A few years ago I was honored by the invitation to contribute to a now defunct blog, the 5readsblog. The idea was great, and I even saw the favorite five from a couple of high-profile writers. I miss it! I was cleaning out my files and I came across my contribution. It included a short profile of me, followed by my favorite five books, and why. If you are alike me, you can imagine how it was to choose “the five”. I could easily have listed ten or even 20 favorites…
Anyway, I am updating the material here. You, the 2 1/2 regular followers of my blog can get to know me a little better, will learn about “my five” and as the title implies, I will shamelessly promote some of my writings, published and upcoming. Please let me know what you think, and of course comments are always welcome! Here we go…
Who am I?
**A husband and a father of three.
**A former churchgoer (kind of in a hiatus right now...) not because I believe but because (1) I would love to and (2) I want to have someone to thank to for my life and experiences on this planet.
**I like knowing things, I love science and science fiction (not necessarily in that order).
**I really like mathematics but I wish I was better at them.
**Workwise, I am a doctoral-level pharmacologist/neurobiologist with a tad of physics envy, and I’d like to think that I am a pretty good scientist and university professor.
**In 2010 I became a blogger (baldscientist.wordpress.com… (:-)… ) and I became published author in 2014. What’s the title of my book, do you ask? Well, it is titled The First Brain. Would you give it a chance? There are used and new copies available at the “-azon” site. I won’t get a cent, but it would help spread the word out about my writing, especially if you leave an honest review.
**I live in the continental USA, but I am a native Puerto Rican who does not look like the stereotypical latino and has an accent that has been described as Eastern European, which makes no sense because I learned English in PR. Go figure.
Books are a central part of my life; as irrational as it sounds, I have wondered what it would be like to read each and every book ever published. I have many “favorite books”, but here are the ones that without a doubt are my very top five, in order of “influence”:
The Foundation Series (TFS) – Isaac Asimov
Asimov is my favorite author, period. Through him I was exposed to popular science and more importantly, science fiction. I am taking the liberty of counting TFS as a single book. It has a special place in my heart. It is one of the two books that I have read more than once. The way societies are modeled using the (still fictional) science of psychohistory is truly epic. It reads like a great movie (does this makes sense?).
Broca’s Brain – Carl Sagan
I always liked science, but this book helped me understand why. There are just a few writers that are able to describe how inmensely spiritual science can be; Sagan is one of them, and he does it masterfully. “Broca’s Brain” was my first Sagan’s book and still my favorite.
Federation – Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens
Star Trek is a big part of my life. Besides being (mostly) good science fiction, it is much more than that. It explores the inner universe as much as it explores the outer universe. In “Federation” I saw a glimpse of how this Trek universe that I love came to be. If only our society and even humanity at large would be able to reach these ideals! This is one of the books that I have read more than once.
The Future of Life – Edward O. Wilson
Wilson is probably my favorite scientist ever. A naturalist by heart and at the same time a world-class scientist, in this book he argues in favor of life in the light that it is a precious phenomenon, which is highly mysterious even to trained biologists. The loss of biodiversity is tragic in itself, but Dr. Wilson makes also a very logical case for the actual economic sense of conservation in the sense that nature is still a rather underused resource of potential pharmaceutical products. This argument is very close to me as a research pharmacologist. In fact, my favorite quote of the book (and probably my favorite quote of any book) is:
“Revolutionary new drugs have rarely been developed by the pure insights of molecular and cellular biology… Rather, the pathway of discovery has usually been the reverse: the presence of the drug is first detected in whole organisms, and the nature of its activity is subsequently tracked down to the molecular and cellular levels. Then the basic research begins.”
I have based my own research program on his philosophy.
On the Track of Unknown Animals – Bernard Heuvelmans
I like nature’s mysteries and this book inspired me since my freshman year at college in the year “19-none-of-your-business”, when I discovered it in one of the university’s libraries. I read it back to back when I should have been studying, but I did not care at the time and I do not regret it now. It gives an encyclopedic account of the ideas, evidence, and even wild speculation of the scientific pursue of cryptozoology, the search for unknown animals. It opened my mind to a wide variety of possibilities, and whether sometimes these possibilities were scientific of fantastical they always made me think, which in my mind it is all that counts.
How do you like my five?
By the way, early next year, God willing, will see the publication of my next book. It is titled Strange Survivors, and it is about a series of peculiar animals and the survival strategies that they use. It is a popular science book, absolutely non-technical. I will give you more details as the publication date gets closer. I am beyond excited! I want to give special thanks to my friend and personal editor Sari, of The View From Sari’s World blog. Strange Survivors became a much better manuscript once it passed through Sari’s expert mind and hands. From the bottom of my heart, thank you… (:-)
Also, I am very close to publish a children’s book, hopefully very soon.This one is about planarians, and is intended to be enjoyed by kids up to about 10 years old. It is titled Arrow, the lucky planarian, and I commissioned the beautiful illustrations from the very talented Ethan Kocak. This book is meant to educate and entertain. Stay tuned!
I have a couple additional writing projects in mind, both at the professional level as well as on the narrative nonfiction side. I will keep you guys posted as new information becomes available.
Please let me know what you think!
All the best,
**If you like what I write, kindly spread the word about this blog!
**Please tell me how can I do better!
**I am a published writer! For my Amazon author page, click here.
**Want to see more of the things I write? Go here for some other posts.
**Shoot me a message if you have any questions! (email@example.com)
**You can subscribe to my blog! Just go to the “Home” page, right hand side.
**Here’s a link to my Facebook page
**Finally, my Twitter name: @Baldscientist
**For the customary (and very important) disclaimers please go to my “About” page…