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violabrain

violabrain

Joined December 2016

I am a professional violist with a background in neuroscience. I love music, I love brains, but I especially love to read! :)
review
violabrain
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Pickpick

This is a GREAT book to understand yourself better! I came to a lot of realizations through reading this book and doing the exercises. Some of them may seem silly, but I was surprised at how impactful they all were. Highly recommended!

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violabrain
The Sisters Chase | Sarah Healy
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Pickpick

This book was fantastic. I love books with a complicated, flawed protagonist who doesn‘t always make the best choices, but at the same time, you can completely understand why they made those choices.

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violabrain
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Pickpick

I think I‘ve found my favorite genre of non-fiction: highly sarcastic, opinionated scholarly writing! I just loved this! Great arguments and also hilarious!

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violabrain
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Pickpick

I think I‘ve found my favorite genre of non-fiction: highly sarcastic, opinionated scholarly writing! I just loved this! Great arguments and also hilarious!

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violabrain
Boundaries: When To Say Yes, How to Say No | Henry Cloud, John Townsend
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Pickpick

The information of this book was great, but the overt Christianity felt like wrapping this common sense advice in the jargon of a cult to make it palatable to the the cult members. It was extremely weird to read in that regard.

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violabrain
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Pickpick

Oh my heart!! ❤️❤️ This book made me laugh and it made me cry. It‘s absolutely adorable and heartwarming and deep and important. I loved every second of it!

24 likes1 stack add
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violabrain
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Pickpick

Everyone should read this book whether or not they‘ve been in an abusive relationship.

10 likes1 stack add
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violabrain
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Pickpick

Great information in here and something all women should read.

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violabrain
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Pickpick

Another fantastic read by Mary Lawson. I‘m so happy I discovered her work over the summer and I can‘t believe I had never heard of her before!

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violabrain
It Ends With Us | Colleen Hoover
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Bailedbailed

Why in the world is this so popular? The writing is absolutely terrible and everything that happens is utterly unbelievable. Way way too many convenient coincidences. I made it about 50 pages in and I couldn‘t take it anymore.

BookishTrish I feel the same about this author; my teen eats them like candy though 5mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I have this one and I‘m not in a hurry!! There seems to be a lot of hype for CoHo 🤷🏻‍♀️ 5mo
Aims42 Thank you for confirming that I‘m not alone in the “why is everyone in love with this book?!” Club. My friend wouldn‘t stop gushing about it so she lent me her copy and I returned it 2 days later. Could not get over the terrible writing and the unreal characters & dialogue. Glad she‘s getting people reading, but CoHo is a hard pass for me (edited) 5mo
See All 8 Comments
violabrain @Aims42 Yeah, I‘m always talking about books with my students and one of my undergrads recently got back into reading and thought this book was amazing so she lent it to me. I feel bad telling her I thought it was awful… 5mo
Aims42 @violabrain Ugh, that is hard to tell someone especially when they‘re getting back into reading. I kept it bland with my friend and just said it wasn‘t my jam but I‘m glad she found an author she enjoys 😁 To each their own lol 5mo
violabrain @Aims42 It is, and I definitely don‘t want to discourage her from reading! I like what you said to your friend. I think I‘ll steal that. 😊 Thank you for sharing that with me! 5mo
Aims42 @violabrain You‘re welcome!! 😊💟 5mo
mija333 💯 agree this book is awful 5mo
19 likes8 comments
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violabrain
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Pickpick

I‘ve been completely obsessed with Heartstopper since I watched the Netflix series, so of course I loved this novella!

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violabrain
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Mehso-so

This book is a classic on Carol Dweck‘s seminal and hugely important research, but my goodness it is badly written! 😱😳🤦‍♀️

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violabrain
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Pickpick

I really loved this book. It‘s very hard to describe. The writing style is incredibly unique. The story is both quiet and gentle but also hilarious at times. I was incredibly distracted by other things the whole time I was reading it, so the fact that I felt such an investment in the characters throughout really says something.

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violabrain
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Pickpick

This book is absolutely gripping. It was also completely infuriating to read, not only for what happened during the AIDS epidemic, but how literally every single mistake is being repeated now with Covid (and monkeypox). Everyone should read this book, if you didn‘t read it back when it came out in 1988.

Amiable Oh my gosh, I read this a few years ago and was totally mesmerized. SUCH a good book! 6mo
violabrain @Amiable It really is! This has been on my shelf for a while, so I‘m so glad I finally read it! (P.S. I see you live in Connecticut! I grew up in West Hartford!) (edited) 6mo
Amiable @violabrain Hi, neighbor! I grew up in North Haven. Now I live in East Lyme and work in New Haven. Where are you now? 6mo
See All 6 Comments
violabrain @Amiable Oh nice! I live in AZ now, so pretty far away! 😂 6mo
Amiable @violabrain That is a huge change! Yikes. I wouldn‘t be able to handle the heat there. I can barely struggle through it when temps are in the 90s around here! 😖😀 6mo
violabrain @Amiable Yeah, the heat is definitely my least favorite part of living here. I moved for a job, so it‘s not my first choice of places to live. Fortunately the extreme dryness tempers the heat. 90° with 5% humidity actually feels quite pleasant. :) 6mo
17 likes2 stack adds6 comments
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violabrain
Heartstopper | Alice Oseman
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Pickpick

I realize I‘m late to the game, but I became totally obsessed with this show on Netflix last week and read all four books in the last two days. They are unbelievably sweet, endearing, wholesome and so full of love. I can‘t say enough good things!

writerlibrarian They are quite good. There are also novellas out there that I haven't read yet. 6mo
violabrain @writerlibrarian I know! Those are next on my list. :) 6mo
Liatrek I love this show so much and the books ❤️ 6mo
violabrain @Liatrek Me too!! ❤️❤️ 6mo
15 likes1 stack add4 comments
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violabrain
The Heart Principle | Helen Hoang
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Pickpick

I mostly read “serious literary fiction“ but I am totally a sucker for Helen Hoang‘s books and characters. I absolutely loved this book. And as a professional musician I have to say that she did a great job with the musical aspects of this book. Usually books with professional classical musicians as characters make me cringe because they are just hilariously inaccurate, but she did a great job here.

kspenmoll I so enjoyed this book too- it was my first by this author! Great review! (edited) 7mo
violabrain @kspenmoll I‘m going to read The Bride Test next, but if you haven‘t read The Kiss Quotient (her first book) you totally should. :) I love that one too! 7mo
16 likes2 comments
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violabrain
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Pickpick

An amazing story! The writing is a little bit clunky and amateurish in places, but the story itself is incredible.

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violabrain
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Pickpick

I borrowed this from a friend so I could understand better her frustrations and challenges with cleaning. I thought it was an outstanding book with really good ideas for how to reframe cleaning as care tasks and making your home work for you. Now I need to go buy my own copy!

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violabrain
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Pickpick

A fascinating, thought-provoking, and entertaining read!

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violabrain
Crow Lake: A Novel | Mary Lawson
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Pickpick

This book was OUTSTANDING. One of the best books I‘ve read in a long time. Reminds me of Ann Patchett…I had never heard of this author before, but someone on here posted a review of one of her books, so thank you to whoever that was for introducing me to Mary Lawson!

jlhammar I can't wait to read this! I loved A Town Called Solace. 7mo
14 likes1 stack add1 comment
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violabrain
Unnatural Causes | Richard Shepherd
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Pickpick

An interesting read, although I didn‘t realize it was a memoir. It‘s also definitely not for the faint of heart. I am not squeamish in the slightest having grown up in a medical family, but the graphic descriptions of murder victims and mass disaster scenes was a little much at points…

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violabrain
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Pickpick

I‘ve been enjoying reading books that come highly recommended but about which I know nothing. This book was not at all what I expected it to be, but it was completely delightful, touching, witty, and wonderful.

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I love the Count ❤️🖤 8mo
TheSpineView Loved this book! 8mo
25 likes2 comments
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violabrain
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Panpan

I was really excited to read this book about writing by a neurologist, but it‘s a disorganized mess. It reads like an initial draft that nobody edited.

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violabrain
In Other Words | Jhumpa Lahiri
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Pickpick

I love everything she writes. This is a remarkable meditation on language, reading, writing, art, identity, and so much more.

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violabrain
Dutch House | Ann Patchett
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Pickpick

Why is everything Ann Patchett writes literally the best thing I‘ve ever read? Like all of her other books, I absolutely loved this one!

Follow.my.read I had a special interest in the historical aspect of T1 diabetes as I have had it most my life! This is one of my favorite books!!! 9mo
18 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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violabrain
Green Island: A novel | Shawna Yang Ryan
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Pickpick

This book was amazing! I learned so much about Taiwan and its tumultuous history that I knew nothing about before. It was interesting reading the end, which takes place during the SARS epidemic in the early 2000s, and comparing it to our current pandemic…

15 likes1 stack add
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violabrain
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Mehso-so

Too much botany, not enough brains for me. Oh well!

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violabrain
The Muse: A Novel | Jessie Burton
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Mehso-so

I liked this better than The Miniaturist (only because that book has so many problems with it), but I still don‘t think Jessie Burton is a very good writer. The pivotal moments in this book are much too contrived and everything is tied up way to neatly at the end. I don‘t understand why her books are so popular. They seem very amateurish to me.

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violabrain
The Thing Around Your Neck | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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Pickpick

I‘m not really a short story person, but I loved this collection of short stories by one of my favorite authors.

13 likes1 stack add
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violabrain
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Pickpick

The extremely informal, conversational tone of this book took a little getting used to, but it was a fantastic read. I learned so much about the immune system. His analogies made really complicated topics easy to understand. And as others have mentioned, the illustrations are beautiful. Highly recommended!

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violabrain
The Earth Hums in B Flat | Mari Strachan
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Pickpick

My great aunt gave me this book years ago but I only just read it. The title and the cover and the font make it look like it‘s going to be some light airy read, so I didn‘t expect themes of suicide, murder, mental illness, etc. I‘m glad I finally read it!

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violabrain
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Pickpick

Despite its subject matter, I found this book ultimately hopeful. Definitely a lot to think about in here.

14 likes1 stack add
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violabrain
We Were the Lucky Ones | Georgia Hunter
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Pickpick

Okay, stop what you‘re doing and go out right now and buy this book. I have read a lot of really incredible World War II stories, but this one takes the cake. A suspenseful, gripping, heartbreaking story full of love and heart and bravery that is all the more amazing because it‘s true! Incredible!!!!

EvieBee This is one of my top ten books to read this year! Already read Rules of Civility. I want to read ALL the books I‘ve been saving. 12mo
peacegypsy @violabrain I agree entirely! One of the best books I‘ve ever read! ❤️ 12mo
22 likes2 comments
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violabrain
The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story | Nikole Hannah-Jones, The New York Times Company
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Pickpick

It goes without saying that this book should be required reading for every American. I really liked how each chapter took a different topic and traced it through history to the present day. If this book isn‘t on your shelf yet, make a point to remedy that.

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violabrain
White Teeth | Zadie Smith
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Pickpick

This is one of the funniest books I‘ve read in a long time. I read NW several years ago and I liked it but I wasn‘t thrilled. This one‘s been on my shelf for years. I‘m so glad I finally read it. I absolutely loved it!

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violabrain
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Mehso-so

The topics covered in this book are right up my alley, but I couldn‘t believe the racist terminology in referring to Indigenous peoples and languages (savages, primitive, etc.). It read like something written in the 1980s (or earlier), not 2010.

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violabrain
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Pickpick

Her first book remains one of the best books I‘ve ever read, and this one joins that distinction. Outstanding in every possible way. As someone with a background in neuroscience, I loved the neuroscience stuff in here. A fun note: the protagonist‘s research is so similar to the research being done in Karl Deisseroth‘s lab at Stanford that I figured she must have talked to someone in the lab. Turns out I was right! :)

violabrain Karl Deisseroth‘s book on his research was one of the most poetic science books I‘ve ever read! 13mo
13 likes1 comment
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violabrain
Exit West: A Novel | Mohsin Hamid
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Pickpick

My 100th book of 2021! I wanted to try to read 100 books this year and I got there a whole week early! :) I enjoyed this gentle tale of love and change. Seems fitting somehow for everything the world is going through right now. Merry Christmas, everyone! 🎄 May you have lots of time to sit and read today. ✨

Nute Merry Christmas, Molly!❤️🌟💚 13mo
paulfrankspencer Congratulations! Great accomplishment. 13mo
violabrain @Nute Thank you! You as well if you celebrate! ✨🎄🎁 13mo
violabrain @paulfrankspencer Thank you! I didn‘t think I would make it, but I read a ton of graphic novels in December because I can read them really fast. :) They aren‘t my usual genre, but they ended up being some of my favorite reads of the year! 13mo
28 likes1 stack add4 comments
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violabrain
This Is Only a Test | B.J. Hollars
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Mehso-so

I feel bad giving a so-so rating since I know the author (we used to teach at the same university). But I found the tone annoying (making a big deal out of things that are not big deals, and minimizing things that are a big deal by writing about disasters of which he has no personal experience). All of the chapters were also apparently previously published as individual articles and so it doesn‘t hang together as a book.

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violabrain
Grass | Keum Suk Gendry-Kim
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Pickpick

This is an extremely powerful graphic novel about the Korean women who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese during World War II.

14 likes1 stack add
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violabrain
COVID Chronicles: A Comics Anthology | Rich Johnson, Kendra Boileau
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Pickpick

It was interesting and surreal to read this now while we enter probably the most dangerous chapter of the pandemic so far. These comics are from April through October 2020, which in many ways feel like the good old days of the pandemic… :(

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violabrain
History of Wolves | Emily Fridlund
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Pickpick

I‘m not quite sure what to make of this book. On one hand, the writing is excellent. On the other hand, all of the separate threads didn‘t quite add up for me in the end in the way I was expecting/hoping.

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violabrain
Run | Andrew Aydin, John Lewis
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Pickpick

I‘m in awe of the amount of research that went into producing this graphic novel. I‘m not really a graphic novel person, so I missed the memo about the March trilogy by the same team. Time to read those as well!

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violabrain
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Pickpick

An incredible read. I loved all of the different voices and perspectives.

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violabrain
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Pickpick

The author has wonderful stories and a great sense of humor! A really wonderful read! Plus, he now lives in my hometown!

7 likes1 stack add
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violabrain
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Pickpick

A powerful graphic novel on a topic I knew nothing about before. Women were instrumental in slave revolts throughout the history of slavery in America. I hope she makes her dissertation into a full length history book because I would love to learn more about this.

MrsMalaprop Wow! Looks interesting. 14mo
12 likes1 stack add1 comment
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violabrain
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Pickpick

This is an amazing graphic novel that brings life to six autobiographies written by Yiddish teenagers shortly before World War II broke out. The backstory behind these autobiographies (explained in the preface) is incredible, and I loved hearing these teenagers‘ voices all these decades later.

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violabrain
Himawari House | Harmony Becker
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Pickpick

I don‘t usually like graphic novels much, but I absolutely loved this one. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and I absolutely loved the story. Her illustrations of the characters‘ facial expressions are so amazingly expressive. If you like graphic novels, I can‘t recommend this highly enough. And even if you don‘t, you should give it a read!

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violabrain
The Excellent Lombards | Jane Hamilton
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Pickpick

I‘m surprised this has such a low rating on here. I absolutely loved this book! A beautiful coming-of-age story, with each chapter like a short story unto itself. I also really love books that have a strong sense of place, which this one definitely does.

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violabrain
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Pickpick

Really interesting to read this book during this pandemic. It was also sad to read the epilogue, where he was talking about how our technological advances will be able to stymie a future pandemic. The thing nobody ever counted on was disinformation and conspiracy theories being the thing that allows a virus to run rampant.

19 likes1 stack add