The Survival List
By Courtney Sheinmel
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Oct 15th 2019.
The Survival List by Courtney SheinmelThis is a novel for young people about a 17 year old girl, Sloane, whose older sister Talley dies by suicide. After the death, Sloane finds a mysterious list that her sister made, and the plot involves her trying to work out what the list means. They live in Minnesota but Sloane eventually takes a trip to the West coast and meets people who had known Talley. She eventually uncovers some family secrets and gets a better understanding of her sister's life. The early chapters of the novel tell of the day before Talley died, introducing us to Sloane and their father, and Sloane's best friend Juno
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Shame
By Bogdan Pop
Review by Brian Morreale on Tue, Oct 15th 2019.
Shame is an emotion that results from exposing a personal action or decision to an audience. Often times, many people are shamed from doing something deviant or inappropriate. When a person does something deviant it is likely because the act is not in agreement with societal norms. Shaming in the 19th century would lead to public exclusion. In many cultures shame is used to "correct" behavior, especially in Asian cultures. Similarly, in Bogdan Popa's book Shame: A Genealogy of Queer Practices in the 19th Century he argues that shame is a way to motivate (and contr
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Shame by Bogdan Pop

Philosophy of Sex and Love
An Opinionated Introduction
By Patricia Marino
Review by Robert Scott Stewart, Ph.D. on Tue, Oct 15th 2019.
Philosophy of Sex and Love by Patricia MarinoPatricia Marino's Philosophy of Love and Sex: An Opinionated Introduction is a wonderful addition to the growing literature – and indeed growing number of textbooks – in this area of philosophy, which is still only a few decades old. The subtitle of the book raises two questions. The first is in what way this book is an introduction to the philosophy of sex and love, and the second is why Marino calls it an opinionated introduction. The answer to the first question, I believe, is because Marino does not assume prior expertise in the area and hence prov
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The Stillwater Girls
By Minka Kent
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Oct 8th 2019.
This story has two female narrators whose lives are destined to interact. First, Wren, who is 19 and lives with her younger sister Sage in a cabin in the forest, with no electricity or technology. The other is Nicolette, who is married to a successful photographer, Brant (what? Brant is named after a goose?). The couple live in a comfortable on the edge of a forest in upstate New York, and go into Manhattan for sophisticated art events. We follow the two narrators as they tell their sad stories and the connection is made. It turns out that Wren used to live with another sister and their mother
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The Stillwater Girls by Minka Kent

Our Symphony with Animals
On Health, Empathy, and Our Shared Destinies
By Aysha Akhtar
Review by Michael Sakuma on Tue, Oct 8th 2019.
Our Symphony with Animals by Aysha AkhtarI have a, mixed, love-hate relationship with western medicine.  In the span of 100 years it has significantly extended our lifespan and changed the things that most often kill us from things in the environment (malaria and pneumonia), to ourselves (i.e. excessive French fries and smoking).  Medicine, built on the cold-mechanistic shoulders of science, views us, in large degree as machines.  We can replace, tighten and modify most all of our parts, in the same way that we can soup up a muscle car or renovate an old Chevy.  Doctors all too often lack bedside manner, seemingly
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Democracy in Chains
The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America
By Nancy MacLean
Review by John Mullen on Tue, Oct 8th 2019.
Gerrymandering to restrict African American votes. Laws requiring voters to show picture Identification. Closing state picture identification offices in largely African American counties.  Videoing at polling booths. Closing polling places in poor counties. Distributing false information about the locations of polling places. Stripping voter registrations based upon minor differences in signatures separated by many years. Posing as polling workers then falsely offering to deliver absentee ballots. Prior to reading Nancy MacLean's book I had little context in which to understand these wel
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Democracy in Chains by Nancy MacLean

How History Gets Things Wrong
The Neuroscience of Our Addiction to Stories
By Alex Rosenberg
Review by David Meskill on Tue, Oct 8th 2019.
How History Gets Things Wrong by Alex RosenbergHistorians debate many things, from the Founding Fathers' motivations to the role of violence in the rise of capitalism, from the possibility of writing "grand narratives" to the best use of digital data. But about basic historical methods, there is little disagreement, only confident consensus. The work on historical method that in recent years has attracted the most attention – Jo Guldi and David Armitage's The History Manifesto – asserted in passing that historians possess a tool-box of "sophisticated" and reliable techniques. Of the roughly 50 reviews of the manifesto
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Keeping Lucy
By T. Greenwood
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Oct 1st 2019.
Part feminist road trip, part morality tale about attitudes towards children with Down syndrome, Keeping Lucy is a satisfying read. It is 1969 when Ginny Richardson gives birth to a baby girl, Lucy, with the genetic condition. The doctors keep her drugged while her husband and his father sign the baby over to a local "school," Willowridge, where she will live permanently. Ginny protests but is given assurances that Lucy is better off having no contact with her family. It is 2 years later when Ginny's old friend Marsha calls her to tell her that there has been an exposé in the
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Keeping Lucy by T. Greenwood

 


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