to speak to me in a way that I was looking for. At the time I started this book, I was in need of a little motivation.
I rate this book a rare 5 stars. The main story is incredible, and although I’d heard it before, this book took it to a different level. Also it’s always interesting to read about the place where you live. Not only is this a United States Civil Rights story, but also a Nebraska story, and even an Omaha story – it’s very cool to think that the crux of it happened just a few blocks from where I live now
Similar to the last book I read, this book is about a boy from my home state of Nebraska who has some calling to violence. The previous book, Once an Eagle, was a fictional story of a soldier who goes to WWI and WWII and struggles with morality during it. This book, however, was the grim and factual recalling of the actual events that happened back in the 1950’s where Charles Starkweather and his 14 year old girlfriend did not struggle with morality at all as they killed 10 people.
Sam was easy to root for – an all American boy who was straight as an arrow morally and from my home state of Nebraska. He’s tough as nails when he needs to be and doesn’t have a lot of emotion – a sort of Rambo character. And just as Rambo had Colonel Trautman, Sam had his own mentor, Colonel Caldwell, to guide him when necessary.
Growing up as a young, black girl in the racist, early 20th century – during the Great Depression era would’ve been tough. Getting raped by your mother’s husband is obviously devastating. Getting pregnant as a teen as a result of questioning yourself and trying to prove something to yourself is traumatic.
This book was a little different than I was expecting, but all-in-all it was good. It had a LOT of different topics from evolution to religion to empires to economics to the future and beyond. So many different topics that it’s really hard to sum up and summarize and honestly, it might take awhile to process this book and I may need to revisit it at some point.
Regarding the story of Chris McCandless as told in Into The Wild – I can relate to some degree and I think we all can probably relate a little bit. I think Krakauer says it best when he’s comparing Chris’s story to his own – “I suspect we had a similar intensity, a similar heedlessness, a similar agitation of the soul”. An agitation of the soul. This kid wanted more than the “successful life” of getting a good job and making some decent money.