Taming my TBR

Taming my TBR: Part 05


Taming my TBR

I’m back with another attempt to get my TBR list under control… or maybe it would be better to say I’m trying to keep it under three hundred titles at once. This week we take a look at birds, my old love neuroscience, how to not be a jerk, and some poetry inspired by space! How will it go? Not sure! Is there a good or bad outcome with taming my TBR? I don’t think so!


genius of birds

The Genius of Birds, by Jennifer Ackerman: I’ve long held a fascination with birds; growing up in a rural community has given me plenty of opportunity to watch and appreciate the local and migratory species we have going through California. This book takes a look at the stories and research that have come out of the study of birds and their intelligence, from the Western Scrub Jay (bane of sleeping in around here) to parrots and birds of paradise, The Genius of Birds takes a look at the many verities of intelligence our avian friends can display. Written in an engaging conversational style, Ackerman shares her love and fascination for birds as she travels the world in search of answers.

Quotes, anyone?

“I love this idea, that nature dreamed up the same kind of sleep in both humans and birds, fostering the growth of big brains in creatures so far apart on life’s tree.”

“They circle; now dense like a polished roof, now disseminated like the meshes of some vast all-heaven-sweeping net, now darkening, now flashing out a million rays of light . . . a madness in the sky”

Final Verdict: Keep it!

Patient H. M.

Patient H. M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets, by Luke Dittrich: The authors grandfather was one of the many neurosurgeons of the 1950’s, performing experiments and procedures on patients that up to that point had only been reserved for chimpanzees In 1953, a young man by the name of Henry Molaison received a radical new type of lobotomy in an attempt to cure his severe epilepsy. While it failed to cure him, it did cause him to suffer from amnesia, and he was no longer able to form long term memories. Dittrich uses Molaison’s story as a jumping off point, as he studies the history of neuroscience dating back to ancient Egypt all the way to modern MIT, while also examining the life and legacy of his morally complex grandfather.

Quotes, anyone?

“The broken illuminate the unbroken.”

“Maybe the human brain is an object beyond the reach of metaphor, for the simple reason that it is the only object capable of creating metaphors to describe itself. There really is nothing else like it. The human brain creates the human mind, and then the human mind tries to underhand the human brain, however long it takes and whatever the cost.”

Final Verdict: Keep it!

The Universe of Us\


The Universe of Us, by Lang Leay: A book of poetry inspired by love and loss and heavily influenced by space; planets, stars, sun, galaxies. We looked at Lullabies by Leav a couple posts ago, and I think it’s safe to say that we will be keeping this on the TBR as well. I want to read more poetry, but it’s hard for me to find work that really speaks to me.

Quotes, anyone?

“When you lose a person, a whole universe goes along with them.”

“I think the mysterious pull that draws you to another person is identical to the one that moves our eyes upward to the stars.”

Final Verdict: Keep it!

Into the Magic Shop

Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart, by James R. Doty: Part memoir, part inspiration, part study- Into the Magic Shop follows the author from his destitute childhood in the high desert of California to Stanford University, and tells us of the lessons he learned, or forgot, along the way.  A look at how our emotions affect our mind, and vice versa. I’m interested in the juxtaposition of science and intuition, and how they can sometimes coincide. Also the intro is well written and riveting, so I think this will be an excellent read.

Quotes, anyone?

“She taught me the pointlessness of wishing for a different past and the futility of worrying about all of the frightening futures over which I had no control.”

“Others will create your reality if you can’t make it for yourself.”

Final Verdict: Keep it!

Don't be a Jerk

Don’t Be a Jerk: And Other Practical Advice from Dogen, Japan’s Greatest Zen Master, by Brad Warner: Eihei Dogen was a rather stand up Zen Buddhist Monk from Japan who was alive about 800 years ago. If you’re like me you’re interested in classic texts like this, but often the messages are lost in the antiquated language. And while I’ve taught myself how to comfortably and casually read Austen, Shakespeare, and Ovid, I still have a bit of trouble processing older texts from Asiatic countries. That’s why I’m all in on paraphrasing Dogen’s wisdom, that and I’m the kind of nerd who finds it humorous to reword ancient quotes with modern language.  Buuut after reading quotes and excerpts, I’m finding it not as funny as I’d like, and little repetitive.

Quotes, anyone?

“Because a lot of our philosophical stances these days are kind of half-assed. We’re very bold in our proclamations of our own moral rectitude, but then we neglect to even keep our own toilets clean. You see a lot of that kind of thing. I used to see it all the time in my punk-rock days. Those guys were super-concerned with having the right political and philosophical views. But they never seemed to be able to keep their showers free from mold…”
“By not being a jerk now, you create the cause of not being a jerk in the future. Our action is not predestined, nor does it spontaneously occur.”
Final Verdict: Kick it!


Happy Thursday ladylads and gentlegals, hope your week is going well. I’m back at work full time and hating it, but at least it’s good motivation for me to get published! Be gentle and kind to each other, and remember to smile behind the mask!

2 thoughts on “Taming my TBR: Part 05

  1. I saw the title of this and had to chuckle. I feel better after reading it and finding that you’re talking about books you actually have a copy of sitting at home, I think? I have multiple TBRs lol. I have the books on my shelf, ones available at the library, ebooks I’ve picked up and then just books I’m interested in. If I had to tame all those… ye gods. 😀

    I do have an idea for taming some of them and working my way through them and it’ll be on my blog soon hopefully!


    1. Sadly I don’t own any of these books- I’m just going off the Goodreads preview (if available). I’m trying to be better about reading excerpts from books before I buy them, because that last couple of years a handful of well reviewed titles completely let me down, and if I’m going to be spending my money, I’d prefer it to be on a book I at least enjoy, not something I don’t even want to finish.

      Curious to see what you’ve got planned! For all my attempts to tame my list, I am my own foil, because I just keep adding five times as many as I take away!

      Liked by 1 person

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