Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Acquisitions department

If you haven't read Pat Barker's Regeneration Trilogy it is an unsurpassed fictional history of the impact of World War I on the human psyche - great, great book (mine is in one volume) - so I am really excited to read her latest - Life Class. Danielle's mention alerted me to its publication.

I wrote about the imminent arrival of Dan Ariely's Predictably Irrational in yesterday's post, it's all the stuff that us geeks who study the interaction of mind and behavior get a kick out of. I especially enjoy reading about it when it is applied in a behavioral context that I may engage in every day (economics, I'm a one man boon to the book economy) but don't study.

I have a tiny cloth bound copy (3" x 5" to be exact)of A. E. Housman's A Shropshire Lad that belonged to my grandparents. It was published in 1936 in England so I would bet that either his brother or her sister, who had both already emigrated to England, sent it to them while they were still in Germany. When I saw The History Boys a few weeks ago (see my rave, linked) he is quoted and I thought, it's been too long since my last Inflorescence (see side bar) perhaps some Housman is in order. Yes, that's exactly what I thought.

Finally, speaking of geekdom, Developing Individuality in the Human Brain is subtitled a tribute to Michael Posner, who is one of the reigning kings of cognitive and developmental neuroscience. Posner's experimental designs are seminal to the way this science has evolved to measure cognitive functions. The book is a series of essays looking particularly at where and how developmental difference can lead to functional differences, which might sound byzantine to you, but It's my bread and butter.

That said I have a fellowship application to attend to today and we have a meeting tomorrow to discuss the the series of experiments my lab is conducting and I'm supposed to present on the evolution of my own experiment, my first actually, so I'm not going to be reading any of these new treasures today.


Anonymous said...

I've waited too long to read Pat Barker. I had one of the books from the trilogy (for some reason I don't think it was the first one)when I was still living in Japan and tried to read it but something didn't click so I put it down. I'd like to try again.

Danielle said...

I have a copy of Pat Barker's new one waiting for me at the library even as I type. I'm going to get it later. I do plan on reading her trilogy, though as well.

bioephemera said...

I didn't know about that Posner tribute! Thanks for the heads up. I love Barker too.

Ted said...

bioephem - my pleasure. I was pleased to find the posner book to because his approach was so formative to asking questions in neuroscience. It particularly interests me as my own research questions have a developmental component.