Brooke Gladstone is the award winning co-host and editor of the public radio show On the Media. In this short (90 pages!) book she succinctly and persuasively lays out why people have such difficulty agreeing on even the most basic facts. “Reality. It used to seem so simple — reality just was, like the weather. Why question it, let alone disagree about it? And then came the assault, and unending stream of ‘fake news,’ ‘alternative facts,’ and lies disguised as truths, all of it overwhelming our notions of reality. Now we can’t even agree on what a fact is, let alone what is real. How on earth did we get here? Here’s how.” She also provides some guidance on how we can begin to escape this situation. An interesting read!
Please come and join us at 10AM this Saturday, November 18, to hear Minnesota author P.S. Duffy speak. At age 65, Ms. Duffy published her first novel, The Cartographer of No Man’s Land. The book won wide critical acclaim and was nominated for a number of awards. “When his beloved brother-in-law goes missing at the front in 1916, Angus defies his pacifist upbringing to join the war and find him. Assured a position as a cartographer in London, he is instead sent directly into battle. Meanwhile, at home, his son Simon Peter must navigate escalating hostility in a town torn by grief. Selected as both a Barnes & Noble Discover pick and one of the American Bookseller Association’s Debut Dozen, The Cartographer of No Man’s Land offers a soulful portrayal of World War I and the lives that were forever changed by it, both on the battlefield and at home.” Ms. Duffy has had a long career at the Mayo Clinic working in neurologically based communications disorders, and has written a variety of things besides her novel. It should be a fascinating talk – hope to see you there!
Those of us who read and loved Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy have been waiting and hoping that he would return to that world for another story. Now that he has, I find myself in agreement with a Washington Post book reviewer: “Too few things in our world are worth a seventeen year wait: The Book of Dust is one of them.” He was one of many critics raving about this book. It was selected as an Amazon Best Book of October 2017; the reviewer wrote “Philip Pullman is that rare breed of author whose books are written for young people but are read and adored equally by adults. It’s been nearly two decades since Pullman wrote The Amber Spyglass, so it was both thrilling and terrifying (please be amazing, please be amazing…) when I first cracked open The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage and began to read. I need not have worried–The Book of Dust is Pullman at his best. Neither prequel nor sequel to His Dark Materials trilogy—Pullman calls this an “equel” and La Belle Sauvage is the first volume of a companion trio that can stand on its own. There are some familiar faces—most notably an infant Lyra Belacqua and her daemon Pantalaimon–and a particularly delightful new one: a boy named Malcolm whose kind heart, curious mind, and unerring sense of good, are the reason baby Lyra makes it to the safety of Jordan College. As in his earlier books, Pullman explores themes of religious and political freedom, the nature of good and evil, science and philosophy. The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage is a glorious adventure that delivers heart-in-your-throat moments and much to think about as we wait (not so patiently) to see what will happen next…–Seira Wilson.