Posts in the Books category.
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December 11, 2023

Book: The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School / Sonora Reyes

"A sharply funny and moving debut novel about a queer Mexican American girl navigating Catholic school, while falling in love and learning to celebrate her true self. Perfect for fans of Erika L. Sánchez, Leah Johnson, and Gabby Rivera." -- HarperCollins [more inside]
posted by johnofjack at 3:55 PM - 4 comments

December 7, 2023

Book: Keeper of Enchanted Rooms - by Charlie N. Holmberg

Rhode Island, 1846. Estranged from his family, writer Merritt Fernsby is surprised when he inherits a remote estate in the Narragansett Bay. Though the property has been uninhabited for more than a century, Merritt is ready to call it home—until he realizes he has no choice. With its doors slamming shut and locking behind him, Whimbrel House is not about to let Merritt leave. Ever. [more inside]
posted by Literaryhero at 8:43 PM - 1 comment

November 28, 2023

Book: Endgame: Inside the Royal Family And the Monarchy's Fight For Survival

"In the past I, like others, have held back on revealing some of the darker truths at the heart of the institution of the British monarchy...But as the once-majestic brocade of the royal family continued to fade and fray behind the scenes and on the front page, I was increasingly convinced that it was time to write this book." Royal reporter Omid Scobie writes about the decline of the monarchy. [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:13 PM - 12 comments

Book: System Collapse - Martha Wells

The seventh entry in Wells’ Murderbot Diaries series, and set immediately following the events of Network Effect, finds everyone’s favorite SecUnit dealing with humans, colonists, nefarious corporations, and its own mental health. [more inside]
posted by Thorzdad at 2:07 PM - 24 comments

Book: Zeroville by Steve Erickson

On the same August day in 1969 that a crazed hippie ''family'' led by Charles Manson commits five savage murders in the canyons above Los Angeles, a young ex-communicated seminarian arrives with images of Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift - ''the two most beautiful people in the history of the movies'' - tattooed on his head. [more inside]
posted by Literaryhero at 3:58 AM - 4 comments

November 26, 2023

Book: Wuthering Heights / Emily Brontë

At the centre of this novel is the passionate love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff - recounted with such emotional intensity that a plain tale of the Yorkshire moors acquires the depth and simplicity of ancient tragedy.
posted by johnofjack at 5:28 PM - 22 comments

November 25, 2023

Book: Wellness

"When Jack and Elizabeth meet as college students in the '90s, the two quickly join forces and hold on tight, each eager to claim a place in Chicago's thriving underground art scene with an appreciative kindred spirit. Fast-forward twenty years to married life, and alongside the challenges of parenting, they encounter cults disguised as mindfulness support groups, polyamorous would-be suitors, Facebook wars, and something called Love Potion Number Nine." [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:57 AM - 1 comment

November 23, 2023

Book: The Experience Machine: How Our Minds Predict and Shape Reality

"There is a fundamental drive, instantiated by the brain, to minimize errors in our own sensory predictions." Andy Clark on how brains work, via predictive processing. [more inside]
posted by mittens at 5:30 AM - 1 comment

November 16, 2023

Book: Being You: A New Science of Consciousness

Anil Seth positions consciousness as prediction: Rather than your mind passively receiving sensory information from outside, it is always predicting the world around it, trying to generate a plausible 'controlled hallucination' to keep you alive, always correcting the predictions (sometimes unsuccessfully) based on new information from the senses. Further, he extends this to the sense of self itself--the brain hallucinates a self as a method of internal monitoring through prediction. All along the way, he provides engaging examples from his research lab, and looks at some competing theories.
posted by mittens at 12:09 PM - 10 comments

November 12, 2023

Book: Sentience: The Invention of Consciousness

In Sentience, Nicholas Humphrey distills a lifetime of study of consciousness to give a picture of how he thinks it works to be sentient--that is, to be someone for whom a sensation can be personally meaningful. From monkeys with blindsight to gorillas with nothing to think about but each other, he ranges across the research to come to a conclusion he calls qualiaphilia...consciousness becomes important because it makes life worth living, makes possible empathy, and is apparently quite attractive to potential mates. Having given us a sense of what it means to have a sense of something, he goes on to ask: Who else? Are animals sentient as well? [more inside]
posted by mittens at 4:10 PM - 3 comments

November 11, 2023

Book: Bookshops & Bonedust by Travis Baldree

Viv's career with the notorious mercenary company Rackam's Ravens isn't going as planned. Wounded during the hunt for a powerful necromancer, she's packed off against her will to recuperate in the sleepy beach town of Murk―so far from the action that she worries she'll never be able to return to it. [more inside]
posted by Literaryhero at 4:05 AM - 10 comments

November 9, 2023

Book: Erasure

Thinking of seeing American Fiction (previously)? Read its origin story--Percival Everett's Erasure--first. "Thelonious "Monk" Ellison’s writing career has bottomed out: his latest manuscript has been rejected by seventeen publishers, which stings all the more because his previous novels have been "critically acclaimed." He seethes on the sidelines of the literary establishment as he watches the meteoric success of We’s Lives in Da Ghetto, a first novel by a woman who once visited "some relatives in Harlem for a couple of days." [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:57 PM - 3 comments

Book: The Ghost Theatre

A wild and hallucinatory reimagining of Elizabethan London, with its bird worshippers, famed child actors, and the Queen herself; a dazzling historical novel about theatre, magic, and the dangers of all-consuming love. [more inside]
posted by rednikki at 10:22 AM - 2 comments

Book: Free Agents: How Evolution Gave Us Free Will

Kevin J. Mitchell explores how free will can exist by taking us through the beginning of life all the way through to humans making decisions. [more inside]
posted by mittens at 7:23 AM - 1 comment

November 4, 2023

Book: Bunnicula

Before it's too late, Harold the dog and Chester the cat must find out the truth about the newest pet in the Monroe household -- a suspicious-looking bunny named Bunnicula! [more inside]
posted by miss-lapin at 11:25 AM - 20 comments

October 31, 2023

Book: Three Bags Full

In Leonie Swann's Three Bags Full, "[t]he mysterious death of their shepherd has sent a flock of sheep into a frenzy trying to piece together “whodunit.” Overcoming their “sheepish” ways, the members of the flock realize that they may be the only ones who can solve it" (Publishers Weekly). [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:15 PM - 5 comments

Book: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Eleanor Vance, a timid single woman, is invited by Dr Montague to an investigation of Hill House, a house with a very dark history. [more inside]
posted by miss-lapin at 1:19 PM - 12 comments

Book: The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents

A stupid-looking boy, an erudite cat, and a clan of intelligent rats taking the first steps in establishing their society travel into Überwald, to the town of Bad Blintz, to run their established scam: the rats infest the town as visibly as they can, and the boy acts as the Piper, leading them away in exchange for a good bit of gold. But the rats have been developing a sense of morality, and demand of Maurice that this be the last job of this kind that they take on, which may prove to be prophetic in any case... (Discworld #28) By Terry Pratchett [more inside]
posted by Navelgazer at 11:30 AM - 3 comments

October 17, 2023

Book: Thief of Time

The Auditors of Reality have come up with a plan to finally rid existence of human unpredictability once and for all so that they may finally bask in a universe of perfect order, a plan which sweeps up the Disc's greatest clockmaker, a centuries-old temple-sweeper, a former thieves guild member turned troublesome apprentice monk, a very effective schoolteacher, and the schoolteacher's grandfather who also goes by the name of Death... (Discworld #26, Death #5) By Terry Pratchett. [more inside]
posted by Navelgazer at 9:25 PM - 15 comments

October 15, 2023

Book: Elder care book club

This is the 1st iteration of the elder care book club that will have an asynchronous discussion here in FanFare and perhaps a live, virtual meeting to cap off the conversation. The goal is to create a space for learning and mutual compassion as we all support the elders (parents, relatives, chosen family) in our lives. The first book is Creative Care: A Revolutionary Approach to Dementia and Elder Care by Anne Basting. For those who would be able to listen to a podcast interview but not read a book, here's an episode of Zestful Aging that features Anne Basting (43 min, 2020). [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 9:45 AM - 13 comments

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