📚 The Reading Journal #049
Introverts, Unabomber, Happy Place and Alzheimer's
Clarice Lispector, who was born in Ukraine in 1920 but later moved to Brazil, is often regarded as one of the greatest Brazilian writers of the 20th century. She is renowned for her unique and experimental style of writing. Despite being born into a Jewish family, Lispector developed a profound interest in mystical and existentialist themes, which greatly influenced her literary works. Her novel "The Passion According to G.H." is widely acclaimed as a masterpiece of Brazilian literature, delving into profound philosophical and psychological concepts. Despite her relative obscurity beyond literary circles, Lispector's innovative writing style and thought-provoking themes have garnered her a dedicated following among readers and scholars alike.
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📚️ Staff Pick of the Week
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
In the book "Quiet" by Susan Cain, she highlights the importance and undervaluation of introverts in society. Cain asserts that at least one-third of the people we know are introverts, who often prefer listening to speaking, excel at innovation but dislike self-promotion, and favor working alone over teamwork. She credits notable introverts like Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, and Steve Wozniak for their significant contributions to society. Cain explores the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the twentieth century and its deep influence on our culture. She introduces us to successful introverts, such as a charismatic public speaker who recharges in solitude and a record-breaking salesman who harnesses the power of questions. "Quiet" is passionately argued, extensively researched, and filled with compelling stories that can permanently change our perception of introverts and, just as crucially, how introverts view themselves.
🎥 Reading Talk's
📈 Rising Quickly - Week of June 5, 2023
Every Last Tie: The Story of the Unabomber and His Family by David Kaczynski
"Every Last Tie" is David Kaczynski's poignant memoir reflecting on his brother Ted, infamously known as the Unabomber, and their family dynamics. Prompted by his wife's unsettling question in 1995, David grapples with the shocking realization that his brother, once a brilliant mathematician and caring sibling, had morphed into the perpetrator of violent mail bombings that claimed lives and injured many. As the narrative unfolds, it highlights Ted's descent into isolation and erratic behavior, marked by hostile letters from his secluded cabin. Despite the pain of betrayal, David worked tirelessly to save Ted from capital punishment during his trial, emerging as an anti-death penalty activist. The memoir underscores the critical need for addressing mental health issues, aptly concluded with an afterword from James L. Knoll IV, a forensic psychiatrist emphasizing the correlation between mental illness and violence, and highlighting the systemic challenges facing mental healthcare in the United States.
🪄Most Talked About Fiction - Week of June 5, 2023
Happy Place by Emily Henry
"Harriet and Wyn", once an inseparable couple since their college days, are now navigating through a hidden breakup while sharing a bedroom at their friend group's annual getaway in Maine. Having not disclosed their separation to their closest friends, the pair finds themselves entangled in a web of lies, concealing their lingering feelings for each other during what might be their last shared week at the soon-to-be-sold cottage. They choose to enact familiar roles: Harriet, the ambitious surgical resident who avoids confrontation, and Wyn, the easygoing charmer who never reveals his vulnerabilities. Though their plan to feign togetherness might seem perfect from a distance, they must grapple with the challenge of pretending for a week amidst those who know them best, all while still deeply in love.
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📚️ Most Talked About Non-Fiction - Week of June 5, 2023
Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do by Eve Rodsky
"Fair Play" by Eve Rodsky is a revolutionary solution to the challenge of unpaid, invisible domestic labor largely shouldered by women. It was conceived after Rodsky, overwhelmed by the disproportionate household responsibilities she was handling, sent a list of these tasks to her husband, only to receive an underwhelming response. Realizing that merely identifying the issue wasn't sufficient, Rodsky sought a tangible solution crucial for her sanity, career, identity, and marriage. She developed a system, supported by interviews with over five hundred people, which redefines how couples can equitably share domestic responsibilities through four rules, a hundred household tasks, and a symbolic card game. Successfully implementing "Fair Play" allows for a rebalancing of home life, rekindling of relationships, and the reclaiming of personal time to pursue individual skills and passions.
🆕 New and Noteworthy
My Father's Brain: Life in the Shadow of Alzheimer's by Sandeep Jauhar
"My Father’s Brain" by distinguished physician and author Sandeep Jauhar is a touching memoir that combines personal experience with scientific exploration of Alzheimer's disease and dementia. As Jauhar's father navigates the challenges of Alzheimer's, Jauhar embarks on his own journey to comprehend the disease and its potential remedies. The narrative is a profound blend of the author's family dynamics - the emotional upheavals, conflicts, and resolutions arising from a gradually dissolving life - and his insightful analysis of the aging brain and memory deterioration. In delving into historical perceptions of the mind and the latest neurological and bioethical research, the memoir illuminates the ethical and psychological dilemmas encountered when family members become caregivers, and roles reverse in parent-child relationships. "My Father’s Brain" offers valuable insights into dementia, while shedding light on how scientists, caregivers, and our aging society are grappling with its implications.
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