February 2013 Staff Reviews & More

In This Issue:
More Staff Favorites
Staff Reviews
New in Science
More Staff Faves
Our staff enjoyed these books, too.

A Hologram for the King
by Dave Eggers
[signed copies!]

The Dude and the Zen Master
by Jeff Bridges and Bernie Glassman

Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms
by Richard Fortey

Raggedy Man
by Clyde Curley  
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February 2013 Staff Reviews & More


Here are three new staff reviews for you! We also have some great readings coming up. Plus, check out what's new in Science. 
Staff Reviews
Our staff brings you three new favorites:

Married Love and Other Stories
by Tessa Hadley
reviewed by Pat
These are contemporary stories with an unerring ear for the way children and their parents communicate and an eye for the subtle details that divide us along class lines. In the title story, a promising young violinist announces to her family that she will marry her music professor, never mind that she's never had a boyfriend and her betrothed is 45 years her senior. In a few thousand words we get the family reactions, the wedding, the children to follow, and the love that continues despite the losses. The day after I read this story, I carried it with me like a gem that I could take out of my pocket and examine at will.

Make It, Take It
by Rus Bradburd
reviewed by Will
The strange and sheltered business of college basketball, where coaches and players alike perilously teeter between personal and professional ruin and waver between adulthood and adolescence, is the setting for this often hilarious and ultimately disturbing novel. A range of character sketches reveal a world where everyone is playing everyone else to get ahead--and the basketball games themselves are a mere backdrop to the often harebrained scheming. Bradburd has exposed the dark, dank underside of a shady business and has seemingly picked up a rock to expose the creatures that slither out: venal coaches, dishonest recruiters, opportunistic administrators, and disloyal teammates.Make It, Take It is a wisely funny novel with a jaundiced view of a very American social institution.   
Waiting for Sunrise
by William Boyd

reviewed by Edie

Lysander Rief is a young English actor who finds himself in Vienna, before WWI (1913), to see a psychotherapist. Circumstances find him falling head over heels in lust with a gorgeous woman. Lysander feels he is a worldly man (mainly due to the praise in London for his work on the stage) and is therefore shocked to be accused of rape. The British consulate comes to his rescue, but not before extracting promises for his help with an espionage problem. Vienna and the coming war are characters in this exciting and sometimes hilarious thriller--and we watch Lysander's life change from one of pseudo-sophisticated ease to one with purpose and determination. Boyd has written a number of prize-winning books and this one is no exception.

We have some great readings coming up:

Chloe Coscarelli
Chloe's Vegan Desserts
Monday, February 25, 7:00 PM
Chef Chloe's first all-dessert cookbook will satisfy your sweet tooth from morning to night with more than 100 recipes for cakes and cupcakes, ice cream and doughnuts and pies-oh my! And you just will not believe these delicious dishes are vegan. Go ahead and lick that spoon-there are no worries when you bake vegan! With gorgeous color photography, clever tips, and a comprehensive section on vegan baking basics to get you started, Chloe's Vegan Desserts will be your new vegan dessert bible.

Chasity Glass
even if i am.
Wednesday, March 6, 7:00 PM
Chasity thought she knew what love was--until she meets Anthony, the handsome video editor she works with in a busy Hollywood office. As their bond grows, we follow their blossoming relationship through heartfelt emailed conversations. Soon, they are writing six to ten emails a day to each other. One email leading to the next, the two fall in love. Then, just as love begins, Anthony is diagnosed with stage 3 cancer. This memoir offers self-discovery through poignant and vulnerable prose, capturing the hearts of all those who believe in the power of love.

Amanda Coplin
The Orchardist
Monday, March 11, 7:00 PM
At once intimate and epic, The Orchardist is historical fiction at its best, in the grand literary tradition of William Faulkner, Marilynne Robinson, Michael Ondaatje, Annie Proulx, and Toni Morrison. In her stunningly original and haunting debut novel, Amanda Coplin evokes a powerful sense of place, mixing tenderness and violence as she spins an engrossing tale of a solitary orchardist who provides shelter to two runaway teenage girls in the untamed American West, and the dramatic consequences of his actions.

Candace Walsh
Licking the Spoon
Tuesday, March 19, 7:00 PM
In her food memoir, Walsh tells how, lacking role models in her early life, she turned to cookbook authors real and fictitious (Betty Crocker, Martha Stewart, Mollie Katzen, Daniel Boulud, and more) to learn, unlearn, and redefine her own womanhood. Through the lens of food, Walsh recounts her life's journey--from unhappy adolescent to straight-identified wife and mother to divorcée in a same-sex relationship--and she throws in some dishy revelations, a-ha moments, take-home tidbits, and mouth-watering recipes for good measure.
New in Science   
Here are some of the latest titles from our Science section:

How to Create a Mind
by Ray Kurzweil
The author presents a provocative exploration of the most important project in human-machine civilization--reverse engineering the brain to understand precisely how it works and using that knowledge to create even more intelligent machines. Kurzweil discusses how the brain functions, how the mind emerges from the brain, and the implications of vastly increasing the powers of our intelligence in addressing the world's problems. He thoughtfully examines emotional and moral intelligence and the origins of consciousness and envisions the radical possibilities of our merging with the intelligent technology we are creating.

The Universe From Nothing
by Lawrence Krauss
One of the few prominent scientists today to have crossed the chasm between science and popular culture, Krauss describes the staggeringly beautiful experimental observations and mind-bending new theories that demonstrate not only can something arise from nothing, something will always arise from nothing. With a new preface about the significance of the discovery of the Higgs particle, A Universe From Nothing uses Krauss's characteristic wry humor and wonderfully clear explanations to take us back to the beginning of the beginning, presenting the most recent evidence for how our universe evolved--and the implications for how it's going to end.

A Little History of Science
by William Bynum
This inviting book tells a great adventure story: the history of science. It takes readers to the stars through the telescope, as the sun replaces the earth at the center of our universe. It delves beneath the surface of the planet, charts the evolution of chemistry's periodic table, introduces the physics that explain electricity, gravity, and the structure of atoms. It recounts the scientific quest that revealed the DNA molecule and opened unimagined new vistas for exploration.

The Universe Within
by Neil Shubin
In The Universe Within, the author of Our Inner Fish starts once again with fossils. He turns his gaze skyward, showing us how the entirety of the universe's fourteen-billion-year history can be seen in our bodies. As he moves from our very molecular composition (a result of stellar events at the origin of our solar system) through the workings of our eyes, Shubin makes clear how the evolution of the cosmos has profoundly marked our own bodies.