Skip to main content

READ MY MIND © Book Reviews by Michael G. Harris, OD

Apr 01, 2015 01:12PM, Published by Jennifer Neys, Categories: Community



I've loved inventions ever since I read a book about Ben Franklin in first grade. So imagine my delight when I found two recent bestsellers on the subject. Walter Isaacson's The Innovators is the story of “how a group of hackers, geniuses, and geeks created the digital revolution." In tracing the history of the digital revolution to its earliest beginnings, we meet the first computer programmer, Lord Byron’s daughter Ada Lovelace. In the 1840s (yes, that's right, the 1840s) Ada worked with Charles Babbage on his “analytical engine,” the first computing machine.

Isaacson, who wrote bestsellers about Ben Franklin and Steve Jobs, introduces us to origins of the transistor, microchip, video game, and personal computer. We also learn how the Internet started. (No, Al Gore did not invent the Internet, but he did play an important role in its development.) We also meet troubled geniuses like Alan Turing and William Shockley. We learn why a computer glitch is called a "bug” and how “the mouse” got its name. This is a great book for geeks and geek wannabes. 

A wonderful companion book is Steven Johnson's How We Got To Now: Six Inventions That Made The Modern World. This marvelously illustrated book follows six major inventions that made our world what it is today. Some are works of genius and other happened by pure accident. What's really amazing is how these basic discoveries are linked together. You will never look at your refrigerator, alarm clock, drinking water, or iPod the same way after reading this book.

Now it's time for a good laugh. If you love food is much as I do, comedian Jim Gaffigan’s Food: A Love Story is the book for you. I finally found someone who has the same love affair with food that I do. And we’re talking about real food, like doughnuts and bacon, the stuff made from those old-fashioned ingredients sugar and fat, not that tasteless junk like kale and spinach. 

Gaffigan never met a vegetable worth eating. Why waste your time on something flavorless when you could be enjoying the incomparable taste of a cheeseburger, fries, and a milkshake? This laugh-a-minute book had me in stitches (and hopefully not the kind you have after heart surgery). After reading this book, you'll never feel the same when you pass a KFC in the mall.

And speaking of food, wouldn't it be nice to know how French women can eat all that rich food and never gain an ounce? The secret to this and other mysteries can be found in How To Be A Parisian Wherever You Are, essays by four gifted French women who share the secrets to "love, style, and bad habits" that make French women so irresistible. This book isn't just for women. We guys can learn a thing or two. Where was this book while I was single and dating?

 Noted Brazilian author Paulo Coelho has been called "one of the most influential writers of our time." I read his seminal book, The Alchemist, many years ago and really enjoyed its charm and wisdom. With that in mind, I picked up a copy of his latest novel, Adultery, hoping for more of the same. 

Unfortunately, I was sorely disappointed. It's the dismal story of a thirty something woman who has “a wonderful husband" and a near-perfect life. Yet something is missing. So she starts an affair with an old boyfriend. I got bored halfway through the book and didn't care one way or another what happened to this self-centered ingrate. Don't waste your time. Read The Alchemist instead.

 



April 2015 The Innovators Read My Mind


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Volunteer Gardening

    07/26/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    It takes a lot of effort to maintain six acres of lush garden space, and as a small, nonprofit or...


  • Community Garden Swap Meet

    07/26/2017
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Have an excess harvest of yummy and pretty things from your home garden? Bring fruits, vegetables...


  • Plant Spotlight Classes

    07/26/2017
    12:30PM — 01:00PM

    Bring a sketchbook or notebook to The Gardens at Heather Farm as we spotlight one special plant i...


  • MONTHLY MOSTLY BLUEGRASS EXTRAVAGANZA

    07/26/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    Hosted by the Armando's House Bluegrass Band Bruce Campbell - bass Rick Horlick - mandolin L...


  • JENNY KERR BAND

    07/28/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    “Country Rock, Blues and Soul” Jenny Kerr - vocals/ guitar/ banjo/ harmonica/ piano Philbilli...


  • Model Train sHOw & Open HOuse @ WCMRS

    07/28/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Join us this coming Friday night for our "Last Friday Night of the Month" train show/open house. ...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    07/30/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • THE SUNDAY PAPER

    07/30/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    "Bay Area Funk" With former and current members of Tower Of Power, Cold Blood, Sly & The Famil...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    07/31/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • Volunteer Gardening

    07/26/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    It takes a lot of effort to maintain six acres of lush garden space, and as a small, nonprofit or...


  • Community Garden Swap Meet

    07/26/2017
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Have an excess harvest of yummy and pretty things from your home garden? Bring fruits, vegetables...


  • Plant Spotlight Classes

    07/26/2017
    12:30PM — 01:00PM

    Bring a sketchbook or notebook to The Gardens at Heather Farm as we spotlight one special plant i...


  • MONTHLY MOSTLY BLUEGRASS EXTRAVAGANZA

    07/26/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    Hosted by the Armando's House Bluegrass Band Bruce Campbell - bass Rick Horlick - mandolin L...


  • FPHE Green Team meeting - new members wanted!

    07/27/2017
    04:00PM — 05:00PM

    We encourage and support all things Green in Pleasant Hill schools, including school gardens, sal...


  • Summer Sounds - Lesher Center Plaza

    07/27/2017
    05:30PM — 07:00PM

    Modern speakeasy, saloon jazz, parlor pop describes their music. But their ability to charm audie...


  • Artist in Residence Open Studio

    07/27/2017
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    Bringing inspiring Bay Area artistic talent to the six acres of lush, natural landscapes at The G...


  • S'mores at Sundown

    07/27/2017
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    Relish in the joys of a warm summer night with treats and outdoor activities for families in a be...


  • JENNY KERR BAND

    07/28/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    “Country Rock, Blues and Soul” Jenny Kerr - vocals/ guitar/ banjo/ harmonica/ piano Philbilli...


  • Model Train sHOw & Open HOuse @ WCMRS

    07/28/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Join us this coming Friday night for our "Last Friday Night of the Month" train show/open house. ...


  • Muir Orthopaedic Specialists annual event provides pre-participation evaluation and optional base...


  • Artist in Residence Open Studio

    07/29/2017
    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    Bringing inspiring Bay Area artistic talent to the six acres of lush, natural landscapes at The G...


  • Eat Stay Love Lafayette Food Tour

    07/29/2017
    11:00AM — 01:00PM

    Green Hills. Great Schools. Good-tasting Eats. Our Eat – Stay – Love Lafayette food tour is a tw...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    07/29/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • You are invited to a Party with a Purpose benefiting Monument Crisis Center and Contra Costa Inte...


  • SHARK ALLEY HOBOS + JACKSON & THE IMMORTALS

    07/29/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    SHARK ALLEY HOBOS Che Prasad (guitar, banjo, uke, sitar, accordion, vocals) John Howard (guit...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    07/30/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • THE SUNDAY PAPER

    07/30/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    "Bay Area Funk" With former and current members of Tower Of Power, Cold Blood, Sly & The Famil...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    07/31/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    08/01/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    08/02/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • Volunteer Gardening

    08/02/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    It takes a lot of effort to maintain six acres of lush garden space, and as a small, nonprofit or...


  • Ninth Annual Mascot Day at Jelly Belly

    08/02/2017
    11:00AM — 03:00PM

    Visit your favorite mascots at the ninth Annual Mascot Day at the Jelly Belly Visitor Center. Mr....


  • Community Garden Swap Meet

    08/02/2017
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Have an excess harvest of yummy and pretty things from your home garden? Bring fruits, vegetables...


  • Plant Spotlight Classes

    08/02/2017
    12:30PM — 01:00PM

    Bring a sketchbook or notebook to The Gardens at Heather Farm as we spotlight one special plant i...


  • Party Under the Palms

    08/02/2017
    05:30PM — 08:00PM

    Unwind under the palm trees at Jack London Square with the coolest craft cocktails as CUESA and t...


  • Habit is the first complete personalized nutrition solution, helping you eat right for your own u...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    08/03/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • Ballfield #2, Heather Farm Park 301 N. San Carlos Drive Bring your family and enjoy this FREE...


  • Summer Contra Costa Crystal Fair

    08/05/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    The fantastically marvelous Crystal Fair is coming to Walnut Creek on August 5-6. It will be a sp...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    08/05/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • Cute Critter Live Draw

    08/05/2017
    03:00PM — 05:00PM

    Join the Bedford Gallery for their Cute Critters Live Draw and art auction from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. ...


  • Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center

    08/05/2017
    05:00PM — 07:00PM

    Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center, presented by the Diablo Regional Arts Association, will ret...


  • The Electric Band: David Laflamme - violin/ vocals Linda Laflamme - vocals Val Fuentes - dru...


  • Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center

    08/05/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center, presented by the Diablo Regional Arts Association, will ret...


  • Summer Contra Costa Crystal Fair

    08/06/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    The fantastically marvelous Crystal Fair is coming to Walnut Creek on August 5-6. It will be a sp...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    08/06/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • Free First Tuesdays at Bedford Gallery

    08/08/2017
    12:00PM — 05:00PM

    Free admission first Tuesday of the month (when open) Sweet n Low features artwork from over 1...


  • Volunteer Gardening

    08/09/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    It takes a lot of effort to maintain six acres of lush garden space, and as a small, nonprofit or...


  • Community Garden Swap Meet

    08/09/2017
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Have an excess harvest of yummy and pretty things from your home garden? Bring fruits, vegetables...


  • BANJOJAZZ featuring HOWARD ALDEN

    08/09/2017
    07:30PM — 09:30PM

    Jack Convery - banjo Howard Alden - banjo/ guitar Dave Marty - banjo Gary Newman - piano Bob ...


  • The Danny Green Trio

    08/10/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    A rising force on the jazz scene, Southern California pianist and composer Green has distinguishe...


  • Happy Hour & A Half

    08/11/2017
    04:30PM — 06:00PM

    Live music No cover charge Beverage discount Doors open 4:00


  • DEREK IRVING & HIS COMBO

    08/11/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    “Retro Rock 'n Roll & Rockabilly” Derek Irving - guitar/ vocals Vance Ehlers - upright bass ...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    08/12/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center

    08/12/2017
    05:00PM — 07:00PM

    Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center, presented by the Diablo Regional Arts Association, will ret...


  • THE LADY BIANCA SHOW

    08/12/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    “Blues and Soul” Bianca's Annual Birthday Party at Armando's! 2015 International Blues Chal...


  • Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center

    08/12/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center, presented by the Diablo Regional Arts Association, will ret...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    08/13/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • SOULFUL SECURITY

    08/15/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    "Classic Rhythm & Blues and Soul" Glenn Walters - vocals/ drums Jeff Tamelier - guitar Tony ...


 

 

 

 

July 2017

 

Oasis Veterinary Pet Adoption Connection

 

Loading Family Features Content Widget
Loading Family Features Article

 

Interested in advertising or becoming a community sponsor? Contact us at 925-335-6397 or email us at info@ourcommunityfocus.com