Book Review: A Million Things To Ask A Neuroscientist

Book: A Million Things To Ask A Neuroscientist: The brain made easy

Author: Mike Tranter

Genre: Teens and Young Adult (13+), Non-Fiction, Science, Neuroscience

Review Copy: Reedsy.com

Also available at: Amazon.in

When the first word in a book is as casual as OK, you wonder if it is of any merit. A quick walk into the preface and you realize the power of this book is in its simplicity. A deep dive and you are engrossed in the complex world of the brain but in a fun way through this book.

A Million Things To Ask A Neuroscientist – the brain made easy is listed for ages 12+ but I would recommend it for at least Grade 9 and above. Written in a succinct style, it contains some scientific terms that may disengage a younger reader. For anyone into the basics of the science of the brain and fiery neurons filled with questions on how this super organ works and controls the human body, this is one fascinating read.

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Memoryscape

Memoryscape

They say sights make lasting memories, a touch imprints forever but it was the smells that lie splattered across her memory-scape. This is her story through the years, tracing an olfactory journey, as she put the pieces together, wondering what lies next.

1980 –  It is the smell of soap – an expensive luxury bar of white soap. The aroma of the soap in the bathroom and the silhouette of a man carrying that aroma are vivid in her memory. She was barely 3 years old. She can recognize that smell anywhere but does not come across it often. She does not remember who he was but the memory is so distinct that she ponders over it.

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Book Review: Sober Thoughts from the Crazy House

Book: Sober Thoughts from the Crazy House

Author: J. Maxwell

Genre: Poetry, Self-Discovery

Review Copy: From the Author

Available on: Amazon.com

For Mental Health Awareness Month, I got the opportunity to read one of my favorite literary forms – poetry. J. Maxwell (Twitter @JMaxwell_Writer), author and illustrator’s debut poetry collection, Sober Thoughts from the Crazy House, is a candid evocation of his journey from mental health issues to a more sober approach to life.

One of the first steps to recovery, to solve issues permeating our lives, is to accept the situation and to seek help. J. Maxwell starts with the backstory of his struggles and how he overcame years of addiction and self-abuse. Words provided an artistic refuge. In searching for the words to express, Maxwell was seeking answers.

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Emotions

Hidden, unspoken
Behind a facade
Of the daily grind
Chores to keep the mind
Away from the surge
Of emotions unheard.
Latent they lay
Waiting for the day
To capture their prey
Rip apart the semblance
Of holding it together
Stronger they grow
The more you ignore!

Despair

I wrote this before 2019 – a different context & mood – when we did not know about a pandemic waiting to be unleashed. Macabre, how true these lines are today, as we battle second wave of Covid19 in our country.

I see darkness
Bloom from within
Sprouting like deadly fungi
Asphyxiating our breath
Killing our senses
With neon doses of despair

Admirer

I see the blossom
In your hair wither
From morn to dusk
The petals are now
Brown as twilight
In the evening train
Back from work

Before the Sun Sets

They run through
The sunlit grove
Summer in their hair
Sweat clinging to strands
Sun-kissed now
Sunburnt at dusk
It bothers not much
For childhood is about
Fruit orchards
Yellow fields
An amusing prank here
A scraped knee there
Making memories
Before the sun sets!

Chaos

Addicted to chaos
I enjoy the rumblings
Of thunder hounds
Gathering in the horizon
Promise of a storm
In the dark clouds;
The Devil howls
A clarion call
For rain to descend;
In torrents, in the slush
I am one with the anguish
Of nature, flooding
Drifting, breaking

Crimson Vengeance

Lament of Generations at War

We bloomed in deserts
Red and shades of blue
Wounds bled, bruises grew
When the heart stopped
A chill captured
Our wretched cores
Now, we kill, maim
Coloring gray of souls
With crimson hues!

We bloomed in wilderness
Pink and yellow, slowly
Becoming black and blue
Tarnished succulence
Thorns of vengeance
Pricking our sides
Now, we weep, bleed
Flowers in the wild
Turn crimson red!

Nature’s Medley…continues

Hills and Ravines

A fine vintage
Of memories running
On your forehead
Delicate lines
Hills and ravines
Life’s ups and downs
Chiseled on your brows

Highs and Lows

Scaling mountains
Traversing hills
Like a madman roams
In the highs and lows
Of your bosom
This thrill seeker
Finally, finds a home

Wind and Dew

She plaited stars
Shimmers unparalleled
In her lustrous braid
When the wind unravelled
Those twisted tresses
Diamonds floated free
And became dew drops

Beauty

I searched in
Golden sand dunes
Silver ice-scapes
Burgundy hills
Fields of peridot
Beauty, I eventually
Found you within

Stars and Moon

I will meet you
At the other side
Of the blue night
In sweet slumber
In deep sleep
Let’s serenade the moon
Trace lines on the stars

Sand and Ice

Are you made up of
Golden sand dunes
Or of the icy miracles
Of snow top mountains
With you, under the galaxy
Of a thousand sparkles
My heart melts, freezes
Sighs, rejoices, all at once!

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