Book Review: Undeniable by Bill Nye

Undeniable by Bill NyeUndeniable by Bill Nye
Rating: 4stars
Amazon :: Barnes & Noble :: Goodreads

I should begin this review with full disclosure: when I was in school, I did not learn real science.

The school I attended from kindergarten through high school taught creationism. As an adult, I no longer practice any form of religion and do not believe in creationism. But as you can imagine, I’ve had quite a bit of catching up to do when it comes to learning about science and its various disciplines. I often turn to some of my favorite science educators, such as Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye, for answers. I didn’t watch Nye’s TV show when I was growing up, but I’ve since become a fan of him in general.

In 2014, Nye debated creationist Ken Ham, who is the president of a Christian organization that runs the Creation Museum in Kentucky. Following that debate, Nye was prompted to write Undeniable.

If the argument is, “Well, that was all part of the plan,” then I have to ask: How can you take the lack of evidence of a plan as evidence of a plan? That makes no sense.

In his book, Nye discusses the science of evolution but also delves into other related topics such as cloning, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), genetics, ethics, and astrobiology. For most people, Nye’s examination of evolution is probably pretty basic science, but for someone like me who didn’t grow up with Darwinian science as the standard, I found it to be pretty informative.

I read the audio version of the book, which is narrated by Nye himself. Nye is an excellent narrator–always enthusiastic and never bland. I confess, if I had read the print version of the book, I might have gotten bored at times when the science jargon gets a bit more technical. As it was, Nye’s narration kept me engaged in the text the majority of the time.

For the most part, Nye competently asserts scientific fact without resorting to mocking creationism or Christianity. That being said, he doesn’t walk on eggshells, either. I don’t think there’s anything in the book that will change the mind of the devout creationist, but it’s certainly a worthwhile, important discussion that’s approached in a very accessible way.

Book Review: Crazy, Stupid Sex by Maisey Yates

Crazy, Stupid Sex by Maisey Yates
Crazy, Stupid Sex by Maisey Yates
Rating: 5stars
Amazon :: Barnes & Noble :: Goodreads

Crazy, Stupid Sex by Maisey Yates is part of Cosmo’s Red Hot Reads line, which I’m a huge fan of. Red Hot Reads are typically shorter than an average novel and they feature strong female characters who aren’t afraid to go after what they want in life and love.

Maisey Yates’s books are perfect for this line. Yates has become one of my favorite contemporary romance authors. She has an ability to combine hilarious dialogue with poignant, heart-tugging moments and steamy romance. It’s an interesting combination that keeps me coming back to her books.

Crazy, Stupid Sex features Evie, an app developer who also happens to be a millionaire. How refreshing is that? I’m pretty burned out on billionaire heroes, but a millionaire heroine? Yes, please. 

Evie is currently working on a dating tips app for Flirt magazine (think Cosmo). While testing the tips out herself, Evie is faced with the fact that she’s kind of clueless about dating and sex. She hasn’t had much experience, and her last boyfriend was a major dud. So when she meets Caleb and he agrees to help her test the app, as it were, it’s a win-win for both of them.

Caleb comes from a wealthy family. He’s basically mooching off their money and not doing anything substantial with his life. At first, he comes across as a huge player and seemingly has no depth. How wrong that assumption is.

Caleb Anderson was full of shit. And she knew it. Had known it for a while, really. And yet it had only just become clear to her how false, how brittle, his playboy facade was.

As Evie and Caleb spend more time together, they realize that their casual hookup is turning into much more. And as this is happening, Caleb begins to reevaluate his life–including some heartbreaking events that led him to where he is today.

I really loved this book. Evie’s on a journey of self-discovery regarding what she wants in a relationship, but Caleb’s in a similar position of discovery, too. He likes to pretend that he has his act together. Turns out that he really doesn’t and it’s Evie who helps to open his eyes.

“Can I just be with you? Or should I leave you alone?” His hands came up and bracketed her face, his eyes snapping open, his dark brown gaze intense. “No,” he said. “I’m always alone. Don’t leave me alone. Please.”

For me, it’s always a nice change of pace to read about a successful, strong female character who doesn’t need the male to sweep in and rescue her. In this story, it’s actually Caleb who needs rescuing from himself. That’s what makes this book such a refreshing, funny, and utterly romantic read.

“But you have me. You have my love. You have life. It doesn’t matter if you deserve it or not.”

Catching Up

Since I haven’t had a blog in ages, I figured I’d post a quick recap of what I’ve been up to lately.

This weekend, Michael and I watched Lucy. Warning: slight spoilers ahead. The movie had an interesting concept but I thought that the execution wasn’t great. I expected Lucy to do a bunch of kickass things with her mind but as it turns out, apparently when you use 100% of your brain, you just want to kill a lot of people. And although I’m no neuroscientist, I’m pretty sure that the “humans only use 10% of our brains” theory has been shown to be a myth.

On to other things.

Work lately has been pretty good, except that I’ve had some kind of mystery injury that has put me on light duty. I went to the doctor and found out that I strained a muscle in my neck, which was causing both neck and shoulder pain. I’m still not sure how I injured myself. The doctor gave me pain meds in addition to a muscle relaxer, which have both helped. My neck pain cleared up pretty quickly, but my shoulder has been hurting off and on for the past week.

Since I work library circulation, I do a lot of physical tasks throughout the day, not limited to but including book handling such as check-in, check-out, and carting of materials. So while my neck/shoulder issue wasn’t a major injury, it has definitely been aggravated by my daily duties simply because I haven’t had much chance to just let the muscles rest and recuperate.

Luckily, I was off yesterday and today, so my shoulder is feeling a lot better. I’m hoping that my physical woes will resolve themselves soon. It’s an awful feeling to be at work and be in constant pain every day. It’s like I have arthritis, or something! (Note: I’m way too young to be having so many aches and pains.) Yikes.

Aches and pains aside, work is picking up. In a few months, my position will be eliminated and absorbed into the next higher position, which technically means I’m getting a raise and promotion–yay! It’s an across-the-board move, so a bunch of us will be cross-training in upcoming weeks as we prepare for our positions to be converted.

I’m both excited and nervous about the transition. On one hand, there are a lot of duties that I’ve been doing already, so I feel like I don’t have as much of a learning curve as some others do. On the other hand, with a new position comes extra responsibilities, so I’m slightly nervous but I think it’ll all work out okay. And ultimately, I’m really thankful to be employed at all.

So that’s what’s been going on this past week or so! Since I’ve had the neck/shoulder stuff going on, I haven’t been able to knit at all this week. I really hope everything heals completely because I’m eager to start a new project–a gift for a coworker. Hopefully, soon I’ll be able to show you what’s currently on my needles. 🙂

Hello again!

I’m giving this blogging thing yet another try, even though it has been years since I’ve blogged regularly.

I’ve always felt that Twitter killed the personal blog. I like Twitter, but sometimes I have things to share that far exceed 140 characters, so…I plan on posting what I’m currently knitting as well as reading, in addition to general life stuff.

Hopefully someone is actually reading this–if that’s you, welcome and hello. 🙂