📚 The Reading Journal #054
A City on Mars, The Happiest Man on Earth, and Grit
Charles Dickens, the celebrated Victorian author, had a unique writing routine. He would often take long walks through the streets of London, sometimes covering up to 20 miles in a day, to gather inspiration for his novels. Dickens found solace and creative energy in these walks, which allowed him to observe the city and its inhabitants closely.
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📚️ Staff Pick of the Week
The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu
The Three-Body Problem is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience this multiple award winning phenomenon from China's most beloved science fiction author, Liu Cixin. TV Series to be released January 2024.
Set against the backdrop of China's Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision.
🎥 Reading Talk's
📈 Rising Quickly - Week of July 10, 2023
The Happiest Man on Earth: The Beautiful Life of an Auschwitz Survivor by Eddie Jaku
In "The Happiest Man on Earth," Eddie Jaku, a Holocaust survivor, recounts his extraordinary journey and pays homage to those who perished during one of history's darkest periods. Born in Germany into a Jewish family, Eddie endured unimaginable horrors in concentration camps such as Buchenwald and Auschwitz. Despite the Nazis taking everything from him, Eddie refused to let them break his spirit. Determined to survive, he made a promise to smile every day as a tribute to the six million Jews who lost their lives to Hitler's regime. Now at 100 years old, Eddie considers himself the "happiest man on earth" and shares his remarkable story in this memoir. Through his experiences, he imparts timeless wisdom on gratitude, tolerance, kindness, and the pursuit of a beautiful life. With insights on friendship, family, health, ethics, love, and hatred, Eddie's memoir serves as a powerful testament to the human spirit and offers valuable lessons for readers of all ages, especially the younger generation.
🪄Most Talked About Fiction - Week of July 10, 2023
The Only One Left by Riley Sager
In "Hope's End," a chilling tale set in 1983, Lenora Hope, the prime suspect in the infamous Hope family murders that shook the Maine coast in 1929, breaks her long-held silence. Seventeen-year-old Lenora was suspected of hanging her sister and stabbing her father, leading to her mother's demise. However, no conclusive evidence was ever found, and Lenora has remained secluded in the cliffside mansion where the tragedy occurred. Kit McDeere, a home-health aide, arrives at Hope's End to care for the now elderly and mute Lenora. As Lenora communicates through a typewriter, she offers Kit the opportunity to hear her side of the story. While Lenora insists she is innocent, Kit begins to question the truth as she uncovers unsettling details about her predecessor's sudden departure. The more Kit delves into Lenora's past, the more she realizes that the seemingly harmless woman she cares for may harbor dark secrets that make her far more dangerous than anyone imagined.
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📚️ Most Talked About Non-Fiction - Week of July 10, 2023
Grit by Angela Duckworth
Angela Duckworth's bestselling book, "Grit," challenges the notion that talent is the key to outstanding achievement. Drawing from her own experiences and extensive research, Duckworth argues that passion and persistence, rather than innate ability, drive success. Through engaging stories of cadets at West Point, dedicated teachers in challenging schools, and young participants in spelling competitions, Duckworth explores the concept of grit. She also delves into historical examples and modern experiments in peak performance to extract valuable insights. By interviewing high achievers from various fields, Duckworth demonstrates that tenacity can be cultivated and offers practical advice on fostering grit in oneself and others. Ultimately, "Grit" is a transformative book that emphasizes the importance of resilience and determination in the face of setbacks, showing readers that these qualities can make all the difference in achieving their goals.
🆕 New and Noteworthy
A City on Mars: Can we settle space, should we settle space, and have we really thought this through?
In "A City on Mars," authors Kelly and Zach Weinersmith explore the prospect of human expansion into space and the challenges that come with it. While the allure of starting afresh on distant planets without the problems of climate change, war, and social media is enticing, the authors question whether it's a good idea. They highlight that although space technologies and businesses are advancing rapidly, we lack the necessary knowledge to sustain life, establish societies, and raise families in space without causing conflicts on Earth. The book addresses a wide range of thought-provoking questions about space, such as the feasibility of reproduction, the governance of space settlements by corporations, the potential for space warfare, the issue of housing scarcity on the Moon, and even the legal implications of space cannibalism. With their expertise, humor, and captivating artwork, the Weinersmiths delve into the critical considerations that humanity must face as it contemplates becoming a multiplanetary species.
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