Very good book about the intelligence of animals, but I preferred Wesley the Owl by Stacey O'Brien. Pepperberg is a true scientist. She is less inclined to loosen up and allow her emotions to take sway. And that is fine. To really convince the science world you have to do things that way, and look what she accomplished. Fabulous. Nevertheless, it was Alex's own unprompted speech which I found the most amazing, more so than the scientific experiments. I did not think the writing was as good either. I neither liked the first chapter nor the last, which gets very, very philosophical.I think my preference for O'Brien's book is based on the fact that I really didn't need convincing about the intelligence of animals other than humans. Also Pepperberg speaks a bit about her own youth, and I believe her character has been molded by the lack of emotion shown to her as a child. Gosh, another book that mentions the wonderful atmosphere at MIT lab. If I ever decided to go to school all over again - that is the place to go. If you can get in!