Category: Books

1Q84

A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 —“Q is for ‘question mark.’ A world that bears a question.” Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled.

As Aomame’s and Tengo’s narratives converge over the course of this single year, we learn of the profound and tangled connections that bind them ever closer: a beautiful, dyslexic teenage girl with a unique vision; a mysterious religious cult that instigated a shoot-out with the metropolitan police; a reclusive, wealthy dowager who runs a shelter for abused women; a hideously ugly private investigator; a mild-mannered yet ruthlessly efficient bodyguard; and a peculiarly insistent television-fee collector.

A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwell’s — 1Q84 is Haruki Murakami’s most ambitious undertaking yet: an instant best seller in his native Japan, and a tremendous feat of imagination from one of our most revered contemporary writers. 

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Beasts of Prey: The Hard Truth About Men | The Power of the Blonde: Cracking Down on Men’s Control

Beasts of Prey asserts that men cannot be bound in lengthy relationships for good without crossing the line from time to time. The writer refers to well established theories, social, and biological research on men’s hormonal and psychological structures to show how men’s inclination to have sex with multiple women outside their bonds is at the heart of the matter. Beasts of Prey delves into the basics of males’ cheating habits, tactics and schemes, and their sexual, social and cultural monopoly in the world. Following history of relationships from ancient times to the Internet revolution of our postmodern generation, Beasts of Prey exposes the stereotypes that lurk beneath the surface of male manipulated societies and their cultural taboos. 

The Power of the Blonde continues the philosophical journey into the “sexist wiring” of men’s minds and their sexual, social, and cultural monopoly in the world following history of relationships, female sexuality, and women’s liberation. Tracing back to the origins of some notorious stereotypes, such as the Dumb Blonde, the writer debunks some myths about the “weaker sex,” and lays bare the truth behind the chivalrous acts of womanizers such as Casanova and Don Juan. Exposing the misleading tactics of male cheaters and their cover-up ploys, the writer takes on some persistent double standards and challenges “sexual vices” such as promiscuity, prostitution, and masturbation. From sexual discrimination toward total emancipation of women’s bodies and women’s minds, The Power of the Blonde explores the variations in female’s body image from ancient times to our postmodern generation, empowering women to break free and win in today’s world.

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Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity

Solomon’s startling proposition in Far from the Tree is that being exceptional is at the core of the human condition—that difference is what unites us. He writes about families coping with deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, or multiple severe disabilities; with children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals, who are transgender. While each of these characteristics is potentially isolating, the experience of difference within families is universal, and Solomon documents triumphs of love over prejudice in every chapter.

All parenting turns on a crucial question: to what extent should parents accept their children for who they are, and to what extent they should help them become their best selves. Drawing on ten years of research and interviews with more than three hundred families, Solomon mines the eloquence of ordinary people facing extreme challenges.

Elegantly reported by a spectacularly original and compassionate thinker, Far from the Tree explores how people who love each other must struggle to accept each other—a theme in every family’s life.

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No Easy Answers: The Truth Behind Death at Columbine

On April 20, 1999, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, two seniors at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, walked into their school and shot to death twelve students and one teacher, and wounded many others. It was the worst single act of murder at a school in U.S. history. Few people knew Dylan Klebold or Eric Harris better than Brooks Brown. Brown and Klebold were best friends in grade school, and years later, at Columbine, Brown was privy to some of Harris and Klebolds darkest fantasies and most troubling revelations. After the shootings, Brown was even accused by the police of having been in on the massacre simply because he had been friends with the killers.

Now, for the first time, Brown, with journalist Rob Merritt, gets to tell his full version of the story. He describes the warning signs that were missed or ignored, and the evidence that was kept hidden from the public after the murders. He takes on those who say that rock music or video games caused Klebold and Harris to kill their classmates and explores what it might have been that pushed these two young men, from supposedly stable families, to harbor such violent and apocalyptic dreams.

Shocking as well as inspirational and insightful, No Easy Answers is an authentic wake-up call for all the psychologists, authorities, parents, and law enforcement personnel who have attempted to understand the murders at Columbine High School. As the title suggests, the book offers no easy answers, but instead presents the unvarnished facts about growing up as an alienated teenager in America today.

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Being Dead

Lying in the sand dunes of Baritone Bay are the bodies of a middle-aged couple. Celice and Joseph, in their mid-50s and married for more than 30 years, are returning to the seacoast where they met as students. Instead, they are battered to death by a thief with a chunk of granite. Their corpses lie undiscovered and rotting for a week, prey to sand crabs, flies, and gulls. Yet there remains something touching about the scene, with Joseph’s hand curving lightly around his wife’s leg, “quietly resting; flesh on flesh; dead, but not departed yet.” 

From that moment forward, Being Dead becomes less about murder and more about death. Alternating chapters move back in time from the murder in hourly and two-hourly increments. As the narrative moves backward, we see Celice and Joseph make the small decisions about their day that will lead them inexorably towards their own deaths. In other chapters the narrative moves forward. Celice and Joseph are on vacation and nobody misses them until they do not return. Thus, it is six days before their bodies are found. Crace describes in minute detail their gradual return to the land with the help of crabs, birds, and the numerous insects that attack the body and gently and not so gently prepare it for the dust-to-dust phase of death.

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The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself

What would it be like to free yourself from limitations and soar beyond your boundaries? What can you do each day to discover inner peace and serenity? The Untethered Soul offers simple yet profound answers to these questions.

Whether this is your first exploration of inner space, or you’ve devoted your life to the inward journey, this book will transform your relationship with yourself and the world around you. You’ll discover what you can do to put an end to the habitual thoughts and emotions that limit your consciousness. By tapping into traditions of meditation and mindfulness, author and spiritual teacher Michael A. Singer shows how the development of consciousness can enable us all to dwell in the present moment and let go of painful thoughts and memories that keep us from achieving happiness and self-realization.

Copublished with the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) The Untethered Soul begins by walking you through your relationship with your thoughts and emotions, helping you uncover the source and fluctuations of your inner energy. It then delves into what you can do to free yourself from the habitual thoughts, emotions, and energy patterns that limit your consciousness. Finally, with perfect clarity, this book opens the door to a life lived in the freedom of your innermost being.

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A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy

On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Over the course of minutes, they would kill twelve students and a teacher and wound twenty-four others before taking their own lives.

For the last sixteen years, Sue Klebold, Dylan’s mother, has lived with the indescribable grief and shame of that day. How could her child, the promising young man she had loved and raised, be responsible for such horror? And how, as his mother, had she not known something was wrong? Were there subtle signs she had missed? What, if anything, could she have done differently?

These are questions that Klebold has grappled with every day since the Columbine tragedy. In A Mother’s Reckoning, she chronicles with unflinching honesty her journey as a mother trying to come to terms with the incomprehensible. In the hope that the insights and understanding she has gained may help other families recognize when a child is in distress, she tells her story in full, drawing upon her personal journals, the videos and writings that Dylan left behind, and on countless interviews with mental health experts.

Filled with hard-won wisdom and compassion, A Mother’s Reckoning is a powerful and haunting book that sheds light on one of the most pressing issues of our time.

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Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground

Just before the turn of the millennium, nearly 100 churches have been torched and desecrated by adherents of Black Metal, the most extreme form of underground music on the planet.

In an escalating unholy war, Black Metal bands and their obsessive fans have left a grim legacy of suicide, murder, and terrorism spreading from Norway to Germany, Russia, America, and beyond…

 

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Wisdom: From Philosophy to Neuroscience

A compelling investigation into one of our most coveted and cherished ideals, and the efforts of modern science to penetrate the mysterious nature of this timeless virtue.

We all recognize wisdom, but defining it is more elusive. In this fascinating journey from philosophy to science, Stephen S. Hall gives us a dramatic history of wisdom, from its sudden emergence in four different locations (Greece, China, Israel, and India) in the fifth century B.C. to its modern manifestations in education, politics, and the workplace. We learn how wisdom became the provenance of philosophy and religion through its embodiment in individuals such as Buddha, Confucius, and Jesus; how it has consistently been a catalyst for social change; and how revelatory work in the last fifty years by psychologists, economists, and neuroscientists has begun to shed light on the biology of cognitive traits long associated with wisdom – and, in doing so, has begun to suggest how we might cultivate it.

Hall explores the neural mechanisms for wise decision making; the conflict between the emotional and cognitive parts of the brain; the development of compassion, humility, and empathy; the effect of adversity and the impact of early-life stress on the development of wisdom; and how we can learn to optimize our future choices and future selves.

Hall’s bracing exploration of the science of wisdom allows us to see this ancient virtue with fresh eyes, yet also makes clear that despite modern science’s most powerful efforts, wisdom continues to elude easy understanding.

 

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