Category Archives: Book Reviews

Dream Research Project

So I am currently recruiting participants for my research project related to dreams. It is a study involving unusual experiences occurring somewhere between waking and dreaming. More information can be found on my Dream Research Project page. I have had multiple experiences that fall into this category, one of which I have written about here.

Dreams have always seemed to fascinate me. The fact that we can live a completely different life while we are sleeping, how sometimes, I cannot seem to distinguish whether what I remember happened while I was awake or asleep, and whether or not it matters.

My dad and I have had discussions about fictional characters and how we sometimes know more about them, than about the the author of the books in which they appear. Sherlock Holmes, for instance, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Is Sherlock Holmes really any less real simply because he is fictional? It depends, I suppose, on your definition of reality. We know so much more about him than we do about Doyle who we assume was a “real” person.

In any case, this research project involves examining various worldviews and exploring how these liminal experiences can influence or change our ways of thinking about the world around us.


Currently Reading – The Anatomy of Dreams

The Anatomy of Dreams by Chloe Benjamin

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I really really want to like this book because it’s about lucid dream research, but I’m having a lot of difficulty getting into it. Not sure if it’s because I can’t seem to really relate to the characters or what, but I’m finding myself losing interest in the parts of the story that don’t involve the dream research. I am about one third of the way through at the moment and will keep you posted. So far it seems to be not quite a love story between a girl and boy who are classmates at a boarding school and who meet up again in college and are recruited by their high school professor to become lucid dream researchers when after a while, Sylvie, the girl, begins to have doubts about the ethics of the research. I have read from other reviews that the last half of the book gets better so I will keep going….


Adventures in Book Shopping

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I got these books last night after spending about an hour in the science section of Dimple books (http://www.dimple.com)…Yes I know I have an addiction. At least I wasn’t at the free bookstore (http://www.bayareafreebookexchange.com), I would have had 3 times this amount. So here’s my story: it’s about 10 minutes before they close, and I want to look at the philosophy section briefly, so I’m trying to carry all these books in my hands, I have them in a stack when I see a book I want to look at. I don’t really want to put the ones I’m carrying down so I kind of lean them against the shelf so I can pick up the book. As I’m doing this two guys come into the store. One of them says he wants to show the other one a book. As they walk by me one of them speaks, so I say hi. He asks why I’m holding the books like that and if I work there. I explain that I’m just trying to carry them so I can pay for them. He picks up an astrology book, opens it, and asks what my sign is:

Me: Scorpio

Him: Oh well we’re a perfect match!

Me: What is your sign?

Him: Libra

Me: Okay… (thinking: Right…not sure Libras and Scorpios go well together…but ok)

Him: I bet you have more books than friends.

Me: (gives him confused look while trying to read the back of the book I had picked up) Why do you say that?….What’s that supposed to mean? (I should have said: While that may be true, I have found they are much better company than most people.)

Him: (awkward silence) So you should give me your number. (He pulls out his phone.)

Me: (Seriously? shaking head) No, sorry.

He (thankfully) walks away.

So yeah, weird encounter aside, I’m excited about my new books :) Especially Bride of Science by Benjamin Wooley and Nature’s Numbers by Ian Stewart. The books I found seem to have certain themes. For a lot of the day yesterday, I was doing some research on genealogy and am very interested in learning my history and where my ancestors came from and then I find the National Geographic book on Deep Ancestry by Spencer Wells and Before the Dawn by Nicholas Wade. Also, the nautilus symbol seems to keep reappearing for me: 1. We recently talked about it in one of my classes. 2. I recently discovered this magazine and blog called Nautilus (http://nautil.us) 3. It’s on the cover of the Nature’s Numbers book and a Sacred Geometry book I found. So maybe there is some significance to it for me. The other theme I saw was the intersection of art and science which has always inspired me, but even more so after having re-read the book that sparked my interest in science (see last post) Properties of Light by Rebecca Goldstein. So definitely excited to get started. Now all I need is lots of time…

 

 

 


Properties of Light

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I just re-read this book, Properties of Light by Rebecca Goldstein. I first read it 14 years ago, it was then that I fell in love with the mysteries of quantum physics. I loved the mixture of poetry and science, the confluence of reality and unreality. It is why I studied science. But I think somewhere, I got a little lost… I think maybe I am still searching for that poetry, that sense of knowledge without reason, that exists somewhere between objectivity and subjectivity, forever suspended in quantum uncertainty.


Listening to Philosophy to Stay Awake

51G5cOxCB2L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_  So for the past week or so, I’ve been listening to the audiobook of Heidegger and  Hippo Walk Through Those Pearly Gates in order to stay awake during my 1 hr drive home after my 10 hr night shift and it seems to be working… Interesting that a book on the philosophy of death can keep me awake, but it definitely keeps my brain occupied which is what I need. Very interesting book so far, I’m about halfway through it. Taking it slow because I need it to last as long as possible until I find something to listen to next. Not only does it talk about various philosopher’s views on death, it combines with it the philosophy of consciousness and describes some of the basic areas such as dualism, physicalism, not much on materialism so far or panpsychism. The authors are interesting and include many jokes as well, all of which I don’t quite get, but that’s ok, still and interesting book so far and I will post an update when I finish.


Currently Reading…Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls

Very interesting book so far, it provides a unique perspective and makes you think of what the world would be like if this were true, as it may well be. Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls by Jane Lindskold is the story of a girl named Sarah, who can only speak in quotes, but can understand language and think clearly. When she is thrown out of the asylum where she lives with her two-headed pet dragon, she is joins a pack led by the Head Wolf. Just when she is getting used to her new life, she finds she is being hunted by the very people who set her free…because of her special talent – she has the ability to  communicate with inanimate objects – a very valuable trait to her would-be captors. And thus begins her journey to learn about her past and take control of what her future may hold.

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Fragments of a Fading Dream

So I’m pretty excited! I’ve been working on self-publishing a book of my writing including some of the poetry that you see here. It will be called Fragments of a Fading Dream and it’s a collection of some of my writing throughout the years on various topics such as dreams, illusion, reality, consciousness, science, love, etc. I am publishing it as an e-book as well as in print and it will be available for purchase via all the major e-reader sites as well as in print on this website and Amazon.com. The cover art is tentative, still working on it… Let me know what you think.