Another list, another year. Or the other way around

Added:  2/19/2024

Cover of The Singularity

The Singularity

Dino Buzzati

Book Info

Publisher
New York Review of Books (2024), 137 pages
ISBN/EAN Product Code
9781681378008
Publisher Description

In this prophetic allegory about artificial intelligence by a renowned figure of twentieth-century Italian literature, a modest university professor becomes involved in a remote and enigmatic project in the middle of the Cold War. At the beginning of Dino Buzzati’s The Singularity, Ermanno Ismani, an unassuming university professor, is summoned by the minister of defense to accept a two-year, top-secret mission at a mysterious research center, isolated from the world among forests, plunging cliffs, and high mountains. What’s he supposed to do there? Not clear. How long will he be there? No saying. Still, Ismani takes the mystifying job and, accompanied by his no-nonsense wife, Elisa, heads to the so-called Experimental Camp of Military Zone 36, wondering whether, in the midst of the Cold War, it’s some sort of nuclear project he’s been assigned to. But no, the colleagues the couple meets on arrival assure them, it’s nothing like that. It’s much, much more powerful. At the center of the research complex is strange, shining, at times murmurous, white wall. Behind it, a deep gorge drops away, full of wires and radio towers and mobile sensors and a host of eccentric structures. A question begins to dawn: Could this be the shape of consciousness itself? And if so, whose? Buzzati's novella of 1960, a pioneering work of Italian science fiction, is published here in a brisk new translation by Anne Milano Appel. In it, Buzzati explores his favorite themes of love and longing while offering a startlingly prescient parable of artificial intelligence. (Publisher's Description)

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Cover of Treaty Justice

Treaty Justice

The Northwest Tribes, the Boldt Decision, and the Recognition of Fishing Rights

Charles Wilkinson

Book Info

Publisher
University of Washington Press (2023), 378 pages
ISBN/EAN Product Code
9780295752730
Publisher Description

In 1974, Judge George Boldt issued a ruling that affirmed the fishing rights and tribal sovereignty of Native nations in Washington State. The Boldt Decision transformed Indigenous law and resource management across the United States and beyond. Like Brown v. Board of Education, the case also brought about far-reaching societal changes, reinforcing tribal sovereignty and remedying decades of injustice. Eminent legal historian and tribal advocate Charles Wilkinson tells the dramatic story of the Boldt Decision against the backdrop of salmon’s central place in the cultures and economies of the Pacific Northwest. In the 1960s, Native people reasserted their fishing rights as delineated in nineteenth-century treaties. In response, state officials worked with non-Indian commercial and sport fishing interests to forcefully—and often violently—oppose Native actions. These “fish wars” spurred twenty tribes and the US government to file suit in federal court. Moved by the testimony of tribal leaders and other experts, Boldt pointedly waited until Lincoln’s birthday to hand down a decision recognizing the tribes’ right to half of the state’s fish. The case’s long aftermath led from the Supreme Court’s affirmation of Boldt’s opinion to collaborative management of the harvest of salmon and other marine resources. Expert and compelling, Treaty Justice weaves personalities and local detail into the definitive account of one of the twentieth century’s most important civil rights cases. (Publisher's Description)

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Cover of Eastbound

Eastbound

Maylis De Kerangal

9781953861504

Emily Eakin's rave on the NYT's podcast about their 10 Best Books of the Year really sold me.

Added:  12/8/2023

Book Info

Publisher
Archipelago (2023), 137 pages
ISBN/EAN Product Code
9781953861504
Publisher Description

In this gripping tale, a Russian conscript and a French woman cross paths on the Trans-Siberian railroad, each fleeing to the east for their own reasons Perfect for fans of Maggie Shipstead's Great Circle and The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles Eastbound is both an adventure story and a duet of two vibrant inner worlds. In mysterious, winding sentences gorgeously translated by Jessica Moore, De Kerangal gives us the story of two unlikely souls entwined in a quest for freedom with a striking sense of tenderness, sharply contrasting the brutality of the surrounding world. Racing toward Vladivostok, we meet the young Aliocha, packed onto a Trans-Siberian train with other Russian conscripts. Soon after boarding, he decides to desert and over a midnight smoke in a dark corridor of the train, he encounters an older French woman, Hélène, for whom he feels an uncanny trust. A complicity quickly grows between the two when he manages to urgently ask—through a pantomime and basic Russian that Hélène must decipher—for her help to hide him. They hurry from the filth of his third-class carriage to Hélène’s first-class sleeping car. Aliocha now a hunted deserter and Hélène his accomplice with her own inner landscape of recent memories to contend with. (Publisher's Description)

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Cover of Orbital

Orbital

Samantha Harvey

Book Info

Publisher
Atlantic Monthly Press (2023)
ISBN/EAN Product Code
9780802161543
Publisher Description

A slender novel of epic power, Orbital deftly snapshots one day in the lives of six women and men hurtling through space--not towards the moon or the vast unknown, but around our planet. Selected for one of the last space station missions of its kind before the program is dismantled, these astronauts and cosmonauts--from America, Russia, Italy, Britain, and Japan--have left their lives behind to travel at a speed of over seventeen thousand miles an hour as the earth reels below. We glimpse moments of their earthly lives through brief communications with family, their photos and talismans; we watch them whip up dehydrated meals, float in gravity-free sleep, and exercise in regimented routines to prevent atrophying muscles; we witness them form bonds that will stand between them and utter solitude. Most of all, we are with them as they behold and record their silent blue planet. Their experiences of sixteen sunrises and sunsets and the bright, blinking constellations of the galaxy are at once breathtakingly awesome and surprisingly intimate. So are the marks of civilization far below, encrusted on the planet on which we live. Profound, contemplative and gorgeous, Orbital is an eloquent meditation on space and a moving elegy to our humanity, environment, and planet. (Publisher's Description)

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Cover of Going to See

Going to See

30 Writers on Nature, Inspiration, and the World of Barry Lopez

Kurt Caswell and James Perrin Warren

Book Info

ISBN/EAN Product Code
9781680516616
Publisher Description

Celebrates the legacy of influential writer Barry Lopez through stories and reflections from 30 distinguished American nature writers (Publisher's Description)

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Cover of Three Roads Back

Three Roads Back

How Emerson, Thoreau, and William James Responded to the Greatest Losses of Their Lives

Robert D. Richardson

Book Info

Publisher
Princeton University Press (2023), 128 pages
ISBN/EAN Product Code
9780691224305
Publisher Description

From their acclaimed biographer, a final, powerful book about how Emerson, Thoreau, and William James forged resilience from devastating loss, changing the course of American thought In Three Roads Back, Robert Richardson, the author of magisterial biographies of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and William James, tells the connected stories of how these foundational American writers and thinkers dealt with personal tragedies early in their careers. For Emerson, it was the death of his young wife and, eleven years later, his five-year-old son; for Thoreau, it was the death of his brother; and for James, it was the death of his beloved cousin Minnie Temple. Filled with rich biographical detail and unforgettable passages from the journals and letters of Emerson, Thoreau, and James, these vivid and moving stories of loss and hard-fought resilience show how the writers’ responses to these deaths helped spur them on to their greatest work, influencing the birth and course of American literature and philosophy. In reaction to his traumatic loss, Emerson lost his Unitarian faith and found solace in nature. Thoreau, too, leaned on nature and its regenerative power, discovering that “death is the law of new life,” an insight that would find expression in Walden. And James, following a period of panic and despair, experienced a redemptive conversion and new ideas that would drive his work as a psychologist and philosopher. As Richardson shows, all three emerged from their grief with a new way of seeing, one shaped by a belief in what Emerson called “the deep remedial force that underlies all facts.” An inspiring book about resilience and the new growth and creativity that can stem from devastating loss, Three Roads Back is also an extraordinary account of the hidden wellsprings of American thought. (Publisher's Description)

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Cover of It Lasts Forever and Then It's Over

It Lasts Forever and Then It's Over

Anne de Marcken

Winter Texts is to blame for me having to get thi. Small chunks! epigraphs!

"Hunger freed from satiety is grace," p23

"Hunger is an animal

Added:  5/6/2024

Book Info

Publisher
New Directions Publishing Corporation (2024)
ISBN/EAN Product Code
9780811237857
Publisher Description

Co-winner of the 2022 Novel Prize, this incredible life-after-death novel asks us to consider how much of our memory, of our bodies, of the world as we know it -- how much of what we love can we lose before we are lost? And then what happens? (Publisher's Description)

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Cover of Temporary

Temporary

Hilary Leichter

Book Info

Publisher
Emily Books (2020), 208 pages
ISBN/EAN Product Code
9781566895668
Publisher Description

Eighteen boyfriends, twenty-three jobs, and one ghost who occasionally pops in to give advice: Temporary casts a hilarious and tender eye toward the struggle for happiness under late capitalism. (Publisher's Description)

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Cover of A Shining

A Shining

Jon Fosse

Cercador prize got me, and then I saw that Le Monde called the newly-minted Nobel Laureate, “the Beckett of the twenty-first century.” EYES EMOJI.

Book Info

ISBN/EAN Product Code
9781945492778
Publisher Description

A man starts driving without knowing where he is going. He alternates between turning right and left, and ultimately finds himself stuck at the end of a forest road. It soon grows dark and begins to snow. But instead of searching for help, he ventures, foolishly, into the dark forest. Inevitably, the man gets lost, and as he grows cold and tired, he encounters a glowing being amid the obscurity. Strange, haunting and dreamlike, A Shining is the latest work of fiction by National Book Award-finalist Jon Fosse, the Beckett of the twenty-first century" ( Le Monde ). (Publisher's Description)

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Cover of Wandering Stars

Wandering Stars

A novel

Tommy Orange

Book Info

Publisher
Knopf (2024)
ISBN/EAN Product Code
9780593318256
Publisher Description

The eagerly awaited follow-up to Pulitzer Prize finalist Tommy Orange’s breakout best seller There There—winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award, the John Leonard Prize, the American Book Award, and one of the New York Times Ten Best Books of the Year—Wandering Stars traces the legacies of the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864 and the Carlisle Industrial School for Indians through to the shattering aftermath of Orvil Redfeather’s shooting in There There. Colorado, 1864. Star, a young survivor of the Sand Creek Massacre, is brought to the Fort Marion Prison Castle, where he is forced to learn English and practice Christianity by Richard Henry Pratt, an evangelical prison guard who will go on to found the Carlisle Industrial School for Indians, an institution dedicated to the eradication of Native history, culture, and identity. A generation later, Star’s son, Charles, is sent to the school, where he is brutalized by the man who was once his father’s jailer. Under Pratt’s harsh treatment, Charles clings to moments he shares with a young fellow student, Opal Viola, as the two envision a future away from the institutional violence that follows their bloodline. Oakland, 2018. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield is barely holding her family together after the shooting that nearly took the life of her nephew Orvil. From the moment he awakens in his hospital bed, Orvil begins compulsively googling school shootings on YouTube. He also becomes emotionally reliant on the prescription medications meant to ease his physical trauma. His younger brother Lony, suffering from PTSD, is struggling to make sense of the carnage he witnessed at the shooting by secretly cutting himself and enacting blood rituals which he hopes will connect him to his Cheyenne heritage. Opal is equally adrift, experimenting with Ceremony and peyote, searching for a way to heal her wounded family. Extending his constellation of narratives into the past and future, Tommy Orange once again delivers a story that is by turns shattering and wondrous, a book piercing in its poetry, sorrow, and rage—a masterful follow-up to his already—classic first novel, and a devastating indictment of America’s war on its own people. (Publisher's Description)

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Cover of The Eyes and the Impossible

The Eyes and the Impossible

Dave Eggers

Book Info

ISBN/EAN Product Code
9781952119453
Publisher Description

Free dog Johannes' job is to observe everything that happens in his urban park and report back to the park's three bison elders, but changes are afoot, including more humans, a new building, a boatload of goats, and a shocking revelation that changes his view of the world. (Publisher's Description)

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Cover of Atlas of a Lost World

Atlas of a Lost World

Travels in Ice Age America

Craig Childs

Book Info

Publisher
Vintage (2019), 290 pages
ISBN/EAN Product Code
9780345806314
Publisher Description

The first people in the New World were few, their encampments fleeting. On a side of the planet no human had ever seen, different groups arrived from different directions, and not all at the same time. The land they reached was fully inhabited by megafauna—mastodons, giant bears, mammoths, saber-toothed cats, enormous bison, and sloths that stood one story tall. These Ice Age explorers, hunters, and families were wildly outnumbered and many would themselves have been prey to the much larger animals. In Atlas of a Lost World, Craig Childs blends science and personal narrative to upend our notions of where these people came from and who they were. How they got here, persevered, and ultimately thrived is a story that resonates from the Pleistocene to our modern era, and reveals how much has changed since the time of mammoth hunters, and how little. Through it, readers will see the Ice Age, and their own age, in a whole new light. (Publisher's Description)

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Cover of The Comfort of Crows

The Comfort of Crows

A Backyard Year

Margaret Renkl

Book Info

Publisher
Spiegel & Grau (2023)
ISBN/EAN Product Code
9781954118461
Publisher Description

From New York Times opinion writer and bestselling author Margaret Renkl comes a "howling love letter to the world" (Ann Patchett): a luminous book tracing the passing of seasons, personal and natural. In The Comfort of Crows, Margaret Renkl presents a devotional of sorts: fifty-two essays that follow the creatures and plants in her backyard over the course of a year. As we move through the seasons--from a crow spied on New Year's Day, its resourcefulness and sense of community setting a theme for the year--what develops is a portrait of joy and grief. Joy at the ongoing pleasures of the natural world: "Until the very last cricket falls silent, the beauty-besotted will always find a reason to love the world." And grief at a shifting climate, at winters that end too soon, at songbirds growing fewer and fewer. Along the way, we also glimpse the changing rhythms of a human life. Grown children, unexpectedly home during the pandemic, prepare to depart once more. Birdsong and night-blooming flowers evoke generations past. The city and the country where Renkl raised her family transform a little more with every passing day. How can one person make a difference amid such destabilizing changes? With fifty-two gorgeous four-color artworks by the author's brother--whose collages also accompanied Late Migrations, Renkl's Read with Jenna/TODAY Show book club pick--The Comfort of Crows is a lovely and deeply moving book from a beloved writer. (Publisher's Description)

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Cover of Wild Spaces

Wild Spaces

S. L. Coney

Book Info

Publisher
Tordotcom (2023)
ISBN/EAN Product Code
9781250866837
Publisher Description

Robert R. McCammon’s Boy’s Life meets Lovecraftian horror in this foreboding, sensual coming-of-age debut in which the corrosive nature of family secrets and toxic relatives assume eldritch proportions. "Can a horror story be beautiful? Wild Spaces tells a terrible truth in the most achingly beautiful way."—Alma Katsu, author of The Fervor An eleven-year-old boy lives an idyllic childhood exploring the remote coastal plains and wetlands of South Carolina alongside his parents and his dog Teach. But when the boy’s eerie and estranged grandfather shows up one day with no warning, cracks begin to form as hidden secrets resurface that his parents refuse to explain. The longer his grandfather outstays his welcome and the greater the tension between the adults grows, the more the boy feels something within him changing —physically—into something his grandfather welcomes and his mother fears. Something abyssal. Something monstrous. (Publisher's Description)

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Cover of North Woods

North Woods

A Novel

Daniel Mason

9780593597033

Added:  2/19/2024

Book Info

Publisher
Random House (2023), 385 pages
ISBN/EAN Product Code
9780593597033
Publisher Description

A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW TOP TEN BOOK OF THE YEAR A WASHINGTON POST TOP TEN BOOK OF THE YEAR • FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD A sweeping novel about a single house in the woods of New England, told through the lives of those who inhabit it across the centuries—“a time-spanning, genre-blurring work of storytelling magic” (The Washington Post) from the Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of The Piano Tuner and The Winter Soldier. “With the expansiveness and immersive feeling of two-time Booker Prize nominee David Mitchell’s fiction (Cloud Atlas), the wicked creepiness of Edgar Allan Poe, and Mason’s bone-deep knowledge of and appreciation for the natural world that’s on par with that of Thoreau, North Woods fires on all cylinders.”—San Francisco Chronicle New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice • A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: Time, The Boston Globe, NPR, Chicago Public Library, The Star Tribune, The Economist, The Christian Science Monitor, Real Simple, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Bookreporter When two young lovers abscond from a Puritan colony, little do they know that their humble cabin in the woods will become the home of an extraordinary succession of human and nonhuman characters alike. An English soldier, destined for glory, abandons the battlefields of the New World to devote himself to growing apples. A pair of spinster twins navigate war and famine, envy and desire. A crime reporter unearths an ancient mass grave—only to discover that the earth refuse to give up their secrets. A lovelorn painter, a sinister con man, a stalking panther, a lusty beetle: As the inhabitants confront the wonder and mystery around them, they begin to realize that the dark, raucous, beautiful past is very much alive. This magisterial and highly inventive novel from Pulitzer Prize finalist Daniel Mason brims with love and madness, humor and hope. Following the cycles of history, nature, and even language, North Woods shows the myriad, magical ways in which we’re connected to our environment, to history, and to one another. It is not just an unforgettable novel about secrets and destinies, but a way of looking at the world that asks the timeless question: How do we live on, even after we’re gone? (Publisher's Description)

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