July 9, 2010
Book Review: What Do You Care What Other People Think?, Richard Feynman
I haven’t done a book review in some time, just because I actually have to think before doing these types of posts. LOL
Well, a book I read recently was written by a physicist nobel laureate, Richard Feynman. It is a collection of autobiographical short stories and when I first started reading them, I saw them as simply entertainment or just for leisure.
But the latter half of the novel is one long story in itself when Feynman worked on The Challenger investigation–it was an investigation on a failed space launch where Feynman and other commissioners had to investigate what went wrong in the space rocket that failed it from going into outer space.
As I always say about books, books are only as good as you make of them and then there are some books that are simply bad. I actually saw some themes stretch across the book and one that struck home with me is to not doubt one’s intellectual capacity, regardless if you are unconventional, you might be wrong at times, you might get embarrassed or if things seem hopeless at the time.
Some other reoccurring themes involved the pleasure of appreciating the world from a scientific eye, curiosity is related to scientific studies, challenging one’s mind is just as important as challenging scientific ideas and that I have all the same bad qualities as Feynman. =)
We both are stubborn, we can be a pain and acknowledge it, we both don’t like working with incompetent people, we don’t do well with social conventions, we both experimented with jello and can be very tactless at times. The huge difference is that he is a mad genius and actually knows something whereas I sit in my calc II class and associate washer method with donuts.
Anyway, it is an easy read, something nice to read on a sunny afternoon and can leave you with a good feeling (or at least, for me).
So here are the “stats”:
Style of Writing: Very easy diction and is connects very well to the reader in some ways. The latter half can get a little tricky to follow because Feynman talks about some of the details of The Challenger so you may need to read couple pages twice.
Themes: Already mentioned a lot of them, but to sum it up: curiosity is a virtue and challenging the mind is a life long habit to have.
Character development: I don’t think that really pertains to this book, but Feynman mentions how he learned from his mistakes or for being shortsighted at times.
Symbols: N/A (Clocks, tires and containers keep coming up, but they don’t have any super profound meaning….)
Plot: Interesting without a doubt, but other than The Challenger section of the book, there isn’t any focused plot line other than excerpts of his life.
Islamic rating: 9/10 Basically, it is fine minus a couple awkward kissing moments.
Book Rating: 8/10 It is a good summer read, but it isn’t something that I think is super amazing. I will probably read it again because I can relate to the author quite well. But I don’t know if many people will like the second half of the book being a long story of a space rocket investigation.
To GeniusAccordingToMyChemProf: Yes, this is the first book I borrowed from the chemistry professor who called you a genius. (After having an interesting semester of chemistry.) LOL