104 in 52..

A few more to add to my total…but a long way to go.

18.  Struck by genius : how a brain injury made me a mathematical marvel  – Jason Padgett

Jason Padgett was never interested in school or studying and spent his days working in a Futon Store and going out partying at night.  He was living a fairly happy, if aimless, life until one evening he was mugged as he was leaving a bar.  When he came to after the mugging the world was a new and amazing place for Jason.  Jason now had acquired savant syndrome and synesthesia which means he sees the world completely differently.  In Jason’s case he now saw the world in geometric patterns.  Jason then suffered the trauma of losing his father to cancer and having his brother disappear.  These combined events meant Jason was no longer able to cope with the world and he retreated into himself, leaving his house only at night and seeing no-one except his 5 year old daughter.  In his self-imposed exile he began to study maths and physics as a way of making sense of the geometric patterns he was now seeing .    You may have seen examples of Savants who can barely speak but are able to draw amazingly detailed drawings from memory, or do extremely complicated maths computations in their heads.  Most Savants are born this way but Jason acquired his condition from the mugging.  Jason is an ideal subject for scientists studying synesthesia and while they are studying him he is learning as much as he can about his condition and how he can use it to understand the world.

 

 

 

19. Careless in Red – Elizabeth George

A Thomas Lynley detective story, and my first Elizabeth George book.  I listened to this in the car – it was ideal for this as the plot was straight forward and there was enough intrigue to keep me interested.  George has an interesting collection of characters in this book and most of them have very little to do with the murder at the centre of the story, but they are so fascinating you want to know more about their backgrounds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20. Daddy Love – Joyce Carol Oates

Believe it or not, I picked up a Joyce Carol Oates because she is Lisa Simpson’s favourite author and I know Lisa has good taste when it comes to these kinds of things.  This was a compelling but explicit read – not for the fainthearted.  I read it in one sitting and it left me feeling a bit sad and disturbed.  Oates delves into the minds of all the characters to find their motivation.  She has obviously researched the psychology of both victims and perpetrators.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21. The Wind-up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami

Murakami’s writing is beautiful and charming as he describes some very ordinary, if a bit quirky, events in the lives of his characters.  The writing has the air of a fable or something mystical below the surface that will be revealed eventually.  This was my first taste of Murukami’s writing and I was impressed.  Unfortunately I haven’t the patience to persevere with such a long book at this time so will pick it up later when I can enjoy it at my leisure.