Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe by Lee Smolin QB991.Q36 S66 2013 One of our foremost public intellectuals offers a radical new view of the nature of time and the cosmos. The fact that time is real may seem obvious. You experience it every day when you watch clocks tick and children grow. But most physicists see things differently, from Newton to today’s quantum theorists. You may think you experience time passing, but to them it’s just an illusion.
Constellation: Friedrich Nietzsche and Walter Benjamin in the Now-Time of History by James McFarland B3317 .M43 2013 Constellation is the first extended exploration of the relationship between Walter Benjamin, the Weimar-era revolutionary cultural critic, and the radical philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. The affinity between these noncontemporaneous thinkers serves as a limit case manifesting the precariousness and potentials of cultural transmission in a disillusioned present.
Set in an unnamed, South American country Eva Luna is a poetic, modern day Latina flavored version of 1001 Arabian nights. Within the novel, whilst the protagonist and other main characters are living their lives, they all encounter fantastical, unique and morally ambigous characters. What is most impressive about the novel though, is how all of those smaller, strange stories are wound together neatly at climax of the novel in a believable fashion. N/A
Eva Luna by Isabel Allende PQ8098.1.L54 E813 1988 An exotic dance that beguiles and entices... The enchanted and enchanting account of a contemporary Scheherazade, a wide-eyed American teller-of-tales who triumphs over harsh reality through the creative power of her own imagination.
Anathem by Neal Stephenson PS3569.T445 A53 2008 In this follow-up to his Baroque Cycle trilogy, which fictionalized the 18th century scientific revolution, Stephenson (Cryptonomicon) conjures a far-future Earth-like planet, Arbre, where scientists, philosophers and mathematicians—a religious order unto themselves—have been cloistered behind convent walls. Their role is to nurture all knowledge while safeguarding it from the vagaries of the irrational secular outside world.
A place of greater safety by Hilary Mantel PR6063.A622 P5 2006 It is 1789, and three young provincials have come to Paris to make their way. Georges-Jacques is energetic, pragmatic, debt-ridden--and hugely but erotically ugly. Maximilien Robespierre is diligent, and terrified of violence. Camille Desmoulins is obsessed by one woman and engaged to marry another, her daughter. In the swells of revolution, they each taste the addictive delights of power, and the price that must be paid for it.
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen PS3556.R334 C67 2001 After almost fifty years as a wife and mother, Enid Lambert is ready to have some fun. Unfortunately, her husband, Alfred, is losing his sanity to Parkinson’s disease, and their children have long since flown the family nest to the catastrophes of their own lives. Desperate for some pleasure to look forward to, Enid has set her heart on an elusive goal: bringing her family together for one last Christmas at home.
The Giver by Lois Lowry PZ7 L88 Gi 1993 Jonas' world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back..
One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical. Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of heart and humor.
This is How You Die: Stories of the Inscrutable, Infallible, Inescapable Machine of Death (Machine of Death #2) If a machine could predict how you would die, would you want to know? This is the tantalizing premise of This Is How You Die, the brilliant follow-up anthology to the self-published bestseller, Machine of Death.
Eva Luna, by Isabel Allende. Call number PQ8098.1.L54 E813 1988. A woman makes love to an Indian dying of snakebite, miraculously restoring him to life and engendering a daughter named Eva"so she will love life." Thus begins Allende's latest novel, a magnificent successor to The House of the Spirits and Of Love & Shadows. Set in a Latin American country, it relates Eva's picaresque adventures.
The Walking Dead Compendium,by Kirkman, Adlard, Rathburn. Call number: PN6727.K586 W38 2009. An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe causing the dead to rise and feed on the living. In a matter of months society has crumbled - no government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV. In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally start living.
Anathem, by Neal Stephenson. Call number: PS3569.T445 A53 2008. Stephenson conjures a far-future Earth-like planet, Arbre, where scientists, philosophers and mathematicians—a religious order unto themselves—have been cloistered behind concent (convent) walls. Their role is to nurture all knowledge while safeguarding it from the vagaries of the irrational saecular outside world.
The First Rule of Ten, by Gay Hendricks. Call number: PS3608.E5296 F57 2012. Growing up in a Tibetan monastery, Ten dreamed of becoming a modern=day Sherlock Holmes. So when he was sent to Los Angeles to teach meditation, he joined the LAPD instead. But as the Buddha says, change is inevitable; and ten years later, everything is about to change.
A Place of Greater Safety, by Hilary Mantel. Call number: PR6063.A622 P5 2006. "History is fiction," Robespierre observes at one point during British writer Mantel's monumental fictive account of the French Revolution, her first work to appear in this country. In her hands, it is a spellbinding read. Mantel recounts the events between the fall of the ancient regime and the peak of the Terror as seen through the eyes of the three protagonists--Robespierre, Danton and Desmoulins.
The Murder at the Vicarage, by Agatha Christie. Call number: PR6005.H66 S4 1976. Miss Marple--Agatha Christie's immortal spinster sleuth with the razor-sharp mind and an intuitive understanding of criminal behavior--encounters a compelling murder mystery in the sleepy little village of St. Mary Mead, where under the seemingly peaceful exterior of an English country village lurks intrigue, guilt, deception and death.
Choke, by Chuck Palahniuk. Call number: PS3566.A385 C47 2001. Palahniuk (Fight Club; Invisible Monsters) once again demonstrates his faith in the credo that before things get better, they must get much, much worse. Like previous Palahniuk protagonists, Victor Mancini is young and prematurely cynical, a med school dropout whose eerily detached narration of the banal horrors of everyday existence gives way to a numbed account of nihilistic carnage.
The Corrections, by Jonathan Franzen. Call number: PS3556.R334 C67 2001. Heir in scope and spirit to the great nineteenth-century novelists, Franzen is also kin to Stanley Elkin with his caustic humor, satiric imagination, and free-flowing empathy as he mocks the absurdity and brutality of consumer culture. At once miniaturistic and panoramic, Franzen's prodigious comedic saga renders family life on an epic scale and captures the decadence of the dot-com era.
The Giver, by Lois Lowry. Call number PZ7 L88 Gi 1993. In a radical departure from her realistic fiction and comic chronicles of Anastasia, Lowry creates a chilling, tightly controlled future society where all controversy, pain, and choice have been expunged, each childhood year has its privileges and responsibilities, and family members are selected for compatibility. As Jonas approaches the 'Ceremony of Twelve,' he wonders what his adult 'Assignment' will be.
Snow Country, by Yasunari Kawabata. Call number: PL832.A9 Y813 1956. At an isolated mountain hot spring, with snow blanketing every surface, Shimamura, a wealthy dilettante meets Komako, a lowly geisha. She gives herself to him fully and without remorse, despite knowing that their passion cannot last and that the affair can have only one outcome. In chronicling the course of this doomed romance, Kawabata has created a story for the ages.
The Secret History, by Donna Tartt. Call number: PS3570.A657 S4 2004. Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and forever, and they discover how hard it can be to truly live and how easy it is to kill.
The Optimistic Child, by Martin Seligman. Call number: BF723.O67 S45 2007. According to noted psychologist Seligman (Learned Optimism), 30% of American children suffer from depression. Further, his studies demonstrate that "pessimistic children are at much higher risk for becoming depressed than optimistic children." His mission here is to teach parents and other concerned adults how to instill in children a sense of optimism and personal mastery.
The God Argument, by A.C. Grayling. Call number: BL2747.6 .G73 2013. "London-based academic and philosopher Grayling has the sharp analytical mind of fellow naysayer Richard Dawkins, though he is gentler about saying no to God or god or gods...readers looking for fire-and-brimstone contrarianism will want to turn to Dawkins or the late Christopher Hitchens instead. Mild though the rebuke is, a readable and persuasvie argument - if, of course, an exercise in preaching to the choir." -Kirkus
"Gretchen had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. "The days are long, but the years are short," she realized. "Time is passing, & I'm not focusing enough on the things that really matter." In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project. In this lively & compelling account of that year, Rubin carves out her place alongside the authors of bestselling memoirs such as Julie and Julia, The Year of Living Biblically, & Eat, Pray, Love."
The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin. Call number: BF575.H27 R83 2009. Rubin is not an unhappy woman: she has a loving husband, two great kids and a writing career in New York City. Still, she could-and, arguably, should-be happier. Thus, her methodical (and bizarre) happiness project: spend one year achieving careful, measurable goals in different areas of life (marriage, work, parenting, self-fulfillment) and build on them cumulatively, using concrete steps.