Our new books have arrived and they are ready to be taken home. Here’s a preview of nine quick picks from our new additions.
Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery illustrated by Miles Hyman: One of my favorite short stories, this graphic novel adaptation does not disappoint. For those who are unfamiliar with this material, be forewarned, there is violence involved and the author is masterful and graphic in her understanding and depiction of its raw brutality.
The Imitation Game, Jim Ottaviani: Without consciously trying, I am a huge fan of Jim Ottaviani’s work. In the past, I have purchased two other books by this author, Primates and Feynman, and I highly recommend both. This latest addition chronicles mathematician Alan Turing’s life and his contributions to both computer science and LGBTQ history. Those uncomfortable with complex mathematics may feel confused; those uncomfortable with complex human feelings will feel lost.
Contract with God Trilogy, Will Eisner: Before anyone knew about graphic novels, Will Eisner was doing his thing. Unlike his contemporaries in comic books who were telling stories of mutants and cyborgs and super powered beings clashing with ne’er do wells with almost equal super powers, Eisner focused on the epic tales and toils of common folk dealing with the invisible forces of everyday life.
This Idea Must Die, Edited by John Brockman: Bad ideas are stubborn things, they are hard to get rid of once we have learned them. Still, the only way to make progress is by facing our bad ideas head on, and creating new ways of thinking about old things. This collection of over a hundred short essays will challenge your notions on topics such as the universe, race, human nature, simplicity, IQ and a wide range of other fascinating things you think you understand.
The Wasp That Brainwashed the Caterpillar, Matt Simon: Have you ever felt like you are out of control? Like you are doing things you know you shouldn’t be doing? Then you probably shouldn’t read this book because you might realize you are being brainwashed. The natural world is full of chemical hijackers who take over the “minds” and bodies of their prey to use it for their own ends. If you are an ant, perched high on a blade of grass, waiting to be eaten, you’ve probably been hijacked.
A Deadly Wandering, Matt Richtel: Have you noticed how many people are always looking down nowadays? How their attention is focused on the palm of their hands, on a screen streaming something more inviting to the viewer than the immediate surroundings? That’s really bad when you’re in a one ton projectile traveling at 100 feet per second on an icy road. It’s bad anytime, really. But especially then. This book is both a warning and a chronicle about what happens, when we stop paying attention at the wrong times.
Stories of Your Life, Ted Chiang: Believe it or not, the 2015 sci-fi movie Arrival, is based on a short story in this collection. Who knew that such a brilliant and thought-provoking take on first contact with extraterrestrial beings could be accomplished in about 50 pages? Apparently, writer Ted Chiang knew. A mathematician by training & trade, Chiang writes only occasionally, and only short stories, but his stories are original and thought provoking.
Spontaneous, Aaron Starmer: This is one of those books that I acquired for our collection because it sounded like an original twist on an old theme. High school senior year blues mixed with spontaneous combustion, or how I blew up before graduation. I haven’t read this one yet, and while the reviews run both hot and cold, there are many more who find it entertaining and worthy of a read.
Boy Robot, Simon Curtis: Again, a book I purchased for our library based on the number of positive reviews I read. I like books that take unorthodox approaches to asking ordinary questions like, “what is a memory” and “how do I know I am real?” Most reviewers seemed to agree that the characters were interesting and that the book overall was an entertaining read.
Hope you find something worth reading, and thank you for stopping by.
Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2017. All rights reserved.