Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee present a well argued and readily understand case for the rarity of animal life and consequently intelligent life in the universe. Not often discussed factors, such as plate tectonics, % land area, and a large moon are shown to have a significant impact on the stability of Earth's climate and consequently its ability to maintain complex animal life. Although, at times the authors appear to be overly biased towards their conclusion and over stress mild deterrents to life, their book is an excellent introduction to the field of astrobiology.
While the forward to the book more closely resembles an individual's poorly realized epiphany than a well argued insight into human behavior, the novel itself is a compelling insight into the atrocities of Auschwitz. Nyiszli conveys his experience in a chilling matter of fact manner that seems to complement the hopelessness and despondency of the victims of Nazi Germany. Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account is a worthwhile, quick, and chilling read.
One of the better books that I have read in quite some time. Freakonomics is a fast engaging read that asks questions few often consider and delivers explanations that many find difficult to stand behind despite the evidence. If nothing else you are likely to take from this book a fresh new perspective of the world around you, as well as a new way of investigating the question, "What motivates people to do what they do?" Levitt and Dubner focus primarily on the macro environment and do not attempt to extrapolate their findings beyond the scope of their questions, but within these boundaries the discussion of their questions and answers is both fascinating and insightful.