Information Services Staff Picks
Published on Monday, March 31, 2014 - 9:04am
Information Services at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library is staffed by 12 info-savvy, book-hungry librarians. Each month, we'll share a few of our current staff reads. For the full list, visit the display in Room 209 at MLK.
What first prompted prehistoric man, sheltering in the shadows of deep caves, to call upon the realm of the spirits? And why has belief thrived since, shaping millennia of civilizations, thousands of generations of shamans, pharaohs, Aztec priests and Mayan rulers, Jews, Buddhists, Christians and Scientologists?
As our dreams and nightmares have changed over the millennia, so have our beliefs. The gods we created have evolved and mutated with us through a narrative fraught with human sacrifice, political upheaval and bloody wars. Belief was man's most epic labour of invention. It has been our closest companion, and has followed mankind across the continents and through history.
Award-winning filmmaker and performing artist Miranda July brings her extraordinary talents to the page in a startling, sexy, and tender collection.
In these stories, July gives the most seemingly insignificant moments a sly potency. A benign encounter, a misunderstanding, a shy revelation can reconfigure the world.
Her characters engage awkwardly - they are sometimes too remote, sometimes too intimate. With great compassion and generosity, July reveals their idiosyncrasies and the odd logic and longing that govern their lives.
Jennifer Egan's spellbinding interlocking narratives circle the lives of Bennie Salazar, an aging former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs.
Although Bennie and Sasha never discover each other's pasts, the reader does, in intimate detail, along with the secret lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs, over many years, in locales as varied as New York, San Francisco, Naples, and Africa.
An account of the author's youth in Zimbabwe and in violent Philadelphia street gangs explores how his life was shaped by his father's absence, his brother's imprisonment, and his mother's and sister's struggles with mental illness.