Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Nevermore: Sociopaths, Rabid, Automobiles, Dogs, and More!

 Reported by Meygan

Nevermore opened with the discussion of Awkward Family Photos by Mike Bender. The book entails exactly what the title states—Bender takes random awkward family photos and compiles them into a book. The reader said the photos made her laugh out loud and that the book was a quick read. You can see more awkward family photos at

The Sociopath Next Door by Dr. Martha Stout was mentioned next. This book provides readers the overview of what a sociopath is and how sociopaths came to be. The Nevermore reader said the book is very informative and made her feel normal. She did say that a former president is mentioned as being a sociopath, which piqued the interest of several people in our Nevermore group. She also learned that 1 in 25 people are sociopaths, so the next time you are at a party make sure to examine the room. If you can’t find the sociopath, then it may be you.  Of course, I’m just kidding.

The same Nevermore member also read Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus by Bill Wasik. Author and journalist Bill Wasik and veterinarian Monica Murphy examine the deadly virus rabies. The reader reviewed the book last week and stated that she didn’t particularly care for Rabid. However, after she skipped a couple of chapters, she liked the book after all! She stated that there were several Amazon reviewers who wrote that they were totally bored by the book at first but after they skipped a few chapters just as she did, they found the book to be interesting.
Next was Helen MacDonald’s H is for Hawks, which is a true story. Helen is an experienced falconer, but it isn’t until her father’s death that she finds herself training a hawk. This book focuses on the ups and downs on MacDonald’s life, all while providing details about hawks. 

The Life of the Automobile: The Complete History of the Car by Steven Parissien was enjoyed by two of our Nevermore readers. One Nevermore member said the book was good but is chalked full of information and history about individuals in the car industry and who did what. He said he is reading is slowly in order to remember everything. He did say that he will make a timeline to help him remember all of the details. The other Nevermore member said it is a delight to read.

Car Wars: Fifty Years of Greed, Treachery, and Skullduggery in the Global Marketplace by Jonathan Mantle was also discussed by the same Nevermore member. He said that the title is true and that there are people in the car world who do not get along with one another. He found the book interesting and liked the history that the author provided along with the insight of everyone’s personalities. A piece of information that was especially interesting is that GM created better aircrafts for the Germans and not for the Americans during WWII. Of course, there were reparations for that after the war. This book is a great match for those who are interested in learning about the history of major car companies and the animosity among them. 

Moving the group from the discussion of vehicles to animals, a Nevermore member stated that she had finished Gregory Berns’ How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain. Berns researches to find out just how dogs do love human beings. In order to conduct that research, Berns had the dogs placed into MRI machines in order to have their brain scanned. Like military dogs are trained, these dogs were trained to remain calm while in the machine, even if the environment wasn’t that comfortable. The Nevermore member stated what makes this book so nice is that the writer is a sensitive person and that the pictures in it are beautiful. She also said that it is a story that left her feeling very happy!

Doll-Baby by Laura Lane McNeal was discussed this week as well as last week. The reviewer stated that it was a feel good story and that she liked it. She also likes that it tells about what living in the 1960’s was like. Another reader stated that the book is comparable to The Help by Kathryn Stockett. 

Last but not least, Michael Fullilove’s Rendezvous With Destiny: How Franklin D. Roosevelt and Five Extraordinary Men Took American Into the War and Into the World was discussed. The reader enjoyed this book, even though the title is not exactly the slant of the book. This focuses on the five men that Roosevelt sent on a dangerous mission to Europe in order to place them in the middle of WWII . The Nevermore member said it was beautifully written.

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