Archive for the Non-Fiction Category

Catherine Blyth’s “The Art of Conversation”

Posted in Books, Non-Fiction, The Art of Conversation with tags , , , , , on 5 July, 2009 by Nicola

I simply could not finish this book since Catherine Blyth appears to be unable to write in a clear, concise and coherent manner. Too many times I found myself re-reading passages trying to grasp her meaning. She is at her worst when explaining her personal experiences; it took several tries to determine what was even going on, who she was talking about and who said what.

I cannot possibly tell you which is worse: her choice of diction or her sentence structure. They are both terribly bad and make for very frustrating reading. Having six clauses in one sentence and employing high-brow phrases and obscure words are not the marks of a good writer. This book has every sign of a wannabe writer trying too hard. Continue reading


Louann Brizendine’s “The Female Brain”

Posted in Books, Non-Fiction, The Female Brain with tags , , , , , , on 3 February, 2009 by Nicola

This book is quite fun to read and highly accessible even to people that have no background in science or biology.  Although the research and the findings are serious, Louann Brizendine uses examples of her prior patients to explain her meanings and she is very good at this.  I am absolutely useless at science, but I was not baffled by anything she had to say.

This work has a hundred pages of references, which, on the surface, seems to reinforce its scientific findings, but the references are not easy to follow.  The book sometimes takes a tone of suggestion or theory rather than exact science, since no signifiers of a reference or footnotes are made within the main body of the work itself.  You therefore have to keep flipping to the back to see which of her statements are backed up by research and which statements are simply her own.  Without the distinction, which statements do we take as facts, and which do we take as her own theory?  Do we want to keep flipping to the back to find out?  Not really. Continue reading