What We Are Reading Today: Translating Myself and Others

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Updated 22 May 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Translating Myself and Others

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Author: Jhumpa Lahiri

Translating Myself and Others is a collection of candid and disarmingly personal essays by Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jhumpa Lahiri, who reflects on her emerging identity as a translator as well as a writer in two languages.
With subtlety and emotional immediacy, Lahiri draws on Ovid’s myth of Echo and Narcissus to explore the distinction between writing and translating, and provides a close reading of passages from Aristotle’s Poetics to talk more broadly about writing, desire, and freedom.

 


What We Are Reading Today: The Monster’s Bones

What We Are Reading Today: The Monster’s Bones
Updated 04 July 2022

What We Are Reading Today: The Monster’s Bones

What We Are Reading Today: The Monster’s Bones

Author: David K. Randall
 

David K. Randall’s The Monster’s Bones is a gripping narrative of a fearless paleontologist, the founding of America’s most loved museums, and the race to find the largest dinosaurs on record.

The book reveals how a monster of a bygone era, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, with its four-foot-long jaws capable of crushing the bones of its prey and hips that powered the animal to run at speeds of 25 miles per hour, ignited a new understanding of our planet and our place within it.

Readers will find the vivid and engaging as it journeys from prehistory to present day, from remote Patagonia to the unforgiving badlands of the American West to the penthouses of Manhattan.


What We Are Reading Today: Rising Strong

What We Are Reading Today: Rising Strong
Updated 03 July 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Rising Strong

What We Are Reading Today: Rising Strong

Author: Brené Brown 

Living a brave life is not always easy: We are, inevitably, going to stumble and fall.

It is the rise from falling that social scientist Brené Brown takes as her subject in Rising Strong.

Brown has listened as a range of people —from leaders in Fortune 500 companies and the military to artists, couples in long-term relationships, teachers, and parents — shared their stories of being brave, falling, and getting back up. She asked herself, what do these people have in common?

The answer was clear: They recognize the power of emotion and they’re not afraid to lean in to discomfort.

Rising strong after a fall is how we cultivate strength.

It’s the process, Brown writes, that teaches us the most about who we are.


What We Are Reading Today: Spiders of North America by Sarah Rose

What We Are Reading Today: Spiders of North America by Sarah Rose
Updated 02 July 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Spiders of North America by Sarah Rose

What We Are Reading Today: Spiders of North America by Sarah Rose

Of the more than 49,000 species of spider worldwide, some 4,000 are in North America. Spiders of North America explores more than 500 of the most common and interesting spiders found in this region of the world.

This richly illustrated guide begins with an overview of spiders—what they are exactly, how they can be found, how they develop, and why they are important.

The book features information on all the major spider guilds: Sensing web weavers, sheet web weavers, orb web weavers, space web weavers, ambush hunters, ground active hunters, other active hunters, and spider hunters.


What We Are Reading Today: The Brain in Search of Itself

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Updated 02 July 2022

What We Are Reading Today: The Brain in Search of Itself

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Author: Benjamin Ehrlich

Benjamin Ehrlich’s The Brain in Search of Itself is a lovingly crafted biography of the Spanish scientist (and artist, and hypnotist) Santiago Ramon y Cajal who showed us what our brains are made of.
A Spanish national treasure, Cajal is one of the most important scientists of all time, considered the father of modern neuroscience after proving that the brain was not made up of a fully continuous labyrinth of fibers — as was thought during the 19th century — but rather by individual cells that we now call neurons, those “mysterious butterflies of the soul,” in his words, “whose beating of wings may one day reveal to us the secrets of the mind.”
After a decade’s dedication
to this man, Ehrlich has profound sympathy and great insight into the workings of
his mind. This comes across clearly in the deeply researched, well-written and lovingly crafted biography.
But the strength of the book lies less in the writing than in the life of its protagonist, filled with picaresque adventures, said a review in The New York Times.


What We Are Reading Today: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

What We Are Reading Today: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Updated 01 July 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

What We Are Reading Today: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

“Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy is widely regarded as one of history’s greatest works of literature. 
The novel, first published as a complete work in 1878, is centered around a love affair between Anna and Vronsky, a Russian military officer, with the book’s characters highlighting the conflict between socially accepted norms and human desire.  
Despite being married to Alexie Karenin, Anna has a scandalous affair with Vronsky and moves to Moscow with him. There they live together as a married couple. 
When he finds out about the affair, Anna’s husband gives her an ultimatum: Leave Vronsky and keep the family’s reputation intact — or never see her son again. 
Tolstoy is still revered as one of history’s greatest authors. 
Born to an aristocratic Russian family in 1828, he was a master of realist fiction, and produced plays, essays and short stories. 
His most famous works include “War and Peace,” “Resurrection,” “The Death of Ivan Ilyich” and “The Kingdom of God is Within You.” 
Tolstoy received nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature every year from 1902 to 1906, and for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1901, 1902, and 1909.