What We Are Reading Today: What a Mushroom Lives For

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Updated 29 May 2022

What We Are Reading Today: What a Mushroom Lives For

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Author: Michael J. Hathaway

What a Mushroom Lives For pushes today’s mushroom renaissance in compelling new directions. For centuries, Western science has promoted a human- and animal-centric framework of what counts as action, agency, movement, and behavior. But, as Michael Hathaway shows, the world-making capacities of mushrooms radically challenge this orthodoxy by revealing the lively dynamism of all forms of life.
Many Tibetan and Yi people have dedicated their lives to picking and selling this mushroom—a delicacy that drives a multibillion-dollar global trade network and that still grows only in the wild, despite scientists’ intensive efforts to cultivate it in urban labs.
But this is far from a simple story of humans exploiting a passive, edible commodity. Rather, the book reveals the complex, symbiotic ways that mushrooms, plants, humans, and other animals interact.

 


What We Are Reading Today: Under the Skin

What We Are Reading Today: Under the Skin
Updated 05 July 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Under the Skin

What We Are Reading Today: Under the Skin

Author: Linda Villarosa

In Under the Skin, Linda Villarosa lays bare the forces in the American healthcare system and in American society that cause Black people to “live sicker and die quicker” compared to their white counterparts.

Today’s medical texts and instruments still carry fallacious slavery-era assumptions that Black bodies are fundamentally different from white bodies.

Study after study of medical settings show worse treatment and outcomes for Black patients.

Villarosa describes the new understanding that coping with the daily scourge of racism ages Black people prematurely.

 


What We Are Reading Today: ‘It Ends with Us’

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Updated 05 July 2022

What We Are Reading Today: ‘It Ends with Us’

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“It Ends with Us” is an emotionally stirring romance novel written by Colleen Hoover.

The book’s central theme revolves around love and pain and includes a series of letters written by the main character, Lily. Each letter is in chronological order and represents a journal entry about her emotional state and circumstances.

Lily is a strong and successful young woman from a small town who worked hard to get into college and own a business. She falls in love quickly with handsome neurosurgeon Ryle Kincaid, a confident and intelligent man.

And for a while, she thinks her life could not be more perfect until she discovers that love is not as simple as it seems.

Kincaid turns out to be dangerous, and when Lily bumps into her first love Atlas Corrigan, a kindred spirit, she becomes conflicted.

Inspired by true events of her childhood, the novel reflects the relationship Hoover had with her parents, and she describes it as “one of the hardest books I’ve ever written.”

Readers are put through the emotional rollercoaster of the love triangle and Lily’s battle with her emotions as she attempts to comprehend the situation.

Hoover humanizes both the antagonist and protagonist, painfully portraying how difficult such a situation can be.

The novel was released in 2016, and was this week ranked as fourth on Amazon’s top 20 most sold and read books of the week.

Hoover is an accomplished author of romance and young adult fiction novels. She self-published her first novel “Slammed” in 2012, and “Hopeless” topped The New York Times bestseller list after being published in December 2012. Her works were originally self-published prior to being released by a publishing house.


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.