📚 The Reading Journal #050
Mr.Feynman, How We Meet and Why It Matters, Chaos Kings, and Elin Hilderbrand
J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Charles Williams were part of a literary circle known as the Inklings. Formed in the 1930s and based primarily in Oxford, England, the Inklings were a close-knit group of writers who met regularly to discuss literature, philosophy, and their own works. These gatherings took place in the Eagle and Child pub, affectionately known as the "Bird and Baby" to its members. The Inklings provided a supportive and stimulating environment for these renowned authors, offering feedback, critique, and encouragement for their respective literary endeavors. This unique association fostered a rich creative exchange, influencing and shaping the imaginative worlds of Tolkien's Middle-earth, Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, and Williams's works of theological fiction. The Inklings not only left an indelible mark on the literary landscape but also demonstrated the power of collaboration and camaraderie among artists.
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📚️ Staff Pick of the Week
“Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”: Adventures of a Curious Character by Richard P. Feynman
One of the most famous science books of our time, the phenomenal national bestseller that "buzzes with energy, anecdote and life. It almost makes you want to become a physicist" (Science Digest). Richard P. Feynman, winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, thrived on outrageous adventures. In this lively work that “can shatter the stereotype of the stuffy scientist”, Feynman recounts his experiences trading ideas on atomic physics with Einstein and cracking the uncrackable safes guarding the most deeply held nuclear secrets―and much more of an eyebrow-raising nature. In his stories, Feynman’s life shines through in all its eccentric glory―a combustible mixture of high intelligence, unlimited curiosity, and raging chutzpah.
🎥 Reading Talk's
📈 Rising Quickly - Week of June 12, 2023
Chaos Kings: How Wall Street Traders Make Billions in the New Age of Crisis by Scott Patterson
Chaos Kings is a captivating exploration into the world of billion-dollar traders and high-stakes crisis predictors who seek to capitalize on extreme events for financial gain. Authored by a seasoned Wall Street Journal reporter, the book delves into the increasing extremities that our world faces today—ranging from pandemics and climate change to superpower rivalries and cyberattacks—that put trillions of assets at risk. The narrative introduces two opposing factions with different perspectives on how to respond to these challenges. Led by bestselling author Nassim Nicholas Taleb, one faction argues that humans can never anticipate major disasters, while the other faction, exemplified by risk prognosticator Didier Sornette, believes that forthcoming chaos can be detected and defended against using complex formulas. With the financial futures of many at stake, the book poses the crucial question: which faction holds the key to the truth?
🪄Most Talked About Fiction - Week of June 12, 2023
The Five-Star Weekend by Elin Hilderbrand
In "The Five-Star Weekend," Hollis Shaw's seemingly perfect life shatters when her husband, Matthew, tragically dies in a car accident following a heated argument. As Hollis grapples with the cracks in her once ideal existence, she learns about a concept called the "Five-Star Weekend," where a woman organizes a trip with her best friend from each stage of her life. Inspired by this idea, Hollis decides to host her own event on Nantucket. However, the weekend turns out to be anything but a joyful Hallmark movie. Old flames are rekindled when Hollis's first love, Jack Finigan, is brought into the mix by her childhood friend's husband. Tatum, another friend, must navigate a challenging situation with abrasive Dru-Ann, Hollis's best friend from university, whose career is at stake due to a social media misunderstanding. Brooke, a friend from their thirties, deals with the betrayal of her husband's inappropriate workplace relationship, while a stranger named Gigi, who contacted Hollis through her blog, harbors secrets and a unique grace. Set against the backdrop of Nantucket, "The Five-Star Weekend" is a captivating tale of friendship, love, and self-discovery that promises a truly memorable weekend.
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📚️ Most Talked About Non-Fiction - Week of June 12, 2023
The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters
The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker offers a compelling argument against lackluster and unproductive gatherings in our lives, highlighting the potential for transformative experiences. Parker emphasizes that we often rely on routine and conventional approaches to gatherings, neglecting the importance of distinctiveness and the individuals involved. In a time where meaningful connections are increasingly crucial, Parker presents a human-centered approach to gathering that empowers everyone to create memorable and purposeful experiences, whether for work or leisure. Drawing on her expertise as a facilitator of diverse gatherings worldwide, Parker explores a range of events—from conferences and meetings to flash-mob parties and summer camps—unveiling what works, what doesn't, and why. Through practical insights and captivating ideas, "The Art of Gathering" serves as both a journey and a guide, transforming how we perceive and host meetings, conferences, parties, and other social gatherings. It is a book that promises to reshape our approach to gatherings and leave a lasting impact on how we connect with others.
🆕 New and Noteworthy
The Book of Charlie: Wisdom from the Remarkable American Life of a 109-Year-Old Man by David Von Drehle
When a veteran Washington journalist moved to Kansas, he encountered an extraordinary neighbor who had lived for over a century. This chance meeting led to a profound friendship and a profound lesson in the essence of life. Charlie White, the neighbor, possessed an exceptional life experience, having witnessed the transition from the era before radio to the era of smartphones. Having overcome a shocking tragedy in his youth, Charlie developed survival strategies that embodied timeless human wisdom. With an adventurous spirit, Charlie embarked on a remarkable journey across the continent, swinging across Jazz Age bandstands, navigating through Depression-era gangster wars, pioneering early open-heart surgery techniques, and even exploring the Amazon as a guest of Peru's president. As the journalist, David Von Drehle, got to know Charlie, he realized that Charlie's resilience and ability to adapt made him a master of thriving in times of profound change. Motivated to share Charlie's wisdom with his own children, Von Drehle set out to capture Charlie's secrets in The Book of Charlie. This inspiring gospel of grit unveils the story of one man's century-long journey through upheaval, reminding readers that the United States has always been a nation of division, exploration, invention, and individuals like Charlie who relentlessly pursue a good and meaningful life.
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