What We Are Reading Today: Pentagons and Pentagrams; An Illustrated History

What We Are Reading Today: Pentagons and Pentagrams; An Illustrated History
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Updated 24 October 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Pentagons and Pentagrams; An Illustrated History

What We Are Reading Today: Pentagons and Pentagrams; An Illustrated History

Edited by Eli Maor And Eugen Jost

The pentagon and its close cousin, the pentagram, have inspired individuals for the last two and half millennia, from mathematicians and philosophers to artists and naturalists.

Despite the pentagon’s wide-ranging history, no single book has explored the important role of this shape in various cultures, until now.

Richly illustrated, Pentagons and Pentagrams offers a sweeping view of the five-sided polygon, revealing its intriguing geometric properties and its essential influence on a variety of fields.

Traversing time, Eli Maor narrates vivid stories, both celebrated and unknown, about the pentagon and pentagram.


What We Are Reading Today: Policing the Black Man

What We Are Reading Today: Policing the Black Man
Updated 30 January 2023

What We Are Reading Today: Policing the Black Man

What We Are Reading Today: Policing the Black Man

Author: Angela J. Davis

A comprehensive, readable analysis of the key issues of the Black Lives Matter movement, this thought-provoking and compelling anthology features essays by some of the nation’s most influential and respected criminal justice experts and legal scholars.

The book explores and critiques the many ways the criminal justice system impacts the lives of African American boys and men at every stage of the criminal process from arrest through sentencing.

Essays range from an explication of the historical roots of racism in the criminal justice system to an examination of modern-day police killings of unarmed black men, according to a review on goodreads.com.

The co-authors discuss and explain racial profiling, the power and discretion of police and prosecutors, the role of implicit bias, the racial impact of police and prosecutorial decisions, and the disproportionate imprisonment of black men.


What We Are Reading Today: What Happened To You?

What We Are Reading Today: What Happened To You?
Updated 30 January 2023

What We Are Reading Today: What Happened To You?

What We Are Reading Today: What Happened To You?

Edited by Bruce D. Perry, Oprah Winfrey

“What Happened to You?” provides powerful scientific and emotional insights into the behavioral patterns which many of us struggle to understand. This book is going to change the way you see your life.

When questioning our emotions, it’s easy to place the blame on ourselves; holding ourselves and those around us to an impossible standard. The book tells us that it’s time we started asking a different question.

Through deeply personal conversations, Oprah Winfrey and renowned brain and trauma expert Dr. Bruce Perry offer a groundbreaking and profound shift from asking “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?”

Winfrey shares stories from her own past, understanding through experience the vulnerability that comes from facing trauma and adversity at a young age. In conversation throughout the book, she and Dr. Perry focus on understanding people, behavior, and ourselves.


What We Are Reading Today: Talking Cure; An Essay on the Civilizing Power of Conversation

What We Are Reading Today: Talking Cure; An Essay on the Civilizing Power of Conversation
Updated 28 January 2023

What We Are Reading Today: Talking Cure; An Essay on the Civilizing Power of Conversation

What We Are Reading Today: Talking Cure; An Essay on the Civilizing Power of Conversation

Edited by Paula Marantz Cohen

“Talking Cure” is a timely and enticing excursion into the art of good conversation. Paula Marantz Cohen reveals how conversation connects us in ways that social media never can and explains why simply talking to each other freely and without guile may be the cure to what ails our troubled society. 

Drawing on her lifelong immersion in literature and culture and her decades of experience as a teacher and critic, Cohen argues that we learn to converse in our families and then carry that knowledge into a broader world where we encounter diverse opinions and sensibilities.


What We Are Reading Today: Three Roads Back

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Photo/Supplied
Updated 28 January 2023

What We Are Reading Today: Three Roads Back

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Author: Robert D. Richardson

In “Three Roads Back,” Robert Richardson, the author of magisterial biographies of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and William James, tells the connected stories of how these foundational American writers and thinkers dealt with personal tragedies early in their careers. For Emerson, it was the death of his young wife and, 11 years later, his five-year-old son; for Thoreau, it was the death of his brother; and for James, it was the death of his beloved cousin Minnie Temple.

Filled with rich biographical detail and unforgettable passages from the journals and letters of Emerson, Thoreau, and James, these vivid and moving stories of loss and hard-fought resilience show how the writers’ responses to these deaths helped spur them on to their greatest work, influencing the birth and course of American literature and philosophy. In reaction to his traumatic loss, Emerson lost his Unitarian faith and found solace in nature.

Thoreau, too, leaned on nature and its regenerative power, discovering that “death is the law of new life,” an insight that would find expression in Walden. And James, following a period of panic and despair, experienced a redemptive conversion and new ideas that would drive his work as a psychologist and philosopher.

 


What We Are Reading Today: Empire of Ice and Stone

What We Are Reading Today: Empire of Ice and Stone
Updated 26 January 2023

What We Are Reading Today: Empire of Ice and Stone

What We Are Reading Today: Empire of Ice and Stone

Author: Buddy Levy

In the summer of 1913, the wooden-hulled brigantine Karluk departed Canada for the Arctic Ocean. At the helm was Captain Bob Bartlett, considered the world’s greatest living ice navigator. 

The expedition’s visionary leader was a flamboyant impresario named Vilhjalmur Stefansson hungry for fame.

Set against the backdrop of the Titanic disaster and World War I, filled with heroism, tragedy, and scientific discovery, Buddy Levy’s “Empire of Ice and Stone” tells the story of two men and two distinctively different brands of leadership: one selfless, one self-serving, and how they would forever be bound by one of the most audacious and disastrous expeditions in polar history.