Well, here's two more books I had to take back to the library yesterday, unread:
Louder Than Words: The New Science of How the Mind Makes Meaning, by Benjamin Bergen
Here's a bit from its PR blurb: "In Louder than Words, cognitive scientist Benjamin Bergen draws together a decade’s worth of research in psychology, linguistics, and neuroscience to offer a new theory of how our minds make meaning...Meaning is more than just knowing definitions of words, as others have previously argued. In understanding language, our brains engage in a creative process of constructing rich mental worlds in which we see, hear, feel, and act."*
And here's a review: Kirkus Reviews
Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age, by Steven Johnson
Johnson is the author of several of those types of nonfiction books I call "Making Sense" or "Big Think" books--like The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. I don't know why I keep checking Johnson's books out; he completely annoys me in that "the future is gonna be GREAT!" way that all Wired magazine authors do. (I mean, I hope the future will be great too, but I don't know that it's going to be great, and let's face it, "great" means different things to different people. Walking around attached to a smartphone at all moments of your life, for instance, doesn't really sound "great" to me. But that's just me.)
But, here's a bit from its promotional copy: "At a time when the conventional wisdom holds that the political system is hopelessly gridlocked with old ideas, Future Perfect makes the timely and inspiring case that progress is still possible, and that innovative strategies are on the rise. This is a hopeful, affirmative outlook for the future, from one of the most brilliant and inspiring visionaries of contemporary culture."
And here's a review: Wall Street Journal**
Now, on to other stuff I can maybe actually get read before it comes due at the library.
*It was way optimistic of me to think I was going to make it through a denser book like this just now. I just don't have the concentration, sadly.
**Frankly? I read the first ten pages of the Johnson and was bored to tears. Even when the book was the only thing in my bathroom I still didn't feel like reading it. And the same thing happened to me reading this review, which probably means I should find a different review to post. But linking to a review I couldn't finish of a book I couldn't finish seemed too right not to do.