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Severed by Frances Larson
Publication Date: 2014-11-17
The human head is exceptional. It accommodates four of our five senses,encases the brain, and boasts the most expressive set of muscles in the body.It is our most distinctive attribute and connects our inner selves to the outerworld. Yet there is a dark side to the head's preeminence, one that has, in the courseof human history, manifested itself in everything from decapitation to headhunting.So explains anthropologist Frances Larson in this fascinating history of decapitatedhuman heads. From the Western collectors whose demand for shrunken headsspurred massacres to Second World War soldiers who sent the remains of the Japanesehome to their girlfriends, from Madame Tussaud modeling the guillotined headof Robespierre to Damien Hirst photographing decapitated heads in city morgues,from grave-robbing phrenologists to skull-obsessed scientists, Larson explores ourmacabre fixation with severed heads.
Here's Looking at Euclid by Alex Bellos
Publication Date: 2011-04-19
Too often math gets a bad rap, characterized as dry and difficult. But, Alex Bellos says, "math can be inspiring and brilliantly creative. Mathematical thought is one of the great achievements of the human race, and arguably the foundation of all human progress. The world of mathematics is a remarkable place." Bellos has traveled all around the globe and has plunged into history to uncover fascinating stories of mathematical achievement, from the breakthroughs of Euclid, the greatest mathematician of all time, to the creations of the Zen master of origami, one of the hottest areas of mathematical work today. Whether writing about how algebra solved Swedish traffic problems, visiting the Mental Calculation World Cup to disclose the secrets of lightning calculation, or exploring the links between pineapples and beautiful teeth, Bellos is a wonderfully engaging guide who never fails to delight even as he edifies. Here's Looking at Euclid is a rare gem that brings the beauty of math to life.
On Immunity by Eula Biss
Publication Date: 2014-09-30
Why do we fear vaccines? Upon becoming a new mother, Eula Biss addresses a chronic condition of fear-fear of the government, the medical establishment, and what is in your child's air, food, mattress, medicine, and vaccines. She finds that you cannot immunize your child, or yourself, from the world. In this bold, fascinating book, Biss investigates the metaphors and myths surrounding our conception of immunity and its implications for the individual and the social body. As she hears more and more fears about vaccines, Biss researches what they mean for her own child, her immediate community, America, and the world, both historically and in the present moment. She extends a conversation with other mothers to meditations on Voltaire's Candide, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, Susan Sontag's AIDS and Its Metaphors, and beyond. On Immunity is a moving account of how we are all interconnected-our bodies and our fates.
The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell
Publication Date: 2009-10-06
To this day, America views itself as a Puritan nation, but Sarah Vowell investigates what that means-and what it should mean. What she discovers is something far different from what their uptight shoebuckles- and-corn reputation might suggest-a highly literate, deeply principled, and surprisingly feisty people, whose story is filled with pamphlet feuds, witty courtroom dramas, and bloody vengeance. Vowell takes us from the modern-day reenactment of an Indian massacre to the Mohegan Sun casino, from old-timey Puritan poetry, where "righteousness" is rhymed with "wilderness," to a Mayflower-themed waterslide. Throughout, The Wordy Shipmates is rich in historical fact, humorous insight, and social commentary by one of America's most celebrated voices.
A Leg to Stand On by Oliver Sacks
Publication Date: 1998-04-29
In A Leg to Stand On, it is Sacks himself who is the patient: an encounter with a bull on a desolate mountain in Norway has left him with a severely damaged leg. But what should be a routine recuperation is actually the beginning of a strange medical journey when he finds that his leg uncannily no longer feels part of his body. Sacks's brilliant description of his crisis and eventual recovery is not only an illuminating examination of the experience of patienthood and the inner nature of illness and health but also a fascinating exploration of the physical basis of identity.
Wittgenstein's Poker by David Edmonds; John Eidinow
Publication Date: 2002-09-17
On October 25, 1946, in a crowded room in Cambridge, England, the great twentieth-century philosophers Ludwig Wittgenstein and Karl Popper came face to face for the first and only time. The meeting -- which lasted ten minutes -- did not go well. Their loud and aggressive confrontation became the stuff of instant legend, but precisely what happened during that brief confrontation remained for decades the subject of intense disagreement. An engaging mix of philosophy, history, biography, and literary detection, Wittgenstein's Poker explores, through the Popper/Wittgenstein confrontation, the history of philosophy in the twentieth century. It evokes the tumult of fin-de-siécle Vienna, Wittgentein's and Popper's birthplace; the tragedy of the Nazi takeover of Austria; and postwar Cambridge University, with its eccentric set of philosophy dons, including Bertrand Russell. At the center of the story stand the two giants of philosophy themselves -- proud, irascible, larger than life -- and spoiling for a fight.
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
Publication Date: 2013-09-10
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is the story of a dramatic year in Virginia's Roanoke Valley. Annie Dillard sets out to see what she can see. What she sees are astonishing incidents of "beauty tangled in a rapture with violence." Her personal narrative highlights one year's exploration on foot in the Virginia region through which Tinker Creek runs. In the summer, Dillard stalks muskrats in the creek and contemplates wave mechanics; in the fall, she watches a monarch butterfly migration and dreams of Arctic caribou. She tries to con a coot; she collects pond water and examines it under a microscope. She unties a snake skin, witnesses a flood, and plays King of the Meadow with a field of grasshoppers. The result is an exhilarating tale of nature and its seasons.
New from Mr. Ringlein
The Collaborators by Pierre Siniac; Jordan Stump (Translator)
Publication Date: 2010-04-20
A noir set in the seediest backwaters of the French publishing industry, The Collaborators tells the story of a hapless drifter who, after years of not particularly heroic effort, finally manages to write a book. A good book? A bad book? Well, it's complicated--and soon the complications he's set in motion spiral entirely out of control. Praised by Pierre Bayard in How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read, and finally available in English by one of our greatest translators, The Collaborators is both a sinister thriller and a comedy of outrageous proportions. The novel was published to great acclaim in France in 1997 under the title Ferdinaud Céline.
Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau; Barbara Wright (Translator)
Publication Date: 1981-02-17
The plot of Exercises in Style is simple: a man gets into an argument with another passenger on a bus. However, this anecdote is told 99 more times, each in a radically different style, as a sonnet, an opera, in slang, and with many more permutations. This virtuoso set of variations is a linguistic rust-remover, and a guide to literary forms.
The Crab Nebula by Éric Chevillard; Jordan Stump (Translator); Eleanor Hardin (Translator)
Publication Date: 1997-02-01
The Crab Nebula (La Nébuleuse du crabe) is comprised of fifty-two vivid chapters that provide startling insights into the existence of this nebulous man named Crab: his nightmarish—and none too solid—physique, his mysterious absence from the pages of history, his birth in prison, his never having been born at all. In his portrait of Crab, Éric Chevillard gives us a character who is genuinely strange and curiously like ourselves. A postmodernist novel par excellence, The Crab Nebula parodies literary conventions, deconstructs narrative and meaning, and brilliantly combines absurdity and hopelessness with irony and humor. What distinguishes it most of all is the startling originality of Chevillard’s voice and vision. There is whimsy and despair in this novel, pathos and laughter, satire and warm affection. The Crab Nebula is the fifth novel—and the first to be translated into English—by the brilliant young French author Éric Chevillard. His sympathetic yet outrageous portrait of Crab calls to mind works by Melville, Valéry, and Kafka, while never being less than utterly unique.
Recent World Language Books
El Amor en los Tiempos del Cólera by Gabriel García Márquez
Publication Date: 2007-10-09
De jóvenes, Florentino Ariza y Fermina Daza se enamoran apasionadamente, pero Fermina eventualmente decide casarse con un médico rico y de muy buena familia. Florentino está anonadado, pero es un romántico. Su carrera en los negocios florece, y aunque sostiene 622 pequeños romances, su corazón todavía pertenece a Fermina. Cuando al fin el esposo de ella muere, Florentino acude al funeral con toda intención. A los cincuenta años, nueve meses y cuatro días de haberle profesado amor a Fermina, lo hará una vez más.
Ensayo Sobre la Ceguera by José Saramago; Saramagojose; SaramagojosÃ
Publication Date: 2010-01-01
The stunningly powerful novel of man's will to survive against all odds, by the winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature. A city is hit by an epidemic of white blindness which spares no one. There is one eyewitness to this nightmare who guides seven strangers through the barren streets, and the procession becomes as uncanny as the surroundings are harrowing. A magnificent parable of loss and disorientation and a vivid evocation of the horrors of the twentieth century, Blindness is a powerful portrayal of man's worst appetites and weaknesses, and his ultimately triumphant spirit.
La Sombra del Viento by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Publication Date: 2009-02-03
Un amanecer de 1945, un muchacho es conducido por su padre a un misterioso lugar oculto en el corazón de la ciudad vieja: el Cementerio de los Libros Olvidados. Allí encuentra La Sombra del Viento, un libro maldito que cambiará el rumbo de su vida y le arrastrará a un laberinto de intrigas y secretos enterrados en el alma oscura de la ciudad. Ambientada en la enigmática Barcelona de principios del siglo XX, este misterio literario mezcla técnicas de relato de intriga, de novela histórica y de comedia de costumbres, pero es, sobre todo, una tragedia histórica de amor cuyo eco se proyecta a través del tiempo. Con gran fuerza narrativa, el autor entrelaza tramas y enigmas a modo de muñecas rusas en un inolvidable relato sobre los secretos del corazón y el embrujo de los libros, manteniendo la intriga hasta la última página.
Nada by Carmen Laforet; Mario Vargas Llosa (Introduction by)
Publication Date: 2008-02-12
Mientras vive con estrecheces en una casa misteriosa de la calle de Aribau, la joven Andrea conoce a un grupo de estudiantes ricos, que representan un contrapunto atractivo para la miseria de su vida cotidiana. Con sus nuevas experiencias, la inocente Andrea va averiguando poco a poco la verdad inquietante de las personas que la rodean. Entre la crisis existencial y el umbral de la madurez, Andrea emergerá de su apasionado viaje interior más sabia, más fuerte y llena de esperanza para el futuro. Con su profunda penetración sobre la condición humana, la clásica novela de Carmen Laforet, inspirada en su propia vida, merece ocupar su lugar como una de las mejores novelas europeas del siglo XX. "Profundamente conmovedor y fascinante….una de las grandes clásicas de la literatura europea contemporánea." -- Carlos Ruiz Zafon, autor del bestseller La sombra del viento "Un trabajo de genio [que recuerda] a Sartre y Camus a la vez más moderno y más vibrante." -- Los Angeles Times Book Review "Una oscura obra de ficción hermosamente austere…Su inquietante relación con el clima politico y las actitudes sociales de la actualidad es dificíl de ignorar." -- San Fancisco Chronicle "El espíritu de astuta resistencia que expresa la novela de Laforet…no ha perdido para nada su poder de persuasion." -- The New York Times Book Review
Sin Noticias de Gurb by Eduardo Mendoza
Publication Date: February 11, 2014
Perdido en la Barcelona preolímpica, el extraterrestre Gurb pone al servicio de su supervivencia la extraña cualidadde adoptar el aspecto que le plazca. Se pierde con la apariencia de Marta Sánchez, mientras su compañero alienígena inicia su búsqueda. Por su diario personal vamos conociendo las increíbles peripecias de un extraterrestre en Barcelona. En este relato de carácter paródico y satírico, la invención de Eduardo Mendoza convierte la Barcelona cotidiana en el escenario de una carnavalada tras la cual se revela el verdadero rostro del hombre urbano actual. Al prólogo del autor y las ilustraciones originales, se añade en esta edición la «Guía de lectura», que incluye material didáctico y una sección especial para clubs de lectura.
L' Etranger by Albert Camus
Publication Date: 1942-01-01
The Stranger or The Outsider (L’Étranger) is a novel by Albert Camus published in 1942. Its theme and outlook are often cited as examples of existentialism, though Camus did not consider himself an existentialist; in fact, its content explores various philosophical schools of thought, including (most prominently and specifically) absurdism, as well as determinism, nihilism, naturalism, and stoicism.
The title character is Meursault, an Algerian ("a citizen of France domiciled in North Africa, a man of the Mediterranean, an homme du midi yet one who hardly partakes of the traditional Mediterranean culture") who seemingly irrationally kills an Arab man whom he recognises in French Algiers. The story is divided into two parts: Meursault's first-person narrative view before and after the murder, respectively.
Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Publication Date: 2001-09-04
In 2000 Harcourt proudly reissued Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's masterpiece, The Little Prince, in a sparkling new format. Newly translated by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Richard Howard, this timeless classic was embraced by critics and readers across the country for its purity and beauty of expression. And Saint-Exupéry's beloved artwork was restored and remastered to present his work in its original and vibrant colors. Now Harcourt is issuing uniform full-color foreign language editions. The restored artwork glows like never before. These affordable and beautiful editions are sure to delight an entire new generation of readers, students, children, and adults for whom Saint-Exupéry's story will open the door to a new understanding of life.
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Introducing one of the most famous characters in literature, Jean Valjean—the noble peasant imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread—Les Misérables ranks among the greatest novels of all time. In it, Victor Hugo takes readers deep into the Parisian underworld, immerses them in a battle between good and evil, and carries them to the barricades during the uprising of 1832 with a breathtaking realism that is unsurpassed in modern prose. Within his dramatic story are themes that capture the intellect and the emotions: crime and punishment, the relentless persecution of Valjean by Inspector Javert, the desperation of the prostitute Fantine, the amorality of the rogue Thénardier, and the universal desire to escape the prisons of our own minds. Les Misérables gave Victor Hugo a canvas upon which he portrayed his criticism of the French political and judicial systems, but the portrait that resulted is larger than life, epic in scope—an extravagant spectacle that dazzles the senses even as it touches the heart.
New from Mr. Sand
Zero by Charles Seife
Publication Date: 2000-09-01
The Babylonians invented it, the Greeks banned it, the Hindus worshiped it, and the Church used it to fend off heretics. Now it threatens the foundations of modern physics. For centuries the power of zero savored of the demonic; once harnessed, it became the most important tool in mathematics. For zero, infinity's twin, is not like other numbers. It is both nothing and everything. In Zero, Science Journalist Charles Seife follows this innocent-looking number from its birth as an Eastern philosophical concept to its struggle for acceptance in Europe, its rise and transcendence in the West, and its ever-present threat to modern physics. Here are the legendary thinkers--from Pythagoras to Newton to Heisenberg, from the Kabalists to today's astrophysicists--who have tried to understand it and whose clashes shook the foundations of philosophy, science, mathematics, and religion. Zero has pitted East against West and faith against reason, and its intransigence persists in the dark core of a black hole and the brilliant flash of the Big Bang. Today, zero lies at the heart of one of the biggest scientific controversies of all time: the quest for a theory of everything.
Euclid's Window by Leonard Mlodinow
Publication Date: 2002-04-09
Through Euclid's Window Leonard Mlodinow brilliantly and delightfully leads us on a journey through five revolutions in geometry, from the Greek concept of parallel lines to the latest notions of hyperspace. Here is an altogether new, refreshing, alternative history of math revealing how simple questions anyone might ask about space -- in the living room or in some other galaxy -- have been the hidden engine of the highest achievements in science and technology. Based on Mlodinow's extensive historical research; his studies alongside colleagues such as Richard Feynman and Kip Thorne; and interviews with leading physicists and mathematicians such as Murray Gell-Mann, Edward Witten, and Brian Greene, Euclid's Window is an extraordinary blend of rigorous, authoritative investigation and accessible, good-humored storytelling that makes a stunningly original argument asserting the primacy of geometry. For those who have looked through Euclid's Window, no space, no thing, and no time will ever be quite the same.
The Man Who Loved Only Numbers by Paul Hoffman
Publication Date: 1999-05-12
Based on a National Magazine Award-winning article, this masterful biography of Hungarian-born Paul Erdos is both a vivid portrait of an eccentric genius and a layman's guide to some of this century's most startling mathematical discoveries.
Fermat's Enigma by Simon Singh; John Lynch (Foreword by)
Publication Date: 1998-09-08
xn + yn = zn, where n represents 3, 4, 5, ...no solution "I have discovered a truly marvelous demonstration of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain." With these words, the seventeenth-century French mathematician Pierre de Fermat threw down the gauntlet to future generations.nbsp;nbsp;What came to be known as Fermat's Last Theorem looked simple; proving it, however, became the Holy Grail of mathematics, baffling its finest minds for more than 350 years.nbsp;nbsp;In Fermat's Enigma--based on the author's award-winning documentary film, which aired on PBS's "Nova"--Simon Singh tells the astonishingly entertaining story of the pursuit of that grail, and the lives that were devoted to, sacrificed for, and saved by it.nbsp;nbsp;Here is a mesmerizing tale of heartbreak and mastery that will forever change your feelings about mathematics.
A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines by Janna Levin
Publication Date: 2007-09-18
Kurt Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems sent shivers through Vienna's intellectual circles and directly challenged Ludwig Wittgenstein's dominant philosophy. Alan Turing's mathematical genius helped him break the Nazi Enigma Code during WWII. Though they never met, their lives strangely mirrored one another;both were brilliant, and both met with tragic ends. Here, a mysterious narrator intertwines these parallel lives into a double helix of genius and anguish, wonderfully capturing not only two radiant, fragile minds but also the zeitgeist of the era.
Omaha Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, citizenship status, or economic status in its programs, activities and employment and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following individual has been designated to address inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Superintendent of Schools, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (531-299-9822).
Las Escuelas Públicas de Omaha no discriminan basados en la raza, color, origen nacional, religión, sexo, estado civil, orientación sexual, discapacidad , edad, información genética, estado de ciudadanía, o estado económico, en sus programas, actividades y empleo, y provee acceso equitativo a los “Boy Scouts” y a otros grupos juveniles designados. La siguiente persona ha sido designada para atender estas inquietudes referentes a las pólizas de no discriminación: El Superintendente de las Escuelas, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (531-299-9822).