What We Are Reading Today: Innate — How the Wiring of Our Brains Shapes Who We Are

Updated 07 October 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Innate — How the Wiring of Our Brains Shapes Who We Are

  • Leading neuroscientist and popular science blogger Kevin Mitchell traces human diversity and individual differences to their deepest level

AUTHOR: Kevin J. Mitchell

What makes you the way you are — and what makes each of us different from everyone else? In Innate, leading neuroscientist and popular science blogger Kevin Mitchell traces human diversity and individual differences to their deepest level — in the wiring of our brains, says a review on the Princeton University Press website. 

Deftly guiding us through important new research, including his own groundbreaking work, he explains how variations in the way our brains develop before birth strongly influence our psychology and behavior throughout our lives, shaping our personality, intelligence, sexuality, and even the way we perceive the world.

We all share a genetic program for making a human brain, and the program for making a brain like yours is specifically encoded in your DNA.

But, as Mitchell explains, the way that program plays out is affected by random processes of development that manifest uniquely in each person, even identical twins. 


What We Are Reading Today: Once More We Saw Stars by Jayson Greene

Updated 19 May 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: Once More We Saw Stars by Jayson Greene

A beautiful, devastating eloquent memoir about what is it like to lose a child and continue living, says a review published on goodreads.com.

It is a journey of grief and hope and resilience, and one I will not easily forget. 

An incredibly sad memoir written by a father whose daughter’s life is cut short by a freak accident. Shortly after her second birthday, Greta Greene is struck in the head by a crumbling brick. 

Author Jayson Greene chronicles the aftermath of her death, narrating his stages of grief and quest for some sense of relief from the emotions threatening to overwhelm him.

Because neither Jayson nor his wife are religious people they seek a variety of sources in an attempt to assign some meaning out to their tragic loss. Throughout the book, Greene describes their journey and the legacy Greta’s short life has had on her grieving family.

After all, it is hard to find a more depressing topic than the death of a toddler. But, it really is worth a read. The language is luminous and captivating. The author is gifted at describing the grief and different emotional states experienced by bereaved parents.