Books

Book Review: Tales from Both Sides of the Brain: A Life in Neuroscience by Michael S. Gazzaniga

Finally, a new book review. I have been swamped with publishing, writing, and marketing. To the book. I was so excited to get this book, having an opportunity to see/read about the life of a neuroscientist. But this is the first time I have to say I hate a book. It is a sad moment in my life, and I’m not proud of my reaction. Maybe while I write my review, I have a more positive view.

This book is snobbish, elitist, and constantly name dropping and describing the perks of being and coming from a top University and being there at the right time. The writer is like my father-in-law who in a way knows a lot about the world and humans and still knows nothing about them. If I’m sure, they are from the same era. The golden age. Life has been so good that neither of them has been forced to stop to think and understand how the rest of the world lives and what are their struggles. That others are not as blessed. The words coming from my father-in-law’s mouths are more than often enough demeaning, unhelpful, and downright stupid, and still, I know he thinks he is helping and does it out of the goodness of his heart. This book reminded me a lot of him. Even when the writer described his cancer, he shrugged it off as it never happened. Somehow he turned it into a merit. Something others can beat as easily.

This book… this book irritates me. The only time the book interested me was when he was writing about his involvement in cloning laws. Then his name dropping and bragging didn’t make me want to tear my hair off. Then he rightfully made it clear how their decision making affected nationally and worldwide.

Not that this book is grammatically incorrect or that the structure is all over the place. It is just the arrogance.

I understand the man has a right and a good reason to be proud of his life, what he has seen and done, and been part of. He has done important things to our world and understanding of the human mind. But for the sake of reason his own religion teaches to be humble, and still, he goes on about the fine dining he has done, how chefs made them food especially, martinis, and so much more.

All this irritation might be about my jealousy. I was supposed to succeed in the University, and be part of making science, but life didn’t work that way. (I’m not sad about that any longer.) And I apologize if that is the reason for my dislike for the book. If not, I apologize for nothing.

In conclusion, skip this book if you want to learn something about neuroscience other than about the culture in a top University(s). Read this if you want to understand what is it like to live a good elitist life. I guess there is nothing bad about that.

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